Dreaming about planting your roots in Melbourne? With its effortlessly cool culture and endless dining precincts, it’s no wonder hip Melbourne is Australia’s fastest-growing capital.
If you’re considering making the move to Victoria’s capital, check out the advantages and disadvantages of living in Melbourne before you start packing.
Living in Melbourne: Pros and Cons
From its quirky fashion to its street art, Melbourne has a lot to offer. But just like anything (except this turtle eating a strawberry), the city also has its drawbacks.
Pro: It’s the sporting capital of the world
Melbourne has been named the world’s sporting capital several times, making it the go-to for sports enthusiasts. Whether you’re mad about the footy or you never miss a tennis match, the sports-loving culture of Melbourne will have you feeling at home and barracking for your team in no time.
Con: The weather kinda sucks
If you love Australia for its sunny, blue-sky summers, Melbourne may not be the spot for you. Known for feeling like all four seasons in one day, Melbourne’s weather is pretty unpredictable. In saying that, if you’re trying to escape the sticky summer heat, this could be your ideal destination.
Pro: There’s always plenty to do
Whether you’re looking to get back to nature, get your culture fix, or indulge in some retail therapy, Melbourne has a lot to offer to keep singles, couples, and families entertained. From its great shopping and nightlife to its beautiful parks and museums, you’ll never be bored in this exciting city.
Con: It’s expensive
As the second most expensive city in Australia (Sydney takes the top spot), living in Melbourne will cost you. From rent to groceries, you can expect to pay more here than other capitals in the country.
Pro: There’s a daytrip for every weekend
Seriously, living in Melbourne will have your weekends sorted. Whether you’re tasting wine in the Yarra Valley, taking in the stunning scenery of the Great Ocean Road, or meeting penguins on Phillip Island, Melbourne will have you ticking endless daytrips off your bucket list.
Best Melbourne Suburbs to Live In
From quiet outer suburbs to the bustling city centre, Melbourne has the perfect spot to accommodate every lifestyle.
Richmond – inner suburb
Home to trendy boutiques and a melting pot of delicious cuisines, Richmond is known for its great shopping and dining scene. With several schools, it’s a great place to raise a family while enjoying all the city has to offer. It also has five train stations, tram and bus routes, and a bicycle trail, making it easy to get around Melbourne.
Southbank – inner suburb
Just 1km south of the CBD, Southbank’s stunning riverbank district offers endless dining options and unrivalled views. This hip suburb has plenty of funky retail stores to wander, and is home to a number of secondary and tertiary institutions as well as the Arts Centre and its theatres.
Northcote – North Melbourne
Perfect for young families, Northcote has several schools and plenty of convenient public transport for getting around. It also features a shopping centre and a wide range of restaurants for those nights you don’t feel like cooking.
Bentleigh – South Melbourne
With two train stations, three schools, and a handful of parks and playgrounds, Bentleigh is a great pick for families. It also offers plenty of shopping and dining experiences on Centre Road, including restaurants, cafés and boutique retail stores. Bentleigh is just a 10-minute drive from Brighton Beach.
Mount Waverley – East Melbourne
Handy to the Monash Freeway to the CBD, Mount Waverley is a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle without making a visit to the city an inconvenience. It’s home to several public and private schools, shops and restaurants.
Kensington – West Melbourne
Just 4km from the CBD, Kensington has two primary schools and a high school as well as a variety of shops and restaurants. Home to lovely trees and gardens, this leafy suburb is known for its friendly village feel.
Melbourne’s Dining Scene
Known for its booming dining scene and some of the best cafés in Australia, eating out in Melbourne is a must-do experience for all locals and visitors. From fine dining to tasty takeaway, these dining precincts in Melbourne will have you licking your lips for more.
Brunswick St – Fitzroy
The city’s oldest suburb, Fitzroy has something for every family and serious foodie. From elegant Parisian-style dining to casual share plates, colourful Brunswick St is dotted with endless options to suit every craving and budget.
Lygon St – Carlton
Famous for its authentic Italian eateries, Lygon St has more to offer than pizza and pasta. Here you’ll find a variety of cuisines and cafés for every meal of the day. Dine alfresco and enjoy some people-watching with your meal.
Southbank – South Melbourne
Whether you’re in the mood for steak, seafood or some ethnic cuisine, Southbank will serve you up a delicious dish alongside some of the most spectacular views in the city. Visit the South Melbourne Markets on a Sunday to pick up your fresh local produce.
Culture in Melbourne
As the cultural capital of Australia, Melbourne’s art and culture scene doesn’t disappoint. These hotspots are sure to bring some drama to your life in the best way possible.
Princess Theatre – 163 Spring St, Melbourne
This stunning historic building is one of Melbourne’s most iconic landmarks. Seating almost 1,500 people, the Princess Theatre hosts world-class stage productions and is known as Australia’s home of musical theatre. The building itself is reason enough to pay a visit, with the original chandelier and other features still in place from the 1850s.
Arts Centre Melbourne – 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne
Arts Centre Melbourne has been wowing audiences with local and international performing arts for almost 30 years. From musicals and opera to ballet, cabaret and circus, no matter what you’re in the mood to see, you’ll find something exciting at Australia’s largest and busiest performing arts venue.
Melbourne Museum – 11 Nicholson St, Carlton
Rich in culture and history, Melbourne Museum offers an inspiring and educational experience for adults and children. With permanent and temporary exhibitions from Australia and beyond, highlights include the Forest Gallery, the Science and Life Gallery, and the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre.
While Australia may be famous for its blue skies and sunshine, Melbourne can be the exception. Known for its unpredictable weather, locals tend to dress in layers and pack an umbrella to be prepared for all seasons in one day.
Summer in Melbourne is not like the rest of the country. Melbourne’s average temperatures throughout summer range between 14 – 25°C, although it can experience hot spells for several days where temperatures can reach 30°C and beyond.
With average temperatures between 11 – 20°C, autumn in Melbourne starts to bring the chill. You can expect clear, sunny skies with light winds toward the end of the season.
Cold and cloudy, winter in Melbourne brings average temperatures of 6.5 – 14°C. Nights can bring frosts, and North-East Victoria experiences snow.
Spring weather in Melbourne is notorious for its fickleness. Average temperatures range from 9.5 – 19.5°C, and you can expect plenty of rain in October, Melbourne’s wettest month of the year.
Getting Around Melbourne
With the world’s largest tram network, getting around the city and surrounding suburbs is pretty easy (especially if you have a Myki card, a reusable prepaid travel card that can be used on trams, trains and buses in Melbourne and regional Victoria). You can also use a convenient pocket-sized street map, the City of Melbourne TravelSmart map, for information on the networks.
As a large part of Melbourne’s culture and identity, chances are you’ve seen a tram or two on travel advertisements.
Commuters and tourists can easily move around the city with the Free Tram Zone. Other trams travelling to outer suburbs can be accessed using your Myki card. The City Circle Tram is a free service that travels the perimeter of the city and takes passengers past some of Melbourne’s major attractions.
Melbourne offers an extensive bus network for getting around the metropolitan area and beyond. The Night Bus network runs on Fridays and Saturdays, departing every 30 minutes from six locations in the CBD.
With over 200 operating railway stations, Melbourne’s suburban network of trains runs from around 5am to midnight, making it easy to get where you need to be from early morning to late evening.
Melbourne features plenty of designated taxi ranks around the CBD and busy tourist areas. Wherever you are in Melbourne, it’s easy to order a taxi online or by phone.
Make your move to Melbourne a little easier with these 10 tips.