Manly beach. (Photo: Flickr/Matt Morton-Allen)

Is Sydney the best city in the world?

Austria’s capital Vienna is the most livable city in the world, followed by two Australian cities. At least, that’s what The Economist’s Global Liveability Index says. According to their figures, Melbourne came in second, Sydney third. Let’s just say it: This seems rather odd.

Now, even though I’ve always found those who-wore-it-better comparisons pretty lame, I’m gonna go there.

As an Austrian who has just moved from Vienna to Sydney I actually feel entitled to – I’m going to compare some cliches and argue why Sydney definitely deserved to be first. I already have a feeling, like, I’m gonna be in so much trouble for this.

The weather

Well, this is the most obvious one. Have you ever been to Vienna? Probably not. If you have – sorry about the weather. Most likely it was grey, cold and too windy. That kinda weather that just makes you wanna stay inside, light up some candles and listen to Bon Iver. I personally do not care how great and affordable the infrastructure in Vienna is if my entire body just hurts as soon as I leave my warm and cosy flat. Oh, the extra money I spend on tights and tea bags!

If you want to experience Vienna in all its beauty, please come between June and August. Unless, that is, you’re only keen for historic buildings or underground techno clubs, in which case I guess the season doesn’t matter.

No e-scooters

I don’t know why, but e-scooters have been flooding every big city in Europe. E-scooters are everywhere these days. When did people become too lazy for bikes? Sydney’s Inner West might have constant plane noises but at least the streets are not packed with rented e-scooters.


Café + environment friendly shops

I never thought about becoming a vegan. After living on King Street for a while, I turned into one without even noticing. The coffee is a big one for me: bringing your own takeaway cup is nothing revolutionary, it’s just what people do. Also, baristas don’t roll their eyes if you ask for almond milk.


The mood

Now, I find your choice of language tells a lot about your soul. In Australia, instead of “Hello” people often ask “How are you?” It’s intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s rather sweet. And I’ve learnt not to go on a rant about my entire day with the Woolworths lady.


Christmas markets are all over Vienna at this time of the year. Which is everbody’s favourite tradition if you don’t mind paying 5 Euros for a bowl of sugary punch. Alcohol and sugar is an evil combination. I don’t wanna know how much the city council of Vienna is paying for the extra electricity in December. I rather go to the Marrickville markets and buy myself some plants.

The Veronicas

So happy Australians have stayed loyal to my favorite high-school twins! The rest of the world might have been over them since 2007, but here they even get their own TV show! I love how loyal the Australian media is to their homestars. As if anyone would ever say anything bad about Miranda Kerr.

The casual beach trip

See, when we plan our weekend getaway in Austria, we’re looking for mountains to hike. In Sydney we pack our swimmers, not our gumboots. And you can choose from a whole range of beaches, from cute and lonely (Little Bay) to big and fancy  (Bondi). This is personal preference but for me the view over the ocean beats any Austrian mountain scenery. But hey, I don’t even like schnitzel.


But I suppose, that’s just the circle of life – your hometown will never be good enough.

Main image Manly Beach by Matt Morton-Allen/flickr