Sunday, 3 August 2014

Sunday Reads: The Difference Between Melbourne and Sydney

A few weeks ago, I went down to Melbourne for THE very first time in my life! I was so excited to go down with the fam bam because nearly everyone I knew had gone down at least once for a sports event or weekend getaway. Everyone tends to rave about the food and shopping down there, and so I was really, really anticipating this trip!

We were there for four days and I noticed that Melbourne has a totally different feel to Sydney or any other city I've ever visited. Admittedly, we hung around the CBD mostly and Southwharf is the furthest out we got but it was a nice eye opener.

Here are some of the things I noticed during our trip there!
1. Melbournians are really friendly
Not that Sydney can't be but Melbourne has such a friendly vibe! Everyone was incredibly nice to us - there was totally a small community vibe about the CBD. Whenever we asked for directions, pretty much everyone put down what they were doing to help us get to where we wanted to go. They were all giving us tips on how to get around the city and their favourite things to do. I just thought it was really nice!

It's also so easy to chat up a storm with a stranger! I had a good chat with a guy who sold seafood at the Queen Victoria Market and he gave us a discount on our oysters (we ate 6 dozens during our 4 day stay!). By the way, the oysters are super fresh on a Tuesday. 

2. Genuine customer service
People in some sort of customer service role seem to really enjoy their jobs. No one seems to dread coming to work where they have to deal with customers all day. Everyone smiles, engages in meaningful conversations with you and is okay with you not buying. It was actually quite confronting at first because that's not often the case in Sydney and even other parts of the world!

We stayed in a serviced apartment (which looked nothing like its' websites photos...) and the people at reception and housekeeping were seriously fantastic. I've stayed at better facilitated service apartments in Sydney and Beijing before but the level of personable service we got where we stayed totally topped it. 

We must have called them for extra towels, toothbrushes and blankets more than a few times and they were happy to oblige each and every time. There were no fake smiles about it when we saw them in the lobby, everyone was just really happy to help. Passing comments were remembered and followed up on. It was pretty amazing. I can't remember the last time I was ever treated so well in a hotel or serviced apartment. 

3. Melbournians look really in shape!
Melbournians are a fit breed. With the exception of one or two, everyone we saw in the CBD area were in great shape! All the suits I saw had sturdy shoulders and good posture, and they were all impeccably groomed in an old-world sort of way. There was none of that buff look that Sydney guys seem to sport. Corporate girls were also really well dressed in their suits. Everyone was just slender, in shape and looked really healthy. 

I don't know how they do it! Has it got to do with their view of food or maybe they have a slower life pace? I see people taking long leisurely lunches and cafe owners don't seem to mind how long you linger around for after your plate of food has finished. There doesn't seem to be a lot of fast food chains in the CBD either, so everyone's eating healthier? Whatever it is, I want in!

4. Sydney coffee is better
I am careful not to say that, definitively, Sydney has the better coffee. But for some odd reason, I kept getting served the worst coffee I've ever tasted - not an overstatement. I even went to the cafes that people rave about and I was served a lukewarm and very watery latte every single time. 

I'm not a picky coffee drinker but I, at least, want my coffee to taste like a coffee. Sadly, nothing I had in Melbourne really matched up to what Sydney offers.

When I told a family friend of ours about this, he said that we'd gone to all the wrong places! The next time we head down, he's going to give us a list of coffee places to try. Hopefully I'll find something that lives up to Melbourne's highly esteemed coffee culture!

Have you been travelling lately? Be somewhere that is totally different from where you live? 


  1. Wow, I'm so envious! I've never been to Melbourne (well, once, but I was 'in the womb', so I don't think it counts). Melbourne sounds so charming haha, now I'd love to go visit. (Just quietly, sometimes I dread going to work where I have to deal with customers - #retaillyfe). I'm glad you enjoyed your time there (even if the coffee was a bit disappointing!) :D x

  2. You should definitely check Melbourne out! We found some cheap tickets and so we decided to go down!

    Ahah I know what you mean - especially if it's an eight hour shift. I used to come home exhausted mentally and physically. Gahhh the leg pain!

  3. I've been down to melb a few times, I agree, they are a fit breed! When i went down a few years back the first thing I noticed was good looking, well groomed, suited men in the cbd... and less hobos. Cairns is next up on my list, I want to see the reef before it's gone... but i'm scared of drowning! T_T

  4. Melbourne is home to some verrrryyyy good looking suits! LOL! Ohhh I want to go to Cairns too...and Adelaide...and Ayers Rock...and Perth...LOL.

  5. I love Melbourne, I've been there twice this year.. already but I must agree the coffee is better in Sydney :P