Melbourne is a city that stands out for its quality of life; in fact, it has been recognized several times as the best city to live in the world. It is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia. We recommend in this article which are the best areas to stay in Melbourne.
Founded in 1835 by European emigrants, it had a strong development from 1850, when gold was found in the area. Such was its demographic growth that it became the largest city in the country and consolidated as the capital of Australia between 1901 and 1927. Today it is the capital of the state of Victoria and the second most important city in the country after Sydney.
The first settler settlement occurred north of the Yarra River, in what today is considered the old town and whose population does not reach 100,000 inhabitants. However, the metropolitan area of Melbourne exceeds four million as it has been agglutinating populations along the shore of Port Phillip Bay, almost a large inner lake 80 kilometers wide were it not for the opening to the sea of a couple of kilometers in Portsea.
Besides being a city with an enviable standard of living, it is also considered the cultural capital of Australia and is internationally recognized for the diversity of its population, its commercial and industrial dynamism, and for having hosted some of the sporting and political events most important in the country such as the 1956 Olympics or G20 summits.
A city straddling the Victorian and the latest trends in architecture, with an extensive tram network and offering a wide variety of accommodation, good cuisine and day and night leisure to enjoy a vacation or think, after the visit, look for work and stay in Melbourne.
The fact that the city has such a high level of welfare, has the small counterpart that prices, in general, are higher than other tourist cities in the world and, together with Sydney, the most expensive in Australia.
This affects consumption in restaurants, theaters, and other leisure activities and, of course, when it comes to staying in Melbourne.
As for the most expensive sleeping areas in Melbourne, we must highlight the area traditionally considered the historic center, with Melbourne CBD as the central area. On the other hand, CBD also has the largest number of accommodations to stay in Melbourne and, therefore, a wide variety.
Melbourne, although officially has a moderate climate, this is especially changing throughout the year except in spring, when there is greater climate stability with temperate temperatures. For many, this is the best time to visit the city.
We must also remember that if Melbourne were in the northern hemisphere, it would be in the parallel of Spain, so in the summer it can exceed 40ºC ; temperatures, however, ideal for sun and beach tourism in areas such as St. Kilda, in the capital itself, or along the coastline of the bay.
Finally, in this general review of the characteristics of accommodation in Melbourne, say that the variety is total: from 5-star hotels to hostels for groups or pension-type rooms.
This implies that, despite having prices somewhat above average, the variety of them to sleep in Melbourne is assured and you can always find offers in the most interesting neighborhoods to visit.
The best areas to stay in Melbourne
1. Melbourne CBD (Central Business District) or financial heart
This area is the financial heart of the city and, by far, the most dynamic area. The accommodations, in general, also have the highest price and it is difficult to find rooms in hostels and hotels for less than $120, except promotions and offers.
However, if you want to enjoy a similar experience to stay in Manhattan New York, this is the ideal area to do so thanks to the number of skyscrapers that are raised in the district.
As for the best areas to stay in Melbourne CBD, there is unanimity about it: the surroundings of the Flinders train station, facing the Yarra River and where there are famous accommodations such as the Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne.
Here you are close to places of interest in the district such as St. Paul’s Cathedral; the Melbourne SEA LIFE Aquarium; Chinatown, a little further north and where you can enjoy good restaurants such as the Stalactites, decorated with such motive, or make some purchases in Queen Victoria Market.
South of the Yarra River, most of the district is composed of several parks with concert areas, a botanical garden, and a nature reserve.
2. South Bank
Right on the southwestern border of Melbourne CBD, across the Yarra River, is this semi-residential neighborhood for those looking for quieter accommodations.
Being quiet does not mean that if you choose this area to sleep in Melbourne you will find lower prices. In fact, the area is full of 5-star hotels, especially in the neighborhood of Crown, a lively neighborhood facing the Yarra River, with the Crown Melbourne as a reference.
In this leisure area, you can also find famous restaurants such as The Atlantic Restaurant, the Rosetta restaurant or the Japanese restaurant Nobú; several casinos with cocktail bars to enjoy the nightlife or luxury stores like Louis Vuitton and Prada.
And that’s not all: the northeastern part of the district houses the National Gallery of Victoria, a cultural symbol in the city, and the Eureka Tower, the tallest tower in Melbourne and with a 360º viewpoint almost 300 meters high.
Considering that the average elevation above sea level of Melbourne is 35 meters, the views from this terrace reach far beyond the metropolitan area.
It is one of the most modern areas of the city center and also of the preferred areas to stay in Melbourne. Much of the district is made up of the port area, especially the marina opposite the Etihad Stadium.
North of the district is also interesting to visit the District Docklands Shopping Center with numerous shops around, local food restaurants such as Nando’s or spaces for entertainment such as O’Brien Group Arena where there is a large ice rink.
As for accommodation, there are several hotels such as the Sheraton or the Melbourne Observation Wheel, although the area stands out for renting apartments, again, as in the previous districts, with high prices. To go out at night, we recommend the marina area, and specifically the Alumbra club.
4. East Melbourne
East of Melbourne CBD is one of the most economically central areas of the city where you can find rooms in apart-hotels such as Mantra on Jolimont and hostels for just over $60.
East Melbourne is a residential area with large green spaces such as Fitzroy Gardens, where Cook’s Cottage is located, and the oldest standing house in Australia.
Its history is very peculiar because it was built in the English city of Yorkshire in 1755 by the parents of Captain Cook, and in 1934, almost two centuries later; it was brought brick by brick by the English noble Russell Grimwade.
Other attractions are the Cathedral of St. Patrick, Yarra Park with the Melbourne Cricket Stadium (where there is a large sports store), the House of Parliament or the Richmond Football Club Museum.
The most interesting shopping area is around the Wellington Parade street where there are also numerous restaurants such as the Two Fat Indians Restaurant or The Trippler cocktail bar for nightlife.
North of the CBD, Carlton is a residential neighborhood but also has a wide range of entertainment and nightlife, as it is located just east of the University of Melbourne.
A very famous area is the Italian neighborhood around Lygon Street. In addition, there are two large avenues (Elgin and Rathdowne), where there is a wide variety of restaurants serving international cuisine, especially around the Cinema Nova.
It is also interesting to visit the Carlton Gardens Park where the Melbourne Museum is located. As for accommodations, this area has average prices with hotels like the ibis Melbourne Swanston Street and room rates that go down from $120.
Just east of Carlton is the Fitzroy neighborhood, again with two main streets: Johnston, a continuation of Elgin, and Brunswick, where there are also a number of restaurants and nightlife venues.
In restaurants, highlight the Basque Naked For Satan, at the confluence of the mentioned avenues, and for a drink at night, among the most prominent venues, Blackcat Fitzroy and Black Pearl.
In terms of shopping, these streets are also ideal for purchasing fashion and cosmetics products, and as cultural attractions, it can be interesting to visit the Center for Contemporary Photography or the James Alipius Gold Museum.
Like Carlton, being a residential neighborhood and being further away from the CBD, staying in Melbourne in this area is also somewhat cheaper with hostels such as The Nunnery Accommodation Hostel, whose prices can lower $60 or District Apartments Fitzroy.
Still further east of Fitzroy is the neighborhood of Collingwood, famous for its gastronomic offer with bars and restaurants such as Le Bon Ton, Café Proud Mary, Gam Bar and Dining in Wellington Street, or Jim’s Greek Tavern.
As for going out at night, the offer is also interesting with live music at venues such as The Tote or nightclubs and pubs at hotels like The Gasometer. Of course, there are also cultural attractions such as the Blackwoods Gallery or the Stomping Ground Brewery & Beer Hall brewery.
To make purchases, there is some Outlet such as the Japanese store Cibi and Tokyo Bike, the latter on Smith Street; larger stores such as the Lululemon Athletica sportswear store; design bookstores in Happy Valley or a clothing store with cafeteria included in The Social Studio.
The offer in accommodation in the area is lower than in more central districts and with lower prices such as the 3-star Hotel Baden Powell or the Hostal Plus Collingwood, which can offer rooms for around $60 in low and medium season.
8. Sta. Kilda
Although the best beaches in Melbourne are far from the center, the capital has the best option for sun and beach holidays in St. Kilda.
South of South Yarra, this old bohemian area today has a good repertoire of accommodation with four-star hotels like Novotel Melbourne, in front of St. Kilda Beach, or cheap hostels a little further away from the coast like Nomads St. Kilda Hostel on Gray Street.
As for what to do and see in the area, highlight its extensive beach area, its extensive promenade and pier (Pier) more than one kilometer in length where there is a small penguin reserve.
A little way off the coast there is a botanical garden and, near the Veg Out Community Gardens, the Luna Park Melbourne theme park and the Palais theaters and The National Theater Melbourne.
Precisely, around this area, there is an excellent offer of restaurants such as the March Mylkbar, Vyneyard or the vegetarian restaurant Sister of Soul. For shopping, the streets of Barkly St. Road have numerous clothing stores, sports, footwear, and accessories.
It is the westernmost tourist area of Melbourne, about five kilometers from CBD. It is the campus of the University of Victoria and much of the district adjoins the west bank of the Maribyrnong River.
Although it is a residential and quiet area, it is famous for its multicultural society, numerous shops for shopping and variety of restaurants. As for the latter, there are of all types of cuisine among which more than 30 Vietnamese.
For shopping, there are many shops in streets such as Paisley and markets such as the Footscray Market, with all kinds of fresh products, or the Littel Saigon, with oriental products.
The places of greatest interest are the town hall building with a mix of medieval, modern, Spanish and Celtic architecture; the Ruffian Gallery, Dog Theater and two nature reserves: Newells Paddock and Maribyrnong.
10. South Yarra
The last tourist area to mention is South Yarra, south of CBD. This is a very lively area, especially in streets such as Chapel, with a wide variety of restaurants such as Chappelle’s, the Imperial or Lucky Penny.
Also, this street and its surroundings are home to some of the most famous clothing stores in Melbourne and owned by local and international designers: Arthur Galan AG, Witchery, KOOKAI or Lee Jeans.
In this area, there are also two cinemas, the Cinema Como and Jam Factory. To go out at night, heading south, there are places like Bridie O’Reilly’s and Leonards House Of Love, or already on the border with the neighborhood of Prahran, The Emerson Rooftop Bar.
Staying in Melbourne in this neighborhood is another good option. The available options are varied although the average price is high for two reasons: its proximity to the center and the large number of four and five-star hotels, especially near Chapel Street.
However, there are cheaper accommodation with Hotel Claremont Guesthouse or Punthill Hotel Apartment with prices per night that come down from $120.