Melbourne vs Sydney. It’s a whitewash!

Here’s my analysis of/reply to the comparison infographic “Melbourne vs Sydney“.


1. Economist. Well-known and respected.

2. Conde Nast. Um, abortion capsule who?

Result: Melbourne wins. 1-0


1. Melbourne Hipster – There are some, illness at least in the inner suburbs. Most of us are just normal sports-loving people, obesity though, & a similar percentage of us work in the corporate world as in Sydney.

2. Sydney Surfer – What? Seriously? Come on. Only in Bondi. The rest are either politicians, gay or snobs. Sports lovers? Uh, hardly. Melbourne is home to all things sport.

Result: Neither trait is very accurate, but the Sydney observation is just plain wrong, & Melbourne is the home of Australian sport. Melbourne wins. 2-0


1. I’ve not much to say on this topic other than there are a lot more Yuppies and Bogans in both cities than represented, and most of the inner suburbs, including the west of Melbourne, have pushed the bogans further out of sight. Bogans also circle the city, and are not limited to the west. I’ve no idea what a “preppie” is.

Result: Who knows, who cares? Draw.


1. Melbourne is cold, windy, wet, icy, hot, dry, dusty and in general, rarely pleasant.

2. Sydney is hot, humid and stormy, but polluted.

Result: I like being warm, and hate the wind. I am not into pollution or oppressive, steamy weather, but even so, I live in Saigon now, so I could cope with Sydney. Sydney wins. Easily. 2-1

Culture and Arts

1. Melbourne has it all, it’s very accessible, usually in gorgeous locations, and all the international “superstars” pay us a visit. The Melbourne Cup is a national holiday. We have the MCG, the Spring Carnival, the Grand Prix, and all the live rock, museums, galleries and arty stuff you could ever want. Need I say more?

2. Sydney has the Opera House, and an interesting history, but if you’ve seen it once, you don’t need to see it again, & who exactly plays at the Opera House? The city streets are too small, it’s too expensive, roads are often 1-way, it is too crowded and claustrophobic, live rock is something they used to have in the 70’s, and it has the Mardi Gras. Need I say more?

Result: Melbourne kicks Sydney back into the Stone Age. 3-1

Food & Drink

1. Melbourne is Australia’s, nay the world’s, home to international cuisine. You name it, you’ll find it here in droves, everywhere, and at cordon bleu quality. There’s almost nothing you can’t get and it’s all delicious. Mind you, I found it a little hard to get authentic Vietnamese, as most of it seemed to be Westernized or tainted by Chinese influences. Coffee in Melbourne is created by real baristas, trained for decades in Italy. That’s why it costs more.

2. Sydney beats Melbourne in this category?!! Pfft! What garbage. Sydney is a city full of pretension and over-priced, under-sized meals. Sure ,there are some world-class restaurants in Sydney, but who cares about the odd couple of good eateries on prime real estate, when the average streets are devoid of choice? I suspect these figures are skewed by some Melbourne restaurants owned by Sydney-siders.
The typical Sydney-sider thinks that black stuff in Starbucks is coffee. They go there in droves to slurp it while discussing the latest fashion, rave & sauna clubs and the hot boys in their local hair salon. That’s why their coffee prices are a tad lower. By the way, a midi is an electronic music file. The northern beer glass is called a middy. Real pub beer is served in a pot.

Result: Melbourne. By a country mile. 4-1

Night Life

1. Yep. What they said. Melbourne is party central, unless you’re gay

2. Go to Sydney for fun if you’re gay. That’s what the Melbourne gay community does every year. Funny how they always come back, though. 😉

Result: Melbourne wins. 5-1


1. Melbourne – Practical education for real people. Slightly lower average salaries because they have brains and stay in Melbourne afterward, where the cost of living is lower.

2. Sydney – Theoretical education for pretentious snobs, politicians and socialites.

Result: Look at the Uni ranking. Says it all. Melbourne wins. 6-1

Real Estate

1. Melbourne is expensive, but definitely cheaper than Sydney, but you have to live a fair way out from the CBD. Public transport is no fun and unreliable. Using a car can be slow, but it’s not too bad from some areas.

2. Sydney is very expensive, and even though you can live closer to the CBD than you might be able to afford in Melbourne, the travel is stressful and slow.

Result: Both bad, but Melbourne just nudges Sydney out. 7-1

Public Transport

1. Melbourne has options, and bike paths everywhere. But, it’s not Tokyo. Timeliness is critical to the average Australian, but I don’t know if any Australians (and certainly no Japanese) are involved in running the train system.

2. Sydney has ferries, which are beautiful and fun. I have no idea if they are practical on land. Can’t imagine it. Probably no wheels installed underneath.

Result: As much as I hate to say it, because I despise public transport in both cities, Melbourne just gets a nose over the line in my race. 8-1


1. Melbourne and Victoria in general have an amazing amount of marketable tourism options, but it is located right at the bottom of Australia (if you don’t consider Tassie, and many don’t – kidding!) which adds to the cost of getting there. The weather is not a winner in attracting people who spent a lot of money to get here, and want to maximise their trip. Melbourne is better as a culture holiday and most want more simple ooh-aah moments.

2. I guess for most International tourists, the lure of the Opera House and Bridge is too great and, particularly after the Sydney Olympics, these icons are permanently etched as must-see places. Sydney also offers arguably the world’s most beautiful harbour. Australia is a massive country, expensive to get to, with far too much to see in one lifetime, so it makes sense that Sydney is the first and possibly only stop. Queensland, Uluru and Perth have to be high on the agenda before Melbourne gets a look in.

Result: Sydney wins. 8-2

So, it’s a whitewash. Melbourne, by my most unquestionable, logical, unemotional reckoning, is the place to be if you’re going to make Australia your home. Sydney never stood a chance. I wonder how the rest of Australia feels about not being asked to join the competition? Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Brisbane, Darwin, Canberra, Ballarat, Geelong, Newcastle, Gold Coast, Broome, Alice Springs, Albury, Cairns etc, stand up and say something!

Hanoi vs Ho Chi Minh City. Sydney vs Melbourne. Both comparisons are made by passionate, biased residents who willingly go to battle for their respective cities. I maintain Saigon is easily the most livable city in Vietnam and, as you can read, I am totally biased toward Melbourne. I guess I am a Southerner, wherever I call home.

What about you?