Melbourne vs. Sydney

Melbourne vs. Sydney which city is better to visit? The two biggest cities in Australia have so many simultaneities but also as many differences it’s hard to say which one is better. However, as a tourist, I have one favorite city – Sydney. If I had to choose a place to live and work, I would have a hard time to decide but for visiting Sydney is by far my favorite. 

Sydney on a Budget

Both cities are enormous and have of course everything a big city needs – good food, cafes, bars, clubs, and shopping centers. Both cities are located on the beach, and while Melbourne represents the capital of Victoria, Sydney is the Capital city of New South Wales. Sydney is also the slightly bigger city of both with something over 4,4 million people while Melbourne has 4,2 million people. Both cities have a lot of green spaces like parks and gardens in the middle of the town where you can flee the hustling and bustling of the city and relax. Both cities are very clean and have an excellent public transportation system which is however very expensive. Traffic with the car is a mess and parking is incredibly expensive so avoid by all means to drive into the city to visit something. 

Sydney on a Budget

So why is Sydney the better city to visit?

In my opinion, Sydney has so many more attractions for tourists then Melbourne. Apart from drinking and shopping, there is not much to see in Melbourne while Sydney has a lot of things to visit and you can still party and shop there. In Melbourne, the best thing to visit is the St. Kilda Beach and see the Pinguinus in the evening. Of course, I also recommend participating in a free walking tour and see the city and the hidden street art and the Queen Victoria market is also an excellent place to visit – but apart from that not that much can be found there for tourists.

St Kilda Melbourne

Sydney, on the other Hand, has the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, the Bondi beach and many more things. I spent 5 days in Sydney and had every day something to do. And all of that on a tight budget. The party is as good as the party in Melbourne and places like China town offer cheap but good food. On Saturday night there is a firework at the Darling Harbour, and the Bondi to Coogee beach walk is one of the most delightful trails you can find. In my last post about 6 Things to do in Sydney on a budget, you can look up the details on these and other things.

Sydney on a Budget

Working vs. Holiday

Don’t get me wrong both cities are amazing, and if you are on a working holiday visa, Melbourne is as good as Sydney. But if you are visiting Australia only as a regular tourist and you think about how much time you should spend in these cities, plan more time for Sydney then for Melbourne.

Are you looking for a Hostel in both cities? I stayed in Europa Melbourne and Ady’s Place Backpackers in Sydney, and for Australian Standards they were right, and I guess the best I could find.

  • Total countries I visited until now: 34


  • Planes: 8
  • Busses: 36
  • Trains: 18
  • Boats: 20
  • Km driving: 4500
  • Km running: 1780

One thought on “Melbourne vs. Sydney

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