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A coastal city encircling Port Philip Bay in the Australian state of Victoria, Melbourne is known for its natural beauty, which is complemented splendidly by the angular and avant-garde designs of its iconic soaring skyscrapers.
For expats, moving to Melbourne means immersing themselves in one of Australia's most multicultural, tolerant and cosmopolitan centres. Waves of immigration have led to the establishment of enclaves for British, Italian, Greek, Chinese and Indian communities, each with its own unique character, distinctive customs, festivities, food and art.
There are three main pastimes that stir, excite and unite Melbournians regardless of background: sport, food and wine. The city presents a fantastic lifestyle – it has repeatedly been voted as one of the world’s most 'liveable' cities, and for good reason. That said, life here is expensive, and the cost of living might deter some expats. In fact, the once-sleepy southern port city is now ranked among the top 100 most expensive cities in the world, and expats will need to keep this in mind when looking for work and negotiating salaries.
The property market moves fast in Melbourne, and it may take a little time for expats to find, apply for and be approved for accommodation well suited to them. When it comes to deciding where to live, Melbourne's expats generally prefer the leafier outlying suburbs with their quiet streets and proximity to schools.
Like any urban hub, Melbourne thrives on the luxuries of the good life such as a vibrant café culture and trendy nightlife, a huge selection of shopping malls and eateries, as well as art galleries and specialty stores. Melbourne is also an immensely attractive city with beautiful historical buildings, cobbled European-style lanes and equally eye-catching public parks and gardens. With so much to explore, expats will be kept busy well into their stay, and they're bound to fall in love with Victoria's lively capital.
►For common queries, check our our FAQs about Melbourne page
"There’s a good reason why Melbourne is regularly voted in the top three most liveable cities. It offers a wonderful lifestyle and plenty of work opportunities." Scottish expat Marvin recently moved to Melbourne with his wife. Read his advice on living in Melbourne.
"We love the culture of Melbourne, the vibrant city centre, the great cafés, the proximity to beautiful beaches, wineries, wildlife and the availability of good food." American expat Christie shares her Melbourne experience here.
Are you an expat living in Melbourne?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Melbourne. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
With 86 million customer relationships in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.
GeoBlue is one of the best international health insurance plans for US expats abroad or internationals residing in the USA. The GeoBlue Xplorer plan includes worldwide coverage and great customer service with access to a premium international network of hospitals and doctors including the Blue Cross Blue Shield network in the USA.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.