Melbourne is the happiest city in the world. These 53 breathtaking photos show what life is really like there.

Image
Melbourne, Australia, is the happiest city on Earth, according to a new survey from Time Out and Tapestry Research. Light Bulb Works/Getty Images
  • The happiest city in the world is Melbourne, Australia. according to a survey from Time Out and Tapestry Research.
  • The survey asked 15,000 people in 32 cities worldwide about food, drink, culture, dating, community, travel, and more.
  • Based on the findings, both companies came up with a ranking for each city to determine the happiest.
  • Melbourne is Australia’s unofficial coffee and football capital.
  • The beaches, public parks, diverse food options, and more make it an eclectic area with near-perfect weather year-round.

NEW YORK CITY — Melbourne, Australia, has been named the happiest city in the world this year.

Time Out paired up with Tapestry Research to survey 15,000 people in 32 cities worldwide. They asked residents about food, drink, culture, lifestyle, dating, sex, community, travel, neighbourhoods, affordability, nightlife, happiness, public transportation, and civic pride. The findings collectively helped both companies come up with an ultimate ranking for each city in every category.

When it comes to Melbourne, the beaches, emphasis on art, and diverse culture work together to give everyone something to enjoy.

Here’s what life in one of the most well-known cities down under really looks like.


Melbourne, Australia, is the happiest city in the world.

Image

Source: Time Out


A recent survey shows 92% of people enjoy living there and most say it’s easy to make friends.

Image

Source: Time Out


Between the beaches…

Image

…the alleys and alleys of street art…

Image

…the urban life…

Image

… and the views, it’s pretty easy to see why.

Image

Melbourne sits in the southeastern Australian state, Victoria.

Image

The Yarra River runs through the city, making it the perfect place for boating. And if you’d rather stay on dry land, sitting along the river banks is a great way to spend a warm day.

Image
Melbourne iStock

If you want people to think you’re a local, you’ll want to ditch that Starbucks Frappuccino.

Image

It’s no secret Australia is known for serving up some premium cups of coffee.

Image

But Melbourne is said to do it best.

Image

Source: Condé Nast Traveller


Melburnians favour local coffee shops over global brands. And many have their go-to spots where they’re on a first-name basis with the barista.

Image

Source: Culture Trip


You won’t have to explore too far before you stumble upon a local place…

Image

…where you can even sit down and order yourself some brekkie.

Image

Seriously. Benedicts from all over Melbourne look like velvety perfection.

Image

Oh, and you’ll want to swap out your venti caramel macchiato for a flat white.

Image

The shop will probably be nestled in one of the city’s famous laneways — the local term for a narrow, cobblestone street.

Image

Laneways are known for being littered, in the best way, with street art.

Image

Some are the work of passersby, and others are more like murals signed by the artist.

Image

The work of British street artist Banksy has even been found on the laneways’ walls, though reports say some of the stencils (like the one pictured below) have been damaged.

Image

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald


Laneways are lined with coffee shops, cafés, and all kinds of storefronts.

Image

Culture Trip names Hosier Lane, Duckboard Lane, AC/CD Lane, and Tattersalls Lane as having some of the best art, bars, and shops.

Image
Pictured here is art on Hosier Lane. Shiny Things/Flickr

Source: Culture Trip


Melbourne is known to be a diverse city. 56% of its residents were born overseas.

Image

Source: City of Melbourne


The annual Melbourne Food and Wine Festival has been celebrating that through food since 1993.

Image

Source: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival


The festival highlights local chefs, winemakers, the city’s access to fresh produce and ingredients, and brings everyone together through nearly 200 events citywide.

Image

Music is also a large part of the Melbourne culture. Whether it’s street performers playing for whoever’s walking by…

Image

…or music festivals held within the bounds of the city, live music isn’t hard to come by.

Image

Source: Visit Melbourne


The Arts Centre Melbourne hosts ballet companies and theatre groups. It also houses a free-to-view, permanent collection of clothes, music, and other performing arts memorabilia that are all part of the Art Centre’s past.

Image

Source: Australian Music Vault


As with any city, it isn’t just festivals and fireworks all the time.

Image

Myki is Melbourne’s version of a mass transit pass.

Image

Here’s what the myki card looks like. It’s a good idea to get one if you plan on taking public transportation.

Image

You can also take a hop-on-hop-off tram to tour the must-see sights around the city.

Image

The City Circle Tram runs along the system’s Route 35, taking passengers to major attractions, shops, and city events for free. Yes, free!

Image

Source: Visit Melbourne


There’s also an audio feature that helps explain the different landmarks and attractions you’ll pass. You can opt into the commentary at no additional cost.

Image
Pictured above is the Parliament House. Elekhh/Wikimedia Commons/Attribution-Share Alike

Bear in mind the tram is said to be somewhat slow, though it’s worth hopping on if you have time to see the city’s landmarks.

Image

Source: Culture Trip


While in Melbourne, you can pretty much take Yarra Trams anywhere at any time.

Image

Source: Yarra Trams


Recognising the importance of local art in the community, Yarra Trams has been using its vehicles as giant moving canvases. Since 2013, the company has been wrapping eight of its trams in designs.

Image

Source: Yarra Trams, Visit Melbourne


When it comes to weather, Melbourne has all four seasons, but they don’t come the same way they do in the mid-latitudes (places around the world that aren’t particularly near either pole or the equator).

Image
Pictured here is autumn in Massachusetts. John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Source: Culture Trip, National Geographic


Melbourne locals know to expect long, 60-degree winters…

Image

…80-degree summers that usually see intense heat waves…

Image

…and they know they can get a full four seasons in a single day, so it’s smart to always carry an umbrella.

Image

Divided by the river, there are two main parts of Melbourne: the north side and the south side.

Image

The north side includes the Central Business District and suburbs like North Melbourne, Fitzroy, Carlton, Abbotsford, Brunswick, and Coburg, where the more artistic Melburnians live.

Image

Source:

Culture Trip


The University of Melbourne is also located in the north.

Image

South of the Yarra River in neighbourhoods like Toorak and Windsor is where you’ll find wealthy families and individuals living in more luxe-style homes.

Image

Source: Culture Trip


Brighton Beach sits just south of central Melbourne. It’s a common place to spend a hot or cool beach day.

Image

That’s mostly thanks to the Brighton Bathing Boxes and their Instagram-worthy designs.

Image

During the summer, the boxes may be less open for photo opps. Some people will claim their porch and set up beach gear for the day.

Image

For anyone not in love with the sand, there are plenty of green, public parks to keep you happy. The Royal Park is just one of many, and spans 420 acres.

Image

Source: Business Insider


Perhaps one of the biggest parts of life in Melbourne is the Australian Football League (AFL).

Image

Aussie Rules, another name for the game, is a hybrid sport. It borrows some rules from rugby, some from soccer, and some are completely unique.

Image

Australians first started playing the game in mid-19th century Victoria.

Image

Source: Go Study Australia


The game is split up into four 20-minute quarters, and it’s played with an egg-shaped ball on an egg-shaped field. Up to 18 players per team can be moving the ball through punches and kicks at a time; the goal is to get the ball through the goal post.

Image

Source: Go Study Australia