What to do in Fitzroy
Exploring Melbourne’s most hipster enclave takes surprisingly little cash – just a lot of walking! Wander the main thoroughfares of Fitzroy, people-watching and keeping your eyes peeled for edgy street murals strewn across the brick walls of Johnston Street and surrounding alleyways. You won’t get too far without happening on something unexpected – like a pop-up gallery or free wine tasting! Here are just some of must-dos whilst in Fitzroy.
Browse the Artist Market
If you’re visiting Fitzroy over the weekend, make sure you drop by the Rose Street Artists’ Market! Emerging local designers peddle their Gorman-esque wares from 11am to 5pm. Between hand poured soy candles, terrariums, recycled jewelry, painted ceramics and prints, it’s the perfect opportunity to find a unique present to take home.
Fitzroy has mastered the art of Scandinavian minimalism – the majority of its stores are so perfectly curated they look as though they’ve been lifted straight off Pinterest. Spend your afternoon browsing the string of cutting edge fashion boutiques on Gertrude Street like Obüs and ESS Laboratory. Or window-shop your way down Johnston Street, where Mark Tuckey, Clickon Furniture and numerous other designer furniture stores live.
If being tempted to spend your life’s savings on a coffee table doesn’t sound like fun, opt for pre-loved threads and old school vinyls instead. There are plenty of eclectic vintage stores dotting Gertrude and Brunswick Street.
Relax at a traditional Japanese bath house
While the Mornington Hot Springs grace many a tourist brochure, here in Fitzroy you’ll find a spa of a different kind! Make your way to the Japanese Bath House (the only one in Australia) for a traditional bathing experience. The spa features gender-specific hot baths, steam rooms and a recreational area serving up piping hot Japanese delicacies. Make your reservations ahead of time as the baths only allow for 6 people at a time.
Where to find the best coffee in Fitzroy
Famous for its innovative seasonal menus, snaking queues and top notch single origin coffee, Industry Beans is a Fitzroy favourite. Tucked away just off Rose Street in a converted warehouse, the specialty coffee roaster is packed out week after week – quite the achievement in Melbourne’s ever-changing brunch scene!
On the flip side of Fitzroy cafes, we have the fabulously funky Grub Food Van. Order your coffee from a 1965 silver Airstream van and tuck into a hearty brekkie surrounded by mismatched rugs, garden gnomes and picnic tables. It’s as hipster as it gets!
Where to find the best eats in Fitzroy
Ready your appetite folks, because you’re going to need a bottomless pit to take on the culinary melting pot that is Fitzroy! To start, make for Lune Croissanterie and sample the most renowned pastry in the nation. Having grown from a hole-in-the-wall store in Elwood to national phenomenon, Lune croissants – whether plain or lemon curd infused cruffins – are not to be missed.
Be transported to the land of the free at Belle’s Hot Chicken with their classic chicken and waffles dish, or at Po’ Boy Quarter where they serve up crusty white rolls stuffed to the brim with deep fried oysters. Jimmy Grants by Masterchef’s George Calombaris specialises in souvlakis made fancy, while Bimbo Deluxe is a university student staple with its $4 pizzas.
On the fine dining end, you have Cutler & Co. Headed up by the widely acclaimed Andrew McConnell, this award winning restaurant serves modern dishes featuring highly unusual ingredients. Or kill three birds with one stone at 127 Brunswick Street. One of Melbourne’s most ambitious venues, the three story building houses a Japanese izakaya Ichi Ni Nana on the ground floor, a contemporary Asian restaurant Village People and Upside Rooftop Bar.
Where to find the best bars in Fitzroy
There is no area better suited to a late night bar crawl than Fitzroy. To kick things off, toast to an exceptional day of exploring at Naked in the Sky – Naked For Satan’s rooftop bar with stunning views of the Melbourne CBD. Head over early to secure a coveted sunset viewing spot on the terrace. Then, make your way to the Black Pearl or The Everleigh – both are award-winning cocktail bars with a 1930s speakeasy aesthetic and a mind boggling spirits list. Settle in at The Rooks Return, a cozy, casual joint along Brunswick Street. Think craft beers and live bands – a perfect way to end the night!
Apartment hotels are plentiful in this area of Melbourne, and are all well appointed. District Apartments Fitzroy will keep you connected with complimentary wifi in all areas, as well as a private balcony and cable TV access in every room. For a truly luxurious experience, book into Tyrian Serviced Apartments. The 4.5 star apartment boasts an onsite spa, hair salon and cafe, with an option of limo service. Guestrooms include iPod docking stations and 32-inch flat screens TVs.
Transport in Fitzroy
How to get around Fitzroy
Fitzroy is roughly two kilometres from Melbourne CBD, and can be reached via tram or by foot. Purchase a myki travel card from any train station or 7 Eleven outlet and hop on the 86 tram along Bourke Street. This route will take you down Gertrude Street straight into the heart of Fitzroy.
If it’s a nice day, the suburb is a scenic 25 minute walk up towards Parliament and along the leafy Carlton Gardens – also home to the Royal Exhibition Building and sees a dozen or so wedding photography sessions in a day.
How to get to Fitzroy from the airport
The easiest way to reach Fitzroy is by taking the Skybus. The bus takes you to Southern Cross Station in around 20 minutes and costs $19 one way. From there, hop on the 86 tram to Fitzroy. Of course, you could always opt to cab – the journey will take upwards of 30 minutes and set you back by approximately $60. If you intend to do some far flung exploring, car hire is always a good idea!
Fitzroy Map – click to expand the map so you can zoom in on destinations mentioned in this article!