Some cities in the world are so fantastic that visitors want to pack their bags and move in. Vancouver and Melbourne are two such cities that come to mind. With friendly community atmospheres, stunning views, surrounding natural beauty and so much to see and do, both Melbourne and Vancouver will make any visitor want to anchor. So how do they differ when comparing the two?
Scenery / Activities
Both Melbourne and Vancouver are scenic cities, with tree lined promenades, huge green spaces, and colourful neighbourhoods. Whilst Melbourne’s skyline is stunning, Vancouver boasts the striking backdrop of the North Shore Mountains.
Head to the National Gallery of Victoria and marvel at over 75,000 works including modern and contemporary art and works from indigenous artists.
Vancouver’s culture and art scene is equally impressive, with key sights including The Museum of Anthropology, where visitors can meditate on the history of Canada’s First Nations. However, the main draw of one of the world’s most beautiful cities is the plethora of outdoor activities on offer. Cycle, skate, or rollerblade along the waterfront in Stanley Park, or head out of the city centre and hike one of the numerous trails in the Garibaldi Provincial Park. Cross the famous Capilano Suspension Bridge, and experience a thrilling cliff walk adventure.
Both cities are also havened for wildlife lovers. Visitors can spot whales on Vancouver’s coastline and bears on Grouse Mountain. Just south of Melbourne, Phillip Island is home to the famous penguin parade (where hundreds of penguins return from the sea to nest), as well as its sea lion population and Koala Sanctuary.
Meanwhile, Melbourne is known to suffer from drought and soaring heat waves in the summer. Though, with the ocean right there, a dip is all you need to cool off!
Both Melbourne and Vancouver benefit from a coastal location with plenty of beaches, bays, and coves to explore. Enjoy fishing in Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay or sail the calm and breezy ocean waters in Vancouver. Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens are a perfect place to escape the heat of the city, while Vancouverites are more likely to head north to the mountains to cool off on the slopes!
Both cities are strikingly beautiful with so much to explore, so they score equally here with 10/10.
Food and Restaurants:
Both Melbourne and Vancouver have exciting and diverse food scenes, from delicious street stalls and casual haunts to buzzing food markets and fine dining restaurants. Both cities are also known for boasting outstanding Asian cuisines due to the large number of Asian populations that live in both cities.
Melbourne is known as one of the world’s best cities for eating and drinking. In Richmond, visitors will find an explosion of flavour in its growing selection of eateries. Find some of the freshest Vietnamese street food on Victoria Street or enjoy an intimate Japanese feast at Minamishima. For something different, Anchovy serves up innovative Australian-Asian cuisine that will impress any foodie’s palate.
Vancouver’s food scene focuses on local produce and sustainability, alongside cultural influences, and modern innovation. Vancouver’s selection of restaurants is equally as eclectic, with plenty of fresh flavours.
For affordable eateries and sumptuous street food, taste your way through China Town. Bao Bei is best for excellent Chinese sharing plates, and an energetic atmosphere.
These two cities come close when it comes to their dining options. Melbourne wins this round for me with 10/10 for a food scene that is world-renowned, and Vancouver is just behind with 9.5/10.
Both cities have thriving nightlives with everything from beach parties, and pubs to cocktail lounges, wine bars, and night clubs. Visitors are spoiled for choice both day and night in these dynamic destinations.
In Melbourne, sip sumptuous cocktails in an intimate setting at Romeo Lane or enjoy an extensive wine list and ambient atmosphere at Old Palm Liquor.
The Corner Hotel is Melbourne’s iconic live music venue, featuring multiple stages and a fabulous rooftop beer garden.
Melbourne’s nightlife scene is arguably more ingrained in the city’s culture than Vancouver’s wholesome and earthy mindset. However, Vancouver has plenty of night-time options on offer. Granville Street is Vancouver’s Las Vegas strip, packed with people, bars, and enough energy to last until the small hours. For something more laid-back, Supermarine is a stylish beach-side cocktail bar, where tasty tipples are served alongside ocean views. Chewies offers a well-crafted beer and wine list, alongside a fun and lively oyster-shucking team.
Melbourne wins this round for me with 9/10 for its lively nightlife scene that attracts everyone from back packers to A-listers. Vancouver scores 8/10, with enough on offer to satisfy any kind of party goer.
Melbourne and Vancouver have an array of accommodation options across the cities, from boutique hotels to luxury resorts.
United Places is Melbourne’s super stylish aparthotel complex, offering luxurious rooms, with park-side views in this gorgeous private sanctuary. For art lovers, book a room at the boutique bolthole, Zagame’s House. Here art-strewn interiors enhance modern comforts, in a prime central location.
For something timeless, book a room at the Fairmont Pacific Rim. Opulent interiors meet a buzzing atmosphere, alongside the hotel’s second floor restaurant, The Botanist, being one of the best in Vancouver.
Vancouver scores higher in this round with 9/10 and Melbourne 8/10. Melbourne has a slightly more eclectic range of options, but Vancouver boasts some of the world’s most beautiful luxury hotels alongside innovative and progressive properties.
So how do these two cities match up? In terms of numbers, Melbourne scores highest with 9.3/10, and Vancouver very close behind with a score of 9.1/10. Whilst Melbourne’s incredible food and nightlife scene is one of my favourite things about the city, Vancouver’s Mountain backdrop and outdoorsy lifestyle make for a fantastic visit. Visit both, and you might not want to leave!