Melbourne, such a great fine city to be in! Regardless for travels or a stay to move to, it just got to be top on your list! After all it is a proven track with people from all over the world coming over and making it their home. Even a long known friend of mine from primary school had made the decision back a decade to move over and he has totally been fascinated, enjoying the far more relaxing and slower pace of life that we have here. The flexibility and also the quality of life also seems more desirable down under. Even without making a life changing decision yet this fine world most desirable city to live in still deserve a visit first from you! For the Singaporeans here first, it is only a short 6-7 hours flight away. Just some slight tips for you guys before I start sharing about this fine city. Australia takes immigration and customs issues very seriously, the type of products that you bring in are closely look at to ensure the contamination and also the natural fine industry they have and also almost everyone needs a visa to enter Australia. Lands are huge with distance to match and given the higher standard of life, prices are also more expensive than Singapore. Now let me start to summarise my thoughts and a overlook of Melbourne itself.
First up will be transport, similar to many cities it is a place where many people own their own vehicles given the vastness of the place and also the accessibility to many rural areas. Transportation is definitely very limited when you get out of the city. My friend even mentioned that almost everyone drives in Melbourne, to work, to school. His family of three alone, owns three cars! Given the affordable prices of vehicles it is definitely become a norm over here, furthermore even some of the taxis here belong to themselves, this is from a great taxi ride that I took from the airport, although a tat pricey though. A taxi ride from the airport to the city cost averagely about 60AUD. Yea! Public transport and taxis are extremely pricey from my view! As I previously mentioned in a earlier post too, car park charges are extremely pricey in town! However, if the main of your trip are based in town and the CBD area, there won’t be much chance where you got to pay for public transport since the CBD core area is being covered by the Free Tram Zone. This is super useful and I really wish more cities could do this, it is so convenient for tourists are you won’t even need to buy those transportation cards. In fact most of the places in town are within walking distance, I have actually walked from Queen Vics all the way to the DFO outlet mall. But, in the event that you need to get out of town, a car is really necessary, thankfully rentals aren’t too pricey though!
A cosmopolitan city, cuisine from all around the world could definitely be found here and they are authentic as well, after all the best way a migrant could start is a business making hometown delights! There is even a huge street of Chinatown right smack in town! The best Chinese food could also be found right on Elizabeth Street, called Rose Garden BBQ, one of the cheapest diner in town for food, although it still cost 8 – 9 AUD but the portion is huge. This place is crowded by the way. Most of the locals cook themselves since that is probably the cheapest way they can get food since most of the dining situation in own consists of the numerous cafes and restaurant bars. Cafe hopping are great but definitely not kind on your wallet. The few worthy ones are Manchester Press, Hardware Societe, Top Paddock and many many numerous hidden ones for you to explore. For the fast food scene, many of the famous brands can be found here too! One of them with a local flair that you should really try would be Hungry Jacks, it is kinda like Burger King but unique to Australia. The fries and sauce are really delightful, a meal at Hungry Jacks will cost roughly about 10AUD.
As a foodie haven and the kind of cafes as well, Melbourne food scene has always been evolving. Besides the Queen Victoria Market and night market that provide some of the more authentic and in depth view into the foodie side of the locals, recently food trucks have been a popular and hype in town. There are currently many many unique and special food trucks in Melbourne, from those that have a permanent location such as American Donuts Kitchen in Queen Vics to the Mr.Burger which both have a store and trucks that moves around town. I even had a chance to try the food from them right at federation square! Prices aren’t cheap but the vibes and hype is definitely real from ordering to getting the food from the truck! Food Truck offerings are always delicious although not so kind on the heart though!
I had a great experience eating a burger siting on Federation Square enjoying the people watching and also the breeze, although I had to protect my food from all those greedy pigeons!!! They mainly uses social networking sites to build up their followers and customers base, they might also be a delightful sight to spot when you are doing your sightseeing or just when you are walking out feeling famished from the boutiques. If you would ever here! Make sure to spare out some time for some cafe sightseeing!
From the huge Targets store in town to the one and only H&M in the iconic General Post Office the CBD streets is full of shops and boutiques for you to leave with many many bags. Additionally you definitely have to visit the two main arcades in town that is absolutely gorgeous and full of Victorian flair and glamour. The Royal arcade and Block arcade has many tiny shops that sells special unique things, you could also sip tea in one of the most gorgeous tea rooms. The famed Haigh Chocolates could also be found here. Then you could also enjoy the myriads of alleys in Queen Victoria Market where you can probably find everything here, from pots to clothes to leather products. Unlike those street markets in Asia or other country, you can’t bargain here. If that is still not enough, there is a huge DFO outlet shopping right in the south of the city, just mins away on foot from the nearest tram station. It is super near and super huge. Huge in size and also huge on discount. Many of the known brands there are offering huge discounts on the products, I even got Levis at 40 bucks and also timberland shoes at more than 60% off. This huge mall is also boosted with many restaurants! Although the Yarra River isn’t much of a sight!
It is a city with much balance on work and also social. Having a high standard of living as well as a high quality of living, people here are efficient workers and spend their free time well. They are highly sociable and well mannered! I have met with so many strangers and chat with so many of them naturally, they will even take the initiative to ask about your day. Even though it gets quiet after the evening, on special nights and parts of the town, you could still see crowd having a drink or enjoying their night at one of the late spots or even some hidden laneway bar. Such places include the Little Italian and Chinatown.
With the favourable currency rates and the proximity of Australia and Melbourne to us it is popular with Singaporeans. Especially those who are looking to study or work abroad. With great conditions also, you won’t want to miss out on Melbourne! Let me know how you think! It should be next on your list there.