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Shopping in Melbourne

Updated on March 26, 2014

Shop at the Arcades

The Block Arcades is one of the many arcades located in central Melbourne.
The Block Arcades is one of the many arcades located in central Melbourne.

Great shopping in Melbourne

Melbourne has a few factory outlets located close to the city centre. During my visit, I visited three of them. Personally, I liked Harbourtown the best as it offers the most variety and the bargains are pretty good too!

Harbourtown is located at Docklands, a pretty new precinct. Here, the mall has an open air concept. Hence, if you are coming in winter or during the cold season, come prepared with warm clothing and a scarf or shawl. Before you start shopping, you can head to the tourism lounge to get a tourist discount card and to relax with some free tea or coffee. While waiting for the tourist shuttle bus, you can also sit in the lounge comfortably as it is facing the shuttle bus stop.

Direct Factory Outlets (DFO) South Wharf is second best in terms of shopping experience. Some of the brands are similar to the ones found at Harbourtown but you may find that they offer different styles. Here, you can aso purchase sports goods as there are many brands like Adidas and Nike here.

Among the three, Spencer Street Fashion Station is the worst despite having the most convenient and central location (just above Southern Cross Station). When I visited in June 2012, many shop lots were empty and when I was there a few were having their clearance sale. Stop by here only if you are at Southern Cross station. At all three outlets, the focus is on clothes, especially for females. However, you will also be able to find shoes, accessories, and toys on sale. It is catering more towards female fashion, but there are still some shops catering to men.

At Queen Victoria Market

Shop at Melbourne's Markets

The most famous market in Melbourne is definitely the Queen Victoria Market (QVM). However, there are other markets as well such as at Prahran, at South Melbourne and so on. I did not have the time to visit the other two but I did visit the QVM. The place is bustling with stall owners shouting to market their wares. There are a few sections selling meat, fruits and vegetables, clothes and souvenirs. As you make your way around the market, you can treat it as having breakfast or brunch. We bought the infamous jam doughnuts and some nuts to munch on.

On Sundays, there is a market at the Arts Centre in Melbourne. At the market, there are about 80 stalls which sell all sorts of local handicraft, some of which are handmade and unique to the stall. You can purchase souvenirs such as bags, art paintings and so on here.

At the Arts Centre

There is a market at the Arts Centre on Sundays.
There is a market at the Arts Centre on Sundays.

Chapel Street Shopping Precinct & Shopping for Souvenirs

Located a short tram ride away from Melbourne's city centre is the shopping precinct of Chapel Street. Here, you can expect a long row of shops both on your left and right as you walk down the street. These shops sell clothes from a variety of brands. Besides shopping, there are many cafes here too where you can rest your feet.

There is also a small shopping mall here too, called Jam Factory where there are restaurants and a cinema. Urban from Target also occupies an outlet here. And if you would still like to explore another market, the Prahran market is located in this area too.

In Melbourne, a very common souvenir to buy for family and friends would be the locally produced nougats. You can choose between getting the crunchy or the sticky one. Besides that, many tourists also purchase kangaroo or koala related products such as soft toys or t-shirts. Besides that, you can also choose to purchase the Australian skincare brands such as Aesop, Jurlique, Bloom and Becca.

© 2012 lilian_sg

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