With Sydney Swans fans descending on Melbourne this week for the Grand Final, here’s a helpful guide to the home of the world-famous Arts Centre Spire.
Melbourne: Not just graffiti filled alleys
Melbourne is a great city. Sure, it lacks the Harbour Bridge or the Opera House, but it makes up for it with graffiti filled alleys and trams. Everyone likes trams right?
The people are sporadically friendly, the food expensive and we welcome your NSW currency almost everywhere.
There’s a saying in Melbourne, ‘if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.’ Of course, there is no guarantee you’ll like the next set of weather.
Expect a bit of rain about this week, but importantly it’s apparently clearing in time for the big match. It will be cold though so you may need to purchase either a ‘coat’ or ‘jacket’ while you’re down here.
As a Sydneysider, act superior about your weather, people will just love that.
Melbourne is well serviced by public transport. Not that Melburnians think that. They act like they’re living in a third world country.
Compared to Sydney, it’s a transport utopia you can only dream of.
Melbourne’s iconic trams are fun to ride on for literally minutes.
Taxis are ok, but will be hard to get one on Grand Final night. Whatever you do, don’t wait in a taxi rank. You’ll be there until the end of time.
A taxi driver will know less about Melbourne’s geography than you. Google Maps is your best friend.
Go to the edge of the city and hail a taxi instead of waiting in line.
There is also a new service ‘Uber’ that apparently let average citizens pick people up as a regular cab would. It sounds more like the end of civilisation than a service to me, but the kids seem to love it.
It’s now legal in Victoria which has taken away a lot of the fun I imagine.
What will Victoria make legal next? Greyhound racing?
Trains are frequent and work fairly well, and there are lots of buses which Melburnians never use.
I recommend having a chauffeur or as I call them, ‘Mum.’
MYKI is the worst thing ever invented in the history of time. Easily.
It‘s the ticketing system for Melbourne’s public transport system. Myki is complicated and works poorly. The good news is; it was astoundingly expensive to put in place.
It’s like your Opal card but worse. Yes! That is possible.
There are no single trip passes because why would you want to make things easy for tourists?
You’ll have to buy a card and top it up. This process should only take you six or seven days to complete on one of the dozens of inconveniently located machines.
Don’t worry, Metro’s helpful ticket inspectors will menace you accordingly.
Hating MYKI will make you feel like a true Melburnian.
Best bet is to go to Flinders Street station in the heart of the city and get them to sort you out there.
Melburnians are a cultured lot. Just look at all that black clothing they wear.
We like coffee, cafés, cafes that serve coffee, cafes in alleyways and coffee.
We also have lots of alleys in Melbourne which are world famous apparently. We have amazing graffiti in them, which we tell people it is art because it’s way cheaper than cleaning them all the time.
Tourists come and photograph it. Alleys are not just for junkies and homeless people anymore. Yay!
The good news is Melbourne uses the Australian Dollar just like Sydney. AFL Player trading cards are also legal tender in Melbourne.
A rookie, mint condition Colin Sylvia card will get you a cup of coffee, while a Ben Cousins card is often set as a bail requirement.
Melbourne has a thriving restaurant scene, and you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Many restaurants in Melbourne have done away with bookings because convenience for customers is a secondary consideration. If you can book, book early and book often.
You’ll find Melburnians believe their food scene is superior to yours. Don’t be offended, they only do this because it is.
Melbourne Cricket Ground
The MCG is affectionately known as ‘The People’s Ground’. This is true if those people are the corporate elite.
During the game expect no data coverage and long lines for food, drinks and the ATMs. Get cash before you go as it will be a nightmare there.
The MCG is near Jolimont Station and Richmond station and a tram from the City will get you there.
It’s a ten to fifteen-minute walk from the city. Consider walking; it’s good for you apparently.
It is a great stadium and the crowd on Grand Final Day is fantastic, as you know because your team is in it almost every second year.
Melbourne has a broad range of places to be assaulted at night and unlike in Sydney, it’s a round-the-clock service.
For convenience, Crown Casino has even hired professional bouncers to assault you.
Melbourne’s lackadaisical alcohol laws mean getting a drink has never been easier.
From small bars hidden in alleys to the ‘my kids are locked in the car, and this is my last $100′ glamour of the Casino, Melbourne has it all.
While overall it’s a safe city, best to be in a group late at night. I usually travel in groups no smaller than 70.
Melbourne has a diverse range of people, from hipsters in the inner north, the beautiful people in the inner south, wealthy people in the eastern suburbs, poor people in the west and whoever lives in those outer suburbs.
One thing which binds all these people together, apart from a love of 24-hour drinking, is AFL football.
Melburnians are as crazy for it as they say. Not supporting the AFL make you as popular as a terrorist sympathiser.
As a visiting AFL fan, you will be greeted with a large amount of affection.
While there’s been a lot made about Sydney teams having an ‘unfair advantage’, people also find agreeing with Eddie McGuire distasteful, so it will even out.
And remember, that ‘unfair advantage’ is due to you using the money you are allowed to use. Damn your efficiently run club!
So welcome to Melbourne, the gateway to Geelong. We hope you enjoy your stay.