Melbourne vs Sydney – Which Australian City to Visit?

If you know anything about Australia, you are certainly aware of the rivalry that exists between the country’s two largest cities – Melbourne and Sydney. It is namely because of this rivalry that Canberra was chosen as the capital of the nation back in the early-20th century. But even today, Melbourne and Sydney continue to compete against each other. And yet they share a lot of similarities:

  • Each as a population of more than 5 million
  • Both are home to some of Australia’s top tourist attractions (Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Bondi Beach, Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney and Federation Square, Flinders Street Railway Station and Eureka Skydeck in Melbourne)
  • The two cities have found a place among the world’s 50 best places to live
  • Both have the status of state capitals

But which of these two amazing Aussie cities is worth visiting more than the other? Both! But given that the distance between them is more than 870km (a long 9-hour drive), most people who travel to the Land Down Under do not have the time or the resources to properly explore the Europe of Australia (i.e. Melbourne) and the Harbour City (aka Sydney) in one trip. If you too are facing such a dilemma, you need to carefully weigh in these two options.

Sydney is filled with attractions

Yes, we know that we said that both of these Australian cities offer visitors a wealth of attractions, landmarks and unique activities. Nevertheless, Sydney seems to have the upper hand when it comes to tourism. The majority of the tourist sites in the capital of New South Wales are located in its Central Business District which makes them easier to access and to explore. Plus, this is where you can find some of the most iconic landmarks in the country, the most notorious of which is Sydney Opera House.

Melbourne as a foodie destination

The City by the Bay is one of the top foodie destinations on a global scale. It is famous for its excellent coffee shops, affordable dining options and all the fresh produce you can find at Queen Victoria Market.

Sydney’s sunny weather

The weather in Syd is milder and much easier to predict compared to that of Melbourne. Sydney has 107 sunny days per year while the capital of Victoria has barely 46. You do the math!

Melbourne is easier to explore

Ask any Australian about Sydney and one of the first things they will tell you about this city is that driving and travelling in it can be a living nightmare. The streets’ layout in the Harbour City is poorly planned and the same goes for its public transport network. Luckily, this is not the case in Bleak City which you can explore if you rent a car in Melbourne or by travelling around the CBD for free with the City Circle Tram.

It is hard to say which of these fantastic Australian cities is the better one of the two. Still, if you are in a mood of a sunny and beachy vacation or if you want to see some of the country’s top landmarks, you should start your holiday from Sydney. But if you are a passionate foodie who prefers to easily get around the city, Melbourne should you be your first choice.