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 a trip to St Kilda.
- Know before you go. Our top St Kilda travel tips
- Things to do in St Kilda
- Luna Park
- See the penguins at St Kilda Breakwater
- Visit the famous St Kilda Beach
- SUP in Port Phillip Bay
- Visit Acland Street
- Pop into Acland Cellars
- Eat all the food and cakes
- Beat the rush along the St Kilda Promenade
- The St Kilda Esplanade Sunday Market
- Catch a live show at the Palais Theatre
- The Palace Foreshore – Summer venue in St Kilda
- Stop and relax at the St Kilda Botanical Gardens
- Walk the St Kilda Pier
- Skydiving over St Kilda – unique things to do in St Kilda
- Catch an epic sunset
- Kite surfing in St Kilda
- St Kilda escape room
- The Espy – Cool things to do in St Kilda
- Visit the Dick Whittington Tavern
- Ride the Skyline – St Kilda summer Ferris wheel the KIIS Eye
- Visit the Jewish Museum of Australia
- Peanut Farm Reserve
- The St Kilda Lighthouse
- St Kilda Sea Baths
- St Kilda Town Hall
- Visit the Rain Room
- Annual events in St Kilda
- Is St. Kilda worth visiting?
For locals and visitors alike a day or two in St Kilda is a great way to get out of the hustle and bustle of Melbourne’s CBD and enjoy some relaxing time. Having a calm beach, an amusement park and world-famous food right here in St Kilda you can definitely find so much to see and do in St Kilda.
Know before you go. Our top St Kilda travel tips
Whether you are on a holiday to St Kilda solo, as a couple or taking a trip to St Kilda with kids there are a few things you can plan in advance. You can stay right in the centre or find yourself on a nice tree-lined street to make your stay in St Kilda magic.
Places to stay in St Kilda
There are a variety of accommodation options available in St Kilda, including hotels, apartments, hostels, and vacation rentals. Some popular hotels in St Kilda include The Prince Hotel, The Cosmopolitan Hotel, and The Blackman Hotel.
How to get to St Kilda
St Kilda is a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. There are several ways to get to St Kilda depending on your location and mode of transportation. Some options include:
- Taking public transport: The most convenient way to get to St Kilda is by taking a tram or bus. You can take the tram lines 3/3a, 16, or 96 to St Kilda Beach
- Driving: You can also drive to St Kilda, but parking can be limited and expensive. St Kilda Road takes you from the Melbourne CBD to St Kilda
- Walking or cycling: St Kilda is also accessible by foot or bike if you’re located nearby
- If you are coming from the airport you can catch a taxi, Uber or get the Skybus to Southern Cross station and then a tram to St Kilda
Things to do in St Kilda
There are so many things to do in St Kilda that a couple of days there is easily done. Most people only stay a night or two and usually come back to enjoy their favourite thing to do in St Kilda. While Luna Park St Kilda is the biggest drawing card for all ages there are so many more amazing things to do in St Kilda.
First opened in 1912 Luna Park has been a great day out for visitors to Melbourne for over 100 years. Overlooking Port Phillip Bay it is the perfect place to spend a day and then wander the shores of the bay before heading home.
The Great Scenic Railway is one of the iconic attractions and the jewel in the crown of Luna Park with the wooden roller coaster still running and still bringing joy to all that ride it.
Most Victorian kids make a trip to the famous Luna Park in St Kilda and then return as adults! It’s a great day out with fun rides and experiences for children (and adults) of all ages. Once you walk through Mr Moon’s mouth the fun begins.
It is advised that you purchase your tickets online before you go to save yourself some time and as entry numbers to the park have been reduced it will also help you avoid disappointment.
Related post: Everything you need to know about visiting Luna Park
See the penguins at St Kilda Breakwater
Penguins are the favourite of so many people. Their cute, seemingly uncoordinated waddle makes all that see them love them instantly, and you can see them right in St Kilda.
What time do little penguins come ashore?
Just before dusk, in a peaceful atmosphere, you will find the St Kilda Little Penguin colony making its way home to the Breakwater. If you can’t make the trip to Phillip Island then this is a great way to see these amazing animals up close.
There is a viewing platform at the end of the pier but it can become busy so you may find a better viewpoint of the Breakwater along the promenade. Weeknights are less busy if you really want to watch the colony return without too many people around.
Things to remember when watching the St Kilda Penguins:
- Do not touch the penguins
- Do not feed the penguins
- Do not take pictures of the little Penguins with a flash or use a torch
- Take your rubbish home with you or find a bin in the park
- Please leave your pets at home, especially dogs and cats
- Stay off the Breakwater
- The Little Penguins are protected by the Wildlife Act making it prohibited to interfere with the penguin or its habitat
Visit the famous St Kilda Beach
St Kilda Beach is one of the closest calm beaches to Melbourne and is a hive of activity in the summer months. You will find sunbathers, kite surfers, joggers and swimmers all enjoying the cool waters of the Bay. St Kilda Beach is a patrolled beach even though the waters are calm.
If you are an inexperienced swimmer visiting St Kilda you must swim between the flags and listen to the Surf Lifesavers’ directions.
The large section of sand and the close proximity of a plethora of cafes, bars and restaurants make it an easy day out at the beach for locals and tourists to Melbourne alike. Make sure you don’t miss a trip to the St Kilda foreshore.
*If you search St Kilda Beach you may find many photos of bathing boxes. Unfortunately, there are none on St Kilda beach and they are actually located about 10 minutes away on Brighton Beach.
SUP in Port Phillip Bay
Another new St Kilda activity is SUP. Stand-up paddle boarding is the new craze at the moment and there is nowhere better than St Kilda Beach to try SUP.
You can have either your own board or you can take lessons from one of the experienced and certified groups that run SUP tours of Port Phillip Bay.
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Visit Acland Street
Acland Street in St Kilda is a hive of activity and here you will find a great place for a coffee, light meal or dinner with friends. There are plenty of different styles of cuisine so everyone in the group will find something to suit them.
On the weekends and sometimes on holidays, you will find Street Performers that you can sit and watch. Don’t forget to throw a couple of dollars in their hat if you enjoyed their show.
You’ll also find some great little shops that sell unique items and even some big-name brands along the street as well. Although there is not a lot of shopping to do in the street wandering Acland Street is one of the best things to do in St Kilda.
Pop into Acland Cellars
If you enjoy a drop from other countries or have a favourite you can’t seem to find anywhere else then Acland Cellars is the place for you to wander around. In this little shop, you will find plenty of unique liqueurs, wines and spirits from all over the world. It has to be rated as one of Australia’s best shops for imported alcohol.
Eat all the food and cakes
Acland Street St Kilda is known for its magnificent European cake shops and it is hard to pass them without wanting to buy all the cakes! Shop windows are a rainbow of colours and types of cakes that would make even the fussiest of cake masters pass them up.
You can easily get a cake from one shop and then have a look in the next window to see if there is something different there that you can try. Alternatively, you can pop into one of the shops for a sit-down and enjoy a cake and coffee.
Monarch Cakes is one of the most famous shops in The St Kilda area having baked the same recipe for over 80 years. Bringing the idea all the way from Poland there is sure to be something for everyone in this gorgeous shop.
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Beat the rush along the St Kilda Promenade
The St Kilda Promenade is busy any time of the day but if you are an early riser you may catch the best part of the day by beating the crowds early on. You can walk, jog or bike along the promenade and then sit for a nice cup of your favourite drink and watch the crowds roll in.
You may also find if you are not an early riser that after dinner time is another great time to experience a quieter time in St Kilda.
The St Kilda Esplanade Sunday Market
The St Kilda Esplanade Market is filled to the brim with the best local produce, fresh food and hand-crafted treasures. Set along the Esplanade you will see the line of gazebo-style tents that line the street.
You’ll find that the stallholders are setting up early but the arts and craft market usually hits full swing at 10 am and continues through to about 5 pm every Sunday. This is one of the best things to do in St Kilda on a Sunday before visiting St Kilda Beach or a day at Luna Park.
Catch a live show at the Palais Theatre
The Art Deco architecture is something to marvel at as it sits on the Lower Esplanade. While once only a cinema built over an old dance hall the Palais Theater is now home to many live acts from all types of genres.
The Palais Theater is the largest seated theatre in Australia holding nearly 3000 people! Coming in at 96 years young the theatre has hosted concerts for acts including Bryan Adams, Kenny Rogers, The Rolling Stones and UB 40.
This year you will find the Palais Theater holding acts such as the Cirque Mother Africa, Ben Harper, Umberto Tozzi, Ballet International Gala and The Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala.
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The Palace Foreshore – Summer venue in St Kilda
One of St Kilda’s newest outdoor concert venues is the Palace Foreshore. You will find this amazing outdoor concert venue right next door to the famous Palais Theater. The venue is fully licenced and has plenty of food options available for concertgoers.
As it is an outdoor venue it is required you have an ID check (so bring ID), a ticket check and a bag check. At this time there are no events on the site but we will update you when tickets are released.
Stop and relax at the St Kilda Botanical Gardens
If you are just wanting to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the St Kilda Esplanade or the Promenade in St Kilda then the St Kilda Botanical Gardens are for you.
It is a great place to take a ready-made picnic lunch as there are no BBQs on site. You can sit under one of the 810 mature trees that dot the park and if you are a garden enthusiast you can check out the 8 that are on the significant tree register.
You can also spend time at The Alfred Clarke Rose Graden, The Rain Forest Conservatory, play a game of chess on the giant chess board, take in a lesson at the Eco-centre or sit by the ornamental pond and enjoy the Rain Man fountain.
*Dogs are welcome as long as they are on a leash and are not permitted to be closer than 5 meters to the children’s playground.
Walk the St Kilda Pier
You can easily walk this iconic St Kilda attraction and get some great views from it at the same time. The St Kilda Pavillion is one of the most iconic shots that people take in St Kilda and it’s a great spot to have a nice cold drink at the kiosk at the end.
At the end of the Pier, you will find a great place to take a wonderful picture of the panoramic views of Melbourne Skyline with the boats from the Marina in the foreground. On a clear sunny day, this is one of the best places to visit in St Kilda.
You will also find people fishing off the pier almost every day. If you have a fishing licence you can cast a rod as well.
Skydiving over St Kilda – unique things to do in St Kilda
Skydiving over St Kilda Beach is an exciting adventure that offers one of Melbourne’s best views. As you descend you will have breathtaking views of the suburb of St Kilda, Albert Park, The Melbourne Grand Prix track, the beach and the surrounding area.
To skydive over St Kilda Beach, you can book a skydiving experience with a local skydiving company. These companies typically offer a variety of skydiving packages, the most popular is tandem skydiving (where you are attached to a professional instructor) for first-time thrill seekers. Book your skydiving experience today!
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Catch an epic sunset
Again there are some amazing places to take pictures in St Kilda but none are better than an epic sunset picture. You can walk to the end of the Pier and get photos of the Melbourne skyline or you can just stand on the shoreline and snap from there.
It’s also a wonderful experience to have a picnic on the beach and watch the sun go down, so don’t miss one of the best things to do in St Kilda…watch a sunset!
Kite surfing in St Kilda
Kite surfing is an action-packed sport that combines the excitement of surfing with the power of kiting. It’s a great way to get your adrenaline fix while enjoying some fun and exciting wind-powered water sports action. Kite surfing can be done right on St Kilda Beach, the perfect location with small waves and wind coming off Port Phillip Bay.
Take a lesson for first-timers and beginners to the sport, where you will learn kite control and technical skills from a fully qualified instructor. Just another way to enjoy the water in this amazing Melbourne beachside suburb. Book your Kite Surfing lessons today.
St Kilda escape room
Escape rooms are a type of physical adventure game in which players are locked in a themed room and must solve puzzles and clues to escape within a set time limit.
These puzzles and clues are often related to the theme of the room, which can range from a mystery or crime scene to a historical event or science fiction story. In St Kilda there are a number of options for Escape Rooms, you can try Extreme Escape or Rush Escape.
The Espy – Cool things to do in St Kilda
Another St Kilda icon is the Hotel Esplanade. A mainstay in St Kilda since 1878 you will find plenty on at The Espy. From trivia nights to sip and paint you will absolutely find something to tickle your fancy every night of the year. There may also be pop-up events but one thing is for certain you can’t visit St Kilda without visiting The Espy!
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Visit the Dick Whittington Tavern
Everyone wants a pot at this iconic St Kilda Pub. The Dick Whittington Tavern or The Dick to the locals is a corner pub that has been trading since 1861.
You can pop in for a meal, or a quick pot or you can see what is on at the pub like trivia nights, sports nights and poker nights.
Ride the Skyline – St Kilda summer Ferris wheel the KIIS Eye
St Kilda’s newest tourist attraction is the KIIS Eye! Boasting 24 gondolas holding up to 6 people you can ride this amazing seaside attraction and get some of the very best views in Victoria while on it. At a height of 35 meters, you can get views of Melbourne City, St Kilda and Port Phillip Bay.
The KIIS Eye is running now until April 30, 2023, and runs 7 days a week from 12 p.m. until 9.30 p.m. A great initiative for locals to ride the St Kilda Ferris wheel is discounted tickets. You will find the KIIS Eye in the Catani Gardens.
*If you live in the City of Port Phillip show the ticket box your driver’s license or a bill with your address on it to receive a 30% discount for your ride.
Visit the Jewish Museum of Australia
This amazing collection is mainly donated by Jewish community members. it is the largest display of Jewish Australian items in the world with over 20,000 pieces. Here you can learn about how the Jewish Community settled in Australia and their continuing presence.
Peanut Farm Reserve
If you are looking to burn off some energy or for the kids then visit Peanut Farm Reserve St Kilda. Here you will find 2 full-sized basketball courts, a football oval and tennis courts as well as a playground and public toilets.
If you are visiting St Kilda with a dog, the Peanut Farm Reserve is well worth visiting as they can have some off-leash time.
The St Kilda Lighthouse
Only a 5-minute stroll from Acland Street and Fitzroy Street is the St Kilda lighthouse. Part of the St Kilda Marina this lighthouse was made to look like a traditional lighthouse but was never really meant to function as a real lighthouse.
You can take the walking track out to get amazing views of Port Phillip Bay.
St Kilda Sea Baths
Here you will find a luxury health club that has some amazing facilities for visitors. You will find a heated 25-meter seawater pool, a hydrotherapy spa pool, a unisex aromatherapy steam room and a lounge area offering amazing views of Port Phillip Bay.
If you want to you can also grab something to eat, take in a water aerobics class, or if you are a local you can enrol your little one in the learn to swim program.
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St Kilda Town Hall
If architecture is your thing then a visit to the Town Hall should be on the cards. The building is a notable example of Victorian architecture and is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The Town Hall is still in use today as a community centre and is also used for events such as weddings and conferences.
Visit the Rain Room
While reviews are mixed for this experience it really can only be valued by those who experience it first-hand. Not to ruin it for people wishing to try it out it may be an overwhelming sensory experience where you are experiencing a heavy downpour but are able to stay dry. Only you will be able to tell if you would enjoy it or not.
Annual events in St Kilda
If you are looking for things to see and do in St Kilda that are unique to the area these top St Kilda festivals are for you.
St Kilda Festival
This annual event is held on the second Sunday in February. The St Kilda Festival is Australia’s largest free outdoor music festival. The festival also includes a street parade, food and market stalls, and other activities for visitors of all ages.
It’s considered one of the biggest and most popular festivals in Victoria, and it’s attended by many locals and tourists. The festival is typically held in the first week of February.
St Kilda Film Festival
This film festival is the largest and longest-running short film festival. It showcases local filmmakers as well as industry professionals. Every year the internationally recognised Academy Awards festival hosts the top short films competition as well as runs free development programs.
Yaluk-ut Weelam Ngargee
What started as a once-off music festival is now an annual event to celebrate Indigenous and South Pacific Islander culture and dance. Now in its 15th year, this 2-day festival is a First Peoples art and music celebration.
Luna Park’s annual events
You will find plenty of annual events held at Luna Park throughout the year. Valentine’s Day is popular as well as VCE Physics Day, which actually goes over a few days.
Is St. Kilda worth visiting?
No matter what you choose to do whether it sit under palm trees, find some local community events or visit the arts and crafts market every Sunday you can easily explore the best St Kilda has to offer.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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.