Sydney’s younger and grittier sister? Here’s why Melbourne is Australia’s answer to East London

Sian Elvin Melbourne

Straight off the plane into the humid climates of Australia for the very first time, I boarded a bus to take me into the heart of Melbourne.

Captivated by the foreign land around me that had taken almost 24 hours for me to reach, I looked out of the window towards the looming city skyline. Massive skyscrapers, dazzling glass and even a huge ferris wheel left me thinking, ‘This place already reminds me of London.’

Often touted as Sydney’s younger, grittier and more arty – albeit less pretty – sister, Melbourne is regularly compared to London. When you wander through its graffiti-clad streets it’s easy to see parallels with the UK capital’s hipster centre: Shoreditch.

Yet having been in London for four years now, I’m already convinced I live in the coolest city on Earth. So how does Melbourne stack up?

The diversity of the city is easy to spot as soon as you arrive, with Italian, Chinese and Korean communities gathering in central areas with brilliant restaurants and hubs showcasing everything they have to offer.

I’d recommend taking a walk around yourself to simply soak in its atmosphere. Head to AC/DC Lane, a street art tribute to the Australian rock band alongside many others, and the famous Hosier Lane in the early morning before it gets too busy to see the poignant, ever-changing graffiti (if you’re lucky, you may even see an artist at work). Wander through Chinatown to view the stunning lanterns and sample some great Asian food, then go to the National Gallery of Victoria to see exhibitions from all over the world, as well as Australian art and Aboriginal history in its Ian Potter Centre offshoot.

The famous Hosier Lane gets very busy with tourists, so make sure you head there early (Picture: Sian Elvin)

Its graffiti is ever-changing, and the lane even features a quirky coffee shop (Picture: Sian Elvin)

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Take a stroll through the beautiful Botanical Gardens then whizz up to the top of Eureka Tower to take in stunning views of the city from the Skydeck.

If sport is your thing, take a tour around the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground, and if you’re an animal lover go out of town to Healesville Animal Sanctuary in the Yarra Valley to see some Australian wildlife and have a close-up encounter with a koala.

For a true adventure hire a car and drive along the Great Ocean Road for a day or two, soaking in the incredible sea views on a nice day (watch out for the ‘four seasons in a day’ weather in Melbourne, though!).

The views across Melbourne from the Skydeck are stunning (Picture: Sian Elvin)

Sian got to hang out with a koala at the Healesville Animal Sanctuary, in the Yarra Valley near Melbourne (Picture: Chris McKeon)

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Where to eat

The city’s multiculturalism is demonstrated through its excellent cuisine, and has led Melbourne to …read more

Source:: Metro


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