What is the best area to stay in Melbourne?

Whether you’re a foodie craving authentic Italian fare, an art enthusiast seeking hidden galleries, a shopaholic seeking trendy boutiques, or simply looking to immerse yourself in the local atmosphere, Melbourne has a vibrant neighbourhood to suit your style.

Unveiling Melbourne’s Best Neighborhoods for Your Perfect Stay

Whether you’re a foodie craving authentic Italian fare, an art enthusiast seeking hidden galleries, a shopaholic seeking trendy boutiques, or simply looking to immerse yourself in the local atmosphere, Melbourne has a vibrant neighbourhood to suit your style.

From cafe-lined streets bustling with energy to charming beachside escapes and cosmopolitan districts, each Melbourne neighbourhood offers a unique blend of attractions and experiences. Additionally, the best neighbourhoods boast convenient access to public transport, shopping centres, and restaurants, ensuring a comfortable and hassle-free stay.

a view of the Melbourne CBD
The Melbourne CBD at sunset hour

So, join us as we delve into Melbourne’s top neighbourhoods and help you find the perfect place to stay in this dynamic city! Here are some popular neighbourhoods to consider, each catering to different interests:

Unveil Melbourne’s Heart: The CBD for Culture, Convenience & City Buzz

The Melbourne CBD (Central Business District) is a perennial favourite for tourists seeking a dynamic and central stay. Its heart-of-the-city location puts you on the doorstep of iconic attractions, world-class museums, and a sizzling nightlife scene.

Immerse Yourself in Melbourne’s Cultural Gems:

  • History Buffs & Art Lovers: Stroll through Federation Square, a vibrant meeting place framed by historical buildings like Flinders Street Station. Explore the renowned National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) or discover hidden gems in the city’s many laneway galleries.

Foodie Paradise & Shopping Spree:

  • Craving a Culinary Adventure?: Indulge in Melbourne’s renowned dining scene. From trendy cafes and hidden laneway eateries to upscale restaurants with global flavours, the CBD caters to every taste bud.
  • Shop ’til You Drop: Melbourne’s CBD is a shopper’s haven. Browse luxury brands at Melbourne Central or The Emporium, hunt for unique finds in local boutiques, or score fresh produce and artisan goods at the iconic Queen Victoria Market.
Exploring the lane ways of the Melbourne CBD

Nightlife & Entertainment:

  • After Dark Delights: The CBD transforms into a vibrant hub as the sun sets. Sip craft cocktails in a rooftop bar, catch live music at a hidden speakeasy, or dance the night away at a lively club.
  • Top attractions: The Sealife Aquarium, Eureka Skydeck, Theatres, and Sporting venues are all close to the CBD.

Beyond the Buzz: Easy Exploration Awaits

The CBD’s central location and excellent public transport network make exploring other parts of Melbourne a breeze. Hop on a tram to explore the charming laneways of Fitzroy or catch a train to discover the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Is the Melbourne CBD Right for You?

This central district is ideal for travelers seeking a dynamic and action-packed stay. If you crave easy access to attractions, a diverse culinary scene, and a pulsing nightlife scene, then the CBD is your perfect base.

Here are some things to consider:

  • The CBD can be busy and noisy, especially on weekends.
  • Accommodation tends to be on the pricier side compared to some outer suburbs.

Where to stay in the Melbourne CBC:

The Melbourne CBD offers a range of hotels to suit all styles and budgets. Enjoy luxury at the Mövenpick Melbourne, conveniently located near Southern Cross Station, which offers easy airport access. For a touch of history, consider the Windsor Hotel, a heritage property brimming with old-world charm. The InterContinental Melbourne and the Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens make for a sophisticated stay in the city’s heart.

Looking for a great deal? Several online travel booking platforms offer competitive rates on Melbourne CBD hotels. Be sure to compare prices and amenities before finalizing your reservation.

Remember: Consider your budget and travel style when choosing your hotel.

Ready to experience the heart of Melbourne? Book your stay in the CBD and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

Looking for date night ideas in Melbourne? Please read our article on best date ideas in Melbourne.

Southbank – the best area to stay in Melbourne

Southbank beckons travellers seeking a vibrant riverside escape with easy access to entertainment, cultural experiences, and stunning city views.

Night time on the Yarra River in Southbank in Melbourne
Planning your trip to Melbourne? Stay in the Southbank area

Immerse Yourself in Southbank’s Buzz:

  • Riverside Relaxation & Foodie Delights: Stroll along the scenic Yarra River, stopping at riverside cafes, restaurants, and bars with lively outdoor terraces.
  • Entertainment Hub: Catch a world-class show, try your luck at Crown Casino, or explore the shops and restaurants at South Wharf. The Melbourne Exhibition Centre regularly hosts exciting events, from car shows to pop culture conventions.

Unforgettable Experiences Await:

  • Breathtaking City Views: Soar above the city on the Eureka Skydeck for panoramic vistas.

Southbank: The Perfect Base for Your Melbourne Adventure?

Southbank offers a variety of accommodation options to suit all budgets and styles.

Luxury on the River: Indulge in the opulent comfort of Crown Towers, Crown Metropol, or Crown Promenade, all part of the Crown Casino complex.

Comfort & Convenience: For a comfortable stay with excellent access to Southbank’s offerings, consider hotels like Novotel Melbourne South Wharf or The Langham Melbourne.

Budget-Friendly Stays: The Holiday Inn Express offers a convenient and affordable option for exploring Melbourne.

Remember: Southbank caters to those seeking a lively atmosphere and easy access to entertainment. If you prefer a quieter environment, you might consider other neighbourhoods.

Where to stay in Melbourne – South Yarra

South Yarra exudes sophistication, offering a perfect blend of upscale shopping, delectable cuisine, and vibrant nightlife. This central location provides easy access to Melbourne’s iconic attractions and cultural gems.

Cars and trams on Chapel Street in Melbourne
Chapel Street, South Yarra

Indulge Your Senses:

  • Shopaholic’s Paradise: Hit the renowned Chapel Street and Toorak Road with designer boutiques and local finds.
  • Culinary Delights: Embark on a culinary adventure, from trendy brunch spots and hidden laneway cafes to fine dining experiences. South Yarra caters to every palate.
  • Nightlife Buzz: Unwind at rooftop bars with city views, lively clubs, or intimate wine bars.

Beyond the Shopping Bags:

  • Explore Melbourne’s Heart: South Yarra’s central location puts you within reach of the Yarra River, the Royal Botanic Gardens, and the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground.
  • Embrace the Outdoors: Enjoy a picnic at Fawkner Park or explore nearby green spaces.
  • Immerse Yourself in Culture: Discover art galleries, theatres, and live music venues, enriching your Melbourne experience.

Finding Your South Yarra Sanctuary:

South Yarra offers a variety of accommodation options to suit discerning travellers.

Is South Yarra Right for You?

This upscale neighbourhood caters to those seeking a luxurious experience close to the action. Consider exploring other neighbourhoods if you’re looking for a quieter environment or budget-friendly options.

Planning for a romantic holiday in Melbourne? Read our guide to the ultimate list of romantic things to do in Melbourne

South Melbourne – best places to stay in Melbourne

South Melbourne offers a unique blend of village atmosphere, world-class food, and cultural experiences. This charming inner-city neighbourhood provides a delightful alternative to the bustling CBD, all within easy walking distance.

A street in South Melbourne with cars and shops
South Melbourne is a spot to stay in Melbourne

A Feast for the Senses:

  • South Melbourne Market: Indulge in a Melbourne institution – the iconic South Melbourne Market. Explore aisles overflowing with fresh produce, international delicacies, and specialty stores.
  • Culinary Delights Beyond the Market: From casual cafes and hidden laneway restaurants to trendy bars and upscale dining, South Melbourne caters to every palate.

Unwind & Explore:

  • Village Charm: Wander along tree-lined streets, soak up the relaxed vibe, and discover the neighbourhood’s unique character.
  • Art & Culture: Delve into South Melbourne’s thriving art scene with its galleries and studios.
  • Parks & Relaxation: Unwind in beautiful green spaces like Eastern Reserve, perfect for a picnic or a jog.

Beyond the Neighborhood:

  • A Stone’s Throw Away: South Melbourne’s strategic location puts you within walking distance of Melbourne’s CBD and its many attractions.

Is South Melbourne Right for You?

This vibrant neighbourhood is ideal for travellers seeking:

  • Authentic Melbourne Experience: Immerse yourself in a local community with a rich history and modern lifestyle.
  • Foodie Paradise: Explore the iconic South Melbourne Market and a diverse culinary scene.
  • Easy Access to the City: Enjoy the charm of a village vibe while being close to the heart of Melbourne’s action.

Finding Your South Melbourne Sanctuary

South Melbourne offers a variety of accommodation options to suit different travel styles and budgets.

Embrace Boutique Charm:

Comfort & Convenience:

  • The Clarendon Hotel: This hotel provides comfortable accommodations for couples and families, featuring a rooftop bar for enjoying city views.

Experience Local Living:

  • Apartments: Consider a serviced apartment for a home-away-from-home feel. They offer extra space and the flexibility of preparing meals, perfect for longer stays or families.

The Docklands – the best location to stay in Melbourne

Docklands: Modernity Meets Waterfront Charm in Melbourne

Considering Docklands for your Melbourne stay? This dynamic waterfront precinct offers a unique blend of modern architecture, convenient access to the city centre, and stunning harbour views.

The Docklands area in Melbourne, Australia
If you’re wondering where to stay, choose the Docklands

Ideal for:

  • Modern Architecture Enthusiasts: Docklands boasts sleek high-rises and innovative urban planning, perfect for those who appreciate contemporary design.
  • Waterfront Lovers: Enjoy scenic walking and cycling paths along the waterways, offering breathtaking city and harbour views.
  • Convenience Seekers: The City Circle tram connects Docklands to the CBD, making exploring Melbourne’s top attractions easy.
  • Foodies & Entertainment Buffs: Indulge in various dining options, shopping experiences, and entertainment choices, including Artvo, O’Brien Icehouse and Marvel Stadium.

Things to Consider:

While Docklands offers a vibrant atmosphere, it can be quieter at night than other central areas.

Is Docklands Right for You?

Docklands is perfect for travellers seeking a modern, convenient, and scenic base to explore Melbourne. If you prefer a lively nightlife scene, consider exploring other neighbourhoods.

Where to Stay in Docklands:

Spoiled for choice! Docklands offers a variety of accommodation options to suit different styles and budgets.

Explore online booking platforms to discover the perfect hotel or apartment for your Docklands adventure!

Looking for some budget-friendly ideas? Read our best free things to do in Melbourne article.

St Kilda – the best part of Melbourne to stay

St Kilda beckons travellers seeking a vibrant seaside location with a lively atmosphere and easy access to Melbourne’s heart.

St Kilda is one of the best areas to stay in Melbourne
Enjoying the sunshine and beach at St Kilda

Immerse Yourself in St Kilda’s Buzz:

  • Beachside Bliss: Relax on the beautiful St Kilda Beach, a haven for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports.
  • Foodie Paradise: Embark on a culinary adventure along Fitzroy and Acland Streets, overflowing with restaurants, cafes, bars, and live music venues.
  • Nightlife Hub: Experience St Kilda’s legendary nightlife scene, with options ranging from laid-back bars to pulsing clubs.

Beyond the Beach:

  • Cultural Delights: Explore the nearby Royal Botanic Gardens or discover hidden gems in Melbourne’s favourite CBD laneways, all within easy reach.
  • Family Fun: Don’t miss Luna Park, featuring the world’s longest continuously running wooden rollercoaster.
  • Nature’s Oasis: Seek tranquillity at the St Kilda Botanical Gardens.

Getting Around:

St Kilda is well-connected to other parts of Melbourne by trams, making it easy to explore the city.

Is St Kilda Right for You?

St Kilda is ideal for travellers seeking:

  • Beachside Escape: Immerse yourself in the relaxed atmosphere and enjoy water activities.
  • Vibrant Nightlife: Experience St Kilda’s lively bars, clubs, and live music scene.
  • Easy Access to the City: Explore Melbourne’s top attractions and cultural experiences with convenient tram connections.

Things to Consider:

St Kilda can be lively, especially on weekends. Consider your noise preferences when choosing accommodation.

Where to Stay in St Kilda:

St Kilda offers a variety of accommodation options, including:

  • Beachside Hotels: Enjoy stunning water views at hotels like The Cosmopolitan Hotel or Quest St Kilda Bayside.
  • Apartment Stays: Opt for a serviced apartment like the Hamptons Apartments for a home-away-from-home feel and extra space.

Explore online booking platforms to discover the perfect place to stay in St Kilda!

Carlton – neighbourhoods in Melbourne

Carlton offers a unique blend of history, delectable cuisine, and artistic energy, making it an ideal base for curious travellers.

Immerse Yourself in Carlton’s Charm:

  • A Walk Through Time: Explore iconic landmarks like the Royal Exhibition Building and Melbourne Museum, or stroll through the beautiful Carlton Gardens. Quaint Victorian-era terrace houses and lush parks line the streets, creating a picturesque atmosphere.
  • Foodie Paradise: Carlton, Melbourne’s “Little Italy,” boasts authentic Italian restaurants, cafes, and gelaterias, promising a culinary adventure.
  • Cultural Delights: Delve into the vibrant arts scene with galleries, theatres, and live music venues like La Mama Theatre and the Melbourne Theatre Company.

Beyond Carlton’s Doorstep:

Is Carlton Right for You?

Carlton is ideal for travellers seeking:

  • Historical & Cultural Immersion: Explore Melbourne’s rich heritage and thriving arts scene.
  • Foodie Delights: Indulge in authentic Italian cuisine and diverse culinary experiences.
  • Central Location: Enjoy easy access to the heart of Melbourne and its many attractions.

Things to Consider:

Carlton offers a lively atmosphere, especially during weekends and around its restaurants. Consider your noise preferences when choosing accommodation.

Where to Stay in Carlton:

Carlton offers a variety of accommodation options to suit different needs and budgets:

  • Boutique Stays: Immerse yourself in Carlton’s character at unique hotels like Zagame’s House.
  • Comfort & Convenience: Opt for a conveniently located hotel like Best Western Plus Travel Inn.
  • Spacious Comfort: Consider a serviced apartment for a home-away-from-home feel and extra space, perfect for longer stays or families.

Planning to explore Victoria more? Here are 11 fun-filled day trips from Melbourne


Beyond the city centre lies Richmond, a vibrant neighbourhood brimming with culture, entertainment, and a diverse dining scene, making it a perfect choice for many travellers.

Embrace Richmond’s Energy:

  • Foodie Paradise: Embark on a culinary adventure with Richmond’s vast array of restaurants, cafes, and bars, catering to all palates.
  • Sports Fan’s Haven: Immerse yourself in the electric atmosphere of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and the Sports and Entertainment Precinct.
  • Arts & Culture Aficionado’s Delight: Explore art galleries, boutique shops, and live music venues, soaking up Richmond’s creative spirit.

Beyond the Buzz:

Is Richmond Right for You?

Richmond is ideal for travellers seeking:

  • Lively Atmosphere: Immerse yourself in Richmond’s vibrant energy, perfect for those who enjoy a happening scene.
  • Diverse Dining: Experience a world of flavours, from casual cafes to unique international restaurants.
  • Sports & Entertainment: Catch a game at the MCG or explore the nearby Sports and Entertainment Precinct.
  • Easy City Access: Maintain easy access to Melbourne’s heart while enjoying a distinct neighbourhood experience.

Things to Consider:

Richmond offers a bustling atmosphere, especially on game days and weekends. Consider your noise preferences when choosing accommodation.

Where to Stay in Richmond:

Richmond caters to different styles and budgets with a range of accommodation options:

  • Upscale Comfort: Opt for a luxurious stay at hotels like The Pullman Melbourne on the Park.
  • Boutique Stays: Immerse yourself in Richmond’s character at unique hotels like The Motley.
  • Serviced Apartments: Consider an apartment at Quest East Melbourne for a home-away-from-home feel and extra space
Looking towards the CBD at night from Richmond
The views from the MCG in Richmond

Melbourne: Finding Your Perfect Neighborhood

Melbourne offers a vibrant tapestry of neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm. To find the perfect place to stay, consider your interests:

  • Culture & Entertainment: Explore lively areas like Richmond or St Kilda, brimming with restaurants, bars, and art scenes.
  • History & Relaxation: Immerse yourself in South Melbourne’s village atmosphere or Carlton’s historical landmarks and tranquil parks.
  • Beachside Bliss: Unwind by the water in St Kilda, offering stunning beaches and a relaxed vibe.
  • Modernity & Convenience: Docklands provides a contemporary feel with easy access to the city center.

Research & Book Your Stay:

  • Location & Amenities: Consider proximity to desired attractions, public transport access, and local shops and restaurants.
  • Budget & Style: Melbourne offers a variety of hotels, apartments, and hostels to suit all budgets and tastes.
  • Safety: Melbourne is generally safe, but be aware of petty theft, especially in crowded areas. Secure your belongings and stay vigilant.

Here are some resources to get you started:

  • Online booking platforms allow you to compare hotels, apartments, and hostels based on your criteria.
  • Melbourne tourism websites provide detailed information on each neighborhood, including attractions and accommodation options.

We hope this article from us here at Explore Victoria has inspired you to embark on your adventure in Victoria, Australia, from popular caravan parks and pristine beaches to drives along the Great Ocean Road. Enjoy weekends away on the Mornington Peninsula and discover the cosmopolitan charm of Melbourne, Victoria, with a range of experiences for every traveller who wants to visit Victoria.

Whether you’re drawn to the rugged beauty of the Grampians, the cultural richness of Ballarat, or the autumn colours of Bright and Northern Victoria, there’s no shortage of hidden gems waiting to be discovered in Victoria.

Even if you love exploring Gippsland or driving the Great Alpine Road, Victoria has something special for you, and there is so much more for you to discover. If you are looking for more incredible and best places to visit in Melbourne or more travel in Victoria destinations, Explore Victoria has some more articles below for you to check out. Expand your horizons and get out and about in Victoria, Australia, for an unforgettable experience. 

If you have an idea, attraction, or top spot in Victoria, please comment or email us at contact@explorevictoriaaustralia.com.

Explore more about Victoria

warrnambool cover

22 best things to do in Warrnambool

Located on the southwestern coast of Victoria, Warrnambool is a charming seaside city that offers visitors a wealth of things to see and do. With its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and friendly locals, Warrnambool is a top destination for those looking for a weekend away or a holiday spot in Victoria. With its location … Read more
Raymond Island cover

The ultimate locals guide to the Raymond Island Koala walk

Seeing a koala in a zoo or a wildlife park is top of many people’s lists of things to do when they visit Australia. These amazing creatures feature on many tourism campaigns and are one of the top draw cards for people who are going down under. But what if you could see them in … Read more
st kilda cover

The ultimate list of the best 30 things to do in St Kilda

Being so close to Melbourne, St Kilda is the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon or a weekend stay, there are just so many things to do in St Kilda. It is a seaside suburb blessed with a gorgeous beach, epic live music venues and the all-time favourite Luna Park. You can’t go wrong with … Read more
bright holiday

The 6 best caravan parks in Bright

Bright, the home of the great outdoors, the home to stunning landscapes, divine food and some of the warmest locals in the state. It’s a place that everyone wants to visit whether it be in the winter or a trip to Bright in the summer, it literally has a season for everyone. Bright is close … Read more


Author Bio

Mark Wyld is a passionate writer and explorer, weaving tales inspired by a deep love for his home state of Victoria. With local knowledge, Mark seeks to share insights and experiences that captivate and inspire readers. When not immersed in writing, you can find him working in Disability Support or spending time with family and friends. Follow Mark for a journey through Victoria’s best sights, tastes and attractions.