17 Things That Happen When You Move to Melbourne
Planning a move to Melbourne, Australia in the future and not sure what to expect? Well, wonder no more.
Melbourne is the second biggest city in Australia and might I say, probably the most exciting.
It’s the sports capital, the culture capital, the food capital, the shopping capital. You name it, Melbourne probably wears that hat.
On top of that, Melbourne was named the world’s most liveable city for a record breaking seven years in a row. Howzat!
Yet, what is it like to actually live in Melbourne, rather than visit?
I’ve wanted to live in Melbourne for all of my adult life. I finally moved to the city in early 2017.
It wasn’t quite was I expected… but I would say that it turned out better than I could have imagined.
Here are some things that will happen to you when you move to Melbourne… whether you like it, or not.
What happens when you move to Melbourne
You drink more coffee or novelty-flavoured lattes than you ever have before in your life
I think if most Melburnians could opt to be fed coffee intravenously, they would choose this option with gusto and enthusiasm.
Coffee drinking isn’t just a recreational activity in this city – it’s a religion. Or an addiction? I’m unsure on which, personally.
Even if you don’t like coffee, when you move to Melbourne, you’ll probably be converted in some form or another.
As someone who doesn’t drink coffee, I thought I’d remain immune from this affliction. No such luck. The thousands of coffee shops and cafés across the city cater for my type too, selling plenty of flavoured hot drinks, decent teas and novelty milkshakes.You'll drink stacks of coffee and may develop an interest in the sports. Here are some things that could happen when you move to #Melbourne, Australia. Click To Tweet
You dress each day, for every season
The Aussie/Kiwi band Crowded House wrote the song Four Seasons in One Day with Melbourne as the subject matter.
It’s not safe to leave your house in the morning without checking the weather forecast first (and I wouldn’t put all your trust in it being correct, in any case).
The day can start off hot, with the temperature dropping by twenty degrees celsius in the evening. It can rain without warning. And the wind is the utter worst – piercing you to the bone in the winter and making you feel like you’re walking around in a fan-forced oven during the city’s hottest days.
You’re a fool if you leave the house without an umbrella and a light jacket in your backpack, no matter what the season.
Read more: What NOT to Do When Visiting Australia
You’ll delight in exploring all corners of the city
One aspect of life in Melbourne that I really like, is how different and diverse each neighbourhood is. You don’t have to go into the city, to have a good time.
I’ve had great fun exploring the surrounding areas of where I live and have begun branching out to go further afield and check out new areas.
There are historic houses, museums, parks, urban art and the food in each suburb is certainly something to write home about.
You could spend a lifetime doing this and never get bored.
Yet you’ll grow to adore your own hood
That being said, nowhere delights me as much as the area in Melbourne in which I’ve settled.
I love my house, my street and my local community. It’s wonderful having a hub where you know the names of the people at the post office, which bakery sells the best bahn mis and all the secret backroads for getting from place to place.
I’ve lived all over the place, only to realise I was always a West Melburnian at heart.
When you move to Melbourne, do you research and find a place that suits you down to the core. You’ll be happier for it.
Read more: Best Neighbourhoods to Explore in Melbourne
You grow to hate the trams
The trams seem like such a novelty when you first move to Melbourne. What a lovely and efficient way to move around the city! Why doesn’t every place in Australia have trams? Look at Melbourne, leading the way in public transport!
Then you catch one every day of the week and start to realise they’re the worst thing ever. They’re dirty, they’re not always air conditioned, yet somehow too hot in winter anyway.
There are never enough seats, they take ten million years to get anywhere and they’re expensive to use (they’re admittedly free in the CBD, but that’s far more helpful for tourists than for locals).
And if you end up conceding defeat and buying a car, you’ll spend half your time trapped in the traffic that banks up behind the trams, unable to overtake them. Enjoy your life.
And accept that you’re never going to get anywhere on time, if travelling by public transport
Thank goodness for buses and trains, right? WRONG!
Neither option are really any better. The buses seem unable to adhere to any time schedule, showing up oftentimes ten minutes before they’re due (and if you’re really unlucky, not showing up at all).
Catching a Metro Train is a special kind of hell. I’ve seen trains show up at the station, not open their doors and take off without letting anyone on, or off. These are trains that are in use and have passengers on them by the way, not just trains that aren’t in service.
In the mornings when many are inevitably running late, you’ll find them stopping between stations, to allow the traffic ahead to disperse.
And once a friend told me she was almost at her destination when the train inexplicably started going backwards until it returned to a previous station. That takes a special kind of ineptitude to pull off.
If you miss you train, or arrive at the station to find it has been cancelled, never fear… there’ll be another one to catch in around twenty minutes!
You just end up accepting that you’ll never end up getting anywhere on time. No one will care – it’s their reality too.
The most annoying thing is how much it costs to use the trains – a day ticket is $8.60, a cost that rises every year.
Read more: Melbourne Itinerary: 7 Days in the City
You become snobby where architecture is concerned
By jove, is Melbourne full of beautiful buildings or what? From the city’s skyscrapers, to the houses people live in, the city is home to some stunners.
When you first move to Melbourne, you’ll probably walk around, chin dropped down to your knees, mouth gaping open. People live in these places? And they’re still not expensive as their Sydney counterparts?
After some time, you’ll acclimatise. And when you see other buildings in different cities, you’ll appreciate them, sure. But deep down, you’ll know they’ve got nothing on Melbourne’s buildings.
And maybe one day you’ll end up living in one of those gorgeous little terrace houses. Life will then truly be complete.
You pay more attention to the clothes you wear
Melburnians are very fashion savvy people and each suburb of the city seems to have its own code of dress.
Fitzroy is full of trendy hipsters, Collingwood is home to yuppies with money. Brunswick folk have a look that is reminiscent of art students and those who conduct their lives in the city are often dressed to the nines, looking impossibly immaculate. How do they do it? It’s beyond me.
The city is an ideal place to venture to if you like shopping. There are plenty of boutique stores found across the suburbs, selling items of clothing you won’t find anywhere else.
There are also good finds to be had in secondhand stores around the city – and you don’t have to venture into the trendier suburbs to grab a bargain, either.
Your sense of style will probably change when you move to Melbourne, but it’s not the worst thing that can happen.
You start actively enjoying the sports
Melbourne is the sports capital of Australia, with some sort of sorry excuse for “entertainment” going on in the city all year round.
Once the AFL (Aussie Rules) season is over, you think you’d catch a break, but no, then there’s the Spring Carnival racing season, followed by the soccer and cricket, the F1 in March and before you know it, the AFL has kicked off again.
Even if you’re against sports in all forms, you’ll find yourself attending games here and there, mostly against your will. I haven’t been to an AFL game since 2012, but I know my football-free days are numbered. I would even go so far as saying I’m starting to enjoy it. Can’t believe that’s now out there on the Internet, for anyone to see.
Even if you don’t like sport all that much when you move to Melbourne, you’ll probably eventually start warming to it a bit. Just a little.
You’ll enjoy world class exhibitions
There’s always something going on in Melbourne.
Melbourne Museum and the National Gallery of Victoria in particular get some pretty amazing exhibitions – NGV in particular has seen the likes of Van Gogh, Andy Warhol, Yayoi Kusama and Dior grace it’s rooms in the time since I moved here.
If you’re a culture vulture then Melbourne is the place you’ll want to be.
You accept that you’ll probably never see a decent beach again
One thing Melbourne is lacking in, is decent beaches within the city limits. No, St Kilda doesn’t count.
You essentially have to travel quite some distance to find a beach that is a) swimmable and b) not inundated by tourists taking photos in front of brightly coloured beach boxes that cost more to own than a one-bedroom flat in some parts of the city.
So, what do you do? You take advantage of your local pool, or sprawl in the park instead. I see many picnics in your future and this can’t be a bad thing, at all.
There are some amazing day trips to be had
Thankfully, you don’t have to go far to have a good time.
There are some amazing day trips to be had from Melbourne. Some of the more popular are driving along the Great Ocean Road, seeing the fairy penguins on Phillip Island and exploring the Mornington Peninsular.
Yet, you can also visit some amazing wine and spa regions, head to the snow in the wintertime and check out some lovely towns and regional cities.
Read more: Three Day Trips From Melbourne
You drink more than you’ve ever drunk before in your life
Melbourne’s bar scene is off the hook, especially when put against Sydney which barely has a nightlife anymore.
There are tons of hip bars throughout the CBD (Central Business District) and the surrounding suburbs. Many have their own individual vibe and the most delicious cocktails.
The social scene in the city goes hand and hand with alcohol. If you tend to navigate around via public transport, you’ll find yourself drinking with nearly every meal, drinking with friends, drinking on your own in your flat on a Saturday night (no? Maybe it’s just me then).
It doesn’t help that the state of Victoria is renowned for its wine production. You don’t have to travel far to happen upon some truly wonderful vineyards and breweries.
RIP liver. We had some good times together. I will always think fondly of you.
You acknowledge that you’ll end up spending at least half of your pay check on eating out and cultural activities
Melbourne is one of the more multicultural cities of Australia. Do you know what this means? It means there is food from countries throughout the world to be found across the city. This is very good news for your taste buds and bad news for your bank account.
Then, there’s the fact that there’s always something going on. A concert, a festival, a new play in town, a new show opening at one of the art galleries. It’s a pretty difficult city to be bored in.
Read more: 20 Best Small Towns in Australia to Visit
You start to develop lukewarm feelings about Sydney
Sydney is a great city in its own right. Having spent half my life living there, I personally have very fond feelings for the place.
Yet, the longer I live in Melbourne, the more my allegiance starts to swing. I start thinking things like: But Melbourne’s so much cheaper to live in. Maybe the brunch scene IS better. Who needs beaches and nature anyway?!
And the truly unforgivable… I don’t think I could ever live in Sydney again!
Blasphemy, right? I deal with my treacherous feelings by reminding myself all the things about Sydney I truly enjoy and admire. But, I can’t help feeling I’m fighting a losing battle and will be won over eventually.
You realise the hype surrounding this city exists for a reason
Melbourne seems like an impossible city in many ways, as everyone seems to love it. That’s a lot of pressure for a place… can it truly live up to the hype?
Short answer, yes. Melbourne is magical. You’ll never be bored here, that’s for sure.
You’ll be unable to imagine living anywhere else in Australia
This part rings true.
I know there are many parts of the country that have personally permanently captured my heart… but a move to Melbourne felt quite a bit like coming home.
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