The 10 Best Neighborhoods in Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne’s top 10 neighborhoods to explore

Low crime rates, affordable health care and quality education make Melbourne one of the most livable cities in the world. But comfort and safety are not always synonymous with boredom. With its quaint food-centric neighborhoods and laid-back vibe, Melbourne offers a culture of electricity that doesn’t deserve a snooze.

Whether it’s the retro streets of Fitzroy or the tourist spots of St. Kilda, we’ve compiled the 10 best Melbourne neighborhoods to explore.

Melbourne’s Central Business District

Melbourne’s Central Business District is the main hub of the city. Here you’ll find the financial district, Chinatown, markets, stores and universities all in one place. You can get around the central business district by taking the streetcar for free; otherwise, you can walk through it. Be sure to check out Melbourne’s famous alleyways and galleries, where you’ll find some of the best street art in the world. While you’re in town, you should also take time out to check out the souvenir and food stalls at the impressively large Queen Victoria Market.


Richmond is home to sports and shopping. Here you can see an Australian Football League game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the largest stadium in the Southern Hemisphere. Prefer to shop? Bridge Road is great for that, whether you’re looking for a clothing boutique or an antique store. If you’re curious about local beers, stop by Mountain Goat Brewery to try its ales, and if you’re visiting on a Wednesday, Friday or Sunday, you can also take a tour. While you’re in the area, go to a concert at Richmond’s Corner Hotel, which has great live music.


Footscray is a 20-minute streetcar ride west of Melbourne’s central business district. It’s a melting pot of culture, known for its food and art. Of course, different nationalities come together in one place, and you’ll have plenty of options for outstanding cuisine. Visit Footscray Market to smell all the spices and smells emanating from the stalls. If you’re having trouble choosing a meal, try the injera bread at Saba’s Ethiopian Restaurant; it’s an experience you won’t forget.


You know that high school kid who was never part of a clique, but just exuded equanimity while minding his own business? That’s Fitzroy. It’s Melbourne’s alternative, retro, trendy, hipster neighborhood north of the central business district. Brunswick Street is full of storefronts where you’ll find vintage clothing, music stores, and secondhand bookstores. When you feel thirsty, head up to the rooftop bar at Naked For Satan. You’ll get an amazing view of the city and amazing cocktails. If you’re lucky enough to explore Fitzroy this weekend, stop by the Rose Street Artist’s Market and check out locally produced arts and crafts.

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St. Kilda’s

Looking for a beach? Head to St. Kilda. This area of Melbourne, a favorite of travelers from around the world, is home to the famous Luna Park. On a beautiful day outside, take a picnic and head to the waterfront. It’s great for people-watching and working on your Australian tan. On Sundays, St. Kilda Esplanade Market is open, where you can meet local vendors and buy souvenirs to take home. Acland Street is the main road to grab a bite to eat, and La Roche makes a stingy chicken parm. And you don’t want to miss the sunset in St. Kilda; the orange sun is sinking over the horizon, fabulous penguins scrambling up the beach for a night’s shelter.

South Yarra.

South Yarra is an interesting area to visit by day and by night. During the day, take a walk around the Tan that surrounds the Royal Botanical Gardens. If you’re visiting between November and March, Moonlight Cinemas Park offers outdoor movies. When it’s time for happy hour and dinner, head to Chapel Street. Leonard’s House of Love is a 1970s themed American-style bar serving huge burgers and original cocktails. Chapel Street is also a great place if you want to dive into Melbourne nightlife. Revolver Upstairs is a 24-hour nightclub where you can dance any time of night.


Carlton borders Melbourne’s central business district to the north and reflects the Italian community of 1930s New York. Ligon Street is home to many Italian restaurants and bakeries, but if you feel like you can’t stay in the Italian corner, head to Tiamo for a big bowl of pasta. Take a walk to Carlton Gardens, where you’ll find a bit of history at the Melbourne Museum. If you fancy a laugh, six nights a week The Comics Lounge hosts top-notch comedians.


Northcote, a 25-minute train ride north of the city, is an underrated area of Melbourne that deserves some love. Here you’ll find culinary festivals, epic live music at the Northcote Social Club, and plenty of stores on the High Street. If you go to Northcote, get a drink at Joe’s Shoe Store. It’s a converted wine bar and one-of-a-kind art gallery. Then go to the Palace Cinemas to see old and new movies in the retro movie theater.

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A pronounced pur-rah-ran, this Melbourne neighborhood borders South Yarra and has a personality all its own. Visit Prahran Market, which has been around since 1891. Here you’ll find stalls of fruit, vegetables, artisan bread and cheese, food stalls, cafes and live jazz music. As you continue to explore your surroundings, take a stroll through the Queen Victoria Gardens. It’s an open space with beautifully manicured lawns and flowers. Be sure to check out Off Chapel; formerly a church, it has been converted into a music venue. It features cabaret, comedy, theater and dance performances.


Docklands is a neighborhood in Melbourne’s west, right on the waterfront. The first thing you should do is cruise the Yarra River on the Melbourne Tramboat, the world’s first floating streetcar. When it comes to shopping, the Docklands area is the place to be. On Sundays, visit the open-air market on the New Quay Promenade. While you’re in the Docklands, take a ride on the Melbourne Star, one of the 10 tallest Ferris wheels in the world.

Melbourne Neighborhoods – Australia


Melbourne Neighborhoods – Australia

I often get asked – which Melbourne area would I recommend to live in, where is the best place to live? I answer – get there first, look around, understand what Australia and METRO are like, and only then decide where to live, where to hang out, where to work and whether to stay in Melbourne at all.

I didn’t choose Geelong because I didn’t have the money or the job. I just don’t like metropolitan areas. I’m annoyed by the endless Brownian movement of people everywhere, I like peace and quiet… And my opus will be for those who have the opposite feelings.

Melbourne Metro is huge. The center is the City, Central Business Directory, CBD – whoever likes to call it, the essence is the same. Everyone works there – it’s a huge “office hangout” of people in white collars and ties. Tourists walk there, students study, life is in full swing, in short, “the hustle and bustle of the big city. Of course there are high-rise residential buildings in addition to offices, hotels and stores, but the values of Australian life are such that the ideal home is a home. With a courtyard, a garage, a lawn and a mower, with a swing in the yard and other delights. That’s why Melbourne has grown “expansive.”

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Melbourne City

Melbourne Metro – a kind of “spider” on the shore of the bay, which over the past hundred and fifty years has grown to 120 kilometers in diameter. More than a dozen train lines radially diverge from the center. The most populated and inhabited sabebes are to the south and southeast. There are regular trains, the interval is no more than 15 minutes, while in the north and west – about 20 minutes.

This allows you to get from almost any end of the city to the center in about an hour. The peculiarity of Melbourne is that the branches are only radial, there is no circular line, the farther to the outskirts, the more problematic to get to another area. The buses save you, you don’t have to go to the center to get to the next district. In general from all this is concluded: to live in Melbourne without a car is possible, but difficult. You have to base your life on that. My main advice – come to Australia – buy a car at once. Let it be the most shitty car – as long as it drives. Here prestige is nothing, practicality is everything. Believe me, there’s nobody here to show off.

No car? It’s worth rejecting neighborhoods like Werribee, Melton, Sydenham, Upfield, Epping, and Alamein. It may not be so scary to spend two hours on the road every day, but it’s not worth it. And in general, it’s better to pay attention to the availability of cafes and especially stores when looking for a house – there will be a lot of shopping at first.

Have a car – you can look at the districts, to pick up a place of your own taste: want the “beach” life – it’s Brighton East. Brighton beach is one of the best places for swimming within the city. Beautiful area, cottages priced at 2-3 million along the bay, palm trees, yachts on the horizon. Fairy tale, in short. But one minus – very expensive.

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Melbourne beach

A little lyrical digression. How is Melbourne different from, for example, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Volgograd, or any other city in the Russian Federation? Freedom of the individual. You can do anything, as long as it is not prohibited by law. Regardless of the neighborhood, no policeman can come up to a person at 3 a.m. and ask to see his ID, under any pretext. And no passerby will molest you or your child on the street for no reason. But you should not forget that no matter what the area or time of day, no one is safe from an attack with a knife by some crazy, wife-abandoned Australian.

Melbourne beach two

The “civil liability” rule is very strict in the more expensive areas. If you decide to take a 30-meter shortcut and walk a little on the lawn, be prepared to get a fine in a couple of days. Do not strain your brain wondering how you were found. Believe me, all Ozzies are snitches. Or rather, their language is responsible citizens. So, don’t break it.

Well now, I’ll go directly through the neighborhoods I’ve been to, each with a drop of commentary and advice. If you want quiet and measured life – I would recommend Greensborough – in the northeast, the area is really cool: clean, neat, a little hilly and very green. The community is well-maintained, classic Ozzies (few immigrants, for some reason), with plenty of parks, and not far from downtown. The proximity of the forest determines the abundance of possums, which is pretty cool. Let them gallop around on the roof or in the garden. South Yarra is also in this category of neighborhoods (although, it’s quite poncy and expensive, so it’s a lot more expensive), Oakley, and Marambina.

Melbourne neighborhoods melbourne

Melbourne neighborhood photo

And of course, there are areas in Melbourne, where it is better not to go. This, above all, Footscray, which is constantly inhabited by dubious-looking comrades, such as militant-looking blacks, Asians, and other white trash there plenty. It’s still possible to stay there temporarily in cheap housing, but only in constant search of something more worthy.

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Melbourne boroughs crash

The crime rate is the highest here. The people are immigrants. Former Yugoslavs, Vietnamese, Indians and others. There’s graffiti walls, concrete stench, and similar “niceties.” Sunshine and its surroundings are not much different from Footscray. Dandenong has a bit better reputation and is really quieter, but I would still recommend it to families with kids.

Melbourne neighborhoods australia

If your idea of a good home does not include a fairly smelly amber that appears with enviable regularity – it is better to immediately exclude from the places to live Altona and Altona Meadows. The Ukrainian cities of Zaporozhye, Krivoy Rog, or the Russian cities of Dzerzhinsk and Saratov do not ring a bell? Plants, industry, smoky chimneys and the corresponding contingent. Not hello, as they say.

And now for the best part: the best neighborhoods to live in, in my opinion, is Mentone, Parkdale, Chadstone – quite reasonable prices combined with an excellent location and general environment. But consequently the units, houses and apartments are selling like hotcakes, it’s a wonder of wonders to rent a house or apartment there. St. Kilda is not a bad place to live, but there are too many students and it’s a pretty hectic place.

Port Melbourne, Albert Park – expensive areas, life there is wonderful and beautiful, if you have the “right” job and earn at least 100-150K a year. However, for example, in Albert Park (“student” district) you can find an apartment at a reasonable price. The place is quite bohemian, it’s interesting to live there, even just to go for a walk in the evening – a pleasure. And the sea is not far.

In principle, you can tell for a long time, in Melbourne, each area has its own advantages and disadvantages. The general trend: the closer to the sea – the more expensive. It is necessary to correlate the location of work and residence. Getting from home to work and back through several districts is stupid, expensive and inconvenient, especially if you don’t have a car. And the main thing – make sure you personally assess each house that suits your needs according to the parameters of the ad, because all of these are my impressions only, and the subjective approach can not be excluded.

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