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First Impressions of Melbourne

The yellow front of Flinders Street Station in Melbourne with busy pedestrians walking across the street

Visiting Melbourne is a must when exploring Australia. If you’re wondering how this vibrant city feels for a first-timer, here are my first impressions of Melbourne to give you an idea!

The seemingly gruelling 24 hour journey from London was actually fairly painless despite having to basically sprint between gates during my flight transfer. I must say that Qatar Airways did a great job at keeping everyone entertained and well-fed. I hardly noticed that the flight time to Melbourne took so long! Now I’ve had time to figure out my bearings here are a few things I’ve come to notice about my first impressions of Melbourne.

First Impression Observations From 2 Weeks in Melbourne

  • They really like outdoor chess. Seriously it’s everywhere.
  • It’s a pretty tech-savvy city. I don’t think I’ve walked more than 20 minutes without figuratively bumping into a wifi hotspot, but then again I am in the CBD!
  • There are a LOT of places to sit and enjoy the good weather (when it’s around). Maybe this is due to the cafe culture I’ve heard so much about? In any case, it’s really lovely to see people relaxing and not looking uncomfortable or rushed as they scoff down their food on the pavement (I’m looking at you Londoners).
  • There are some really great shopping arcades. You’ll more than likely stumble across one when feeling ever so slightly lost like me, which is great for accidentally finding something unusual! For example, I came across a small Dr. Seuss gallery/shop, just by chance. This along with the many eateries available make it absolute heaven to aimlessly wander!
  • There are lots of seagulls and sparrows. They’re like what pigeons are to London. Yeah, they’re everywhere.
  • People are so friendly and happy to have a chat! It’s such a surprise when someone stops you and genuinely wants to find out more about you, even if they do just want you to donate to their charity in the end. That’s when I pull the tourist card, muahaha.
  • There are a lot of familiar brands you’ll know and love. Within my first 10 minutes on the bus, I saw a McDonalds, a BP garage, an Aldi and I’ve even seen a couple of Nandos restaurants.  But on the other hand, all the unique things they have here more than compensate for the inescapable chain corporations. For example, my main activity of the day was visiting the ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) where the gallery/museum was informative, not patronising and interactive all at once.

First Impressions Summary

It was hugely interesting to find out more about many digital mediums including gaming, commercials and of course film. The mix of factual history and subjective art was intriguing and left me feeling very satisfied with my visit. Plus what a cool building?! For me, this area really stood out in my first impressions of Melbourne.

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Flinders St Station

All in all, I’m loving this city already. It feels like somewhere you could never get bored of exploring and finding new spots to enjoy. Now to start exploring Phillip Island and the Great Ocean Road!

Have you visited Melbourne? What were your first impressions of the Victoria capital?

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    01/07/2016 at 11:27 am

    Melbourne sounds awesome! I went to Sydney a few years ago and it sounds really similar – it is definitely a culture shock experiencing genuine friendliness! Hope you keep having an awesome time and keep making us all jealous.

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