If you like food, art, music, festivals, and theatre, you’ll love visiting Melbourne, the cultural capital of Australia. There are so many things to do in Melbourne, ranging from attending sporting events and visiting art galleries to sampling delicious food or bar hopping in Melbourne’s famous lanes.
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In addition to being a great city, Melbourne is also a wonderful starting point for a number of great day trips. Mornington Peninsula, Yarra Valley, and the beautiful coastal drive down the Great Ocean Road are some of the most popular ways to escape Melbourne and enjoy its surroundings.
If you are planning to spend a few days in the city and are wondering where to stay in Melbourne, Australia, we’ve got you covered.
There are neighbourhoods that are perfect for nightlife, culture, the beach, or gastronomy. We’ve spent a good amount of time in Melbourne and know the city well. These are our top recommendations for the best neighbourhoods in Melbourne, Australia, including some of the recommendations for the best luxury hotels, budget hotels, and everything in between.
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Where To Stay In Melbourne, Australia: The Best Neighbourhoods And Hotels
Central Business District
While it may be the most expensive district in the city, the CBD (Central Business District) is a happening place. There is everything from vibrant street art to classy cocktail bars and a wide variety of fun in between. The CBD is also home to the historic Queen Victoria Market, a bustling inner-city market on Victoria Street that features products from over 600 small businesses.
Some of the best things to do in the CBD include walking in the public parks, exploring Chinatown, and getting lost in the many small alleyways that crisscross the main streets. There are lots of historic buildings and shopping areas in this district, too.
Attractions in CBD
- Flinders Street Station is one of Melbourne’s most recognizable landmarks and Australia’s oldest train station. This busy transportation hub is not only aesthetically beautiful; it’s a great starting point for adventures in and around Melbourne.
- The Block Arcade is a key part of the Golden Mile Heritage Walk and Melbourne’s most famous boutique shopping centre. Even if you aren’t interested in shopping, the architecture alone is worth a visit.
- Hosier Lane is a famous bluestone laneway, home to the street art that Melbourne is famous for. You can explore on your own or join a guided tour to hear some information about the artists.
Where To Stay In Melbourne CBD
Sofitel Melbourne on Collins Street is a 5-star eco-hotel located just on the edge of the CBD. It has huge, elegant rooms that have been recently refurbished. All 363 rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows that offer panoramic views of the city, the Yarra River, and Port Phillip Bay. The hotel is within a 5-minute walking distance from attractions like Bourke Street Mall and Federation Square.
Alto Hotel on Bourke is a new, carbon-neutral hotel that is making waves in the sustainable tourism world. It’s won all kinds of awards for its eco-friendly practices and is a cozy, comfortable place to stay. Free parking is offered to guests in hybrid or electric vehicles. A great home base for exploring the city, this boutique hotel is just a 5-minute walk from Southern Cross Station and two tram stops.
We’re big fans of YHA Hostels and really enjoy staying in their locations all across the country. In Melbourne, there are two YHA Hostels that offer wonderful, affordable alternatives to Melbourne hotels: Melbourne Central YHA and Melbourne Metro YHA, both within the CBD. Dorm-style and private rooms are available, and facilities include free wifi, a self-catering kitchen, a social balcony area, and an onsite bar/cafe.
Fitzroy & Carlton
Two small side-by-side neighbourhoods to the north of the city centre, Fitzroy and Carlton, are great options for where to stay in Melbourne, Australia. They’re hotspots for nightlife and attract a young crowd to their buzzing bars and restaurants.
Although they’re technically suburbs, Fitzroy and Carlton are not short on fun things to do. There’s awesome street art, shopping centres, quirky boutiques, and charming cafes. It’s also a lot more affordable since it’s slightly outside of the city.
Attractions in Fitzroy & Carlton
- The Fitzroy Mills Market and the Rose Street Artists’ Market are weekend events that feature produce and goods from Melbourne’s finest independent vendors and handmade works by local artists and crafters.
- Located on Brunswick Street, the Cruelty-Free Shop features a variety of vegan and cruelty-free products ranging from chocolate to handbags.
- The Carlton Gardens is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the Royal Exhibition Building and Melbourne Museum. Take a stroll along the flowerbeds, ornamental lakes, and Moreton Bay Fig trees.
Where To Stay In Fitzroy & Carlton, Melbourne
Comfort Apartments Royal Gardens is a collection of hotel-style serviced apartments right near the Fitzroy Gardens in east Melbourne. They’re clean, classy, and offer all the comforts of home in a central location. Each of the apartments has a separate living and dining area, a fully-equipped kitchen, and laundry facilities.
If you’re looking for a cozy design hotel, Naughtons Hotel is the perfect place. It is housed in a beautifully restored and decorated 150-year-old building, and is surrounded by parks on all sides. The excellent onsite restaurant offers classic pub fare prepared with locally sourced ingredients from farmers who use ethical and regenerative practices. The number 19 tram stops right at the hotel’s doorstep and can take you to the Melbourne CBD in under 10 minutes.
The Nunnery is a quirky backpacker hostel right at the centre of the action. Its funky gardens and rooftop terrace make it an awesome place to stay in Melbourne. Housed in an old convent, this hostel offers dorm-style and private rooms with shared bathrooms. Amenities include wifi, a guest laundry, and a bbq area.
Right across the Yarra River from the CBD, you’ll find the Southbank. Here, you can take in some of the best views in the city by going up to the observation deck in the Eureka Tower. You’ll also want to visit the National Gallery of Victoria, one of the most impressive and diverse museums in the country.
Southbank is well known for the South Melbourne Market, an energetic group of indoor food stalls, cafes, and vendors. The magnificent Royal Botanic Gardens are also well worth a visit, as they are full of fun things to do. Walk through the many greenhouses, visit the statues and memorials, catch a concert, or see a movie at the outdoor cinema.
Attractions in Southbank
- Crowne Melbourne is an integrated resort open to the public and home to a 24-hour casino, many of Melbourne’s finest restaurants, and several entertainment venues. The resort also houses luxury boutiques, a spa, and nightclubs.
- The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art showcases works from leading Australian and international artists in a uniquely designed building. Gallery entry is always free!
- Located under the Evan Walker Bridge, Ponyfish Island is actually a floating bar and restaurant! Food offerings include specialty pizzas, charcuterie boards, and fresh oysters. If you don’t want to stay for dinner, you can enjoy a craft cocktail while taking in the river view from the bar.
Where To Stay In South Bank, Melbourne
The Quay West Suites are an awesome choice for both location and style. Right on the river, this hotel has gorgeous interiors, great food, and a green roof terrace. Each suite includes a fully equipped kitchen or kitchenette, a dining area, and a furnished balcony. The hotel is a short walk from the Melbourne Arts Precinct, Eureka Skydeck, and several other attractions in the area.
Imagine Marco is a complex of mid-ranged serviced apartments right in the centre of the Southbank. In addition to lovely suites and a full gym, a stunning rooftop pool is its best feature. The apartment-style accommodations include full kitchens, in-room laundry facilities, and private balconies. Imagine Marco is just a quick walk from Crown Melbourne and the Southbank Promenade.
There aren’t any hostel-style accommodations in Southbank, but Flanders Backpackers is located right across the Yarra River on Elizabeth Street. While technically outside of the Southbank neighbourhood, you’ll still be a short walk away from the Southbank Promenade and lots of other attractions. Flanders Backpackers offers both dorm-style and private rooms, individual lockers, and free wifi.
Just as Sydney has Bondi Beach, Melbourne has St. Kilda. About 15 minutes south of central Melbourne, this beachside neighbourhood is still an inner city suburb but perfect for those who want to get away from the noise of the city and just relax. The beach here is beautiful and draws in a lot of budget backpackers.
St. Kilda is also a very historic area. There are old buildings to tour and a wooden boardwalk that stretches out into the ocean, which makes for a great walk. Make sure to stick around in the evening, as the sunsets here are great. If you want to know where to stay in Melbourne, Australia, for a beachy getaway, St. Kilda is definitely our recommended choice.
Attractions in St. Kilda
- St. Kilda Beach has been a top Melbourne swimming spot for over 100 years. The sandy beach is backed by a boardwalk, restaurants, cafes, and bars.
- The St. Kilda Botanical Gardens contains a rose garden, rainforest conservatory, giant chessboard, and several other unique features. It’s centrally located in the St. Kilda neighbourhood, and easy to reach on foot.
- Lots of great brew pubs and restaurants are in this area – you won’t have any trouble finding a great place. For plant-based meals, try Sister of Soul, a vegan/vegetarian restaurant with a wonderfully diverse menu.
- While technically in the South Yarra neighbourhood at Chapel Street and Malvern Road, the Prahran Market is wonderful farmers market open 7 days a week, and it’s a quick commute via tram and bus.
Where To Stay In St Kilda, Melbourne
The Prince Hotel wears a lot of hats as a hotel, restaurant, bar, and event venue. The rooms and suites strike the perfect balance between luxury and comfort. The Prince Hotel is housed in a historic building and has taken care to preserve the original Art Deco architecture. There is an onsite wine bar, restaurant, and pub.
Just around the block from the Prince Hotel, you’ll find the Saint Kilda Beach Hotel, a mid-range hotel with a bright and airy design. The spacious rooms are just as visually appealing, with warm wood, fluffy pillows, and ocean views. Local attractions like St. Kilda Beach and Catani Gardens are just a short walk away, and there is an onsite cafe and wine bar with an ever-changing selection of craft beers and wines.
Selina St Kilda is an eco-friendly hostel just a few minutes walk from St. Kilda Beach and Middle Park Beach, and the tram stops right at the doorstep. Selina St Kilda offers shared dormitory and private rooms. The hostel features a rooftop bar, wellness deck, and an onsite restaurant. Great for digital nomads, Selina St Kilda also features a co-working space with high-speed wifi, unlimited coffee, and a comfortable design.
Australia has some wonderful cities, but Melbourne has a special place in our hearts. With its buzzing energy and creative spirit, it’s unlike any other metropolis on the continent. Throughout the year, the city sees all kinds of festivals, events, activities, and, of course, the weather. There’s always something going on here, making it a year-round fun place to be. It truly is a special city, and it deserves a spot on every traveler’s bucket list.
Hopefully, This Guide Has Given You Some Insights On Where To Stay In Melbourne, Australia! What’s Your Favourite City In Australia?
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