Sydney may be the bigger city and may be hosting the Olympics this year, but Melbourne possesses far more culture, is much easier to navigate, and has been there and done that as far as the Olympics go (Melbourne hosted the 1956 Olympics).
Melbourne has something to offer everyone, no matter what their tastes. Beautiful beaches, art galleries, great live music, great restaurants, parks, shopping, public transport, nearby mountains and ski-fields, rainforests, wineries, penguins .. whatever your tastes, Melbourne will cater to them.
Melbournites are generally very friendly and helpful. People will be happy to point you to the best sites and experiences. Some things not to miss are .. The Victoria Market, The Botanical Gardens, St. Kilda, Lygon Street, Southbank, The National Gallery, an Irish Pub (try Bridie O'Reilly's on Little Collins St.), a Greek or Lebanese restaurant, and a sporting event such as cricket, rugby, aussie rules or tennis. As well as being home to a number of professional aussie rules, rugby, soccer, and basketball teams, Melbourne is host to many internationally renowned sporting events, such as the Australian Open tennis tournament, the annual Mandela Cup rugby match, and the Formula One Grand Prix, as well as a number of International cricket matches. It is often said that sport is the religion in Melbourne.
The residents of Melbourne hail from over 100 different countries - it is extremely culturally diverse, and actually is the second largest Greek city in the world, after Athens. A great benefit of this cultural diversity are the many different ethnic neigbourhoods and restaurants. Try Lygon Street for great Italian food, Sydney Road for Lebanese and Greek food, or China town for Chinese.
Any time of year is a great time to visit, though it can get quite chilly in the Winter. There is always something going on in the way of festivals, concerts, sporting events, and art exhibitions. Simply pick up a newspaper and turn to the entertainment section. Most locations are easily accessible via tram, bus, train or foot.
Most of the restaurants and bars in the central business district and Southbank are open 24/7. A good time can be had by all, at any time of the day or night.
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