Lovely Melb

That’s what I always call Melbourne in my head. And often out loud as well. My lovely Melb. Followed with a wistful sigh.

I love Melbourne. I know I use the L-word a lot when it comes to places, cities and traveling in general but in this case it also comes with capital letters. I really do LOVE that city. Melbourne is my place, my city. Melbourne is the place I found me, the person inside that 24 year-old girl, who’d just taken the biggest leap of her life. Melbourne is the place where I finally decided to even look for that person. It’s where I fell in love with traveling, where I pushed my own boundaries. It’s my home away from home. It’s a place I could call home.

Besides all those deeply personal and internally profoundly important things I went through during the time I spent in Melbourne and which partly contribute to the equation of why Melbourne is so dear to me, besides all of that, in my objective opinion, Melbourne actually is a great city.

Melbourne is located on both banks of Yarra River in Victoria, Australia

History and the Present

Melbourne is a perfect mix of old and new. While everyone who’s been to Europe and Australia recognizes that there is a huge difference between what’s old in Europe and what’s old in Australia, Melbourne has its share of the “old” things.

These include some old buildings around the city, eg. pretty and sweet (somehow I see it that way) Flinders street station, spooky and creepy Old Melbourne Gaol where Ned Kelly was hanged to death and the Royal Exhibition Building completed in 1880. Just to name a few. And the history is valued; these old building are well preserved and taken care of. History shows also in Melbourne’s fantastic Immigration museum and a real walk down the memory line is to visit the Station pier or now fully refurbished Princes Pier in Port Melbourne, where most of the immigrants to Melbourne between 1915 – 1960 first set ashore.

Flinders street station, Melbourne

Side by side with these historic landmarks you’ll find skyscrapers and modern architecture that makes you twist a neck while marveling to the sky-high buildings and the weirdest looking choices of decoration. I love how old and new co-exist in Melbourne.

Bees in the wall of a building in Southbank, Melbourne


Melbourne is a feast for taste buds. In Melbourne you’ll find markets (the biggest being Queen Victoria Market) full of fresh products from bread to fruits, from beef to veggies, huge supermarkets inside or very close the city centre (great for budget travelers) and restaurants to meet every budget and taste.

Lygon street in Carlton is one of the greatest places in the world to have Italian food and Brunswick street in nearby Fitzroy offers a selection of small restaurants to choose from. In Chinatown you’ll find dumplings and chicken feet (although I don’t care to taste them again), in St. Kilda I’ve had the best Indian food in my life. And the sushi and ice cream in Melbourne… Oh my.

Australian wines are also top notch and the ones from Yarra Valley are worth sampling (and drinking) while in Melbourne. I love the gastronomic pleasures of Melbourne.


And if those aren’t reasons enough to love Melbourne, here’s one more: There is always something going on in Melb. Whether you’re in to sports (Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, Australian Open), music (festivals from trance to classic, concerts and gigs by A-list artists) or culture (Moomba festival, Melbourne food and wine festival) you can be sure to get your fix.

Melbourne is always alive, always hip and happening. There are clubs and pubs, theaters and cinemas. Just take you pick. You might even find yourself taking part in an African drumming class in Fed square as I once did.

I love the beating heart of Melbourne’s event scene.

Bathtub race in Yarra River. Yep, don't ask.

Melbourne or Sydney?

This is a question I’ve heard a lot of travelers pondering over – if they can only visit one, which one should it be? I’ve also heard that this is like asking an American whether they prefer New York or Los Angeles. Or like comparing Europe and the US.

There is a small battle between those two cities, the two largest cities in Australia. Almost every Australian has an opinion on which one is the better and bigger.

I’m sure you know my answer by now. In case you can’t visit both and you’re life doesn’t depend on seeing Sydney Opera House, then go to Melbourne. Go, and be ready to fall in love.


Have you been to Melbourne? How was it for you?

by Mari in Destinations

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