Melbourne vs Sydney: 6 Key Differences Between Australia’s Largest Cities

Melbourne vs Sydney

When you think of major Australian cities, your mind probably goes to either Melbourne or Sydney. They are, after all, the two largest in the country. While they may have quite a few similarities, however, they’re quite different in some key ways, including the six listed below:

The Landscape Of The CBD

For starters, the CBD in Melbourne has much more of a focus on office buildings. They also have a far more varied landscape with a variety of building and office styles to suit everyone from artists and students to freelancers and executives. Some of the best serviced offices in Melbourne can be found in the CBD, and these are hubs for both corporate and creative endeavors. 

Sydney’s skyline is a little more homogeneous, but it has more job opportunities in general, and because the weather tends to be more predictable year-round, outdoor work environments are more common. 

Hospitality Culture

One of the biggest differences you’ll notice in terms of lifestyle is that Sydney’s lockout laws drastically change the way things operate when it comes to nightlife. For example, in Melbourne, it’s not uncommon to head out for dinner in the evening, spend the night partying, and wrap up your adventure with some of the best coffee in the world the next morning. This isn’t possible in Sydney as NSW lockout laws are so strict that they prevent club hopping and all-night partying.

Public Transport

Another thing you’ll notice is that Sydneysiders are more likely to jump on public transport than Melbournians. This is particularly true when it comes to training usage (although they both pale in comparison to Perth). 

Melbourne invests heavily in public transport infrastructure and has quite a few projects currently underway, so we may see a shift in this metric in the future. If you’re thinking of traveling between the two, it is also important to remember that different payment methods are required for each system. Melbournians make use of the Myki system to pay for their trips on trains, buses, and trams, while Sydneysiders use an Opal card. 

Melbourne Is A Grid, Sydney Is More… Creative

As a general rule, most parts of the Melbourne CBD and surrounding areas are designed in a grid-like pattern. This makes it easier to find your way around and can save you a lot of time when trying to get somewhere. 

Sydney, on the other hand, is more creative in the way its city blocks are laid out. This leads to more interesting adventures and can create some pretty unique architecture, but it does make it harder to get where you need to go. This may actually explain why Sydneysiders are so much more likely to make use of the public transport network as it’s far easier than walking or driving. 

Sydney Is More Culturally Diverse

Sydney, in general, is often seen as more culturally diverse than Melbourne. This is hotly debated, however, and Melbourne is certainly catching up. Initiatives such as workplace inclusion and diversity programs are helping with this shift, and people are pretty welcoming in both areas.

Sydney Has The Four Standard Seasons, Melbourne Has Five

Finally, while Sydney has the normal four seasons that flow throughout the year, Melbourne is known as the city that has all four seasons in one day. We Melbournians have a special name for this, which I can’t share here, but if you know, you know.

So there you have it – six key differences between Melbourne and Sydney. Have we missed the difference that’s most noticeable to you? Let us know in the comments. 

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