Every year, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranks the most livable cities in the world, and for the seventh time in a row Melbourne, Australia topped the list.
Melbourne scored 97.5 out of 100 on the annual list, beating out Vienna (#2) and Vancouver (#3) for the top spot. Meanwhile, Australia’s largest city, Sydney, didn’t even crack the top 10 this year. Another notable absence on this list? Any city in the United States.
So, what makes Melbourne so great? The Economist Intelligence Unit bases its rankings on stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. While foreign visitors won’t necessarily benefit from the city’s access to top-notch education or healthcare, Melbourne’s excellent food scene, easy access to public transportation, world-class museums and beautiful parks makes it the ideal spot to unwind on vacation.
Let’s start with the first meal of the day. Breakfast — or “brekkie” — is serious business in Melbourne. There are innumerable restaurants throughout the city dedicated to the most important meal of the day. These aren’t the watered-down mimosa brunch factories you’ll find in American cities, either. Here, it’s more likely you’ll happen upon perfectly poached eggs, avocado toast loaded with local vegetables and the best cup of coffee you’ve ever had in your life. Be sure to check out the avocado toast at Two Birds and the chia pudding at Middletown.
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Speaking of coffee, Melbourne’s coffee culture is unbeatable. It’s hard to find a bad cup throughout the city, so whenever you need a break from exploring drop into whichever café is nearest for a flat white, short black or macchiato.
Considering that Paris didn’t make the top 10, easy access to incredible croissants doesn’t necessarily make a city more livable, but living within walking distance of Melbourne’s Lune Croissanterie will certainly make you happier. This bakery in Fitzroy creates a rotating menu of croissants that The New York Times once called, “the finest you will find anywhere in the world, and alone worth a trip across the dateline.”
After all that food, you’ll be happy to hear that Melbourne is an incredibly walkable city full of beautiful parks and museums to explore. The Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne are open to the public for free and are located right across the street from the National Gallery of Victoria.
In the afternoon, head down to the banks of the Yarra River and enjoy a glass of Australian wine or a pint of local craft beer at Pilgrim Bar and watch the boats go by. If you prefer to be in the middle of it all, grab a seat at Ponyfish Island Café located on a bridge in the middle of the river.
For dinner, head to the Central Business District where you’ll find some of the city’s best restaurants on Flinders Lane. While there’s always a wait to get into Chin Chin, put in your name and head downstairs to GoGo Bar for cocktails. If you can’t decide what to order, just tell your waiter “Feed Me” and you’ll be treated to a seemingly endless selection of South-East Asian cuisine from the restaurant’s menu for less than $55 per person.
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THE MOST LIVABLE CITIES IN THE WORLD 2017:
1. Melbourne, Australia
2. Vienna, Austria
3. Vancouver, Canada
4. Toronto, Canada
5. Calgary, Canada (tie)
5. Adelaide, Australia (tie)
7. Perth, Australia
8. Auckland, New Zealand
9. Helsinki, Finland
10. Hamburg, Germany
From: House Beautiful US