The best areas to stay in Melbourne for first-timers are Melbourne CBD, Southbank, Docklands, East Melbourne, Carlton, St. Kilda Beach, Fitzroy, but you can also look at neighborhoods of Richmond, Collingwood, Brighton, and South Yarra. These are very popular and safe areas for tourists that offer a wide variety of attractions and amenities.
In this blog post, we will be looking at where to stay in Melbourne first time, for families and couples, as well as the best things to do in each area.
Voted the most liveable city in the world year after year, it’s truly a beautiful city, with countless things to do and see. The city is known for its great public transport system, excellent nightlife, world-class coffee, and artistic vibe. Melbourne is Australia’s second-biggest city after Sydney and I believe it’s a must-visit.
Melbourne CBD is the best place to stay in Melbourne for first-timers because it is the most convenient location and it is the most well-connected public transport area. If you book a hotel here, you will be located in the middle of everything, within easy distance to Melbourne’s most iconic landmarks, many restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops.
Melbourne is a great family holiday destination because they offers an incredible selection of family activities for all ages. Melbourne CBD, Southbank, and St. Kilda are some of the best areas to stay in Melbourne with family due to its central location, rich history and culture, and a vibrant food scene.
As a young traveller, I would choose either the Southbank or the CBD because it’s close to all the attractions and nightlife, but if you prefer somewhere quieter, look into Docklands.
If this is your first visit the capital of Victotia state, I recommend to stay at least 3-5 day in Melbourne. This time will allow you to see the most famous attractions, enjoy food and wine, as well as get the sense of local culture and history.
|💖 Best Area for First Timers:||Melbourne CBD|
|💎 Best luxury hotel:||Park Hyatt Melbourne|
|🏨 Best mid-range hotel:||Wyndham Hotel Melbourne|
|💰 Best budget hotel:||ibis Melbourne Central|
Where to stay in Melbourne? 12 Best areas & neighborhoods
1. Melbourne CBD, where to stay in Melbourne for first-timers
Melbourne CBD is the best area to stay in Melbourne for first-time travelers due to its super central location. If you stay here, you will be located in the heart of the city, within walking distance to the most famous tourist attractions, as well as many restaurants, bars, and shops.
Melbourne CBD, which stands for the Central Business District, is the mecca of Melbourne that is packed with businesses and government offices, art galleries, museums, and street art. The CBD is the area located within La Trobe Street, Spring Street, Flinders Street and Spencer Street.
The city of Melbourne is well-known for its street art scene. Its laneways are filled with colorful murals, graffiti. The most famous street art spots are Hosier Lane, AC/DC Lane, Blender Lane, and Flinders Way.
Apart from cool street art in Melbourne’s laneways, art lovers can also explore art, classic and contemporary, local and international at National Gallery of Victoria, which is free entrance.
You can also watch a performance at Melbourne’s beautiful theatres such as Regent Theatre, Her Majesty’s Theatre, and Princess Theatre.
There are also shopping arcades and narrow laneways. The Block Arcade on Collins Street connects Collins Street, Elizabeth Street, and Little Collins Street; while Royal Arcade is oldest arcade of the city, linking Little Collins, Elizabeth Street, and the Bourke Street Mall.
Bourke Street Mall is a very popular shopping street where you can find brand stores such as H&M, David Jone, Myer, Uniqlo, and Zara. The steps outside of H&M building is a great place to grab a cup of coffee, watch street performers, and the trams go by.
Within easy walking distance from Bourke Street Mall lies busy Chinatown with its grand red gates, quirky arcades, Chinese style restaurants, and hidden bars. I recommend to take a look, pose a photo, or dine in one of its restauants in the area.
Melbourne CBD is home to plenty of historical landmarks. You can take a Free public tours of Melbourne’s Parliament House to see inside the building and have more understanding about its role as the seat of the Parliament of Victoria since 1855.
If you head toward the Yarra River, you can visit the Immigration Museum to learn more about Melbourne and Victoria’s immigration history.
While visiting Melbourne CBD, you shouldn’t miss the State Library of Victoria and admire its stunning architecture and its vast collection of books. It is free to enter!
Another iconic landmarks in Melbourne is the Shrine of Remembrance. It is the place to commemorate First World War veterans and Australians who have served their country.
One of the not to missed place to visit is the Queen Victoria Market, an iconic marketplace, popular with both tourists and locals. The market open for five days in a week, on Night Market Wednesday night is great time to enjoy street food, drink, and live entertainment.
If you tired of shopping at Queen Victoria Market, head to the Flagstaff Gardens nearby. It is a great place to relax, sun bathing, have a picnic, and hangout with your friends.
Melbourne is also known as the coffee capital of the world, this is a great place for coffee lovers! There are many types of cafe to try, but popular options are cappuchino, latte, and flat white.
The CBD is home to Federation Square that hosts many New Year’s Eve, Christmas, Diwali fetical, as well as arts and cultural events. It is where you can find the Melbourne Visitor Centre, the Ian Potter Centre, and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.
In font of Federation Square is the Flinders Station, the busiest station in the Southern Hemisphere and the oldest railway station in Australia, date back to 1854.
The CBD is very well-connected transports with tram, buses, and train. There is a Free Tourist Tram, route number 35, passing through many attractions in the city.
The CBD is home to numerous parklands, green spaces. Royal Botanic Gardens is a treasured part of cultural life and a valuable asset to the heritage rich city. You can take traditional punt tours over Ornamental Lake, learn about about Aboriginal plant uses and how to identify native plants through Aboriginal Heritage Walk here.
There are also Fitzroy Gardens, Queen Victoria Gardens, as well as Olympic Park, and Melbourne Park. These are great place to rest and relax after exploring the city. You can even do picnic here with your friends and families.
Melbourne is a multicultural city, offering plenty of dining options for foodies. There are cuisines from all over the world including Vietnamese, Mexican, Indian, Greek, Chinese, Thai, and Middle Eastern.
Melbourne CBD also offers lively nightlife scene with many cool bars open till late night. So if you are young and want to party, the CBD is a great place to stay and hang out.
Melbourne CBD offers the widest range of accommodation options for all budget travelers ranging from budget hostels to luxury 5-star hotels. Most hostels of Melbourne are found in the CBD area.
Stay in Melbourne CBD if you are first-timers; you travel without a car; you want best shopping, nightlife, and dining; you want best connect to public transport.
Best places to stay in Melbourne CBD for first-timers:
Luxury ($$$): Park Hyatt Melbourne This 5-star hotel is in super central location, within easy walking distance from popular shopping precinct. The hotel has a car parking, spacious guest rooms, and on-site restaurants, and Park Club Health & Day Spa.
mid-range ($$): Wyndham Hotel Melbourne This 4-star hotel is set in the heart of Melbourn city center, within 10 minutes’ walk of Melbourne’s vibrant cafes, restaurants and bars. The hotel provides a rooftop heated pool, private car parking, a fitness centre and a library.
budget ($): ibis Melbourne Central This 3-star hotel is located on Lonsdale Street, with a good range of restaurants and cafes. It is within easy wlk from Federation Square, Bourke Street Mall, and Marvel Stadium. You can enjoy lunch and dinner at the Pretty Boy Italian steakhouse, there is also children’s menu and buffet breakfast.
hostel ($): Flinders Backpackers Located right in the middle of the city, within walking distance under 10 minutes to lots of attractions and close to Flinder Street Station which is very covenient to travel by train.🔍MORE HOTELS IN CBD
See more: 25 Best things to do in Melbourne, Australia
2. Southbank, where to stay in Melbourne with family
Southbank along with CBD, and St. Kilda is one of the best area to stay in Melbourne for family because it has central location, easily accessible, and it has a wide range of activities for kids. It is also home to some of Melbourne’s best restaurants, cafes, bars, and parks.
Southbank is one of the best locations to stay in, with an endless list of things to do and located right next to the Yarra River and Melbourne CBD. It encompasses the Southbank Promenade, Southgate shopping, Crown Entertainment Complex, and Queensbridge Square.
Southbank is premier culture destination of the city. Visitors will enjoy the vast number of art galleries that compliment Melbournes artistic and creative scene in the city.
A tourist favourite is the National Gallery of Victoria, which is the oldest and most visited art museum in the whole of Australia. The Arts Centre Melbourne is Australia’s biggest and busiest performing arts centre.
There are also many other destinations for art lovers in Southbank, including the Hamer Hall, Melbourne Recital Centre, Malthouse Theatre, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, and Victorian College of the Art.
The South Wharf nearby is where you can find Polly Woodside Maritime Museum, the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, South Wharf Promenade, and DFO South Wharf. You can grab a meal or a drink at one of its waterfront bars, restaurants and cafes.
Crown Melbourne is largest casino in the Southern Hemisphere, home to Crown Towers, casino, a cinema, a spa, Kingpin bowling, live theatre, concerts, nightclubs, and restaurants.
In Southbank neighborhood, you can find The Eureka Tower is the second tallest building in Australia. Check out its observation deck, Eureka Skydeck 88, and enjoy 360° views of Melbourne. Also have look at the Edge, and Vertigo.
In addition to cultural attractions, you can take a walk a cruise tour along the Yarra River. Melbourne River Cruises are great way to do sightseeing from the water.
If you want to shop and dine along the waterfront, visit Southgate, a lovely restaurant and shopping area in the heart of Southbank. It has a good range of eateries, bars, and cafes, licensed riverside food court.
Southbank has a wide range of accommodation options for visitors and is also home to some of Melbourne’s most expensive hotels and budget accommodation can be a little harder to find.
Stay in Southbank if you are first-timers; you want to be close to the Yarra River, you want to be close to some of Melbourne’s best food, you want to be close to the artistic hub, you want a central location that’s outside the CBD.
Best places to Stay in Melbourne Southbank for first-time visitors:
- luxury ($$$): The Langham Melbourne
- mid-range ($$): Crown Promenade Melbourne
- mid-range ($$): Ink Hotel Melbourne Southbank
3. Docklands, best place to stay in Melbourne for tourist
Docklands along with Melbourne CBD and Southbank is one of the best places to stay in Melbourne for first time tourists. Located immediately west of Melbourne CBD, the Docklands is a hub of Melbourne business and top quality Melbourne attractions.
Docklands is a lively waterfront area and is home to popular Bolte Bridge, Victoria Harbour (Marvel Stadium), and Southern Cross Station.
It’s common for major global cities to have Star Observation Wheel like London, Dubai and Singapore. Melbourne is no different; it has the Melbourne star that offers phenomenal views of Melbourne.
In character with the artistic nature of the city, the docklands is home to some fantastic contemporary art. The different sculptures all have their meaning and purpose. The District is where you can find Docklands Public Art Walk.
If you like reading, visit the Library at the Dock for a book. You can grab a cup a coffee at its ground, enjoy reading book, and taking in thea view of the Yarra River.
While in the area, take a walk at Webb Bridge, the modern pedestrian bridge on the Yarra River, designed after an Aboriginal fish trap. The shared pedestrian and cycle bridge nearby Jim Stynes Bridge, also well worth checking out.
Family can spend a day at GlowGolf, or a have some fun together at O’Brien Group Arena skating rink.
Dockland has some good dining venues along at the District, Newquay, Victoria Harbour and Waterfront City. You can enjoy food from all over the wolrd including Turkish, Indian, Vietnamese restaurants, Dockland has it all.
There is also good shopping opportunity at The District’s shopping mall to browse high-end fashion, and Costco for daily goods and food.
For a relaxing afternoon, you can watch stunningsunset along the Central Pier, dine at one of the at the waterfront restaurants, or take a cruise down the Yarra River.
Docklands is well-connected by public transport. There is free City Circle tram runs along Harbourside Esplanade, train at Southern Cross Station, as well as ferries at Victoria Harbour to Geelong and Portarlington. It can easily reachable by foot from Collins Street, Bourke Street and LaTrobe Street bridges.
There aren’t many budget hotel options in the docklands, with most accommodation being mid to high range.
Stay in Docklands if you love quieter places; you are first-timers; you enjoy open space, you want to go to the Melbourne star;
Best places to stay in Melbourne in Docklands for frist-time tourists:
- luxury ($$$): Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands
- mid-range ($$): Quest NewQuay
- budget ($): Winston Apartments Docklands
4. East Melbourne, upscale suburb, few minutes from CBD
East Melbourne is an affluent area located right to the east of Melbourne CBD. It has many 19th century homes, iconic landmarks, and parks. It is bordered by Spring Street, Victoria Parade, Hoddle Street, and Brunton Avenue.
East Melbourne is home to a number of government offices, including Victoria’s State Government, housed at Parliament House, which was built in 1856.
East Melbourne has a number of specialist hospitals. Local hospitals are The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Freemasons Hospital, and Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute.
East Melbourne’s skyline is dominated by the historic St Patricks Cathedral, one of Australia’s finest ecclesiastical buildings. There is a small commercial center on Wellington Parade, servicing local residents in the nearby exclusive and wide tree-lined residential streets.
Many parklands or sporting grounds are dotted around East Melbourne. The attractive 26 hectares Fitzroy Gardens contains Captain Cooks’ Cottage, a conservatory, a miniature Tudor village, the Fairies Tree, and several fountains and rotundas.
The Treasury Gardens are popular due to their proximity to Melbourne’s CBD. It’s one of the oldest public gardens in Melbourne dating from the mid 19th century. It’s a popular venue for weddings, community events, and rallies.
Another parkland is the Yarra Park in Jolimont, which is used for picnicking and car parking for the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Meanwhile, the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground, dating back to 1853, includes a huge stadium that hosts many football and cricket matches, including the AFL Football Grand Final. It hosted the 1956 Olympic Games and the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
East Melbourne is well-served by public transport. There are tramlines on Wellington Parade and Victoria Parade; and two main stations, Parliament underground station, and Jolimont, on the Hurstbridge and Mernda lines.
Due to its convenient location and well-connected to public transport, East Melbourne is one of the best areas to stay in Melbourne for first time visitors.
Best places to stay in East Melbourne:
- luxury ($$$): Pullman Melbourne On the Park
- mid-range ($$): Quest East Melbourne
- mid-range ($$): Mantra on Jolimont
5. Carlton, lively suburb, Little Italy of Melbourne
Carlton is conveniently located within a walking distance to the CBD, and in the free tram zone, so you’re able to get around the centre of Melbourne for free from here.
Carlton is home to many cultures from Europe, in particular Italy. Often coined as ‘Little Italy’, Melbourne is home to a substantial Italian community.
Carlton is well known for having fantastic Victorian buildings, beautiful green parks and lush gardens. You can admire the Victorian era buildings at Trades Hall building, court house in Drummond Street, and Carlton Post Office in Elgin Street.
The tree-lined Lygon Street is Carlton’s main shopping street. It is packed with cafes and restaurants, with outside dining. There are many Italian eateries with pizza and pasta. Piazza Italia at the northern end of Argyle Square gardens is good place to look at.
There are many local and international students in the area as Carlton is close to the University of Melbourne and RMIT University.
There is also the 16 hectare Carlton Gardens, on the corner Victoria Parade and Nicholson Street. It boasts the world-heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building which is home to Australia’s first parliament.
On the northern border of the gardens, you will find the Melbourne Museum and IMAX Cinema which is great for childrens.
Carlton North is where you can find the Princes Park, Melbourne General Cemetery, Royal Park, and Melbourne Zoo. There are also numerous of Victorian era building like the Trades Hall building and the Carlton Post Office.
Carlton has a wide range of accommodation options, from mid-range hotels to 5-star luxury.
Stay in Carlton if you want to eat fantastic Italian food, you want to be in the free tram zone; you are first-timers; you want central location;
Best places to Stay in Melbourne in Carlton for first-timers:
- luxury ($$$): Zagame’s House
- mid-range ($$): Arise The Eminence
- budget ($): Carlton Lygon Lodge
6. St. Kilda Beach, where to stay in Melbourne for beaches
St. Kilda is one of the best place to stay in Melbourne for beautiful beaches and water activities. It is also a great base for families with lots of green outdoor spaces and parks for the kids, as well as family friendly cafes and good value accommodations.
Located just 6km from Melbouren CBD, between Albert Park and Elwood, St. Kilda beach is Melbourne’s famous beach. It is just a short tram ride from the city center. There is the no. 96 tram from Bourke Street, no. 16 tram from Swanston Street, and no. 12 tram from Collins Street.
St. Kilda is famous for its nightlife, food, and entertainment. Its main streets of Acland Street and Fitzroy Street are packed with restaurants, hotels, bars, cafes, cake shops, fashion boutiques, and independent music and book stores.
St Kilda’s beach is home to St. Kilda Pier. It offers fantastic views of the of Port Phillip Bay and the Melbourne skyline, and this is one of the best views of the city I have witnessed during my time in the city.
From St. Kilda Pier, you can catch a ferry to Gem Pier in Williamstown, and Station Pier in Port Melbourne. You can also grab the meal at the kiosk or have a chance to spot the penguins from the St Kilda Breakwater.
Adjacent to the entrance of pier are the historic St Kilda Sea Baths, where you can you take a dip in the heated seawater spas and pools.
The waterfront esplanade is popular place for walkers, joggers, and rollerbladers, and many water activities for kitesurfers, windsurfers, and swimmers.
St Kilda is home to the famous Luna Park. The park has more than 20 rides, including the largest carousel in the southern hemisphere and the second-oldest operating roller coaster in Australia, the Scenic Railway. It is great to spend a day for families and children.
Nearby lies the art deco picture palace, Palais Theatre, an iconic live-music venue in St. Kilda since 1927. It has capacity to hold an audience of 2,896 people. Palais Theatre hosts a live music, theatre, comedy shows, opera, ballet, and film.
If you head to the southern end of St Kilda, you will see the St Kilda Marina which was built in 1969. Tt has waterfront restaurants and a public boardwalk.
Another impressive landmark is the St Kilda Town Hall at the intersection of St Kilda Road and Carlisle Street.
St Kilda is home to number of green spaces including the Botanical Gardens east of Barkly Street, the O’Donnell Gardens, and the Catani Gardens along Beaconsfield Parade.
St Kilda hosts numerous of events, festival throughout the year including the Sunday St Kilda Esplanade Arts and Craft Market which is a fantastic quality arts and crafts market, and February’s St Kilda Festival.
St. Kilda has a vast range of hotel options, but in particular, it caters to budget travelers and backpackers.
Stay in St. Kilda Beach if you want to be next to the beach, you want a quiet area to relax, you want to be close to the CBD, you like to stay in cheap hotels, you enjoy an artist/hipster vibe.
Best places to stay in St Kilda for first-time travelers:
- luxury ($$$): Pullman Melbourne Albert Park
- mid-range ($$): The Prince
- budget ($): Tolarno Hotel
7. Fitzroy, where to stay in Melbourne for nightlife
Fitzroy and Collingwood is known for being Melbourne’s hippie suburb. The suburb is perhaps known as the most alternative part of Australia with all kinds of cool things going on, such as countless vintage clothing stores and old record stores.
Fitzroy is only 3km outside of the CBD and a short tram ride on the 112 or 86 tram will have you there in no time at all. It’s possible to find a great selection of hotels to suit all different budgets.
Fitzroy was first suburb of Melbourne and home to some Victorian era architecture like the Fitzroy Town Hall in Napier Street and the Fitzroy Gardens which is home to Cook’s Cottage.
If you head to St Georges Road in Fitzroy North, you will see Edinburgh Gardens which is 24 hectares of tree-lined pathways, lawns and sporting facilities. Along with it is the Merri Creek and Alexandra Parade.
The neighborhood is also home to Capital City Trail and Merri Creek Trail which is a good place to do walking, cycling.
The Brunswick Street, Gertrude Street, Smith Street, and Johnston Street are packed with cool bars, traditional pubs, shops, restaurants, and cafes. You can also check out an Australian pub Hit up an Aussie Pub.
If you’re in Fitzroy in Saturday, be sure to visit the Rose Street Artists’ Market, great place to buy local crafts, and support local artists. The nearby Fitzroy Mills market is also worth checking for fresh foods.
You can wader around and explore Fitzroy Street art. I recommend checking out the murals at Chapel St, Keith Haring Mural, Fitzroy Everfresh Mural, Chopper Lane, and around the Fitzroy Mills Market.
Fitzroy offer good opportunities for shopping as it has many thrift shops such as Lost & Found Market, Hunter Gatherer vintage shop, Vintage Garage on Smith Street, Third Drawer Down on Gertrude Street, and among others.
Fitzroy also has excellent bars scenes. Here you will find the Naked in the Sky and the joint above the Naked for Satan eatery downstairs; The Black Pearl is a famous crafty cocktail bar of the north side; and the Everleigh which is an award-winning classic cocktail bar in Fitzroy.
Stay in Fitzroy if you want to be in Melbourne’s most artistic spot; you want to be close to the CBD; you want to see great alternative stores; you want great nightlife;
Best places to stay in Fitzroy for first-timers:
- budget ($): Comfort Apartments Royal Gardens
- mid-range ($$): Tyrian Serviced Apartments Fitzroy
- mid-range ($$): Melbourne Metropole Central
8. Richmond, coolest place to stay in Melbourne
Located 3km south-east from Melbourne’s City Center, the inner-city suburb of Richmond is a fantastic spot to stay. Richmond is an excellent location that is situated next to Melbourne Cricket Ground and just a stone’s throw from Melbourne’s beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens.
Melbourne Cricket Ground is home to the Richmond Tigers, which is the most popular Australian Rules Football team in the city. If you’re in Melbourne, you should try to watch them play at the MCG.
Apart from MCG, nearby you can check out The Owl and Cat Theatre near Richmon station and Mountain Goat Brewery.
Richmond is home to many restaurants, bars, pubs, and cafes. You will love to eat Vietnamese food here, especially on Victoria Street. There are modern Vietnamese at Pho Hung Vuong 2, Hanoi Hannah New Quarter, as well as Middle Eastern cafe in Swan Street.
If you like shopping, you will find Bridge Road with many shops offering afforable vintage fashion.
Apart from football and food, Richmond has some good place to spot murals and graffiti including the train tracks around Richmond Train Station and streets off of Swan Street.
Staying in Richmond accommodation can be slightly cheaper than the CBD, and you’re still next to most of the top attractions.
Stay in Richmond if you want to stay somewhere quieter, yet still centrally located; you are planning to go to the MCG, you are watching the Australian open;
Best places to Stay in Richmond:
- mid-range ($$): Amora Hotel Riverwalk
- mid-range ($$): Adara Richmond
- budget ($): Lanbruk Richmond Hill
9. Brighton Beach, colourful bathing boxes, popular Instagram spots
Brighton Beach is one of Melbourne’s most popular Instagram spots and is home to some of Melbourne’s most scenic views. Brighton Beach is half an hour away from the CBD on the Sandringham train line.
The most popular thing to do in Brighton is walking along Brighton Beach, which is famous for the colourful bathing boxes that are a photographer’s dream. Brighton Bathing Boxes are located on Dendy Street Beach.
Brighton Beach has clean and calm water. It attracts many people in summer for swimming, sunbathing, kite surfing and paragliding. There are parklands around that beach that you can do a picnic with your friend and family.
Apart from the beach, Brighton is good place to do shopping. There is a Dendy Plaza Shopping Centre, many cafes, and restaurants, on the Church Street, Bay Street in North Brighton, and Martin Street near Gardenvale station.
Other places of interest are the Brighton Town Hall Precinct, the Billilla Historic Homestead, Kamesburgh mansion, and Elsternwick Park.
Brighton Beach is one of Melbourne’s most affluent suburbs, and accommodation varies from cheap hippie hostels to expensive luxury hotels. Brighton Beach generally caters for high-end accommodation.
Stay in Brighton Beach if you want to be away from the hustle and bustle; you want to be next to the picturesque Brighton Beach; you don’t mind staying in a quiet area.
Best places to Stay in Brighton Beach for first-time tourists:
- mid-range ($$): Quest Brighton on the Bay
- mid-range ($$): Caroline Serviced Apartments Brighton
- budget ($): Brighton Bay Apartments
10. South Yarra, most affluent inner-city suburb in Melbourne
Located on the Yarra river, 4 km south-east of CBD, South Yarra is the most affluent inner-city suburb of Melbourne. It’s also close to Richmond to the north, Prahran, Toorak, and Windsor. It’s easily reachable by South Yarra Station, just 2 stops to the city.
South Yarra is known for extensive retail options; this is a shopping paradise. South Yarra has a vast array of shops that includes everything from quirky fashion shops to expensive high-end stores.
Main streets in South Yarra are Chapel Street, Toorak Road, and Commercial Road. Chapel Street is home to Como Centre and Vogue Shopping Plaza. Commercial Road is home to Pran Central Shopping Centre and Prahran Market. Full of restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops along these areas.
Prahran Market is extremely popular with the locals and is located within South Yarra. It’s possible to find great hotel deals in South Yarra, but there are fewer hotels than other spots in the city.
But it’s not just shops in South Yarra; there is a brilliant art gallery called the Gould Gallerie. This gallery exhibits fantastic pieces from local artists in the 19th and 20th century; this is another excellent art gallery.
You can relax at one of its park along the Yarra River and Fawkner Park. The parks have playgrounds and free BBQ areas for picnic. If you want to walk, cycle, the Capital City Trail is great place to check out.
One thing that you can do is take a river cruise along the Yarra River and enjoy some iconic landmarks fromt the water including the Royal Botanic Gardens, Federation Square, Swanston Street bridge, and Crown Casino.
Stay in South Yarra if you love to go shopping, you want to be close to St. Kilda, you want to be next to Prahran, you don’t mind being outside the CBD, you don’t mind a quieter area.
Best places to Stay in Melbourne in South Yarra:
- luxury ($$$): The Como Melbourne – MGallery by Sofitel
- mid-range ($$): Oaks Melbourne South Yarra Suites
- budget ($): SoYa Apartment Hotel
11. Footscray, diversity of international culture and cuisine
Melbourne is one of the world’s most multicultural cities, and you will feel this when you walk around the city. The suburb of Footscray is the centre of Melbourne’s culture scene with a vast array of different nationalities located here.
The level of international cuisine here is fantastic, with a diverse range of food from India, Greece, China, Vietnam, the UK, Africa, and Italy. You can enjoy beef pho at a Vietnamese noodle house, Indian food near Victoria University, or traditional Ethiopian food at Nicholson Street Mall.
if you visit in Feb, you can have a chance to join the Chinese New Year and Tet Lunar Year Festival. For shopping, you can head to Footscray Market. Little Saigon Market, and The Highpoint Shopping centre.
The main attraction in Footscray is the Footscray Market. It is an excellent market with food from all over the planet, and you can find some exceptionally exotic food here. There are wide range of fresh local produce, seafood, meat and Asian ingredients. it is easily reachable by train, bus or tram, and open from Tuesday to Saturday.
Footscray is also home to Australia’s largest Taoist temple, Heavenly Queen Temple, on Hopkins Street, where you can find the Golden Heavenly Queen of Mazu.
If you love art, there are also many places to see including Footscray Community Arts Centre, on Maribyrnong River’s banks. Meanwhile, Footscray Park, near Flemington Racecourse, host the St Jerome’s Laneway Festival each year. Other places for art are the Snuff Puppets and Trocadero Art Space.
Footscray is served by Footscray train station which offer easy access to Melbourne CBD, Sunbury, Werribee and Williamstow. There are plenty of bus routes in this neighborhoods too.
12. Collingwood, one of the hippest neighbourhoods in Melbourne
Collingwood along with Fitzroy is one of the hippest areas in Melbourne. Located 3 km northeast of Melbourne CBD, Collingwood is bordered by Smith Street, Alexandra Parade, Hoddle Street, and Victoria Parade. Smith Street is Collingwood’s main thoroughfare, one of Melbourne’s major nightlife and retail strips.
You will find plenty of restaurants ranging from casual cafes to high-end dining and covering a range of cuisines. The nightlife is lively with many bars, pubs, clubs, and live music venues.
Collingwood’s also home to Melbourne’s second-largest LGBTQ community, with a few gay clubs and bars in the area.
There are numerous vintage clothing stores and bike shops, it is a local haven for hipsters.
You can take a ride on the three old-school train carriages atop a backstreet building, Easey’s, and grab burgers, beer, and cafes.
If you love art, check out the Lamington Drive, Backwoods Gallery which is a street-art HQ and contemporary gallery, and Australian Galleries and Ochre. If you want to look at the coffee production process with roastery tours and barista lessons, head to Aunty Peg’s.
Bar hoppers can check out the Le Bon Ton, The Mill Brewery, Molly Rose, Stomping Ground brewery and beer hall, or Fixation’s tasting room, The Incubator.
🎬 Check out my virtual tour about the best places to stay in Melbourne:
Where should I stay in Melbourne for the first time?
Melbourne CBD is the best area to stay in Melbourne for first-timers due to its prime location. If you stay here, you will be located in the middle of action, within walking distance to many tourist attractions, as well as many shopping, dining, nightlife venues.
What is the best part of Melbourne to stay in?
Melbourne CBD, Southbank, Docklands, St. Kilda Beach, are the best areas to stay in Melbourne because they are very popular for tourist and they offer a wide range of accommodation options, as well as many restaurants, bars, and shops.
Where to stay in Melbourne with family?
Melbourne CBD, Southbank, and St. Kilda are great areas for family because they has a central locaton and they offers an incredible selection of family activities for all ages.
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Overall, I recommend Melbourne CBD as the best area to stay in Melbourne for first-timers because it is the most convenient location in the city. If you stay here, not only you will have a widest range of accommodation options but also many restaurants, bars, and shops.
2 thoughts on “Where to Stay in Melbourne, Australia First Time: 12 BEST Areas”
So nice to see another review, how are you ?????
Thank you for you nice comment. Hope you enjoy it