In this corner, we have Sydney, Australia, where the beaches and sunshine attract those looking for relaxing luxuries. Over in the other corner is Melbourne, the eccentric, artistic hub of Australia. When the two cities start competing your travel time, do you know which one would appeal to your senses more?
I have put together a comparison of Sydney and Melbourne for you to make the correct choice. Though, anywhere you go in Australia would be an awesome vacation, that much is certain.
The Beaches: Coogee, Bondi, Manly, Cronulla, Bronte, Tamarama, and Maroubra are just a few of those easily accessible from Sydney’s center. Others are within 30 minutes by ferry. Tourist Attractions: Sydney Harbor, Darling Harbor (and everything offered there), Sydney Opera House and Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, the Sydney Harbor Bridge, Murugan Hindu Temple, the Vat Khemarangsaram Cambodian Buddhist Temple in Bonnyrigg, and the Mingyue Lay Buddhist Temple in Bonnyrigg, The Rocks Historic Area, Sydney Tower and Skywalk. Green Space: The Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney Park, Putney Park, Wetherhill Park, and the Sydney Botanical Gardens (at the back of the NSW Conservatorium of Music), Chinese Garden of Friendship, and Hyde Park.
When you think about attractions, the Opera House and the Royal Botanic Gardens probably come to mind. Or, you find yourself daydreaming about lounging on Manly Beach, a haven for backpackers. In short, everything you want to see in Australia is probably located in Sydney. From magical scenery to picturesque
beaches, there is something to be found no matter where you go.
The Beaches: None – but you do have a Yarra River cruise. Tourist Attractions: The Shrine of Remembrance, The Block Arcade, Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Federation Square, Eureka Tower and Skydeck, Captain Cook’s Cottage Green Space: Port Campbell National Park, Royal Botanic Gardens of Melbourne, Yarra Valley (Wine Country).
Compared to Sydney, Melbourne pales in comparison with things- to-do. That said, if you are not looking for an overabundance of tourist attractions, the quaint sights around Melbourne may please you more. Melbourne is more about sports and slightly more historical venues.
Education & Entertainment You may have noticed that I skipped museums and other entertainment sites in the “sightseeing” list. That is because, for the museum-goers and nightlife seekers, one city may trounce the other.
● Sydney Opera House
● Rock’s Discovery Museum
● SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
● Australian National Maritime Museum
● George Street – where you can find designer boutiques through Strand
Arcade and the Queen Victoria Building
● Taronga Zoo
● Sydney Fish Market
● Southbank Promenade – cafes, restaurants, live entertainment
● The Arts Centre – made up of the Playhouse, Fairfax Theatre, Hamer Hall, and the State Theatre
● National Gallery of Victoria – Australia’s oldest art gallery
● The Royal Arcade – Melbourne’s oldest shopping arcade, full of architecture and character
● The Block Arcade – Another place for fashionistas and architecture nuts.
● Melbourne Museum and Royal Exhibition Building
● Queen Victoria Market
● State Library Victoria
So, while Sydney wins with glitz and glitter, Melbourne wins in terms of culture. You see, Melbourne has an international influence that is reflected throughout the city. The live entertainment on street corners and in Jazz bars, the cafes, the performing arts, and the prevalent food culture is mesmerizing. If you love food and engaging nightlife, Melbourne wins, hands down.
How will you ever choose between Sydney and Melbourne? The answer is in what you are looking to do. For those seeking nature and touristy adventures, head to Sydney. Others seeking shopping, nightlife, and an artsy-vibe should go to Melbourne. Either way, you are in for an amazing time, so why not go to both?