I have always laughed at the notion of the “Paris”-end of Melbourne as so often these local names are applied by people who have never been to Paris! Strolling through the east end, there is little to be compared to Paris in terms of architecture and ambience. I did spot a couple of dog turds, but I am sure that is not what is meant by the Paris-end of Melbourne. But then I stumbled upon the Collins Quarter, a rather seductive bar with a bit of a European feel. Still I could not say I felt like I was in Paris.

Eifel tower - the Paris Landmark

Sacre Bleu - This is not Paris!

Collins Quarter is a lovely eloquent bar with a certain allusive feeling. Walking through the door in trainers you realise that this is just not on. The bar ambience tells you that you are under dressed and you will feel more comfortable in a nice shirt. Although having walked in in trainers, the staff did not look down upon me, nor did they refuse to serve. It is this exclusive feeling that makes this bar really something quite special and well worth slipping into.

Melbourne has its own personality, a vibrant street scene with amazing coffee shops and bars.

After a brief chat with the owner about our Best Melbourne Pubs & Bars iPhone app it was back to the streets for more “research”. Around the corner I did stumble upon a great Melbourne bar called Society. With a bright yellow awning covering the street and wicker style chairs I accepted that this did indeed reflect an impression of Paris that is portrayed in American movies.

But Melbourne is never going to be Paris and it shouldn’t even try. Melbourne has its own personality, a vibrant street scene with amazing coffee shops and bars. It’s time to lose the romantic associations with other cities and realise that Melbourne has come of age and is a city sitting on the edge of the worlds stage. Troy and I predict that Melbourne will become Australia’s most populous city with an international attraction that is likely to be greater than the population of some states over the next 20 years (much to the disgust of the NSW Premier no doubt).

In the Paris end of Melbourne

OK! It looks a bit like Paris

It is difficult to point a finger and say that one person has created the stimuli for Melbourne to have grown into what it is. But certainly the number of bars and pubs in the CBD (there are over 200 in the CBD included in the Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars app) has given the city a positive edge. With cities like Perth wanting to emulate the Melbourne bar scene, albeit hindered by restrictive liquor licensing laws, Melbourne can hold her head high as a shining example of an emerging living, breathing city.

So next time you are looking for a nice weekend away, surf the net and grab a cheap flight to Melbourne, download Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars to your iPhone and set off on a voyage of discovery of perhaps the best bars on the continent.