No matter if it’s your first trip to one of Australia’s most exciting cities or you’re a seasoned Melburnian looking for new corner to explore, these are the best neighbourhoods in Melbourne.
Please note: Travel restrictions can change at any time and without notice. Stay updated on the latest official travel advice at the Victoria State Government website. Many of the hotels and attractions featured below may be closed due to current restrictions.
The best neighbourhoods in Melbourne
Being Australia’s de facto coffee capital, Brunswick is where you can settle into café culture. Spots serving sub-par cups of java don’t tend to stay around long, and are quickly replaced by cafes with higher caffeine credentials. Early in the day, wander along Lygon Street, Nicholson Street, and Sydney Road for cafes and restaurants that suit every type of mood.
Once the sun goes down, the streets come alive with pubs, bars, and jazz clubs. Artists display their work at icons like the Brunswick Mechanics Institute, a centre for performance artists, workshops, and creative classes. Check into the East Brunswick Hotel, an 1880s restored building that hosts twelve unique rooms, an indoor bar and open air cocktail lounge.
No two trips to Fitzroy are quite alike, as it’s one of the best neighbourhoods in Melbourne when it comes to innovation. If you’re craving an international cuisine, there’s a good chance you’ll find it in Fitzroy—with plant-based menus aplenty. This is also a great base for spending a day wandering through the Melbourne Museum and Carlton Gardens.
If you’ve got money to spend, browse the many jewellery, clothing, and art boutiques in Fitzroy. Shops often chase the trends, but a Fitzroy stalwart with classics on display is usually just around the corner.
South Yarra is perhaps one of the most glamorous neighbourhoods in Melbourne with luxury shops, jewellers and fine dining. You can easily spend a day window shopping and stopping in at the 1840s Como House and Garden, the former residence of Australian aristocrats. The house often hosts art exhibits, pop up shops and meals served in the property’s stables.
Sleep tight at The Olsen Melbourne, an art hotel outfitted with the works of Dr. John Olsen. This posh stay has over 200 rooms, onsite dining, a gym, a day spa and a pool. Rooms have large windows and options range from studio suites to two-bedroom apartments.
While Melbourne doesn’t usually top the list when it comes to Australian beach getaways, St Kilda is where you can go to sink your toes in the sand. This is one of the best neighbourhoods in Melbourne to spend a lazy day by the seaside. Take a walk along the boardwalk, shop for crafts at the market, test your fear of heights at Luna Park, and search for small penguins on the shore. When the conditions are right, kitesurfers and windsurfers flock to the water.
For a hotel that’s within walking distance to the beach, Rydges St Kilda is a modern and clean hotel with plush beds and an onsite spa.
South Melbourne and Albert Park
Step back in time while wandering around South Melbourne, a neighbourhood with historic buildings with boutiques, restaurants, and cafes tucked inside. While the rest of Melbourne can feel rushed at times, brunches that span multiple cups of coffee are the norm around here.
A path circles around Albert Park, where cyclists, joggers, walkers, and paddlers gather. The park offers a green escape when you’re burnt out on city living, and offers access to a golf course, driving range, cricket ground, ovals and plenty of structures for kids to let loose on.
Tyrian Albert Park Lake Hotel is a four-star stay with prime views of the park grounds through its floor to ceiling windows. Its serviced apartments are spacious, clean and have a gym, rooftop pool overlooking the lake, and spa.
Bonus: Melbourne CBD
When in doubt, you can always stay in the heart of it all in Melbourne’s CBD. From here, you’re easily connected to the perks of every neighbourhood listed above. You’re a short walk or ride away from highlights like Old Bandstand, Parliament House, Melbourne Museum, and tens of dining options to delight. Check into QT Melbourne, a hip boutique hotel with a rooftop bar overlooking the city streets below.
With such an effective public transport system in Melbourne, you can’t really go wrong when it comes to choosing the right spot for your trip. Your myki smart card will be the key to unlocking some of Melbourne’s best spots.
Where can I go?
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FAQ about choosing the best neighbourhood in Melbourne for you
If you’re travelling with kids, St Kilda is a great neighbourhood to choose as it has the beach, Luna Park, and is just four kilometres away from Melbourne’s CBD by public transport. It is also near Albert Park Lake, a green area with plenty of space to run around. Parkville is also a great place to stay with kids as its near the Melbourne Zoo and Royal Park.
While many neighbourhoods in Melbourne have high property prices, Toorak is famous for being home to the wealthiest Melburnians.
Every traveller has their own preferences when it comes to what they consider cool. However, we think some of the coolest neighbourhoods in Melbourne are Brunswick, St Kilda, South Yarra, South Melbourne and Fitzroy.
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