For the past two and a half years, I’ve called Melbourne home. Having only visited a few times before deciding to move here, I had no idea how much I would love it. Here are just some of the things I’ve discovered about this vibrant, quirky city.
- Rooftop bars are the best. They’re everywhere in Melbourne, providing panoramic views of this stunning city and its skyline – it’s impossible not to love them.
- Vegetarian food can actually be amazingly tasty. Melbourne is home to many vegetarians and vegans, and the food offerings reflect that. I never knew that vegetables could taste so darn good! Marinated mushrooms filled with roast vegetables, quinoa, garlic, lemon and thyme topped with vegan cheese on a roast capsicum and onion stew with wild roquette and beetroot salad, anyone? That scrumptious vegie-loaded dish is available at Vegie Bar on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy (highly recommend!).
- St Kilda is scummy. It’s not glamorous like I once thought.
- Never leave home without a jacket. It might be hot and sunny when you leave home, but Crowded House and Tim and Neil Finn didn’t write a song about Melbourne’s weather for nothing. It really is the home of four seasons in one day.
- Melbourne’s fresh food markets are world-class. Whether it’s the Queen Victoria Markets, South Melbourne Markets or one of the many Farmer’s Markets held regularly in the suburbs, the fresh produce is always fresher, tastier and cheaper.
- The AFL is not actually that bad. I never thought I’d say this but I have learnt to like the vibe and passion that the sport brings to the city. I have even sat out in the cold wind and rain to watch a few games live. I still don’t have a team, though.
- Most dark and dingy alleyways than meets the eye. Often, hidden behind the piles of rubbish, masses of graffiti and strong smell of urine, you can find a quirky bar that only the locals know about.
- Naked bike riding is a thing. Every year in June, more than 100 cyclists gather to ride through the city, in the nud. Why? The ride’s website explains it as: “We face automobile traffic with our naked bodies as the best way of defending our dignity and exposing the unique dangers faced by cyclists and pedestrians plus all the negative effects of oil, cars, war, consumerism and non-renewable energy.” You heard it here.
What do you love about Melbourne? Share your thoughts in the comments below.