Where to stay in Melbourne with family: 8 Best areas

Where to Stay in Melbourne with Family? In this post, I will help you to find the best areas to stay in Melbourne with kids and best family-friendly hotels for all budgets and preferences.

Melbourne is a vibrant and diverse city and the capital city of the state of Victoria. It is known for its rich culture, stunning architecture, excellent food scene, and a wide range of attractions. 

Melbourne is undoubtedly a fantastic holiday destination for families. The city offers a wide range of attractions suitable for all ages. From its world-class museums and art galleries to its numerous parks and outdoor spaces, there’s something for everyone.

There are also numerous family-friendly activities. From visits to the Melbourne Aquarium to rides on the Star Observation Wheel, families can find a variety of engaging options.

For those who appreciate the outdoors, you can explore Royal Botanic Gardens and the Yarra River. These locales offer perfect settings for family picnics and outdoor activities.

Families can embark on culinary adventures, sampling dishes from around the world at many restaurants and cafes. There are also many family-friendly festivals throughout the year.

The city has an excellent public transportation. With readily available trams, buses, and trains, getting around the city with kids becomes a convenient and hassle-free experience.

Melbourne is generally considered a safe city for tourists, boasting a low crime rate. However, it’s essential to exercise typical safety precautions, particularly when traveling with children.

You can explore the surrounding regions of Victoria, which offer additional family-friendly activities such as the Great Ocean Road, Phillip Island, and the Dandenong Ranges.

Where to Stay in Melbourne with Family?

The best areas to stay in Melbourne with family are Southbank, Melbourne CBD, Docklands, St Kilda, Fitzroy, Carlton, Brunswick, and South Yarra. 

In general, Southbank, CBD, Docklands are the best places for families with kids and travelers visiting Melbourne for the first time. They have the most central locations, and plenty of family-friendly activities and attractions within walking distance from these areas.

St Kilda is the best location for families wanting to stay right on the beach, Fitzroy is the best base to experience Melbourne’s artistic and eclectic side. Carlton is Little Italian, Brunswick is a diverse and multicultural suburb, and South Yarra is an upscale neighborhood.

Read reviews and check for family-friendly amenities, such as kid’s clubs, playgrounds, and family suites, to ensure a comfortable stay for your family in Melbourne.

Overview of best areas to stay in Melbourne for family

Here’s a breakdown of some popular neighborhoods in Melbourne and their suitability for family accommodation:

Best areas in Melbourne with familyWhy should you stay in this area?
Southbanka great choice for families as it’s close to many of Melbourne’s top attractions, including the Aquarium and the Crown Complex. You’ll also have easy access to the Yarra River and its picturesque promenades.
Melbourne CBD (Central Business District)convenient for families who want easy access to shopping, dining, and cultural attractions like Federation Square, and Bourke Street Mall. 
Docklandsmodern waterfront precinct close to the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel and Docklands Park. The free City Circle Tram provides easy access to the CBD from this area.
St Kildaa beachside suburb with a relaxed vibe. Families can enjoy St Kilda Beach, Luna Park, and the St Kilda Esplanade.
Fitzroyknown for its artistic and bohemian atmosphere. It’s a unique and colorful neighborhood with plenty of character.
Carltonknown for its Italian culture and is home to Lygon Street, famous for its restaurants and cafes. The Melbourne Museum and Royal Exhibition Building are also located here.
Brunswicka diverse and eclectic suburb with a strong arts and food scene. There are budget-friendly accommodation options like guesthouses.
South Yarraa trendy suburb with boutique shops, cafes, and parks, and close to Royal Botanic Garden. While it may be pricier, it has luxury hotels and serviced apartments for families.
Where to stay in Melbourne with family: 8 Best areas
Where to stay in Melbourne with family: 8 Best areas

8 Best areas to Stay in Melbourne with Family are:

1. Southbank

Southbank is one of the best areas to stay in Melbourne with kids. It is conveniently located just south of Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD), making it easy to access the city’s many attractions and amenities.

Proximity to Attractions: Southbank’s location is within walking distance or a short tram ride to many family-friendly attractions such as the Melbourne Aquarium, Eureka Skydeck, Crown Entertainment Complex, and Royal Botanic Gardens.

Arts and Culture: Southbank is home to many cultural institutions, including the Arts Centre Melbourne, the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA).

River Views: Southbank is situated along the Yarra River, and some accommodations offer beautiful river views, which can be appealing for families. You can enjoy leisurely walks, jogging, cycling along Southbank Promenade, or take a scenic cruise along the Yarra River.

Consideration: Accommodations in Southbank can be relatively expensive compared to some other Melbourne neighborhoods. Consider your budget when choosing a place to stay.

Best places to stay in Southbank with family:


2. Melbourne CBD

Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD) is one of the best places to stay in Melbourne with family. It is the central and downtown area of Melbourne, known for its vibrant atmosphere, diverse population, and numerous attractions.

Here are some reasons why family should stay in Melbourne CBD:

Accessibility: Melbourne’s CBD is well-connected to trams, buses, and trains, making it convenient to travel with a family.

Attractions: The CBD is home to many of Melbourne’s top attractions, including Federation Square, Flinders Street Station, Queen Victoria Market, State Library of Victoria, and Bourke Street Mall.  

Street Art Exploration: Melbourne is famous for its street art, particularly in laneways like Hosier Lane. Wander around and appreciate the colorful and creative murals.

Dining and Shopping: The CBD boasts a diverse range of restaurants, cafes, and eateries, catering to various tastes and dietary preferences. Families can also enjoy shopping in the many boutiques, department stores, and markets within the area.

Accommodation Options: Melbourne’s CBD offers a wide variety of accommodation options, including hotels, serviced apartments, and vacation rentals. This means you can find accommodations that suit your family’s needs and budget.

Cultural Experiences: Melbourne is known for its vibrant cultural scene, and the CBD is at the heart of it. Families can attend shows, concerts, and events at theaters like the Regent Theatre or catch street performances and festivals that often take place in the area.

Best places to stay in Melbourne CBD with family:


3. St Kilda

St Kilda is a popular and vibrant suburb of Melbourne, known for its beach, Luna Park amusement park, and a variety of dining and entertainment options. It is a great location for families who enjoy beaches and outdoor activities. 

Here are some factors to consider when deciding if St Kilda is the right area for your family:

Proximity to the Beach: St Kilda Beach is a major attraction, and if your family enjoys spending time at the beach, this could be a significant advantage.

Family-friendly Attractions: Luna Park, St Kilda Esplanade Market, St Kilda Pier, St Kilda Botanical Gardens, Adventure Playground, St Kilda Skate Park, and St Kilda Sea Baths.

Dining and Entertainment: Fitzroy Street and Acland Street offers a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and entertainment options, which can be appealing to families with older kids or teenagers.

Public Transport: St Kilda has good public transport connections to the Melbourne CBD and other parts of the city, making it convenient for exploring the city with your kids.

Best places to stay in St Kilda with family:


4. Docklands

Docklands is a waterfront suburb situated just west of the central business district (CBD) of Melbourne and is known for its modern, urban development along the Yarra River. 

Advantages of staying in Docklands for a family:

Waterfront Location: Docklands offers beautiful waterfront views and access to the Yarra River, which can be a scenic and enjoyable setting for a family vacation.

Proximity to Attractions: It’s close to many popular Melbourne attractions such as the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, Marvel Stadium, and the Docklands Park. You can also easily access the CBD for shopping, dining, and cultural experiences.

Family-Friendly Activities: There are family-friendly activities in the area, including playgrounds, parks, and opportunities for boat rides along the Yarra River.

Shopping and Dining: The waterfront precinct features shopping centers such as Harbour Town and The District Docklands, offering a range of retail stores, restaurants, cafes, and entertainment options.

Modern Accommodations: You can find a variety of modern hotels and serviced apartments in Docklands that are well-suited for family stays.

Consideration:  Docklands is a relatively new development and lacks some of the historical charm that other Melbourne neighborhoods offer.

Best places to stay in Docklands for family with kids:


5. Fitzroy 

Fitzroy is a popular and vibrant inner-city suburb in Melbourne, known for its artistic and cultural scene, as well as its eclectic mix of cafes, restaurants, and shops. It has a unique character and offers a lot to residents and visitors. 

Here are some advantage of staying in Fitzroy for family:

Atmosphere: Fitzroy has a lively and bohemian atmosphere, which can be appealing to some families, especially those who enjoy arts and culture. It’s also close to the central business district (CBD), making it convenient for exploring attractions.

Parks and Recreation: Fitzroy is close to some beautiful parks and gardens, including Edinburgh Gardens, Fitzroy Gardens, Carlton Gardens, and Melbourne Zoo. These green spaces can be great for family outings and outdoor activities.

Shopping: Brunswick Street and Smith Street are two of the main shopping streets in Fitzroy. They are lined with boutique shops, vintage stores, and unique boutiques, making it a fantastic destination for shopping enthusiasts.

Best places to stay in Melbourne in Fitzroy with family:


6. Carlton

Carlton is a popular and charming inner-city suburb in Melbourne, known for its cultural and historical significance. It is certainly one of the many great areas to consider when choosing accommodation for a family stay in Melbourne. 

Here are some factors to consider when deciding if Carlton is suitable for your family:

Proximity to Attractions: Carlton is close to many popular Melbourne attractions, including the Melbourne Museum, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Zoo, and Carlton Gardens. If your family enjoys cultural and educational experiences, this can be a significant advantage.

Dining and Cuisine: Carlton is famous for its Italian heritage, and Lygon Street is a food lover’s paradise with numerous restaurants and cafes. If your family enjoys Italian cuisine and exploring diverse dining options, Carlton could be a great choice.

Noise and Vibrancy: Being an inner-city suburb, Carlton can be lively, especially in areas close to Lygon Street. Consider whether you prefer a more tranquil environment or enjoy being in the midst of the city’s energy.

Best places to stay in Melbourne in Carlton with children:


7. Brunswick

Brunswick is a popular and diverse suburb located in the inner-northern part of Melbourne. It’s known for its unique and diverse community, with a rich cultural and artistic scene, which can be appealing to many families.

Here are some reasons why family should stay in Brunswick:

Proximity to the City: It is relatively close to Melbourne’s CBD, which can be a benefit for families accessing the city’s amenities and attractions.

Culture and Arts: Brunswick has a thriving arts and cultural scene with numerous art galleries, theaters, and live music venues. The Brunswick Arts Space and Howler are notable cultural hubs in the area.

Shopping: Sydney Road is the main shopping strip in Brunswick, offering a wide range of shops, boutiques, and vintage stores. You can find everything from fashion to furniture here.

Cafes and Restaurants: Brunswick is home to a diverse range of cafes and restaurants serving cuisine from all over the world. It’s known for its multicultural food offerings, including Italian, Middle Eastern, and Asian cuisines.

Best places to stay in Melbourne in Brunswick with family:

8. South Yarra

South Yarra is a stylish and affluent suburb located in the inner-eastern part of Melbourne. It is known for its upscale lifestyle, fashionable shopping streets, fine dining, and vibrant nightlife. 

Toorak Road is one of South Yarra’s main shopping and dining streets, lined with boutique shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars. It’s a popular destination for both locals and visitors.

Chapel Street is another famous shopping and entertainment strip in South Yarra. It offers a wide range of fashion boutiques, vintage shops, and various dining options.

Fawkner Park is a large and picturesque park and is a green oasis in the heart of South Yarra. It’s ideal for picnics, sports, jogging, and leisurely strolls.

Located nearby, the Prahran Market is a bustling market offering fresh produce, gourmet food, and artisanal products. It’s a great place for families to shop for local and international delicacies.

South Yarra is also close to the Royal Botanic Gardens, which is one of Melbourne’s most beautiful and serene green spaces. Families can explore various themed gardens, walking paths, and enjoy the tranquility of nature.

Best places to stay in South Yarra for family with kids:


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Summary – Where to Stay in Melbourne with kids?

In conclusion, Southbank, Melbourne CBD, St Kilda, Docklands, Fitzroy, Carlton, Brunswick, and South Yarra are the best places to stay in Melbourne for families with kids. These areas offer plenty of family-friendly accommodations and attractions for children of all ages.

Overall, Southbank and Melbourne CBD are the best areas for families visiting Melbourne for the first time. They are the most central locations, offering easiest access to major attractions in the city. They have the highest concentrations of hotels, restaurants, and shops to choose from.

About Author: Linda Smith

I'm Linda Smith, the Hotel Expert, an experienced travel blogger who passionate about traveling. I'm here to share with you all my travel experiences and tips. I cover a wide range of travel topics, specializing in sharing information about the best areas, neighborhoods, and hotels in each city. I hope all these things will make your travel easier.

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