What is the best area to stay in Melbourne?

Welcome to Melbourne, a city known for its vibrant culture, diverse culinary scene, and thriving arts community. In this blog post, we will take you on a virtual tour of the best area to stay in Melbourne.

Whether you’re a foodie, an art enthusiast, a shopaholic, or simply looking to immerse yourself in the local atmosphere, Melbourne has a neighbourhood to suit your preferences.

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

Where are the best areas to stay in Melbourne?

From the cafe-filled streets of Carlton to the beachside charm of St Kilda and the cosmopolitan allure of Southbank, each neighbourhood offers its own unique blend of attractions and experiences.

The best neighbourhoods in Melbourne offer convenient access to transportation, shopping centres, restaurants, and other amenities, ensuring a comfortable and hassle-free stay.

So, join us as we explore Melbourne’s top neighbourhoods and help you choose the perfect base for your stay in this dynamic city. Some popular neighbourhoods to consider staying in include:

CBD (Central Business District) best suburb to stay in Melbourne

The Melbourne CBD is a prime choice for visitors due to its central location, offering easy access to top attractions like the Sealife Aquarium, Federation Square, and Flinders Street Station, as well as a diverse culinary scene with trendy cafes, laneway eateries, and international cuisine.

Exploring the lane ways of the Melbourne CBD

Shopaholics will delight in the abundance of retail therapy options, including luxury brands, local boutiques, and department stores. Head for a day of shopping at Melbourne Central, The Emporium, or Queen Victoria Market.

The CBD also serves as a cultural hub, home to world-class museums like the NGV, galleries, theatres, and music venues. With convenient public transport connections, including trams, trains, and buses, exploring other parts of Melbourne is a breeze.

And when night falls, the CBD comes alive with its vibrant nightlife, boasting an array of bars, pubs, and clubs offering craft cocktails, live music, and rooftop views. Many people want to stay in Melbourne for the nightlife options and nearby attractions.

Stay in the Melbourne CBD for a dynamic and memorable experience in the heart of the city’s energy and excitement.

Where to stay in the Melbourne CBC:

There are a number of stunning options in the CBD, including the Mövenpick near Southern Cross Station, the Intercontinental at the Rialto, and the old-world charm of The Windsor Hotel.

You will often find that Luxury Escapes has some great deals on 4 and 5-star hotels in Melbourne CBD.

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

Southbank – the best area to stay in Melbourne

Discover the ultimate Melbourne experience by staying on Southbank, where you’ll be enchanted by stunning riverside views and have easy access to attractions such as the Crown Casino, Melbourne Exhibition Centre, and South Wharf.

Southbank is booming with riverside cafes, restaurants, and bars attracting a lively crowd to this area of the city.

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

With plenty of entertainment options at Crown Casino and shopping at South Wharf, this area of the city is fast becoming the first choice of many visitors to Melbourne to stay.

The Melbourne Exhibition Centre regularly has events ranging from car shows to camping and pop culture happenings like Oz Comic-Con.

Soak up the energetic atmosphere, visit Eureka Skydeck, and enjoy places to eat as you create unforgettable memories in the dynamic Southbank neighbourhood, just steps away from the Melbourne CBD.

Where to stay on Southbank:

Southbank could be the best location to stay in Melbourne, with accommodation available at the imposing Crown Casino range of hotels, including Crown Towers, Crown Metropol, and Crown Promenade.

Throw in Novotel Melbourne South Wharf, The Langham Hotel, and the budget-friendly Holiday Inn Express provide a great base for exploring Melbourne.

Where to stay in Melbourne – South Yarra

Discover the allure of South Yarra, an upscale neighbourhood that offers a perfect blend of luxury, shopping, and culinary delights. With renowned shopping precincts like Chapel Street and Toorak Road, fashion enthusiasts will find a paradise of designer boutiques and local finds.

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

Indulge in a culinary journey, from trendy brunch spots to fine dining establishments, and immerse yourself in the vibrant nightlife of rooftop bars, clubs, and wine bars.

With its central location, South Yarra provides easy access to Melbourne’s top attractions, including the Yarra River, the Royal Botanic Gardens, and the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Enjoy the outdoors at Fawkner Park and immerse yourself in the rich cultural scene with galleries, theatres, and live music venues. Stay in South Yarra for a luxurious and convenient experience in the heart of Melbourne’s vibrant lifestyle.

Where to stay in South Yarra:

You will easily find a great range of accommodation in this best part of Melbourne to stay including the Como Melbourne M-Gallery, The Olsen Art Series Hotel and The Ovolo South Yarra.

You will also find a number of apartments available in South Yarra for your stay.

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

Discover the allure of South Melbourne, a charming neighbourhood that offers a unique blend of village charm, culinary delights, and cultural experiences. Immerse yourself in the relaxed atmosphere of its tree-lined streets and explore the iconic South Melbourne Market, where you can indulge in fresh produce and diverse cuisines.

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

With its strategic location near the CBD which is within walking distance, you’ll have easy access to Melbourne’s top attractions. Uncover the neighbourhood’s thriving art scene, boutique shopping, and beautiful parks such as Eastern Reserve where you can unwind and connect with nature.

South Melbourne’s vibrant community spirit and lively events create an unforgettable experience for visitors seeking a blend of history, culture, and a modern lifestyle.

Stay in South Melbourne for a truly authentic inner suburban feel and an enjoyable stay in Melbourne. Is South Melbourne the best area to stay in Melbourne?

Where to stay in South Melbourne:

There are a number of hotels and apartments in South Melbourne within easy walking distance of South Bank. You can have an amazing stay in South Melbourne at the Coppersmith Hotel, The Clarendon Hotel which offers rooms for couples and families with a rooftop bar, while apartment accommodation is highly recommended.

The Docklands – the best location to stay in Melbourne

The Docklands are one of the best areas to stay in Melbourne due to its prime location near the city centre, offering a blend of modernity, convenience, and waterfront charm. It provides easy access to major attractions such as Artvo, O’Brien Icehouse, and the Fox Classic Car Museums. Dining, shopping, entertainment options, and being home to Marvel Stadium are all available at the Docklands.

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

The picturesque waterfront precinct offers stunning views of the harbour and city skyline, scenic walking and cycling paths along the waterways, and excellent transportation options, such as the city circle tram, which connects the area to various transport options in the Melbourne CBD, making it convenient to explore the city’s top attractions.

With its contemporary architecture and innovative urban planning, the Docklands showcases sleek high-rise buildings and a cosmopolitan atmosphere, making it an ideal base for both business and leisure travellers seeking a vibrant and convenient stay in Melbourne.

Where to stay at the Docklands:

At the Docklands you have so much choice with this new neighbourhood being home to some fantastic hotels such as 4 Points by Sheridan, Peppers Docklands and Melbourne Marriott Docklands.

There are a number of apartment-based accommodations available at Quest NewQuay and the Sebel Residences.

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 is undeniably one of the best places to stay in Melbourne due to its unbeatable location near the city centre and stunning beach. Its proximity to Melbourne’s top attractions provides easy access to Federation Square, the Royal Botanic Gardens, and the CBD’s favourite laneways.

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

The beautiful St Kilda Beach offers a perfect spot for sunbathing, water sports, and relaxation; the area is a vibrant hub of entertainment and dining, with a wide range of restaurants, cafés, bars, and live music venues along Fitzroy Street and Acland Street.

Nature lovers can explore the tranquil St Kilda Botanical Gardens. Transportation is convenient, with tram lines connecting St Kilda to other parts of Melbourne, ensuring easy exploration of the city.

Whether seeking beachside relaxation, cultural experiences, or vibrant nightlife. Don’t forget to visit Luna Park and try out the world’s longest continuously running wooden rollercoaster.

St Kilda’s prime location, stunning beach, diverse dining options, and lively atmosphere make it an ideal place to stay in Melbourne. Is St Kilda the best area to stay in Melbourne?

Where to stay at St Kilda:

St Kilda is one of the best locations to stay in Melbourne because of its access to the beach. You will find the area full of apartments and a few hotels to choose from.

The Cosmopolitan Hotel, Quest St Kilda Bayside, and the Hamptons Apartments

Carlton – neighbourhoods in Melbourne

For tourists seeking the best area to stay in Melbourne, Carlton is an excellent choice due to its prime location near the city centre and an array of attractions. Within walking distance, visitors can explore the Royal Exhibition Building, the Melbourne Museum, and the beautiful Carlton Gardens.

Food enthusiasts will be thrilled by the neighbourhood’s reputation as “Little Italy,” with numerous authentic Italian restaurants, cafés, and gelaterias to indulge in. Carlton’s picturesque streets are adorned with Victorian-era terrace houses and lush parks, creating a pleasant ambience.

Additionally, art and culture lovers will appreciate the galleries, theatres, and live music venues in the area, such as La Mama Theatre and the Melbourne Theatre Company.

With convenient tram connections to other parts of Melbourne, Carlton offers a perfect balance of history, culinary experiences, and cultural immersion, making it an ideal place to stay for tourists visiting Melbourne.

Where to stay in Carlton:

In Carlton, you can find great places to stay close to the food scene and the CBD. Some of the best places to stay in Carlton include Zagame’s House, Best Western Plus Travel Inn, and numerous apartments fitting couples, groups, and families.

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


Richmond is undoubtedly one of the best areas to stay in Melbourne, offering a perfect blend of convenience, entertainment, and cultural experiences. Its prime location outside the city centre provides easy access to Melbourne’s top attractions.

Looking towards the CBD at night from Richmond
The views from the MCG in Richmond

The neighbourhood is renowned for its diverse dining scene, with a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and bars to cater to every taste. Richmond’s proximity to the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and the Sports and Entertainment Precinct makes it a dream destination for sports enthusiasts.

The area also boasts a vibrant arts and culture scene, with art galleries, boutique shops, and live music venues to explore. With convenient tram connections, Richmond allows for easy exploration of the city’s major attractions. Nature lovers will appreciate the nearby Yarra River and its picturesque trails.

Whether you seek culinary delights, sporting events, or just a place to stay near the city, Richmond offers the best of Melbourne, making it an excellent choice for your stay.

Where to stay in Richmond:

Richmond is home to a number of high-quality hotels in apartments including The Pullman Melbourne on the Park, The Motley Hotel and Quest East Melbourne, Ultimately, the best area for your trip to Melbourne will depend on your interests and the purpose of your trip.

Best areas to stay in Melbourne

It’s recommended to research each neighbourhood, find the best hotels, and consider factors such as location, proximity to attractions, and local amenities before making a decision. Melbourne is a relatively safe city with normal level’s of petty theft where even the best anti theft waist pack can still be susceptible. You will easily find some of the best hotels in Melbourne close to the CBD.

If you are looking for more amazing 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.

If you have an idea, attraction, or top spot, feel free to leave us a 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 in a wildlife park is top of many people’s lists of things to do when they visit Australia. These amazing creatures feature on so many tourism campaigns and are one of the top draw cards for people making the trip down under. But what if you could see … 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