A Guide to Living in Melbourne
Voted the World’s Most Liveable City for seven years in a row, Melbourne is popular with international students for many reasons.
There's so much to enjoy in Melbourne, from wandering around the latest exhibitions and art galleries and strolling through its parks and gardens to getting lost in its famous streets and hidden laneways.
Melbourne has an exciting range of events on all year round, including sporting highlights like the Australian Open tennis grand slam, the Formula One Grand Prix and the Australian Rules Football. The city’s cultural calendar is lively and sophisticated. Covering everything from arts, music, film, comedy and fringe festivals.
In addition to that, Melbourne is also known as one of the globe’s most innovative knowledge centres and a respected centre of high-quality education. It’s home to 30 universities and educational institutions with more and more students coming here to learn and study every year.
Things to do
Immerse yourself in festivals
Victoria, and its capital Melbourne, boast an ever-expanding performing arts scene. Melbourne is the birthplace of Australia’s first professional theatre company, the Melbourne Theatre Company, and also calls itself home to a variety of independent theatres and exhibitions.
Hit the road
Melbourne is surrounded by some stunning sights, many of them easily accessible as a day trip. Head down the Mornington Peninsula for the ultimate weekend getaway or make you way down the Great Ocean Road for some dramatic cliffs and stunning beaches.
Get into music
Melbourne has produced a range of artists who went on to succeed across Australia and internationally. There are plenty of live music venues spread out across the city. You will find whatever you’re looking for, whether that’s a midweek gig at a local pub or a stadium show featuring international superstars.
Average weekly costs
- Rent: $150-300
- Food: $80-150
- Electricity/gas: $40-100
- Transport: $40-50
- Internet/phone: $20-50
- Other: $50+
- Total: $380-700
Melbourne has 15 train lines taking you from the CBD into the outer suburbs. They are an effective solution for travelling to these outer suburbs but can become very busy during peak hours. On busy lines at peak hour, trains can run every 4 or 5 minutes. During off-peak times, most trains only run every 20 minutes.
Melbourne’s tram network is one of the largest in the world. During peak times, trams will run every 7 to 10 minutes. Trams are free within the centre of the city and will get you quickly around the CBD.
If you live in the outer suburbs you might want to consider buses over trams. Bus frequency varies depending on the time of day. Popular routes have buses running every 10–15 minutes during peak times, and once every 20 or 30 minutes during the evenings.
With the introduction of a levy in 2017, Uber has become legalised and regulated in Victoria, making Uber a safe option to get around the city.
Melbourne’s city centre offers pretty much everything. Come here if you’re looking for cultural events, outstanding food and coffee, amazing nightlife and relaxing parks and gardens. Whilst the city is pretty by day, with its mix of old and new, it really comes to life during nighttime with lights sparkling along the Yarra River.
North Melbourne and Parkville
North Melbourne is one of the oldest parts of Melbourne, packed with classic terraced houses, historic buildings and large outdoor spaces. The area has a strong migrant history, wander around the Queen Victoria Market (or “Queen Vic”) to experience the neighbourhood feeling.
Carlton and Fitzroy
Carlton and Fitzroy are the go-to-destination for anything food related. If Italian food is what you’re after, wander around Carlton and choose one of the many, traditional Italian eateries. Fitzroy will serve up the latest food trends and hip fashion shops.
Brunswick and Northcote
Brunswick and Northcote are popular with students for two good reasons: their proximity to many study institutions and low prices. Both areas also offer a variety of music venues, markets and outdoor venues, making it easy to always find something to do.
Melbourne’s Top 5s
- Melbourne Museum
- Immigration Museum
- National Sports Museum
- Australian Centre For The Moving Image
- National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)
- Australian Centre for Contemporary Art
- Anna Schwartz Gallery
- Heide Museum of Modern Art
- Gertrude Contemporary