Australia Travel | Four Years in Melbourne – Tips for City Living and What I Have Learnt

It must be true what they say, time flies even faster as you get older. It must, because I honestly can not believe that we have now been living in Melbourne city for four years.

SO much has changed during that time. I have had multiple jobs, made friends from all walks of life, learnt how to navigate public transport successfully and mainly, learnt what it is like to live right smack bang in the middle of such a large city. Coming from a small town of 15,000 people, nearly 5 million in one place can be a shock to the system!

The weather is ever changing – The weather, I feel like a very boring thing to talk about but really. In Melbourne you can literally go from 40 degrees to 20 degrees Celsius in the space of a few hours! Pack a jacket, umbrella, sunglasses and hat all for one day.
Brunch is an institution – The cafe scene is something else. You will never be lost for somewhere to go for brunch but also don’t be surprised if you have to wait for 40 minutes to get a table, this is normal. Have a coffee & take a seat.
And yes, that croissant is $12 – daylight robbery I tell ya
The art scene is great – Theatre, Musicals, Museums… There is a museum for everything. I think if you wanted to see every single one you could spends weeks doing so. If you get a chance, you must go and see a show, musical or
Trams are a seriously convenient way to move about – Melbourians love to complain about public transport because sometimes it does suck but in reality, it’s pretty great. It’s free in the city & trams come pretty frequently!
There is ALWAYS some kind of event on – Festivals for anything and everything, comedy shows, foodie events.. you name it and I guarantee its probably happened int he past year. No excuse to ever be bored really.
You will probably learn how to safely walk on the road – because people love to take up footpaths, Yes, love is great but you know, holding hands on a busy small footpath is unnecessary – get out of the way.
Becoming a full blown coffee snob is completely normal – You more than will get a nose turned up at you if you are walking with a Starbucks cup, or just any one use cup to be honest. Great coffee is plentiful if you know where to find it.
Dumplings are basically their own food group – Not even kidding. You can get dumplings from nearly any street in the city. The good ones will generally have lines out the door so that’s your best bet.
Keep Left – Not just on the roads, on the footpath, escalators… don’t be the person getting in the way. Its a city, we are in a rush.
There is a LOT of cool street art –Once again, if you know where to find it. Although it is street art so it is ever changing and one mural could be there one day and gone the next. Head down to Hosier, ACDC, Duckboard, Tattersalls & other small lane ways. You will not be disappointed.
Going from one suburb to the next can feel like skipping countries –One cool thing about Melbourne is that its very multicultural. And with a lot of culture comes a lot of different traditions, of course, a lot of different festivals and a plethora of incredible food.
Melbourne loves a rooftop – Bar or Cinema – and climbing 6 flights of stairs to get to one in particular is like a sport. But worth it for the views.
Learn how to do a hook turn – You probably haven’t seen anything like this before if you are anything like me before moving to Melbourne. But it works, so learn how to do it.
Don’t want people stopping you on the street? Put in your headphones—you don’t even need to play music or a podcast.
There Free Wifi pretty much everywhere – Instagram to your hearts content here.
There are many many gardens – A few of my fav’s are of the course the Botanical Gardens in the heart of the city, Fitzroy gardens are cute & Flagstaff gardens are good for sitting and chilling on a hot day.
So many places for a Day Trip – Hiking? Head out west or north east, penguins? Philip Island is the place for you. Beach? Head down the Great Ocean Road or in the opposite direction down to Rye & the Mornington Peninsula. SO many options.

Tips for City Living – The Actual Tips

Learn to Downsize – Chances are you will end up living in a cardboard box sized apartment with no storage. Learn to live with less, not only is it really refreshing, moving is SO much easier. So if you are wondering whether that bench sized mixer is necessary, it probably isn’t, just sell it.

Download all the Apps – PTV & Tram Tracker are life savers! As is the new Myki on Google Pay. Knowing public transport lines, when they are coming and if they are late will save you stress and time.

Avoid Rush Hour – When you can. If it means going to the gym early before work or going straight after work to avoid it, just do it. Being a sardine in a crammed tram or train carriage is never a good time. Although on the other hand you will become very comfortable being squashed against random strangers. Is this a life lesson I needed? Probably not.

Try to avoid falling victim to crazed consumerism – Unfortunately living in a city is expensive and you could probably easily spend your pay check in a foul swoop if you wanted to. There are food outlets on every corner, offers from every shop and discounts just everywhere. Be smart, learn to budget and you will be better off.

Find your ‘Locals’ – Finding that small coffee shop or fruit shop that you go to every week to purchase something can make big city life feel a little bit smaller and less overwhelming. Also getting to know the people in the small shops definitely helps. They can give you tips on the best places to go resulting in finding some cool and unusual places.

Try something new – Chances are that in any big city there will be something new to do. Expand your horizons! Try pole dancing, a hip hop class or a fun cooking class. Not only will you meet new people from different walks of life but really, why not?

Leave when you need to – If that means renting a car, taking a bus or just taking a train to the end of the line, sometimes living int he city can just be too much and finding some peace, quiet & some grass is all you need. There is nothing wrong wth leaving for the weekend, booking an airbnb & just stopping for a bit.

I think this list could go on for quite some time so lets stop there. If you have any other tips you think would be helpful or just in general quite funny. Let me know in the comments!

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