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Perth vs Melbourne Which City Is Right for You

Perth vs Melbourne: Which City Is Right for You?

Deciding between the allure of Perth and the charm of Melbourne? Discover the best of both cities with our comprehensive guide! 

Whether you’re considering a vacation or a permanent move, this ultimate showdown can help you make a more informed choice. 

Is Perth or Melbourne Better?

Choosing whether Perth or Melbourne is better is no easy feat. Perth entices with its stunning beaches and vibrant arts scene, while Melbourne boasts the title of the tram capital of Australia, with its unique laneways and vibrant street art.

Now it’s time to dig deeper and compare the best offerings of these two extraordinary cities below. Let’s dive in!

Perth vs Melbourne: Geographical Location and Climate

Perth vs Melbourne Geographical Location and Climate
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In terms of geographical location and climate, Perth is a sun-kissed city with hot and dry summers on Australia’s western coast, while Melbourne offers a mild and temperate yet diverse climate on the southeastern coast.

Perth is spoiled with breathtaking beaches, and we believe you’ll find many sand-loving surfers and beach enthusiasts here.

Meanwhile, we think Melbourne is like Perth’s ‘hipster’ cousin. This is because the former has a vibrant arts scene, a strong coffee culture, and a focus on creativity and individuality.

With its picturesque location on Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne also enjoys a more sheltered position compared to its western counterpart – Perth is exposed to the open Indian Ocean along with the strong winds and ocean swells.

Since Perth is all about that beach-bum lifestyle with its Mediterranean climate, it gets really hot during the summer and wet during the winter. 

We believe you’ll want to have your flip-flops and sunscreen at the ready here. After all, you wouldn’t want to risk an emergency trip to your dermatologist because of too much sunburn in Perth, would you?

Conversely, Melbourne’s weather seems as diverse as the wildlife in the outback. If you’re visiting, it’s best to be prepared for all four seasons in one day.

Melbourne loves to surprise its residents with sudden weather changes: rain, wind, sunshine, and chilly temperatures – possibly in a single afternoon! So, we think an umbrella and a scarf can be your best friends in this city.

Pro tip:

Since Perth’s coastal lifestyle is all about sun, surf, and sand, we suggest hitting up the famous Cottesloe Beach for a casual and relaxing beach experience. 

In Melbourne, the ever-changing weather can catch you off-guard, so we recommend packing layers and versatile clothing options to adapt. A portable umbrella and a light jacket are your trusty sidekicks too!

Perth vs Melbourne: Demographics and Culture

Perth vs Melbourne Demographics and Culture
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When it comes to demographics and culture, Perth has a warm community, a smaller yet diverse population, and a chill cultural scene. On the other hand, Melbourne is a cosmopolitan hub with twice the population and a passion for art, coffee, and festivals.

We believe Perth is where you’ll have lots of sunny days, stunning beaches, and a welcoming community. With a population of around 2.2 million, Perth seems like a big country town where everyone knows everyone. 

Perth’s diverse population also includes residents from various countries, with a significant number born in England, New Zealand, South Africa, India, and Malaysia.

On the other side, we have Melbourne, Australia’s bustling cultural capital. This cosmopolitan city is home to around 5.2 million people. 

Moreover, there are over 50,000 Melbourne residents who were born in other countries, like China, Greece, India, Italy, New Zealand, or Vietnam.

With residents from all around the world, we feel that Melbournians love to embrace their differences, creating a vibrant tapestry of cultures to be explored.

Regarding their cultures, don’t let Perth’s sunny days fool you – we believe they’ve got a cool cultural scene to match! The city’s chill vibe extends into its arts and entertainment. 

We recommend catching a flick at the Rooftop Movies, grooving to live music at the Perth Concert Hall, or going to thrilling festivals that celebrate everything from seafood to artistic performances. 

Melbourne takes art to a whole new level too! In the city, you’ll probably feel like you’re walking through an urban art gallery with all the street art and colourful murals adorning the lanes. 

And as mentioned, they’ve got a wonderful coffee culture too! In our opinion, Melbournians are like coffee snobs – but in a good way, because this means the locals can easily recommend the best coffee and cafes.

Pro tip:

Perth has a legendary tradition known as the ‘Sunday Session’, when people gather to relax on the day. We recommend heading to a beachside pub, ordering an ice-cold beer, and unwinding as you watch the Indian Ocean sunset. 

We suggest visiting Melbourne for a festival as well. From the iconic Melbourne International Comedy Festival to the spectacular White Night Melbourne, we feel the city knows how to keep you on your toes!

Perth vs Melbourne: Healthcare

Perth vs Melbourne Healthcare
Image from Canva

Perth and Melbourne’s healthcare both benefit from Australia’s Medicare system, which provides free or subsidised healthcare to Australian citizens.

This means many residents can get medical services, like doctor visits and public hospital care, without emptying their pockets. 

To make the most of this perk, we recommend taking (physical and mental) note of a few hospitals near where you work or live in case of an emergency. 

Some of the top hospitals in Perth are the Fiona Stanley Hospital, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, and St. John of God Subiaco Hospital.

Melbourne also boasts some of its best medical institutions, like The Royal Melbourne Hospital, The Alfred Hospital, and the Monash Medical Centre.

In sunny Perth, we believe it’s all about embracing an active and healthy lifestyle. 

With beautiful beaches and parks around every corner, we suggest maximising Mother Nature’s gym by jogging along the coastline or hiking through their stunning landscapes.

Meanwhile, Melbourne has a culture that revolves around artsy cafes and laneway delights. They may have more coffee cups than step counters, but we think that doesn’t mean they aren’t health-conscious at all!

Mental well-being and a diverse range of fitness options take centre stage in the city. So, we advise trying something new, like yoga or Pilates, to strengthen your core and find inner peace. 

Those seeking an adrenaline rush may try out Melbourne’s thriving cycling scene or join a local running group to explore the city’s scenic trails. 

Pro tip:

No matter which city among Perth or Melbourne you choose, we feel it’s best to schedule regular check-ups to ensure your best health. Keep important emergency numbers handy too – it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Perth vs Melbourne: Education

Perth vs Melbourne Education
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Both Perth’s and Melbourne’s educational systems boast top-notch universities and schools. Perth excels in architecture, engineering, business, and health sciences, while Melbourne shines in engineering, business, arts, life sciences, and agriculture.

The University of Western Australia (UWA) often takes the lead as Perth’s top university due to its world-class research and stunning campus. 

Other notable universities in Perth you can consider are Curtin University, Murdoch University, and Edith Cowan University (ECU). All of these offer a diverse array of programmes, so we think they can cater to many interests.

But not to be outdone, Melbourne also has a few aces up its sleeve when it comes to higher education. The University of Melbourne is a heavyweight contender, ranked among the best in the world. 

We think you might also want to check out Monash University, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University, and Deakin University.

For parents, we think Perth and Melbourne both have a strong focus on providing quality education to their young minds. 

In Perth, you’ll find excellent primary schools like Rosalie Primary School and Carine Primary School. And when it comes to secondary education, Perth has several top high schools, like Perth Modern School and Shenton College.

Just note that some of these schools are more selective than others, with out-of-area students accepted based on specific criteria.

Meanwhile, Melbourne has many primary schools that we feel rival its famous laneways for uniqueness. 

From the Fitzroy Community School, known for its alternative approach to education, to South Yarra Primary School, where tradition meets innovation, we believe Melbourne accommodates diverse learning styles.

Melbourne’s secondary schools are equally impressive for us too, with iconic institutions like Melbourne High School known for their academic excellence and emphasis on personal development. 

Pro tip:

If you’re attending a university in Perth or Melbourne, we recommend considering part-time work or internships early on. 

We think these opportunities, along with your studies, can provide valuable real-world experience and boost your resume. Just remember to manage your time wisely and get enough rest to avoid burnout.

Perth vs Melbourne: Jobs

Perth vs Melbourne Jobs
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Looking for a job? Perth offers ample opportunities in mining, engineering, technology, healthcare, and hospitality, while Melbourne’s selection includes finance, IT, design, media, and the arts. 

Thanks to Perth’s booming mining and resource industries, we believe you’ll find plenty of relevant roles, like mining engineers, geologists, metallurgists, and equipment operators. 

But with an eye on the future, Perth is also growing in technology, healthcare, and hospitality jobs. So, whether you’re a tech wizard or a caring soul, we think Perth’s job scene has something for everyone.

Now, Melbourne, the cultural melting pot and coffee paradise, also has its own job buffet. As the economic heartbeat of Australia, Melbourne boasts a thriving finance, professional services, and IT sector. 

Melbourne’s creative flair shines through in industries like design, media, and the arts too. From business sharks to artistic souls, we reckon the city’s got a job niche to match your artistic passions.

Pro tip:

Want to impress employers? We recommend doing volunteer work! For us, this not only gives you a sense of fulfilment but also enhances your resume (and job interview answers).

In our opinion, some companies appreciate candidates who actively contribute to the needs of other people, animals, or the environment. Besides widening your horizons, volunteering may also lead to valuable connections and potential job offers.

Perth vs Melbourne: Housing

Perth vs Melbourne Housing
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For housing and accommodations, you’re likely to save more in Perth when you rent a spacious apartment than in Melbourne. Buying an apartment is also cheaper in Perth. Still, mortgage rates in this city are slightly higher than in Melbourne.

In this handy comparison table, we’ll have Perth and Melbourne go toe-to-toe, presenting data from Numbeo and other online sources:

Monthly Rent for a 1-Bedroom Apartment$2,544 (in city centre)
$1,848 (outside city centre)
$2,297 (in city centre)
$1,842 (outside city centre)
Monthly Rent for 3-Bedroom Apartment$3,778 (in city centre)
$2,751 (outside city centre)
$4,285 (in city centre)
$2,857 (outside city centre)
Apartment Purchase per Square Metre$10,402 (in city centre)
$8,416 (outside city centre)
$11,680 (in city centre)
$10,458 (outside city centre)
Mortgage Interest Rate5.89%5.68%

As shown, the estimated rent in Perth is higher than in Melbourne for a 1-bedroom apartment. However, Perth’s 3-bedroom apartment rental prices appear to be cheaper.

So if you have friends to live with, we believe you’ll get more bang for your buck in Perth in more spacious apartments.

For apartment purchases, Perth also continues to be the more affordable choice for potential buyers. It offers lower prices per square metre in both the city centre and outside the city centre.

Here’s a twist in the mortgage rates, though. Perth may have the upper hand in housing prices, but it’s Melbourne that wins on mortgage interest rates. 

Melbourne’s mortgage rates are lower, which we think might give some potential homeowners some breathing room. Still, your housing choices depend on your short-term and long-term needs and preferences.

Pro tip:

If you’re unfamiliar with the property market or the housing process, we recommend seeking advice from real estate agents or financial advisors. They can provide valuable insights and guide you through the process.

Perth vs Melbourne: Cost of Living

Perth vs Melbourne Cost of Living
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The cost of living in Perth is slightly more expensive than in Melbourne. Although its daily expenses are relatively higher, Perth’s rental and property purchase options may be cheaper in the long-run.

Let’s take a closer look at the estimated living costs in Perth and Melbourne, according to Numbeo and other sources:

Meal at an Inexpensive Restaurant$30$25
3-Course Meal for 2 at a Mid-Range Restaurant$140$130
One-way Ticket (Local Transport)$4.50$4.80
Monthly Pass (Regular Price)$175$168
Monthly Utilities (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, and Garbage) for an 85 sq m Apartment$343$274
Mobile Phone Monthly Plan and 60 Mbps Internet or Unlimited Data$144$121
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax)$4,887$5,100

From the table, living in Perth seems a tad more expensive for a budget-friendly meal. While this varies, we think Melbourne might save you a few bucks when you’re dining out on a budget.

Perth’s culinary delights might come at a slightly higher price for a fancy dinner date too. But don’t worry! Melbourne is also up there, offering you a delightful dining experience without burning a hole in your pocket.

For transportation, we believe Perth offers a cheaper ride for a one-way ticket, making it easy to explore the city. Melbourne’s public transport fares can be pricier, but we feel it’s still worth the ride to discover its hidden gems.

Melbourne also offers slightly more budget-friendly utility costs, which we reckon gives you some relief when it comes to household bills.

Perth’s digital connection comes at a higher price for mobile phone plans and internet as well. It seems that Melbourne’s mobile plans are slightly more budget-friendly, keeping you connected more easily.

Overall, living in Perth may cost more for your day-to-day expenses, but looking for a place to rent or property to buy would appear to be better investments in this city.

Pro tip:

Feeling the pinch in your wallet? We believe you can save some serious cash by hopping on the bargain bandwagon! 

We recommend keeping an eye out for awesome deals, discounts, and happy hours at local restaurants, cafes, and shops. Embrace your inner bargain hunter and explore the city’s hidden gems, from quirky thrift stores to budget-friendly food trucks.

Perth vs Melbourne: Transportation

Perth vs Melbourne Transportation
Image from ABC News

If you’re looking for transportation, Perth has a reliable Transperth train and bus system, modern trains, and beach-hopping buses. On the other hand, many Melbourne residents travel via trams and taxis if they’re not driving their own vehicle.

Firstly, we think Perth’s public transport is reliable enough to take you from A to B with ease. We also like that Perth trains are typically modern and clean, conveniently whisking you across the city and even to nearby suburbs. 

You may also hop on a bus for routes not served by the train, and you’ll be beach-hopping in no time. 

Transperth’s SmartRider card also makes public transport payments smooth and hassle-free with just a tap.

But hold onto your hats, because Melbourne is also the tram (trolley or streetcar) capital of Australia. These trams crisscross the city like a labyrinth or maze-like structure, taking you to trendy cafes, artsy hotspots, and major attractions on a fun ride. 

It’s also helpful to grab a Myki card or travel ticket, and you’re set to tram-hop around town. You’ll get to embrace the iconic ‘ding ding’ sound too, which we amusingly think is the soundtrack of Melbourne’s transport journey.

For drivers, Perth’s roads offer a smooth ride too. We think the city’s well-planned layout, wide streets, and ample parking provide a seamless road trip experience.

Melbourne’s laneways and hidden nooks make driving a thrilling quest as well. But it’s best to beware of the tight squeezes and tricky turns in the streets.

If you’re without a car, ridesharing goliaths like Uber and Ola are available in Perth and ready to whisk you away with a few taps. 

On the other hand, Melbourne’s taxi fleet is readily available to take you to your destination. We suggest waving down a yellow cab, and you’re on your way to uncovering Melbourne’s urban delights!

Pro tip:

Before hopping onto any transport option, we advise downloading the relevant apps to make your journey smooth. Also, remember to check out real-time updates, plan your routes, and even grab some sweet discounts along the way. 

Perth vs Melbourne: Tourist Attractions and Activities

Perth vs Melbourne Tourist Attractions and Activities
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Both Perth and Melbourne have many tourist attractions and activities. Some of the top places in Perth are Kings Park, Cottesloe Beach, and Rottnest Island, while some of the best Melbourne sites are Federation Square, Queen Victoria Market, and Yarra Valley.

In Perth, we think Kings Park is like a big, leafy hug, offering breathtaking views of the city skyline and the sparkling Swan River. 

We suggest strolling through its vast botanic gardens, and don’t miss the treetop walk for a bird’s-eye view of the lush surroundings.

Cottesloe Beach is also Perth’s coastal gem, inviting you to frolic in the azure waters or sprawl on the sandy shore. Catch a stunning sunset, and we think you’ll be mesmerised by the colours dancing across the horizon.

Say hello to the adorable quokkas on Rottnest Island too! These cute and furry little creatures will put a smile on your face as they pose for selfies – be careful not to get too close to them, though!

We also advise exploring the island’s stunning beaches, cycling trails, and hidden coves – paradise awaits you and your loved ones!

In our opinion, Federation Square in Melbourne is like a funky puzzle, with unique architecture and vibrant energy. For us, this is the perfect spot for events, live music, and soaking up the city’s creative vibes.

Queen Victoria Market is a treasure trove of goodies too! It offers everything from fresh produce and tasty treats to unique souvenirs. 

Other than that, we think Melbourne’s laneways are also works of art. There’s a lot of vibrant street art, turning every corner into a delightful surprise (and backdrop for Instagram photos).

But if you want to fulfil your Perth bucket list, a few activities we suggest you start with are dolphin-watching at Shoalwater Islands Marine Park, wine tasting at Swan Valley, and skydiving in Rockingham.

Some of Melbourne’s enchanting escapades also include hot air balloon rides at Yarra Valley, road trips to the Great Ocean, and some old-fashioned fun at Luna Park.

Pro tip:

We advise taking advantage of city passes or combination tickets that offer discounts to multiple attractions. For us, it’s like having a golden ticket to the must-visit places in Perth and Melbourne!

Plus, don’t forget to check for any seasonal events or festivals that could add an extra sprinkle of excitement to your travel itinerary. 

Perth vs Melbourne: Nightlife and Entertainment

Perth vs Melbourne Nightlife and Entertainment
Image from Pixabay

Perth or Melbourne both offer a vibrant nightlife experience. In Perth, Northbridge is buzzing with bars and clubs, while Fremantle offers live music and a friendly vibe, and Melbourne’s Chapel Street is a nightlife haven with eclectic bars and late-night eateries. 

In Perth, we feel it’s best to start with Northbridge for your nightlife adventures. In our opinion, this suburb is like a buzzing beehive, abuzz with lively bars, clubs, and music venues. 

Head to one of Perth’s rooftop bars too, where you can sip on cocktails while soaking in panoramic views of the city skyline. We think it’s the perfect spot to relax and unwind under the twinkling stars.

Then, we suggest making your way to Fremantle as well! Its streets come alive with street performers, live music, and a friendly atmosphere. 

Otherwise, in Melbourne, brace yourself for Chapel Street’s extravaganza! We like that this iconic strip is a haven for nightlife enthusiasts, offering a plethora of bars, clubs, and late-night dinners. 

For the culture vultures, we think Arts Centre Melbourne is also the place to be. We recommend catching a live performance, from world-class theatre productions to captivating concerts. 

Melbourne is also home to quirky bars, where we feel you can enjoy delicious cocktails and eclectic vibes. 

As for entertainment extravaganzas, you may try your luck at Perth’s Crown Casino, watch a festival at Elizabeth Quay, and bring a date to the Perth Cultural Centre.

Alternatively, we think you can laugh until your cheeks hurt at Melbourne’s numerous comedy clubs, see a classic or romantic movie at Melbourne Central Rooftop Cinema, or experience a fun event like St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival.

Pro tip:

When exploring the nightlife and entertainment scenes in Perth or Melbourne, we believe it’s best to plan your journey home beforehand. 

It’s best to familiarise yourself with public transportation schedules or have a rideshare app ready on your phone to ensure convenience and safety.

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