The epicentre of Melbourne’s lovability comes from its eclectic mix of neighbourhoods. From seaside and riverfront areas, to wide boulevards and old mansions, to gentrified gems- this mixed bag city has a little something for everyone. But we know just how hard it can be to make a decision on where to stay without an insider’s scoop. So let us introduce you to five Melbourne neighbourhoods you should consider staying in during your next visit. We’ll take you to all four corners of the city and into neighbourhoods that offer something unique no matter what vibe you’re looking for. You’ll start your trip off on the right foot, and with the right cup of coffee.
By Bethany Kinner
A pleasant mix of casually cool and trendiness make Armadale a winner in our book. But shopaholics especially will fall in love with this stunning southern neighbourhood full of lush tree-lined streets and trendy world-class boutiques. The shops on High Street will give you a good sense of what’s on offer. For a look into classic Aussie labels for men and women head to local favourites like Búl, Zimmerman, Jac + Jack, and Bianca Spender. Exotic and intriguing housewares from Fjord + Co make beautiful gifts for yourself or that hard to shop for friend. When you need a refuel or change of scenery breakaway from the shops and venture out into the residential areas for a quiet meander, admire the beautifully kept gardens, and strike up a conversation with friendly locals.
This colourful northern neighbourhood has crept up high onto the short list of best foodie neighbourhoods in the city. But indecisive foodies beware: you will be spoilt for choice here thanks to its heavily multicultural influences, organic grocers, and niche wine and dine shops. High Street runs north-south through Thornbury and is the easiest place to start your food-centred journey. However, should you venture off of this straightforward path and down into the quiet residential nooks you’ll be greeted with even more impeccable delights like those found at Jerry Joy on Mansfield Street. It’s hard to believe that Thornbury was once a dirty, forgotten about far-flung area; nowadays you wouldn't recognise its full on, eclectic culinary bliss as the same place!
Photo: Time Out
Rejoice, sport fans because Richmond is the place to stay for easy access to most of the city’s major sport venues. Share a pint or two with the locals at a traditional pub like the Prince Alfred Hotel before going to an Aussie Rules Football match. Pro Tip: try and get the rules explained to you before you leave the pub. Live music is also a key draw to this vibrant inner east neighbourhood and music goers have been flocking to the Corner Hotel for years to soak up local and touring acts’ latest creations in this intimate setting. If visual art is more your fancy head on over to Albert Street for a good dose of gallery life. And to round out your stay here get yourself to Victoria Street, the city’s Little Saigon. The exceptional Vietnamese food here will have you wondering which continent you’re actually on.
You won’t have to walk more than a block down famous Lygon Street to notice the rich Italian influence in this northern neighbourhood. In fact, Melbourne’s highly regarded cafe culture can be tied in part to the 1950s Italian immigrants who settled here and brought along with them their beloved espresso. Libraries and independent bookshops provide excellent film, poetry, and literature material to pair with that perfect hot brew. And there are plenty of expansive leafy green spaces to relax in or stroll through. Everyone is welcomed here with open arms into this proudly hospitable and truly endearing neighbourhood, the only request is that you must love carbs!
Photo: APF Magazine
Central Business District
A hallmark feature of Melbourne is how much of it is right behind that corner, through the hidden door, below street level, or up high in the sky and the CBD is no exception. Wander the area’s famous lanes to find your next hidden treasure: world-class coffee, handcrafted garments, or a trendy new hairstyle. Historical arcades and modern shopping centres provide days of entertainment on their own. And the CBD’s free trams zip around the area making it even easier to get around. Come nightfall, perch yourself atop one of the many vibrant rooftop bars where the views and ambiance will be just as good as your expertly assembled cocktail.
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