Why you will love Melbourne!
If Sydney is Australia's answer to Los Angeles, the comparison is only possible because in many ways Melbourne is very New York. And quite a lot like Berlin. In fact, it is up there with those two as the world's most iconically hipster cities. Notoriously the place where people wear a lot of black and take their bicycles almost as seriously as they take their coffee, to dismiss Melbourne as painfully superficial would be to do it a great injustice. This city thrives with an abundance of creative and political energy, to an extent that to grow tired of Melbourne must be no one's fault but your own because there is always so much on! I always find it hard to pinpoint exactly what it is I love so much about Melbourne; you really just need to go there to understand why it has such a dedicated following the world over.
Watch out for:
- Airports - be careful to check which airport your flight lands at before you book. The main airport, Barcelona International Airport (or El Prat, airport code: BCN), is only 13 km south-west of the city centre and is the best option. Some budget airlines like Ryan Air don't always fly to this airport but use Girona (airport code: GRO) or Reus (airport code: REU), which are both over 100km from the city and can add greatly to the time and cost of your trip.
- Pickpockets - Apparently, Barcelona is pickpocket capital of the world - and spending a day of your holiday at the police station is not much fun. My recent trip saw me targeted 3 times by thieves who managed to open my bags in public. So make sure you bring a day bag with inaccessible pockets!
- Las Rambla – stretching from Plaça de Catalunya down to the sea, this is tourist central and should be avoided at all cost. It is swarming with people and terrible microwaved paella cafes, making it a pretty horrible experience of the capital and total pick-pocket central.
- No Uber - yup, it is currently banned but the taxi's in the city are much more affordable than say London or Paris, so it's not that different/expensive to use a local service.
- Sunset at Gaudi’s Parc Güell or the vintage theme park Mount Tibidabo.
- Fantastic brunch at Federal Café , Trópico, Carvelle, and Flax and Kale.
- Cold brew coffee at Satan’s Coffee Corner.
- Mar Bella beach – gay/nude/hipster central.
- Mega parties Las Cinco and ElRow.
- Fun gay/drag nights La Ká, Churros Con Chocolate and UltraPop.
- The Kylie pool - visit the Olympic diving pool where Kylie's Slow music video was filmed.
- Skateboards - bring your deck as this city is a skater's mecca.
- Free entry to a number of museum’s on Sunday afternoon.
- Palo Alto Market on the first weekend of every month.
- Thursday night karaoke at Sor Rita.
- Summer outdoor cinema on Sala Montjuïc.
- Primavera Sound festival every June.
- Pride every July.
- Gràcia Festival every August.
- A day trip to Sitges - cute coastal town with a lovely nude beach.