Where to Stay in Melbourne: 7 Best Areas and Suburbs
If you travel solo around Australia, Melbourne will likely be your hub for further explorations of Victoria and the rest of Australia. With so many things to do in the city, it will steal your heart, and you will want to stay longer than planned and return on your travels. I have been to Melbourne several times and know this city quite well.
This guide covers all types of accommodation in Melbourne, ranging from budget stays to the best hotels and apartments. Depending on the purpose of your visit and your interest, there are 7 top areas that we recommend for staying in Melbourne. We also give you a heads-up for things to do in each district, the places of interest, and the connections available so that you know what to expect in each Melbourne area.
Melbourne CBD: the best area for Solos and First-timers
Melbourne CBD is the most lively place and a prime area for staying in Melbourne city heart. It stretches between Flinders Street, Spencer Street, La Trobe Street, and Spring Street. This area is best served by trains, trams, and bus connections, encompassing Southern Cross Train Station on the East side, the Melbourne Central Station on the northbound and Flinders Street Station on the south. If it’s your first time visiting Melbourne as a solo traveller, this is the best area to stay in. You will love walking through its lanes and using all free trams within the Central Business District (and Docklands).
The #35 free City Circle tram is a great way to explore the city for first-timers. This tram rides every 30 minutes and provides an audio guide with helpful information about the city’s highlights. Melbourne CBD is the main urban centre close to all Melbourne attractions. It’s just a short walk from restaurants, bars, shopping centres, Melbourne’s famous lanes and all the landmarks. Flinders Street Station is one of Melbourne, Australia’s most iconic and famous landmarks. The area surrounding Flinders Street Station is known for its vibrant streets and narrow laneways full of graffiti art, street performers, and unique shops.
Melbourne is also known as Australia’s fashion capital, so shoppers will want to check out Collins Street for high-end fashion and Melbourne Central Shopping Centre for a more budget-proof shopping spree. For eating out, I suggest visiting the Vapiano and Krimper. If you’re an Italian lover, Vapiano is perfect for Italian food. Krimper is ideal for those who enjoy international and modern Australian cuisine.
Where to stay in Melbourne CBD
Best budget Stays
YEHS Hotel Melbourne CBD Our Top Choice for a Top Budget Stay at 600 Bourke Street.
Melbourne YHA Central Hostel at 562 Flinders Street. Ensuite private rooms and shared dorms.
Selina Central Melbourne at 250 Flinder Street, top-choice for a budget stay in the Melbourne CBD.
Causeway 353 Hotel at 353 Little Collin Street. 4-star hotel. Fitness centre and steam room.
Vibe Hotel Melbourne at 1 Queen Street. Indoor swimming pool.
IBIS Melbourne Central at 399 Little Londsale Street. A top-rated hotel by solo travellers.
Laneways By Ovolo, 19 Little Bourke Street, top-rated studios. Terrace. On-site bistro-pub.
Oaks Melbourne on Market, at 60 Market Street, ideal studios. Private kitchenette. Indoor pool.
Next Hotel Melbourne, at 103 Little Collin Street. Fitness centre and an on-site Italian restaurant.
Things to do in Melbourne CBD
Watch people at Federation Square, with its unique mix of culture and entertainment.
Spend the morning at Queens’ Victoria Market: an iconic North Melbourne market.
Stroll Melbourne’s famous laneways: hidden gems like quirky cafes and independent boutiques.
Southbank + Docklands: Best Area for Culture, Arts, and Events
Southbank and Docklands are two of Melbourne’s most vibrant and exciting districts, located on the southern banks of the Yarra River. Getting here is easy with public transport options such as buses (line 221) and trams (line 75). Hoping on the free City Circle Tram from Harbour Esplanade and Docklands Drive stops is also possible. These two areas offer a more relaxed vibe than the city centre while providing easy access to attractions.
If you’re a Solo traveller looking for shopping and sightseeing, you should consider staying in Southbank or Docklands in Melbourne. Crown Entertainment in Southbank is known for its entertainment, dining, and shopping, which includes casinos and luxury hotels.
Many cultural attractions exist, such as the National Gallery of Victoria and the Melbourne Arts Centre. Marvel Stadium, located in the Docklands precinct of Melbourne, is a multi-purpose sports and entertainment venue that has become one of the city’s most popular attractions. And The District Docklands for shopping and entertainment. Check out Berth Restaurant at Docklands for eating out. This restaurant offers an array of seafood, steaks, salads, and vegetarian options.
Where to Stay in Melbourne Southbank and Docklands
Travelodge Melbourne Docklands is close to Marvel Stadium—hotel rooms with a private kitchenette.
Imagine Marco apartments with city views near Eureka Tower, Crown Casino.
Mercure Melbourne Southbank Offers rooms with kitchenettes.
Crown Promenade Melbourne
The Langham Melbourne Mantra Southbank Fully-Equipped Kitchen. Indoor pool, SPA+fitness on-site.
Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands
Melbourne Holiday Apartments Flinders Warf river view, swimming pool, suit four people.
Things to do in Melbourne Docklands and Southbank
Melbourne Star Observation Wheel offers 360-degree views of Melbourne from 120 metres high.
Go on a Riverboat or Kayak tour along the Yarra River and Victoria Harbour.
Enjoy a stunning view from Eureka Skydeck, 88 floors up.
Visit the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia’s oldest and largest public art museum.
Catch a show at the Melbourne Arts Centre, a hub for all live performances.
Fitzroy & Collingwood: where to stay in Melbourne for the pub scene
Fitzroy and Collingwood are located within the City of Yarra, 3-4 km northeast of the city’s Central Business District. To get to the city centre from Fitzroy and Collingwood, you can catch either lines 86 and 11 via trams and lines 905 and 200 via bus. From Fitzroy, it’s easy to get to nearby Collingwood: you can catch the 86 tram line, which leads directly from Bourke Street to Collingwood.
Fitzroy and Collingwood are close enough to the CBD to make exploring easy. And if you’re an art lover looking to explore the street art scene or a pub enthusiast seeking out the best beer spots in town, Fitzroy and Collingwood are top areas to stay. This area is particularly well-suited for solo travellers who love art and enjoy the nightlife.
As a solo traveller, one of the best things to do is take a tour at breweries Stomping Ground and Bodriggy Brewing Co. Collingwood is known for its unique and delicious beer. Kewpie, on Brunswick Street, offers delicious $5 pizzas for eating out. Le Bon Ton is another excellent option inspired by the cuisine of the American South, including smoked meats and many more!
Things to do in Fitzroy Melbourne
Book a brewery tour at Stomping Ground and Brodriggy Brewing Co
Grab a drink while watching a live music show at The Workers Club and The Old Bar
Visit the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) and the Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP).
Where to Stay in Fitzroy Melbourne
The Nunnery Accommodation guesthouse. Old building. BBQ facilities. Terrace.
Melbourne Metropole Central is a nice hotel on Brunswick St. with a swimming pool, kitchenette + parking.
District Apart. Fitzroy is equipped apart. Balcony. Free parking. A few min walk to Brunswick.
Hotels near Fitzroy Quest Collingwood Serviced Apartments/Studios. Suites. Outdoor Pool. Free Parking. 15 min walk to Lygon Street Italian restaurant district.
Richmond: Where to stay for sports fans
Richmond is located about 5km east of the central business District. The most convenient way to travel between Melbourne CBD and Richmond is by train. The journey takes around 15 minutes. You can also catch tram line 75 from the city centre, which will take about 25 minutes. Richmond is conveniently located near public transportation. The Richmond train station is just a few minutes away and provides easy access to the rest of the city. It’s also an excellent area to stay in if you’re a sports fan, as it is close to several sporting venues.
The city is home to the world-famous Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), the largest stadium in the southern hemisphere. It’s also home to AAMI Park, which hosts rugby union, rugby league and soccer matches.
As a solo traveller, one of the best things to do aside from sports is to explore Richmond’s history with its museums and galleries (at The National Sports Museum, the Bridge Road Heritage Trail and Richmond Power Station). If you like to try Vietnamese food, check out Pho Hung Vuong, a popular authentic Vietnamese restaurant serving delicious pho and other noodle dishes.
Things to do in Melbourne Richmond
Discover local art at the Arts Precinct.
Visit the National Sports Museum.
Have a cold beer at the famous Moon Dog Craft Brewery.
Check out Bridge Road, a popular shopping destination.
Stroll along the Yarra River, where you can rent a bike or go kayaking.
Where to stay in Richmond
Quest East Melbourne Art Deco Design. Studios/Aparts. Rooftop garden. Private Parking.
Amora Hotel Riverwalk Spa Suites. Deluxe Rooms. On-site Restaurant. Bridge Road shopping.
Lanbruck Richmond Hill near Melbourne Cricket Ground + Rod Laver Arena. Kitchenette. Terrace, balcony and city view.
Port Melbourne and South Melbourne: for markets and outdoor activities
Port Melbourne and South Melbourne are located just south of Melbourne’s Central Business District. The primary connection between the City Centre to Port Melbourne and South Melbourne is by bus (line 234), but by tram (line 109) is an option too. The journey takes about 15 minutes.
The bus journey time between the two suburbs is around 4 minutes (by line 234). Not only are these two suburbs full of history and culture, but they also offer plenty of activities for those who love outdoor and water activities. They also have the best local markets. As a solo traveller, I’m always looking for fun outdoor activities. Port Melbourne and South Melbourne offer plenty of options that are perfect for me.
One of the best things to do at Port Melbourne is a stroll along the Princess or Station Pier. It’s also an excellent place for water activities, so rent a kayak or go on a riverboat cruise on the Yarra River. At South Melbourne, explore the iconic South Melbourne Market. This market is one of the oldest and most popular in Melbourne. You can find fresh produce and many food stalls in the area. Check out Ciao Cielo, a contemporary Italian restaurant serving house-made pasta and Tempura Hajime, a tempura and sushi restaurant that provides an unforgettable experience.
Things to do in Port Melbourne and South Melbourne
Go for a bike ride along the Beach Promenade from Port Melbourne to St. Kilda.
Visit the South Melbourne Market.
Go Sunbathing at Port Melbourne Beach and South Melbourne Beach.
Have a picnic at Albert Park and Albert Lake
Take a tour of the South Melbourne Town Hall.
Best Hotels in Porth Melbourne and South Melbourne
Budget Hotels in South Melbourne
Clarendon Hotel is a 300-meter walk from the South Melbourne Markets—on-site bar and restaurant.
Mid-Range Hotels in South Melbourne
Coppersmith Hotel is a short walk from Albert Lake. On-site Restaurants. Terrace.
Luxury Aparts and Homes – Port Melbourne
Boutique Stays – Port Haven boutique home. Terrace. Balcony. Garden. Free Parking. Beach View.
Melbourne Seaviews Pool & Tennis Indoor Swimming Pool. Free Parking. Fitness Centre.
St. Kilda: Where to stay for beach and party fun in Melbourne
St. Kilda is a suburb in the south of Melbourne that is easily accessible by tram and bus. The tram (line 16) is the most common transport mode to get to St. Kilda from Melbourne CBD. Getting around the district is easy and convenient on foot or by bike from Port Melbourne along the Bay Trail. St. Kilda is an excellent place for relaxing in Melbourne and for long-term budget travellers. It’s a vibrant and lively destination with plenty of attractions and activities. Many affordable accommodation options, from hostels to apartments and studio flats, are available.
Luna Park Melbourne is one of the popular tourist destinations in St Kilda. The amusement park features a variety of rides and attractions for all ages, including the historic wooden rollercoaster, the second-oldest operating rollercoaster in the world.
One of the best things to do at St. Kilda is to enjoy the stunning views and the relaxing sound of the waves at St. Kilda Beach and to explore St. Kilda Pier, a popular spot for fishing that offers panoramic views of the bay and the Melbourne skyline. After the tour, take a break at St. Kilda Pier Kiosk, which offers excellent coffee and snacks. To eat out, visit Fitzrovia, which serves Australian dishes with an international flair all day.
Things to do in St. Kilda
Enjoy a stroll along the St Kilda Pier Get an adrenaline rush at Luna Park Check out the St Kilda Market Sunbath at St Kilda’s beach Explore Acland Street for its vibrant shopping and dining experience.
Best Accommodation in St Kilda
Selina St. Kilda Melbourne private + shared rooms. Close to the beach. Terrace. Bar. Breakfast.
Tolarno Hotel: Stylish budget hotel features local arts. Free Parking. 10 min walk from Acland Street.
High-end Villas and Apartments
FAQs Questions about Where to Stay in Melbourne
Where to stay in Melbourne Solo?
The best area is the CBD for solo travellers. Everything is close by. You can walk anywhere; trams are everywhere to hop on and off if you are tired of walking. You have access to the best places for dining out and entertainment.
Which is the Best suburb to stay in Melbourne?
It isn’t easy to answer, but our choice is St. Kilda. It offers a blend of a relaxed beach scenario with plenty of outdoor activities plus a funky pub and cafe vibe at night. Only 20 min drive from Melbourne, or by tram, is 25 minutes. I recommend it if you plan to visit Melbourne for a holiday; I’d stay in St. Kilda for a week or so.
Where should I stay in Melbourne for nightlife?
If you are a night owl and love the pub and music scene, I recommend Fitzroy and Brunswick.
Where to stay in Melbourne for a weekend?
For a short stay over the weekend, I recommend Southbank and Docklands. You can walk anywhere, and there are Saturdays and Sundays markets, theatre and music events, outdoor events and live performances, and you can also visit the Melbourne Crown Casino.
Conclusions on which area to pick for staying in Melbourne
Whether you travel solo or with a travel companion, choosing an excellent place to stay in Melbourne requires time. I hope our guide helps you identify your priorities and the best-suited areas that match your preferences. Depending on the type of visit and activities you will be engaging with, these are my extra top tips:
- If you travel solo and love to walk, be close to everything and in the city’s heart, then stay in Melbourne CBD.
- If you travel with a partner or with a friend and want both to be close to the city centre and at the same time in a quiet area, then pick the Docklands or Southbank.
- For a long-term stay in Melbourne that offers plenty of fun, entertainment, outdoor fun activities, and relaxation, choose St. Kilda.
- If you love cycling, jogging and fun outdoor activities close to the city, pick Port Melbourne and South Melbourne.
A Mini Guide To Visiting Melbourne
The best time to visit Melbourne is Spring to Autumn, between September to March. In Sinter, Melbourne can get pretty cold with stormy weather. However, Melbourne is famous for having four seasons in one day, so be prepared to pack suitable all-season clothes and know what to wear when travelling to Melbourne.
Hot to get to Melbourne
From all Australian cities, there are daily flights with Jet-Star, Qantas, Tiger, and Virgin Airlines. You can also train from Adelaide (7 hours) to Sydney (10 hours). If you hire a car from Adelaide, you can do the 700 km inland highway or along the GOR (Great Ocean Road), about 1000 km. Hiring a car and driving from Sydney to Melbourne on the southeast coastal drive is the way to go, as it allows you to stop along the beautiful Southeast Coast of Australia.
How To Get Around
The best way to get around is to use public transportation in Melbourne. All Trams rides in the CBD are free. Outside, you pay for a ticket or with a day pass. The metropolitan train network is excellent, and it connects you with all suburbs plus other areas of greater Melbourne.
If you are staying longer than three days is worth getting a Miky Card, one of Australia’s public transport cards for getting around in metropolitan cities.
If you plan a solo trip to Melbourne, check out the following guides:
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© Content Published on rockytravel.net in April 2023
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