Seven things we love about Melbourne

We wanted to list all the reasons why we love Melbourne – but that would probably break the internet! So here are just a few things that make this town officially one of the world’s most liveable cities.

1. We’re a city that thinks

From post-film drinks and debriefs at the MIFF Salon to National Science Week’s Lunar Tour and Harry Potter Science Trivia, thinking is fun in Melbourne. The La Trobe Classics in the City: Women with Attitude in Antiquity monthly lecture series makes learning free. Deep-and-meaningful is always on offer at The School of Life, and innovative events often pop up at one of only 11 Mercedes me cafe-stores in the world. Coming up: The Art of Storytelling with Dumbo Feather.

It’s no surprise, we also love to read. A UNESCO City of Literature, Melbourne is home to Australia’s oldest public library, the State Library of Victoria and the Melbourne Writers Festival is celebrating 33 years in 2019.

A crowd of people indoors at a gala event in front of a stage

Melbourne International Film Festival

2. We like to multi-task – with everything!

Learning about history on a bar tour, enjoying high tea at the cinema, and putting a bar in a street-art gallery – it’s all quite normal to us. As is casually combining astrophysics and classical music, or mini-golf and cocktails.

3. We like to stay up late

From Melbourne Museum’s Nocturnal parties to NGV Friday Nights and the after-dark celebration of White Night, we love to stay up late. Midnight hangs are never an issue – there are lots of bars and restaurants that keep their kitchens open ’til the wee hours. Fancy some tacos and ceviche at Bodega Underground, a quality burger at Butchers Diner, or oysters, soufflé and Champagne at Bar Margaux? If all else fails (or even if it doesn’t), the warming ramen at Shujinko is there to revive you literally any hour of the day.

See more after-dark hunger busters in our guide to late-night dining.

A dark venue at night with glowing yellow lights around the bar

Bar Margaux

4. We think of the future

Everywhere across the city, good ideas are being turned into action, from rooftop beehives and ethical fashion to the art-versus-climate-crisis festival, Refuge 2019: Displacement.

Social enterprises such as Good2Go Cafe and The Soup Place are found in our laneways, offering ‘pay it forward’ options to shout someone in need. Kinfolk cafe champions low food miles while also supporting charities like the Cathy Freeman Foundation and Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. Melbourne start-ups such as BeetBox, Keep Cup and Frank Green are minimising waste and helping plan for a more sustainable future. There are also sustainable bars doing their bit for the environment so you can have a wild night out guilt-free.

A man stands on a step and paints a mural on the side of a large building. The mural features a rainforest scene.

Artist Mike Makatron creates a mural as part of Green Your Laneway

5. We get behind good ideas

Creativity is everywhere in Melbourne. From Melbourne-made fashion and design to independent festivals, theatre and hidden music venues.

A group of spirit bottles at a bar, behind te bottles is a mirror and reflection of a band playing

Find local and international jazz at the Paris Cat

6. We like to get off the beaten track

The harder it is to find (especially via Google Maps), the more we want to seek it out. And there is plenty to discover, from subterranean shopping and underground gold vaults to glamping on a rooftop in a vintage Airstream. Uncovering secret bar entrances is a constant preoccupation, as is the daily social media cataloguing of ever-changing street art in our laneways.

A street art covered laneway and door entrance.

Presgrave Place, one of Melbourne’s most Instagrammable street art sites.

7. We celebrate the things that make us different

Melbourne celebrates the many cultures that call this city home. From African and Polish festivals and a feast of Japanese anime, to the great coming together of many Australian Rules Football tribes, we do it all.