I am a travel blogger originally from Nepal. I spent over a decade living in Sydney, Australia, but a couple of years ago made the move to the beautiful city of Melbourne. So as a local, I can confidently say that Melbourne City is one of the best places to stay in Melbourne CBD ( central business district) especially if you are traveling or visiting for a short stay. It is the heart of the city, where all the action happens. Whether you are visiting Melbourne for the first time or you are a regular, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to picking the best area to stay in Melbourne CBD.
Read more on moving from Sydney to Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital of Victoria and the second most populous city in Australia. It is known for its thriving arts scene, beautiful architecture, and fantastic food culture. The city is also home to some of the most friendly and welcoming people you will ever meet! I will also share a quick guide to Melbourne at the bottom of this post.
Now on this blog, I will be sharing some of the best areas to stay in Melbourne CBD based on my personal experience and recommendations.
The first and foremost benefit of staying in CBD is transport, there are free trams in the city, and if you need to go further away, Uber, Taxi, train, or bus everything is right at your doorstep.
To use the free tram in Melbourne, follow these steps:
- Look for the tram stops that have a “Free Tram Zone” sign on them. These stops are located throughout the CBD and stretch as far as Docklands and Victoria Harbour.
- Board the tram at the designated stop.
- If you’re traveling within the free tram zone, there’s no need to tap on your Myki card or pay any fare.
- If you need to travel outside the free tram zone, make sure to tap on your Myki card or purchase a ticket before boarding the tram.
- Sit back and enjoy the ride! The free tram is a great way to explore Melbourne’s CBD and some of its surrounding suburbs without spending a dime.
Note: Trams that operate outside of the free tram zone require a valid Myki card or ticket to travel
There are multiple tram routes that run within the free tram zone in Melbourne’s CBD. The tram routes include the City Circle Tram, which is a free heritage tram that loops around the city, as well as other regular tram routes such as 35, 86, and 70. The specific tram number you would need to take will depend on your starting point and destination. You can find more information about the tram routes and schedules on the Public Transport Victoria website.
The best area to stay in Melbourne CBD
- The best area to stay in Melbourne CBD
- 1. Flinders Street Station
- 2. Flagstaff Gardens
- 3. Queen Victoria Market
- 4. Southern Cross Station
- 5. Southbank
- 6. Docklands
- 7. Chinatown
- 8. South Yarra
- 9. Carlton
- 10. Fitzroy
- 11. Collingwood
- 12. Richmond
- 13. South Melbourne Market
- 14. East Melbourne
- 15. Bonus for beach lovers
- St Kilda:
- Port Melbourne:
- Which are the best street to stay in Melbourne CBD
- Is it better to stay at Southbank or the city center in Melbourne?
- A quick guide to Melbourne, Australia
- Free things to do in Melbourne that you won’t want to miss out on:
- Recommendation on where to eat in Melbourne
- Let me know in the comments:
1. Flinders Street Station
Flinders Street Station is located in the heart of the city, and it is the main transportation hub in Melbourne. If you want to be close to all the action, this is the perfect location for you. You will be within walking distance of many of Melbourne’s top attractions, including Federation Square, the National Gallery of Victoria, and the Royal Botanic Gardens.
There are also plenty of restaurants, cafes, and bars in the area, making it a great place to stay if you are a foodie or enjoy a night out on the town.
No matter which area you stay in melbourne CBD, I recommend using booking.com and sorting with price, then consider the ones with highest reviews plus within 1km of center/old town in order to be between all the actions.
For tours, I recommend using get your guide and walking tours available in most places
2. Flagstaff Gardens
Located in the heart of the CBD, Flagstaff Gardens is Melbourne’s oldest park and a great place to stay for those who want to be close to a beautiful green space in the heart of the city. The park is home to a wide range of flora and fauna, including several species of birds, and it’s a popular spot for picnics, jogging, and relaxing.
There are plenty of grassy areas and benches where you can enjoy a meal/picnic solo or with friends or family. If not, grab a coffee or sandwiches from one of the cafes around, and also check out nearby Healeys Lane – a hidden gem for Korean, and Japanese options. If you are into shopping, Bourke Street Mall, is easily accessible by foot or public transportation from Flagstaff Gardens, making it a convenient location for those staying in the city.
3. Queen Victoria Market
Located just north of the CBD, and 3 minute walk from the Flagstaff Gardens, Queen Victoria Market is one of Melbourne’s most iconic attractions and a great place to stay for those who want to be close to the action. The market is home to over 600 traders selling a wide range of goods, including fresh produce, gourmet foods, clothing, and souvenirs.
Visitors can also enjoy live music and entertainment, street food, and guided tours of the market’s historic buildings. Queen Victoria Market is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
4. Southern Cross Station
Southern Cross Station is a major public transport system/ hub located in the CBD, making it an ideal location for those looking to explore Melbourne and its surrounding areas. The station provides access to trains, buses, and trams, making it easy to get around the city and beyond. Southern Cross Station is also home to a range of dining options, including cafes and restaurants, as well as shops and other amenities.
It’s a convenient location for those staying in the CBD who want to explore all that Melbourne has to offer.
If you are looking for a more upscale area to stay in Melbourne CBD, Southbank is the perfect location for you. It is situated along the Yarra River and offers stunning views of the city skyline. Southbank is also home to some of Melbourne’s best restaurants, including Nobu, Rockpool, and Bistro Guillaume.
There are also plenty of things to do in the area, including visiting the Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex or taking a stroll along the Southbank Promenade.
Docklands is a newer area of Melbourne CBD and offers a more modern and trendy vibe. It is home to many high-rise apartments, and many of the buildings are modern and architecturally stunning. Docklands is also home to many trendy cafes, bars, and restaurants, making it a great place to stay if you enjoy the finer things in life.
There are also plenty of things to do in Docklands, including visiting the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel (it’s closed now though but taking a boat tour along the Yarra River is equally fun. Also, it is one of the best spots for quiet sunsets in Melbourne CBD.
Melbourne’s Chinatown is located in the heart of the city and offers a unique cultural experience. It is home to many authentic Chinese restaurants, as well as traditional Chinese shops and markets. If you are a foodie, this is the perfect location for you, as you will have access to some of the best Chinese food in Melbourne.
There are also many other things to do in Chinatown, including visiting the Chinese Museum or taking a stroll along Little Bourke Street.
8. South Yarra
Located just to the south of the CBD, South Yarra is an upmarket suburb with chic boutiques, art galleries, and excellent restaurants. It’s a great place to stay for those who want to experience Melbourne’s more sophisticated side. Take a stroll down Chapel Street, visit the Prahran Market, or relax in the beautiful Fawkner Park.
This inner city suburb is located just north of Melbourne’s CBD and is known for its beautiful terrace houses, leafy parks, and the famous Lygon Street. Carlton is a great place to stay for those who want to experience a more relaxed and bohemian atmosphere.
You can take a leisurely stroll through the Carlton Gardens, visit the Royal Exhibition Building (a stunning example of 19th-century architecture and a popular destination for tourists and locals alike), and Melbourne Museum, or dine at one of the many excellent Italian restaurants in the area.
Located just to the northeast of the CBD, Fitzroy is a bohemian suburb with a vibrant arts scene, eclectic shops, and excellent cafes and restaurants. It’s a great place to stay for those who want to experience Melbourne’s creative side.
Explore the street art that adorns the walls of many of the buildings, shop for vintage clothing on Brunswick Street, or enjoy a drink at one of the many bars in the area.
Just north of Fitzroy is the edgy suburb of Collingwood. It’s a great place to stay for those who are looking for something a bit more alternative. Collingwood is known for its thriving arts and music scene, trendy bars, and some of Melbourne’s best coffee shops.
Visit the Abbotsford Convent, take a stroll down Smith Street, or dine at one of the many great restaurants in the area.
Located just to the southeast of the CBD, Richmond is a bustling suburb with excellent shopping, dining, and entertainment options. It’s a great place to stay for those who want to be close to the action but still have some peace and quiet.
Richmond is home to the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Bridge Road shopping precinct. You can also explore the excellent cafes, bars, and restaurants along Swan Street.
13. South Melbourne Market
Located just south of the CBD, the South Melbourne Market is a bustling and vibrant destination that offers a range of fresh produce, gourmet foods, and artisanal products. The market is open from Wednesday to Sunday and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. Visitors can enjoy fresh seafood, organic produce, artisanal cheeses, and much more, all while soaking up the lively atmosphere of this historic market. It’s a great place to stay for those looking to explore Melbourne’s culinary scene and experience the city’s unique food culture.
14. East Melbourne
For those looking for a sophisticated, upscale experience just a stone’s throw from the CBD, East Melbourne is the perfect destination. This small, affluent suburb is known for its elegant Victorian-era architecture, lush parks and gardens, and proximity to some of Melbourne’s top cultural attractions.
East Melbourne is bordered by the Yarra River to the south, and its northern boundary is defined by Victoria Parade. The suburb is home to a range of cultural institutions, including the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), the National Sports Museum, and the Jolimont Train Station, which provides easy access to other parts of the city.
East Melbourne is also home to a range of beautiful parks and gardens, including the Fitzroy Gardens, which feature a range of ornamental gardens, walking paths, and historic landmarks like Cooks’ Cottage. The suburb also features a range of elegant Victorian-era homes, many of which have been converted into a bed and breakfasts or boutique hotels, making it a popular destination for visitors looking for a quiet, sophisticated base from which to explore Melbourne.
Visitors to East Melbourne can enjoy easy access to the CBD via public transportation, or take a leisurely stroll along the Yarra River or through the gardens. The suburb is also home to a range of upscale restaurants, cafes, and bars, making it the perfect destination for those looking for a refined, sophisticated experience in Melbourne.
15. Bonus for beach lovers
For those who love the sun, sand, and surf, St Kilda and Port Melbourne are two popular destinations that are worth a visit. Here are some details about these two beachside suburbs,
Located just south of the CBD, St Kilda is one of Melbourne’s most popular beach destinations. The suburb is home to a range of attractions, including Luna Park, the St Kilda Pier, and the St Kilda Botanical Gardens. Visitors can also enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and surfing at St Kilda Beach, or take a leisurely stroll along the Esplanade. The suburb is also home to a range of restaurants, bars, and cafes, making it a great place to stay for those looking for a beachside getaway with plenty of amenities.
Located just southwest of the CBD, Port Melbourne is another popular beach destination that’s worth a visit. The suburb is home to a range of attractions, including the Port Melbourne Beach, the historic Station Pier, and the Bay Street shopping precinct. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and water sports at the beach, or take a leisurely stroll along the foreshore. The suburb is also home to a range of restaurants, bars, and cafes, making it a great place to stay for those looking for a beachside getaway with plenty of amenities.
Which are the best street to stay in Melbourne CBD
There are several great streets to stay on in Melbourne’s CBD, depending on your preferences and budget. Here are some popular options:
- Flinders Lane – This street is known for its trendy restaurants and cafes, as well as its proximity to some of Melbourne’s top attractions, including Federation Square and the Yarra River.
- Collins Street – If you’re looking for a more upscale stay, Collins Street is home to luxury hotels (one of the best places to stay in Melbourne for couples) and high-end shopping. It’s also close to the historic Block Arcade and the Royal Botanic Gardens.
- Little Bourke Street – For a taste of Melbourne’s Chinatown, Little Bourke Street is the place to be. It’s also home to affordable accommodations and some of the city’s best dumpling restaurants both of which make it the best place to stay in Melbourne with family.
- Hardware Lane – This cobblestone lane is lined with European-style cafes and restaurants, making it a popular spot for dining and people-watching. It’s also close to shopping on Bourke Street, nightlife, and Queen Victoria Market. I would say this lane or around here would be the best place to stay in Melbourne for a weekend.
- Swanston Street – As one of the main thoroughfares in the CBD, Swanston Street is a bustling hub of activity. It’s home to many budget-friendly accommodations, Melbourne’s iconic Flinders Street Station, and Melbourne Central shopping center. It can be considered the best place to stay in Melbourne for shopping.
- Lonsdale Street – It is another great street to stay in Melbourne CBD. It’s located in the heart of the city and is surrounded by great restaurants, cafes, and shopping destinations. It’s also home to the famous Emporium Melbourne shopping center, which features a wide variety of high-end brands and specialty stores. Additionally, Lonsdale Street is close to many of the city’s major attractions, such as Federation Square, the State Library of Victoria, and the Royal Exhibition Building. Overall, Lonsdale Street is a great choice for those looking for a central location with plenty of amenities and attractions nearby.
Is it better to stay at Southbank or the city center in Melbourne?
What part of Melbourne is best to stay in?
Deciding on the best part of Melbourne to stay in depends on your personal preferences and what you plan to do during your stay. However, both Southbank and CBD in Melbourne are great areas to stay in and offer their own unique benefits.
Southbank is located along the Yarra River and is known for its upscale atmosphere and stunning views of the city skyline. It’s a great location for those who want to be close to some of Melbourne’s top attractions like the Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex, Eureka Tower, and the Arts Centre Melbourne. Southbank is also home to some of Melbourne’s best restaurants, bars, and cafes, making it a great location for foodies.
On the other hand, Melbourne CBD is the heart of the city and offers a more bustling atmosphere. It’s home to many of Melbourne’s top attractions like Federation Square, Flinders Street Station, the Royal Botanic Gardens, and the National Gallery of Victoria. It’s also a great location for shopping, with many high-end boutiques and department stores in the area. Additionally, CBD offers a wider range of accommodations, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels.
Overall, if you are looking for a more upscale and relaxed atmosphere with stunning views, Southbank is the perfect location for you. But if you want to be at the center of all the action and have easy access to many of Melbourne’s top attractions, CBD would be the better choice.
A quick guide to Melbourne, Australia
Here’s a quick guide to Melbourne, Australia with the must-see attractions:
- Visit Federation Square, the heart of Melbourne, and a hub of events, museums, and galleries.
- Explore the Royal Botanic Gardens, one of the world’s finest botanic gardens and a perfect spot for a picnic.
- Stroll along the Yarra River and enjoy the scenic views and restaurants along the way.
- Check out the street art scene in Melbourne’s iconic laneways, including Hosier Lane and Centre Place.
- Catch the free City Circle Tram and explore Melbourne’s CBD and inner suburbs.
- Take a trip to St Kilda Beach to see the penguins and enjoy the vibrant beachside atmosphere.
- Wander through Queen Victoria Market, one of the largest open-air markets in the Southern Hemisphere.
- Visit the State Library of Victoria and admire the stunning Dome Reading Room.
- Experience the lively nightlife and dining scene in Melbourne’s famous restaurants and bar precincts, such as Chapel Street and Brunswick Street.
- Immerse yourself in Melbourne’s sporting culture and visit the MCG, one of the world’s greatest sporting arenas.
Free things to do in Melbourne that you won’t want to miss out on:
- Explore a model Tudor Village at Fitzroy Gardens: Take a walk through Fitzroy Gardens and discover a unique Tudor Village replica that will transport you back in time.
- Visit Queen Vic Market and try all the samples: Queen Victoria Market is a must-visit destination for foodies. Wander around the stalls and try all the delicious samples on offer.
- Check out ACMI’s free exhibitions: The Australian Centre for the Moving Image has some fantastic exhibitions on offer, and the best part is that they’re all free! Explore the world of film, TV, and digital culture.
- Wander around the State Library’s beautiful Dome Reading Room: The State Library of Victoria is an architectural masterpiece, and the Dome Reading Room is a sight to behold. Take a stroll through this stunning space and soak up the history.
- Visit Readings, the best bookshop in the world: Readings is a landmark bookstore that has won international acclaim. It’s the perfect place to get lost in a good book and maybe even find your next favorite read.
- See the penguins on St Kilda Beach: Take a stroll down Jacka Boulevard to St Kilda’s breakwater at sunset and watch the little penguins come out to play. Just remember to respect their space and not disturb them.
- Tour the city using the free tram zone: Melbourne’s CBD is easily traversed via the free tram zone. This is perfect for sightseeing and exploring some of the city’s coolest inner-suburban hangouts.
- Explore Melbourne’s street art: Melbourne is famous for its street art, and you’ll find it almost everywhere you go. Take a walk through the city’s laneways and discover some of the best street art on offer.
One of my favorite things about Melbourne is the abundance of parks and green spaces. The Royal Botanic Gardens and Fitzroy Gardens are two of my favorites, with their beautiful floral displays and peaceful walking paths. You can also explore the Yarra River on a boat tour or enjoy a picnic in one of the many parks around the city.
Recommendation on where to eat in Melbourne
Melbourne is also famous for its food culture. The city has a diverse range of cuisines, with something for every taste bud. You can try traditional Australian fares like meat pies and fish and chips, or explore the flavors from around the world. For coffee lovers, Melbourne is a dream come true! The city has a thriving coffee culture, and you can find excellent coffee shops on every corner.
Here are some options for restaurants in Melbourne that are currently open and running:
- Chin Chin – Located on Flinders Lane, this lively Thai restaurant is known for its vibrant atmosphere and modern twists on classic dishes.
- Longrain – Another popular Thai spot, Longrain serves up shared plates with bold and spicy flavors in a sleek setting.
- Jinda Thai – Located in Abbotsford, Jinda Thai offers a more casual atmosphere but doesn’t skimp on flavor with their traditional Thai dishes.
- Kisume – This elegant restaurant on Flinders Lane offers a range of Japanese dishes, including sushi and sashimi, as well as grilled meats and seafood.
- Shoya – Located in the CBD, Shoya is a popular spot for Japanese cuisine, offering everything from ramen to bento boxes.
- Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen – If you’re looking for some hearty and satisfying ramen, Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen on Russell Street is a great choice.
- Tonka – This modern Indian restaurant on Flinders Lane has received numerous awards for its contemporary take on Indian flavors and spices.
- Horn Please – Located in Fitzroy North, Horn Please offers a fusion of Indian and Australian cuisine, with dishes like tandoori chicken burgers and naan pizzas.
- Daughter in Law – This colorful restaurant on Collins Street offers Indian street food and snacks with a modern twist.
- Gukbab – Located in the CBD, Gukbab offers a range of Korean dishes, including hot pots and barbecue.
- Joomak – This casual spot on Little Lonsdale Street serves up Korean fried chicken and other classic dishes.
- Seouljaboy – This Korean fusion restaurant in Richmond offers dishes like Korean-style tacos and kimchi fried rice.
- Tipo 00 – This Italian restaurant on Little Bourke Street is known for its handmade pasta dishes and seasonal menu.
- French Saloon – Located on Hardware Lane, French Saloon offers French-inspired cuisine with a modern twist.
- Elyros – For a taste of Greek cuisine, Elyros on Swan Street in Richmond offers dishes like slow-roasted lamb and spanakopita.
I hope these suggestions help you find some great places to eat in Melbourne!
The city is also home to some fantastic cultural institutions, including the National Gallery of Victoria, the Melbourne Museum, and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. These museums and galleries showcase the best of Australian and international art, history, and culture.
Finally, Melbourne is known for its sports culture. The city is home to the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground and hosts some of the world’s biggest sporting events, including the Australian Open tennis tournament and the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.
In summary, Melbourne is a vibrant and exciting city with something to offer everyone. Whether you are a foodie, a sports fan, or a culture enthusiast, you will find plenty to love here. So come and visit or make the move, and I guarantee you will not be disappointed!
Let me know in the comments:
if you have any other questions on the best area to stay in Melbourne cbd
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