Expat Diaries / Melbourne Living / Sydney Living

8 Things Melbourne Does Better Than Sydney

Sydney is the Australian city that is all so pretty but Melbourne gets one over Sydney when it comes to quality of living. (According to the Economist who voted Melbourne the world’s most liveable city for 6 years running!) I’ve always been Team Sydney but my last visit to Melbourne got me thinking about some of the things Sydney is lacking. So controversially, here are 8 things I think Melbourne does better than Sydney. 

1. Trams

Not only do Melbourne’s trams run significantly better than Sydney’s buses but if you’re travelling within the CBD they are 100% free – no ticket necessary. 

2. Wi-Fi

I cannot think of a single place in Sydney CBD where you can work in a café and usurp the free Wi-Fi. (Excluding Maccas, which is understandably not that appealing.) I totally get why Sydney cafes are reluctant to encourage freelancers who want to set up a ‘coffice’ but most of us are good customers, honest. In places like 1000 £ Bend in Melbourne who offer free and fast Wi-Fi I buy more than enough coffee and food to justify my table.

3. Seasons

Although I prefer Sydney’s more predictable sunshine there is something to be said for experiencing the contrasting seasons in Melbourne (although ideally not all of them within 24 hours). As a Londoner my wardrobe is better suited to Melbourne where dark colours and layers are the norm for half the year.

File this under: Things you see in Melbourne

4. Rental Prices

Property prices in Sydney are proper mental. We could never afford to buy in Sydney because renting here sucks up huge chunks of income. In comparison for what we pay for a 1 bed with study in Alexandria/Waterloo, Sydney we could get a 3 bed, 2 bathroom HOUSE with garden a 15 minute tram ride from Melbourne CBD.

5. Chicken Parmas

I’m not a fan of chicken parmas (basically a chicken schnitzel served with tomato sauce and heaps of cheese) but my hubby who was raised on them says the ones in Melbourne are hard to beat. One of his top picks would be the monster sized parma at The Imperial Hotel.

Melbourne laneways – much copied, never beaten

6. Laneways

There are not many places you’d deliberately want to wander down narrow alleys but in Melbourne that’s one of the biggest attractions. Melbourne’s laneways lined with alfresco eateries, street art, fashion boutiques and much-appreciated outdoor heaters are often imitated but hardly ever beaten.

My fave addresses are: Degraves Street, Hosier Lane, Central Place, Croft Alley, AC/DC Lane. 

7. (Beard) Diversity

 Man has Melbourne got some diverse hairstyles. From mullets to pink crops and big ginger beards, I find the people in Melbourne have more diverse tastes than the beach-chic set of Sydney – at least that’s what their hair leads me to believe.

Ever feel like you’re being watched 😉

8. Nightlife

Ask any Sydney-sider and they’ll tell you the lock out laws have slowly strangled the nightlife in Sydney. In contrast, every other building in Melbourne seems to be some form of den of iniquity – they’ve got old school boozers, clubs, live music venues, rooftop bars and pop up bars a plenty!

Is there anything else you think Melbourne does better than Sydney or is Sydney always going to be tops for you?

About Author

I'm a full time blogger with a passion for travel and interiors. A travel blogger for 12+ years, I took a course on interior styling during the pandemic when travel was not an option. I now run 2 Instagram accounts - @jayneytravels, which covers authentic, affordable luxury escapes and @ourtravelhome which is all about decorating our new build home with a modern rustic style.


  • Gilda Baxter
    May 3, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    Humm…not convinced…still love Sydney, but can’t really have a fair opinion since in my recent visit to Australia I did not have time to visit Melbourne. I will have to check it out next time

    • Jayne Gorman
      May 7, 2017 at 1:28 am

      You must! Then you can make a fair assessment 🙂

  • Clazz - An Orcadian Abroad
    May 6, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    CHICKEN PARMAS!!!! That is all.

    (oh and I’d add street art, but I guess you got that covered under laneways!)

    • Jayne Gorman
      May 7, 2017 at 1:22 am

      One of these days I reckon chicken parmas will grow on me – just not yet!

  • Stef
    May 7, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Coffee! I loved Melbourne’s coffee culture so much!


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