Melbourne is a city full of surprises, its top-class restaurants, busy laneways, and intriguing museums all provide the backdrop to this amazing city.
A genuine excitement fills the air – both in the city’s cultural hotspots, and in its hidden gem type areas. From internationally renowned coffee to intense sporting rivalries, there’s something for everyone.
So come talk a quick glance at what some of Melbourne’s finest neighbourhoods have to offer (before you book your airbnb).
The CBD (Central Business District)
As in any city, Melbourne’s CBD is home to many of the cities landmarks and focal points. For this reason, it makes both a great place to visit and a great place to stay. There is a little something for everyone with shopping precincts, market stalls, and art galleries all fighting for attention with the many restaurants and tourist amusements that populate the area.
The CBD is home to Melbourne’s bustling Chinatown district and also the site of the botanical gardens. Beyond that, the ritzy “Paris End”, and the culturally intriguing Federation Square add dynamism to the area which is further decorated by its winding shopping laneways.
The location is great for travelers and visitors with all major transport lines running right through the middle of it. On the whole, Melbourne CBD represents a great resting place and tourist site for visitors, anyone seeking to stay around a little longer will usually stray further afield.
National Gallery of Victoria – With both a national and an international collection this Gallery houses some of the best art in the city.
Queen Victoria Market – The largest open-plan market in Australia.
Flinders Street Station – Australia’s first railway station, now acts as the central hub of all Melbourne’s transportation.
Royal Botanic Gardens – A green haven in amongst the concrete and steel.
Eureka Tower – 91 stories high with an 88th story viewing window that includes “the edge” in case you fancy a walk on the wild side.
This historic beachside suburb could well be the most picture-perfect neighborhood in all of Melbourne. With its palm tree-lined boardwalk and beautiful sunset vistas this seaside enclave offers Melbourne’s city slickers a nice dose of ocean breeze.
This relaxing suburb is littered with great restaurants, bars, and cafes, all built into some of Melbourne’s most stunning traditional architecture. St Kilda is home to some of Melbourne’s best-loved festivals with both the St Kilda Festival and the annual film festival taking place there.
This laconic suburb has becomes known as one of Australia’s most bohemian friendly locations and since its facelift in the seventies has attracted a bigger number of visitors year after year. Keeping things simple, it’s just a great place to spend a couple of days, so if you are passing by, pay it a visit.
St Kilda Highlights
St Kilda Pier – The Pier offers a one of a kind view of Melbourne’s skyline. It is also home to a colony of 100 Little Penguins.
St Kilda Beach – Sea, Sand, Surf and a plethora of cafes and bars.
Luna Park – An amusement park that dates back to 1912
The Astor Theatre – A classic single-screen movie theatre.
Richmond is a super cool, inner-city suburb that got a major facelift back in the 90s. Ever since that much-needed cash injection, Richmond has become an increasingly attractive destination for the people of Melbourne.
With its newfound popularity, property values soared and hip new residents flocked to the area in their droves. Nowadays, Richmond has become synonymous with both footy and shopping. Home to the Melbourne cricket ground, Richmond is also one of Australia’s sporting hotspots and is known as the home of both cricket and Aussie Rules Football.
Melbourne Cricket Grounds (the MCG) – The sporting heart of Australia
The Owl and Cat Theatre – Popular theatrical and music venue.
Mountain Goat Brewery – A Brewery open to the public with excellent food and beers
Corner Hotel – One of Melbourne’s oldest live music venues.
Fitzroy is simply a fun place to be. Considered as a neighborhood for artistic and creative type people, it has become the home of many excellent niche establishments. A great variety of eateries, bookshops, galleries and thrift stores populate this student-friendly neighborhood.
Come night time the people of Fitzroy like to party it up a storm and there’s more than enough awesome venues for drinks, eats and good times. After all, this is one of the hippest suburbs in Melbourne.
If you are a fan of subterranean expression then you have to pay a visit to the Fitz. Keep your eyes peeled as you walk through the streets because it has the most original and unique collection of impromptu street art in the whole country.
Atomica – Serving up terrific coffee blends since 1996.
The Old Bar – live music and low-fi art exhibitions.
Edinburgh Gardens – A whopping 24 hectares of green space.
Brooklyn Arts Hotel – A bohemian mansion with vintage charm.
The Rose St. Artists’ Market – 70 stalls of handmade crafts.
An influential and eclectic suburb located just a few km outside of the city. Hawthorn has a reputation as being the place to go for all those travelers who want to experience Melbourne as if they were local.
With its diverse, ethnically rich culture, Hawthorn boasts a vibrant restaurant scene, a large student population, and a flourishing nightlife. Full of bookstores, cafes, and fancy little eateries Hawthorn offers a welcome respite from the more hectic parts of the city.
This is a great place to come and get brunch and unwind with a drink of coffee or two. Visitors who want to set up base in Melbourne for an extended amount of time could do a lot worse than this humble neighborhood.
Melbourne Tram Museum – A trip down memory lane of Melbourne transportation
Anderson Park – Verdant green space
Ocha – Excellent Japanese restaurant
The Yarra Bank Reserve – A protected nature trail
Prahran and Windsor
Located just outside of the city, Prahran and Windsor are known for their cool independent food joints, vintage clothing outlets, and exciting nightlife.
The area’s activity is based around the Chapel Street shopping strip where chain stores merge with bars and restaurants. In addition, Greville Street, with its hip counter-cultural history, is still one of the most enjoyable and charming streets in Melbourne and a great place to go spend a few hours shopping and eating.
The Prahan Market, open since 1864, is known as Melbourne’s best food market. It boasts an outstanding collection of international food offerings with everything from Australia’s favorite smashed avocados to German Bratwursts.
Prahran and Windsor Highlights
Market Lane Coffee – some damn fine java
Chapel Street Bazaar – Vintage furniture and retro clothes
Greville Records – amazing record store
Signed + Numbered – Limited edition art prints
This area is known as being one of the most artistic and multicultural places in all of Australia, let alone in Melbourne. The vibe is lively and friendly with all kinds of businesses, people, and attractions waiting to be discovered.
A mashup of old industrial buildings and residential streets, Brunswick has really taken on a shape and style of its own. This is in a large part thanks to all the artists and creative people populating the area.
The Self-Guided Urban Art Tour is a great way to experience the inner-Brunswick charm as you are led through the graffiti-strewn laneways.
Sydney Road is a shopping precinct with something for all tastes. In addition, Brunswick is very close to Melbourne Zoo, so feel free to go check the wildlife.
The Melbourne Zoo – Crocodiles and such
Savor Chocolate & Patisserie School – create and sample delicious desserts
Brunswick’s Retreat Hotel – Beyonce once drank here!
Sydney Road – Great variety of shops
Collingwood boasts beautiful architecture and a flourishing restaurant and bar scene. Just a couple of streets away from Melbourne’s CBD, it still has its own unique feel and presence within the city. There is a good variety of shops and some of Melbourne’s best art galleries are also located in the area.
This neighborhood’s inner-city cool is bolstered by a stellar cafe scene, some even consider it to be Melbourne’s finest. It also shares the busy Smith Street with Fitzroy and one of the nation’s most well-known football teams.
Collingwood Children’s Farm – A cute farm with cow milking and guinea pig cuddles.
Stomping Ground Brewing Co. – Warehouse turned beer hall in Collingwood.
Tristian Koenig Gallery – A small gallery showcasing beautiful art
Plug 7 Records – Amazing Records, and super knowledgeable staff.
Melbourne: An Overview
As you can see, Melbourne is as hip a city as you are likely to find in any part of the world. An exciting collection of inner-city neighbourhoods where even mountain ranges and lush green parks get a piece of real estate.
If you are going to Australia, don’t let Melbourne pass you by!