The two cities in Australia which seem to carry the most weight with the population of the world are Melbourne and Sydney. These two cities are easily the the most name checked if you asked people from other countries to name cities on the Australian continent. Sydney, being the first colony created by the British, is the oldest city in Australia while Melbourne, settled by people from across the strait on Tasmania, was a major boom town in the mid to late 1800s when gold was discovered around the area. This discovery and the resulting immigration made Melbourne the richest city in the world until the economic depression of the 1930s. Today though, both cities still thrive and adapt to the modern way of life and as a result, tourists flock to either city all year round.
The question is, will you fly to Sydney or will you fly to Melbourne, Australia? It’s a very tough decision for a first timer and if you only have the time to visit one of them, which one do you choose? Perhaps it will be best to lay out the key points of both cities for you to evaluate what you want to see over what you are not really that fussed about seeing. For example, if you’re not really fussed about seeing beaches but you maybe have someone who you are travelling with who is, then that’s fine. Since both of these cities have beaches anyway, due to them being coastal cities, you’re not missing out.
If you’re a city dweller who likes the nightlife then Sydney and Melbourne are legendary for having a great club scene and both cities have some fantastic restaurants. This may be making the decision harder and every time you come across something that is is one city’s favour then the other city has something that bests it. The truth is, you can’t choose between Sydney and Melbourne. Choosing between them is like choosing between an Indian takeaway or a Chinese takeaway. Both very different but both are equally as delicious.
But you’re on a time limit. You can’t do both no matter how much you want to. It’s got to be Sydney or Melbourne and you have to pick one city and disappoint the other. You could always toss a coin. It would be the simplest and quickest way to decide but if you are really set on both and can’t be as flippant about deciding which one and have to weigh the pros and cons of both then it is a very hard decision.
If you’re looking for the opinion of this writer then I would go with Sydney. Why? Because Sydney is older, has seen a few more years of living than Melbourne has and has a fantastic harbour. The two biggest attractions in Sydney are on the harbour too, the Sydney Opera House, which is actually not one big opera house but many entertainment theatres housed under the umbrella title of the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, which crosses the expanse of the harbour from Sydney’s Central Business District to the North Shore. Sydney has much history around its harbour front too, with the legendary Botany Bay being right next door.
Botany Bay was intended to be the original site of the Sydney colony but was deemed unacceptable due to poor soil and fresh water resources. Sydney’s beaches are fantastic for the surf and sun too and the nightlife is fantastic so if you have to choose, then choose Sydney. Melbourne isn’t going anywhere and you can visit there again and perhaps even do both cities the next time.