5 Best suburbs of Melbourne

St Kilda beach - A quick drive or a 25 minute tram ride from Melbourne CBD
St Kilda beach - A quick drive or a 25 minute tram ride from Melbourne CBD

5 best suburbs of Melbourne

Melbourne is a beautiful city. It is a vibrant mix of art, culture, street performances, music, pubs, bars, food and a much more. Whether you are travelling to Melbourne, staying there on a temporary basis, or looking to change suburbs in Melbourne, make sure you live in one of the best suburbs of Melbourne. The last thing you want is to stay in a dud suburb and miss out on all the action. Here are 5 of the best suburbs of Melbourne.

Tram on Acland Street, St Kilda
Tram on Acland Street, St Kilda
Luna Park, St Kilda
Luna Park, St Kilda
St Kilda is a hotspot for locals and tourists in summer
St Kilda is a hotspot for locals and tourists in summer
Ariel view of St Kilda
Ariel view of St Kilda

1) St Kilda

St Kilda has to be on the top of this list because very few suburbs in the world can offer what St Kilda can. St Kilda is one of the most most energetic suburbs of Melbourne and it is also the entertainment capital of Melbourne. There is literally something for everyone in this bustling suburb. Amusement parks, hotels, performing arts theaters, music, sports, pubs, nightclubs, eateries and most importantly, the St Kilda beach! The St Kilda beach is one of the favorite spots of Melbournians when it comes to beating the heat in summer.

The fact that you can walk out to Fitzroy Street in St Kilda at midnight and still grab something exciting to eat is simply amazing. Acland Street in St Kilda is every beach goer's paradise because of the many fish n chips shops and the other eateries. St Kilda is one suburb that never sleeps!

Benefits of living in St Kilda

  • St Kilda Beach
  • Great restaurants on Acland Street and Fitzroy Street
  • Top pubs and bars
  • Bustling St Kilda nightlife
  • Plenty of supermarkets - You will find a Coles and Safeway on Acland Street. You will also find 24/7 convenient stores in pockets of St Kilda
  • Raving street performances by artists and buskers
  • Great for Art and Performing Arts
  • St Kilda offers entertainment for kids too - Luna Park
  • You can maintain an active lifestyle in St Kilda - Running, jogging, swimming, etc
  • St Kilda is only 30 mins from Melbourne CBD by Tram 96 (from Bourke Street), Tram 112 (from Collins Street) or Tram 16 (from Flinders Street)
  • This suburbs is great for short stays too!

Downside of living in St Kilda

  • St Kilda does have the tendency to be noisy and loud, especially on weekends
  • St Kilda is probably not the most 'family oriented' suburb, however, if you have a family (with kids), there are quieter pockets of St Kilda you can choose to live in

Footscray railway station after the recent renovations
Footscray railway station after the recent renovations

2) Footscray

If you've heard of Footscray as a violent and drug-laden suburb, let me tell you that it is a thing of the past. Ask anyone who lives in Footscray and they will vouch for the fact that Footscray has now changed and has got a massive face lift in the last few years. Footscray is the cultural hub of Melbourne and you will find immigrants from all over the world living here in Footscray. As soon as you walk out from the Footscray Railway Station, you will be hit by exotic flavors of spices from around the world, quaint little grocery shops which have goods from different countries and hundreds of restaurants which will be the wet dream of any foodie. Eateries are a superb mix of Australian, Vietnamese, Japanese, Turkish, Indian, Pakistani, African, Thai and Chinese cuisine.

Footscray wholesale vegetable and fruits market
Footscray wholesale vegetable and fruits market

Benefits of living in Footscray

  • From Footscray, you can reach Melbourne CBD in only 12 minutes via the city loop train which runs literally every 5 minutes during peak hours. Footscray is also well connected by Bus and Tram
  • Footscray is Melbourne's hub for multi cultural cuisine
  • Footscray also baosts of some of the best vegetable and fruit markets in Melbourne
  • Renting in Footscray is cheap, considering the distance to the city and the facilities that are on hand
  • Footscray is home to 4-5 schools, 2 secondary colleges and 1 University (Victoria University)
  • There is a thriving Art culture in Footscray Community Arts Centre.

Downside of living in Footscray

  • Although a thing of the past, Footscray is still sometimes labelled as a notorious suburb
  • It is tough to get hold of a 'good and decent' rental property in Footscray because everything is virtually taken

Smith Street is the heart of Collingwood and is lined with shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs
Smith Street is the heart of Collingwood and is lined with shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs

3) Collingwood

One of the oldest suburbs in Melbourne, Collingwood boasts of a thriving nightlife, some great shopping and fabulous places to eat out. You will love the little shops, eateries and coffee houses on Smith Street! There is no dearth of shops and supermarkets which is a big advantage! You will thank the 24 hour McDonalds at the end of Smith Street for taking care of your midnight huger bouts. Collingwood also has many boutique shops. Collingwood is also a hub for gays and has many nightclubs, pubs and bars which are gay oriented. If this meets your fancy, you may want to check out the Peel Nightclub.

Collingwood is also home to the Collingwood Magpies, the 2010 premiership winning Footy Team.

Smith Street, Collingwood. This is the route of Tram #86
Smith Street, Collingwood. This is the route of Tram #86
Collingwood Magpies logo, winner of the 2010 AFL Premiership
Collingwood Magpies logo, winner of the 2010 AFL Premiership

Benefits of living in Collingwood

  • Collingwood is walking distance from Melbourne CBD and you can even take Tram 86 from Smith Street to reach city (Bourke Street) in literally minutes or Tram 109 from Victoria Street
  • Collingwood has many, many coffee shops! (my favorite)
  • The nightlife in Collingwood is great
  • Smith Street in Collinwoog is a shopper's haven. There are many factory outlets, as well as boutique shops
  • This suburb boasts of delicious multi cultural cuisine
  • There is an abundance of supermarkets, shops and bakeries in Collingwood
  • This suburb provides easy access to all other amenities

Downside of living in Collingwood

  • Renting or buying in Collingwood is expensive
  • Certain corners of Collingwood are known for drug use so you should stay away from these streets for a peaceful stay

Ariel view of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
Ariel view of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
Richmond, Melbourne
Richmond, Melbourne

4) Richmond

Richmond is marred by cosy apartments, tiny streets, great restaurant, pubs, shops and sports. If you are looking for a suburb in Melbourne that is super convenient and super fun, Richmond has to be it. You can take any one of many Trams that go via Victoria Street (Tram 109 and Tram 24), Church Street (Tram 78 and Tram 79) or Bridge Road (Tram 75 and Tram 48) to the CBD and reach Flinders Street (Melbourne CBD) in minutes. The suburb is also well connected by buses and trains. The Richmond Train Station is a major hub for all trains bound to the eastern and south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

Benefits of living in Richmond

  • Richmond has a bustling and vibrant nightlife
  • This suburbs boasts of great places to eat. Restaurants and take-away joints in Richmond are usually open till late.
  • Richmond is only a few minutes to Melbourne CBD by Train or Tram
  • Richmond is well connected to other suburbs if you have a car and Hoddle Street is a major connecting road if you want to drive to northern, eastern or southern suburbs from Richmond
  • Richmond boasts of some great apartments and you will find plenty of warehouse style apartments
  • Easy availability of daily amenities in this suburb

Downside of living in Richmond

  • Richmond is home to the Melbourne Cricket Ground so expect massive crowds during footy, cricket or tennis season
  • Richmond tends to be loud and noisy during weekend nights
  • Certain parts of Richmond are shabby because of junkies and old apartments and you should avoid these pockets to make your time in Richmond special and peaceful

One of the many student accommodations in Carlton
One of the many student accommodations in Carlton

5) Carlton

Carlton features on this list of best suburbs of Melbourne because of its youthfulness, great restaurants, close proximity to Melbourne CBD, abundance of colleges and universities and some great architecture. You will love to dine on Lygon Street which has a unique charm with its Italian restaurants and cafe. I vote Lygon Street as the best place in Melbourne to feast on Italian cuisine. Carlton is every students dream because it is home to some of the top universities in Australia, including the prestigious University of Melbourne, and also has abundant student housing. Carlton is only minutes from the CBD and is well connected by Trams. You can even cool off in the Carlton Gardens on weekends!

Cafe on Lygon Street, Carlton
Cafe on Lygon Street, Carlton
Lygon Street in Carlton is lined with cafes and restaurants
Lygon Street in Carlton is lined with cafes and restaurants

Carlton Pros:

  • Carlton has lots of restaurants serving Italian food
  • Carlton has lots of restaurants serving Italian food (repeated deliberately!)
  • Lygon Street restaurants are usually open till late and are great to grab a take-away when you've had a long day at work and don't feel like cooking at home
  • Carlton boasts of easy availability of amenities and groceries
  • Literally minutes to the CBD via trams, living in Carlton is a dream for many who commute to Melbourne CBD on a daily basis
  • Carlton is a student haven
  • Finding accommodation in Carlton is easy and there are options to suit everyone's style and budget

Downside of living in Carlton

  • Buying your own apartment in Carlton can be very expensive
  • There are no trains in Carlton

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