Australia’s coolest city

It only won by a whisker (32 per cent compared to Sydney at 30 per cent) but it’s official, my home town, Melbourne, has been judged the coolest city in the country.

And before you wags out there say, “oh yeah, the weather is cold, that’s why it’s cool (hahaha)”, here are five reasons why Melbourne won.

1. Events – we party hard
Whether it is the Australian Open, the Comedy Festival, the Grand Prix, the AFL Grand Final, Moomba, or the Melbourne Cup, we party early, late and hard. Many Melbourne events attract 100,000-plus visitors from around the country and the world. And most are extremely well-run, with handy transport options and venues of ample capacity. This means that most months of the year there’s a reason to visit Melbourne and join the locals to celebrate, compete or simply cheer.


2. Style – we’ve got arts, culture and fashion covered
If you’re a local female, you probably own at least five or six LBDs (Little Black Dresses). But speaking more broadly Melbourne has both incredible high-end and affordable fashion retail outlets, many tucked away down tiny lanes in the CBD. This vibe is extended to the galleries with the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) featuring, in recent times, sell-out shows on the design legacies of Christian Dior and Jean Paul Gaultier. If you are an NGV fan, you can now go on Friday night and enjoy champagne, tapas and jazz while you channel your inner designer

3. Dining options – the food scene is continually evolving
Yes, we are well aware that other cities have exciting culinary options and many fine dining experiences. But the thing I like about Melbourne is that so many of our great restaurants are actually local suburban cafes, which are uber cool, affordable and super fun. The high number of immigrants to Melbourne since WWII has produced a strong multicultural society, and nowhere is this more evident than in the huge range of different cuisines on offer. In particular, in Sydney Road, Brunswick, Smith Street Collingwood and Chapel Street, Prahran, you can literally eat your way around the world.

4. Music magic
Whether you like a bush band in a pub, a symphony orchestra at the Arts Centre, or a full-on Pink concert at the Rod Laver Arena, there’s a venue and artist ready to entertain you. Melbourne is (sadly) fast becoming the last bastion of the pub music scene and local residents are fighting hard to keep this culture alive. So come and enjoy it while you can.

5. And of course, last but never least, the coffee.
Yes, we’ve heard a lot about Melbourne coffee and whilst it is not universally perfect, it’s pretty damn good. Why? Once again, let’s pay tribute to the men and women, mainly Italian, who came here back in the 50s and plied their trade in tiny cafes with a dedicated European following. I’m thinking, in particular, of Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar in Bourke Street Melbourne – the genesis of our fine coffee culture.  But now this espresso magic has spread across the city into every neighbourhood, where energetic café owners vie with each other to produce the perfect brew, in the perfect setting. It’s a fun fight to behold and the winners, of course, are Melbourne’s coffee drinkers. Long may the competition thrive!

But what about you? Are you also a fan of Melbourne? Did Kaye miss something important? Such as the parks, laneways or famous trams? We’d love to hear your thoughts on Australia’s coolest city.

*The results of the YourLifeChoices-AAT Kings survey have been released in the Australian Travel Inspirations 2018. Check your inbox for your copy, or click this link to read as an eGuide or download as a PDF

Written by Kaye Fallick