Between Paris or Marseille, Barcelona or Madrid, Seoul or Busan… which do you prefer?

Has anyone ever asked you such a question?

A Familiar Topic

One of the topics that often comes up when I talk about my past travels is why I prefer one city to another.

If you’ve met travelers who’ve visited the same country as you, this has probably happened to you too.
The conversation can quickly turn into a kind of debate where you list the reasons why you think your choice is better.

This has become a game for me, as I like to see people’s different points of view on a subject.

So today, I’m going to compare two cities that have divided my friends over the years.
Don’t worry, I’m still friends with those I don’t agree with!


First of all, let’s get to know Sydney, the magnificent, my favorite city! How could I resist Australia’s 2nd capital city!!!!
For the record, I’m not a big fan of cities, but we can change our minds sometimes, can’t we?

Speaking of capital cities, here’s a fun fact about both cities!

Did you know that Canberra wasn’t supposed to be Australia’s capital?
The game was open between Sydney and Melbourne.
But since apparently nobody could decide which of the two should be the winner, they created Canberra, which is located between the two cities!

Sydney blue mountains

There’s a lot to do in Sydney. I’ve never been bored between the many water sports you can do, the hiking, the good weather and the tourist spots. So here are Sydney’s main assets:

1. The ocean

It’s very close and you can do a lot of coastal walks like the Bondi to Coogee Walk, which I absolutely recommend. It’s one of my favorite places in Sydney, and you can stop at any time and relax on the beach.

Sydney beach

If you like surfing, Sydney is certainly the better of the two with its many beaches and beginner-friendly waves. I learned to surf at Manly Beach and it remains one of my best experiences.
What’s more, surfing in Australia is great, as the country is renowned as one of the world’s best places to do so.

2. The vibe & the cost of life

Some people say that Sydney is always bustling and that they find it oppressive because it’s business-centric. My experience was quite the opposite. As I actually found the people very friendly and helpful.

The atmosphere in Sydney is different, you can relax on the beach and have a “Barbie” (barbecue) at the same time. Good music, good food and the people who matter most.
What more do you need?

On the other hand, when I lived in Melbourne, I found it very difficult to make friends with people, most of whom seemed cold and not as friendly as I’d been told.

In my experience, the cost of living is very similar. Both cities are equally expensive, whether for rent or shopping. Australia is known for being an expensive country, but you mustn’t forget that salaries are higher here than in many other countries.

3. The architecture

Another difference lies in the architecture. Melbourne is mostly gray skyscrapers or contemporary design, while Sydney seduces with its Victorian, Roman and modern buildings.

I guess it all depends on your preferences. My choice is already made!

Sydney buildings
Sydney neighborhood

4. The weather

One of the most important things for me is the weather. In Sydney, the weather is generally sunny and the temperatures pleasant all year round, whereas in Melbourne you can have all four seasons in one day.

Melbourne has very fickle weather, with humidity and rainfall, although it improves during the summer. If you want to visit, I’d advise you to plan ahead to make the most of the city.

Now, let’s talk about what Melbourne has to offer.


5. The culture


If you like European cities, you should definitely go to Melbourne. The cultural aspect is also more important here than in Sydney. The city has many museums and art galleries and is famous for its street art too.

6. The food & nightlife

If we’re talking about food, I have to admit that if you like small pubs, brunches and cafés, you should go to Melbourne.

St Kilda, Port Melbourne and Yarraville are good places to relax and have breakfast. Whether it’s scrambled eggs, avocado toast or anything else you fancy, you’re spoilt for choice.

The same goes for nightlife. Melbourne has many hidden pubs and the White Night Festival is an event not to be missed if you’re in the city at that time.

7. Transportation


Transport in Melbourne is better than in Sydney. The city’s tram network is one of the most extensive in the world.
The city is also well-suited to cyclists, with numerous cycle paths that allow you to get a bit of exercise while sightseeing.

As you’ve probably guessed, Sydney is my first choice between the two, but you can always choose a completely different city.

There’s no shortage of options. Australia is full of extraordinary cities (Brisbane, Perth, Hobart…). It’s up to you to choose what suits you best, whether you’re a beach person, a cosmopolitan or adventurous, you won’t be disappointed.

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