With a vibrant coffee culture, exciting laneways, beautiful beaches and world-class cultural institutions, there’s never a dull moment in Victoria’s capital city. Reputed to be one of the world’s most liveable cities, here are four neighbourhoods to explore next time you’re wondering where to go in Melbourne.
Located just six kilometres from the city centre, the trendy suburb of St Kilda is renowned for its views of Port Philip and is regarded as Melbourne’s seaside playground. Home to the famous St Kilda Beach, attractions such as Luna Park and Catani Gardens, as well as an array of restaurants and bars along the bohemian Fitzroy Street, it’s no wonder this suburb is well-loved by locals and visitors alike.
Hop on tram 96 from Bourke Street to St Kilda Pier and you might get to see a colony of fairy penguins that call the harbour home. You can also grab a cuppa or ice cream at nearby kiosks, take home some sweets at one of Acland Street’s popular European cake shops or visit the historic Esplanade Market on Sundays.
If you like football, local pubs like the London Tavern, the Richmond Club Hotel and the Prince Alfred Hotel allow you to soak in the pre-footy atmosphere like no other suburb.
Richmond is also one of the best places to go in Melbourne if you’re an avid foodie. Visit Thy Thy on Victoria Street for a huge selection of authentic Vietnamese fare, or head to Swan Street for your pick of traditional Greek eats. Popular Melburnian brunch spots like Top Paddock, Pillar of Salt or Demitri's Feast can also be found in Richmond. To get there, catch tram 70 or 75 from Flinders Station.
Not to be confused with the street, the suburb of Fitzroy has long been a popular hipster hotspot where you can find all things cool and kooky, such as vintage clothing stores, old-school pubs, second-hand bookstores and thrift shops.
For some of the finest street art in Melbourne, stroll through Gertrude Street to Johnson Street, down Gore Street and George Street. If you’re travelling with children, head to the Collingwood Children's Farm where visitors can get up close to real animals for a fraction of the cost (a family package will set you back $20). You can also check out the Rose Street Artists' Market that opens every weekend and uncover some handmade gems. To get to Fitzroy, take tram 112 from Collins Street or tram 86 from Bourke Street.
The other side of the Yarra River has a totally different vibe to the hustle and bustle of the Melbourne CBD. Regarded as the Arts Precinct, Southbank is home to a multitude of world-class museums, galleries and theatres.
The National Gallery of Victoria boasts a must-see collection of historical art from Europe, Asia and beyond, and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art is the place to get your contemporary art fix from some of the biggest names in local and international art.
Travel secret: Not all art is placed indoors in Melbourne. Stroll along the banks of the Yarra River and you’ll find some fascinating installations and exciting architecture.
After you’ve had a dose of culture at the museums, try your luck at Crown Melbourne, the biggest casino complex in the country. Then test out your bravery at the Eureka Skydeck 88, where you can experience the Edge – there’s nothing but glass and 300 metres beneath your feet.