Central Business District (CBD)
This is where you’ll find Melbourne’s famous laneways – the little narrow alleyways which feature lots of street art as well as cafes, restaurants and cocktail bars. You’ll find many of Melbourne’s cheapest eats and snacks inside its CBD, such as dumplings in Chinatown and sandwiches, focaccias and croissants in its cosmopolitan cafes.
Since Melbourne’s CBD is located right in the centre of town, you’ll be able to walk to many sites and attractions and you’ll always be a short walk away from one of the four central train stations (Flinders, Southern Cross, Flagstaff & Parliament) as well as an even shorter walk away from your nearest tram. Trams can be found circulating through every major street of the CBD, and the CBD is even a free tram zone, meaning that it’s free to use trams when inside the CBD.
The CBD has lots of beautiful parks as well, such as the Carlton Gardens, so if the hustle ‘n’ bustle overwhelms you, there’s always an opportunity to seek refuge in one of its quiet spaces.
The CBD has the largest variety of accommodation options suiting all budgets and needs, ranging from the cheapest of hostels, right through to some rather luxurious options. There are many more apartments available on Airbnb as well, so it’s worth taking the time to check if any might appeal to you.
Our daily tours start from in front of the State Library at 10:30, 2:30 and 3pm/6pm, so if you choose to stay in the CBD, you’ll be able to walk over to meet us. We’ll help you uncover the best of Melbourne’s hidden laneway gems, as well as sharing the stories which have made Melbourne what it is today.
Located adjacent to the CBD, Southbank is also very centrally positioned. Located along Melbourne’s Yarra River, Southbank is also home to many high-end fine-dining restaurants along its promenade. Crown Casino, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Arts Centre are all located in Southbank.
Southbank is great because it is also very centrally located, yet is a quieter alternative to the CBD. Many distances are walkable and you’ll still be staying a walkable distance from a lot of public transport options. Not to mention, you’ll be staying very close to the Botanical Gardens and ample parkland, providing you with the opportunity for quiet time or a perfect place for a picnic on a sunny day.
Accommodation in Southbank tends to be more luxurious, with many of Melbourne’s most esteemed hotels located in this area.
Much like the CBD, because Southbank is close to Flinders Street Station and the congregating point of Melbourne’s tramlines, Southbank helps you access all of Melbourne with ease.
Meet us in real life.
Join a free walking tour.
Saint Kilda (St. Kilda) is another great option. St. Kilda is Melbourne’s southern hipster suburb, located 7km and 20 minutes from the CBD by tram, offering you a glimpse into what life’s like in Melbourne’s beachside suburbs. It’s here that you’ll find many southside Melbourne favourites, including Acland Street, with its many bars and famous cake shops as well as Luna Park, a theme park known for having the oldest continually operating roller coaster in the world.
St. Kilda is popular among both travelers and locals alike for its beach as well as its stunning city skyline views. Whilst at St. Kilda beach, you can also walk, jog or cycle along its promenade or alternatively you could time a visit to the St. Kilda Pier at dusk to catch a glimpse of St. Kilda’s penguin population. St. Kilda also has lots of calm parks nearby, for instance, the St. Kilda Botanical Gardens are really beautiful and a great picnic spot. You’ll also find Chapel Street a 10 minute walk from St. Kilda. Chapel Street is a long bustling street filled with restaurants, cafes, vintage stores and the bulk of southern Melbourne’s nightlife and music scene.
You can access St. Kilda via Tram #96 from Bourke Street, #3 from Swanston Street and #12 from Collins Street. Whilst there are no train stations in St. Kilda, Balaclava Train Station is a 17 minute walk away.
There are some cheap hostel options in St. Kilda, as well as many more luxurious options. As always, it is worth checking Airbnb as well to make sure you’re finding the best option for you.
Fitzroy is St. Kilda’s northern hipster cousin. What Fitzroy lacks in beachside views it makes up for in hipster bars, cafes and restaurants. It’s a very historic and charming part of town, with some of Melbourne’s best preserved historic architecture co-existing rather unorthodoxly beside many street art pieces and murals. Located just north-east of Melbourne’s CBD, Fitzroy is accessible by foot, if you have time for a 20 minute leisurely stroll. If not, the #11 tram down Brunswick Street or the #86 down Smith and Gertrude Street can quickly transport you down into the CBD. The #86 can take you up to Northcote as well, which also has many lovely restaurants and cafes along its main strip, High Street.
Fitzroy, like St. Kilda, has some cheap hostel options but as well some luxury apartment options. There really is something to suit everyone’s budget. Many swish and luxurious studio apartments are also available on Airbnb.
We hope that you now have a clearer idea as to where to stay during your time in Melbourne. If you enjoyed this article, we suggest you check out our Melbourne Suburb Spotlights to give you a closer look into life in Melbourne’s suburbs. And if you’ll be making your way up to Sydney during your time in Australia, do yourself a favour and check out our tips and tricks on where to stay in Sydney (insert hyperlinked “Where should I stay in Sydney?” article)