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Sydney vs. Melbourne

  • Publish Date: Posted about 5 years ago
  • Author:by Mitch King

Business in Australia for become is booming, and manager Mitch is moving, migrating and making memories in many of Australia’s greatest and well-known cities. 

After living in Sydney for his first 33 years of life, and having worked at become since 2008, Mitch recently became the Business Manager of our Melbourne office, and off he went. Since making the move, he’s been asked time and time again “what is it like?”.

After first gaining a lot of interest when sharing his views on his LinkedIn profile, here, Mitch weighs in on the discussion – Sydney vs. Melbourne…

Sydney is prettier, Melbourne is smarter.

By smarter, I mean the city of Melbourne is put together with a bit more common sense. Look at a map of both cities, look at journey planners via public transport, look at trading hours of bars & I think you'll get what I mean. Sydney's beaches and harbour are some of the best anywhere in the world but Melbourne feels like it was built with a bit more of a plan. Getting around Melbourne is a dream compared to Sydney, riding a bike on dedicated bike lanes (mainly flat bike lanes for the less athletic of us) is something I wouldn't even try to do in Sydney. Trams and trains schedule run a bit more logical and traffic is never as bad down here - you can't get across Melbourne.

 There are more jobs in Sydney.

The job market is bigger but the quality of work and 'talent' in Creative and Digital in Melbourne is not that of a small country town, not even close. I've noticed some of the companies we've been working with have a smaller head count than what I would have guessed when comparing to Sydney but the standard of work being produced is amazing. There's also more people looking for work in Sydney, the ratio of jobs to job seekers is important.

The salaries are lower in Melbourne.

So is the rent and I have had to have more than one conversation with people to make sure they're calculating more than just income when considering both cities. Cost of public transport, tolls, beer and of course rent should be factored in, as well as consideration given to how long will your commute to work be and what is that worth to you. 

Sydney is bigger.

It definitely is but that being a good or bad thing is up to the individual. It is a lot more spread out, bigger population and many of the bigger companies and agencies are in Sydney.

You can eat and drink after 8:30pm in Melbourne.

I'm too old and my son is too young for me to even pretend I'm out drinking every night or until 6am on weekends, but at least I have the option here (and without going near a casino) The sheer number of (quality) bars, pubs and restaurants in Melbourne and spread across all different parts of the city, is something I really didn't give enough credit to until I got here. I've been in Sydney CBD at nights on weekends and most parts of the city were a dead zone. Melbourne? Some of the best bars and restaurants are in the city centre and they're open and serving until late into the night.

It's cold in Melbourne.

Melbourne winter is colder. Personally, I got used to it. I know others that are from colder climates that think Melbourne winter is like a Scandinavian ice storm. In summary; you won't die, how much you complain depends on you.

Summer is under-rated in Melbourne too. Seriously. A good summer and spring in Sydney is beautiful and again, the beaches up and down the coast are amazing. 

There's more to do in Melbourne.

I remember going to a food festival in Sydney last year. Line-ups were an hour long, food sold out at some stalls at the start of the day, it was not a fun time. In Melbourne, things like this are on every week. I'm a sports fan too and going to a Friday night AFL match between two Melbourne teams at the MCG compared to an NRL game at Allianz Stadium were like parallel universes. Bigger crowds, easier access via public transport, more of a social outing. AFL in Melbourne is part of the culture where as Sydney's major code is more a select pocket of the community. 

Sydney has also suffered over the last few years due to the lockout law changes and "Casino Mike Baird’s" shift in the nightlife. If you want to head into nature and explore the Blue Mountains or do a walk along the coast or through a National Park, you'll be more of a Sydney person.

My guess is Sydney said "we gave you beaches, go and do beach things" where Melbourne said "we don't have great beaches, so we'll make up for that with everything else".

Melbourne is more family-friendly. 

I'm married with a 2-year-old boy and I've found Melbourne much more family friendly – in regard to the number of parks, community events & organised activities for our boy and the affordability of a house within the city fringes has me giving Melbourne the nod. Not being a young single man anymore, I'm not the expert on either cities single scene (and Tinder/Grinder came after my single days) but I think due to the later trading hours of bars and pubs in general, Melbourne has a bit more of a social vibe to it. 

Schooners are a better size beer.

Unless you drink a pint at a rapid pace, you won't convince me that a schooner isn't the ideal size glass. And a pot? What is this, a drink for ants?

So which is better, Sydney or Melbourne?

Neither is 'better' as a sweeping generalisation, I think it really depends on what you like to do, your income and your stage of life. Visiting Sydney last weekend and getting a ferry from Manly to Circular Quay on a sunny day did make me a little nostalgic.

We hope this summary helps anyone considering a move, especially if you're within design, digital and creative sectors and looking at both cities. When you decide on the location, let us help with the job! Contact Mitch for Melbourne, and if Sydney comes out on top, reach out to our Sydney manager David Valks. 

If neither of these fantastic cities sounds for you, become also have offices in Brisbane and further afield in Auckland, London, Manchester and Hong Kong!

Read Mitch’s original article here, or his latest ‘A Sydney-siders guide to living in Melbourne’.