Melbourne City from Southbank
Australia’s second largest city, Melbourne, doesn’t have a harbour, nor a bridge or an Opera house but it does rival Sydney as the business, cultural, and artistic heart of the country. And now you will be visiting Melbourne and are in need of accommodation for your stay. Now Melbourne is a sprawling city with many suburbs you could stay in. So how do you choose where to stay? Firstly, ask yourself why you are coming to Melbourne and once you have answered that, you should be able to choose the best location with the best accommodation option. Here are my suggestions on the best neighbourhoods and the best places to stay in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia no matter what your budget is.
Your Reason For Visiting Melbourne Can Influence Where You Stay
There are many reasons to visit Melbourne and only you can answer this one. But if you are coming to Melbourne for a specific reason then there might be an area that would suit you better. For instance, if you are coming to Melbourne for a sporting event at the MCG then you will need accommodation in Melbourne’s CBD or just east of Melbourne in the suburbs of Jolimont or Richmond. Or if you are visiting for the first time and want to explore the major tourist sites then you will probably want to stay in Melbourne’s CBD. And if you are seeking great nightlife with budget accommodation by the beach then the St Kilda area would suit. Read on for more information on the different neighbourhoods to stay in Melbourne and the types of accommodation within them.
Types of Accommodation in Melbourne
Melbourne has a great array of accommodation available for every budget. From camping sites on the fringes to hostels to budget motels to mid-range and luxury hotels to small apartments. There is simply all sorts of accommodation available for singles, couples and families and for every budget. Read on and find some accommodation in Melbourne for your visit.
Best Areas to Stay in Melbourne
Melbourne is a sprawling city with many areas you could stay. Each part of Melbourne has its own uniqueness and offer visitors lots of accommodation options. Depending on your reason for visiting Melbourne here are the best areas to stay in Melbourne.
The centre of Melbourne city is naturally the most popular area to stay as you are within walking distance or a tram ride away from all the main attractions. Melbourne has many architectural delights along with fashionable boutiques and arcades and narrow laneways to explore. You also have the hustle and bustle of the city during the day and the nightlife at night. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants to enjoy as well as all the tourist attractions. The free tram around the city is a must to ride and get to know the city.
Attractions in Melbourne CBD
- Flinders Street Station
- Federation Square
- State Library Victoria
- St Paul’s Cathedral
- Melbourne Central
- Immigration Museum
- Queen Victoria Market
- Old Melbourne Gaol
- Sealife Melbourne Aquarium
Best Accommodation in Melbourne CBD
Hostels: Melbourne City Backpackers, All Nationals Backpackers, The Village Melbourne
Budget Hotels: Hotel Grand Chancellor Melbourne, Ibis Melbourne Central
Luxury Hotels: InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, The Langham, Grand Hyatt Melbourne
Apartments: Melbourne SkyHigh Apartments
Best Camping & Caravan Sites: Crystal Brook Tourist Park, Discovery Park Melbourne
Just south of the CBD on the other side of the Yarra River, a mere walk across a bridge, you will find Southbank. Southbank is regarded as Melbourne’s Art Precinct as you will find the wonderful National Gallery of Victoria, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, the Arts Centre and a quick tram ride down St Kilda Road to the Shrine of Remembrance. At Southbank you can walk along the waterfront and visit the two tallest buildings in Australia, the Eureka Tower and Australia 108. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes to enjoy as well as the Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex which dominates the area. There are also many swanky areas for shopping, drinking and eating and the CBD is connected by one of the numerous bridges across the Yarra. So if you are interested in the arts and or visiting the two tall buildings then Southbank is an ideal location to stay while in Melbourne.
Attractions in Southbank
- National Gallery of Victoria
- Arts Centre
- Shrine of Remembrance
- Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex
- Eureka Tower
Best Accommodation in Southbank, Melbourne
Budget Hotels: Ink Hotel Melbourne Southbank
Mid-range to luxury Hotels: Crown Towers Hotel, Pan Pacific Melbourne, Crown Metropol Melbourne
Apartments: Bella Hotel Apartments, WRAP on Southbank
The Docklands is a recently developed area of Melbourne and has loads of apartments with great views. It is conveniently located for the Skybus which has a terminal at the Southern Cross Railway Station (formerly Spencer Street Station). So if you are arriving by plane for your visit to Melbourne, the Docklands are a very convenient area to stay. Melbourne’s free tram runs within this area making it easy for you to get to the CBD and northern Melbourne suburbs. There aren’t too many touristy things to do in the Docklands but there is the Melbourne Star observation wheel and not too far away is Sealife Melbourne Aquarium. The main reason you would stay in the Docklands is that it is a hop skip and a jump to Marvel Stadium for sporting events.
Popular Attractions in Docklands
- Docklands Stadium
- Victoria Police Museum
- Sealife Melbourne Aquarium
- Melbourne Star Observation Wheel
Best Accommodation in Docklands, Melbourne
Medium-Luxury Hotels: The Sebel Melbourne Docklands, Four Points by Sheraton Melbourne Docklands
Apartments: Quest Docklands, Quest NewQuay Docklands
North Melbourne Suburbs
Just north of Melbourne’s CBD are a number of suburbs, North Melbourne, Carlton, Fitzroy and Collingwood. They are all well serviced by trams to easily get you into the CBD or you could walk if feeling energetic. Staying in this part of Melbourne will mean you are close to the Victoria Market, Carlton Gardens and the 19th-century exhibition buildings of the Royal Exhibition Building which is a UNESCO World Heritage listed site. One of the best things about this area are the funky shops and restaurants. After some Italian culture, wander down Lygon Street in Carlton known as Melbourne’s Little Italy for some classic Italian cuisine. Accommodation is limited in this part of Melbourne but there are still a number of places to stay while in Melbourne.
Popular Attractions in Melbourne’s Northern Suburbs
- Victoria Market
- Carlton Gardens
- Royal Exhibition Building
- Melbourne Museum
- Melbourne Cemetery
- Lygon Street
- Melbourne Zoo
Best Accommodation in Melbourne’s Northern Suburbs
Hostel: Melbourne Metro YHA, Queen Victoria Hostel
Budget Hotels: Best Western Plus Travel Inn, City Edge North Melbourne
Mid-Luxury Hotels: Mercure North Melbourne,
Apartments: Melrose Apartments
St Kilda is a traditional bay beach tourist resort area. With a wide sandy area St Kilda isn’t the best for swimming, but on a hot day, any body of water is great to cool off in. St Kilda is a drawcard though, apart from the beach on your doorstep there is a pair and a great walking trail along the foreshore. There’s also plenty of cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants. There are two main strips to St Kilda, Fitzroy Street and Ackland Street known for its traditional bakeries. And then you have Luna Park, Melbourne’s iconic amusement park. There is plenty of nightlife available too with live music at The Esplanade Hotel. St Kilda has a lot of accommodation available and it is particularly the first choice for backpackers visiting Melbourne with many short and long-term hostels and budget accommodation available. St Kilda is about 20 minutes from the CBD by tram so it isn’t too far to still be able to head into the city to enjoy all the things Melbourne has to offer.
Popular Attractions in St Kilda
- Luna Park
- Walk along the St Kilda foreshore and Ackland Street
- See bands at the Esplanade Hotel
Best Accommodation in St Kilda
Hostels: Base St Kilda, Barkly Backpackers
Mid-Luxury Hotels: Rydges St Kilda, Cosmopolitan Motel
Apartments: Quest St Kilda Bayside, Crest On Barkly Serviced Apartments
If you are in Melbourne to attend a sporting event at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) or want to shop till you drop on Bridge Road in Richmond then staying east of Melbourne might suit. However, they can be reached quite easily by tram.
Attractions in East Melbourne
- Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
- Royal Botanic Gardens with Captain Cook House
- Shopping on Bridge Road, Richmond
- Victoria Gardens Shopping Centre
Best Accommodation in East Melbourne
Budget-Mid Range Hotels: Georgian Bed & Breakfast, Comfort Hotel East Melbourne, Richmond Hill Hotel
Mid-Luxury Hotels: Mantra on Jolimont, Pullman on the Park, Park Hyatt Parliament Square
Apartments: City Edge East Melbourne Apartments Hotel, Knightsbridge Apartments
Best of Melbourne at a Glance
Best Hostels: YHA North Melbourne,
Best Budget Hotels: Cosmopolitan Hotel, Crest on Park Hotel Apartments, Hotel Grand Chancellor Melbourne
Best Family Hotels in Melbourne: Crown Metropol Melbourne, Quest NewQuay Docklands, Pan Pacific Melbourne
Best Luxury Hotels in Melbourne: InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, The Langham, Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, Crown Towers Hotel
Best Camping & Caravan Parks in Melbourne:
Best Area in Melbourne for Sightseeing: City Centre (CBD)
Best Area in Melbourne for Nightlife: St Kilda and City Centre
Best Area in Melbourne for Food and Restaurants: Southbank
Best Area in Melbourne For Families: Docklands
Best Area in Melbourne for Beaches: St Kilda
Best Area in Melbourne for the Arts: CBD and Southbank
Best Area in Melbourne for watching sports: East Melbourne for the MCG and Docklands for Marvel Stadium
Best Area in Melbourne for transport: The tram system throughout the city is great. To go further afield check out the trains and the buses.
Have you Chosen Where to Stay in Melbourne?
Thank you for reading this Melbourne accommodation guide! I hope you have been able to choose and book the best Melbourne accommodation for your stay. Let me know about your stay in the comments below and if you have any questions.
What a useful guide on Melbourne accommodations! It would also be fun to see some images from these places to get an even better vibe 🙂
Yes, I will add more images – I just need to stay in more places! lol.
These are all great options! I love how you mention that our trip reasons will influence the decision on where to stay. I think this is such a good point and makes total sense to think about it before booking a stay in Melbourne. St Kilda sounds like a great beach to visit!
Yes, why you are going somewhere can influence where you stay. St Kilda is a great beach.
Thank you sooo much for splitting these up by area! I spend half my time planning trips looking at a map trying to group things, but with the activities grouped by area that already saves times 😀
Your very welcome. Research can be a fun part of your travels but at the same time laborious so I am glad I could make your life a little easier.
That’s an informative post.thanks for sharing this useful info.saving for later
Good to hear you are saving the post for later as you never know when you may be in Melbourne and need accommodation.
I stayed in North Melbourne just a few weeks ago but never really know where to stay. Thanks for providing so many options! I’ve pinned this for my next Melbourne trip…..
Great – next visit to North Melbourne you will have some other accommodation options.
This is such a detailed guide. I am saving it for my next visit to Melbourne. It would be great if you could maybe categorize these accommodations as per travelers’ budget.
Thanks. I will consider categorising as you suggest.
Melbourne is on my bucket list if they ever allow tourists again! Pinning with high hopes 🙂
Good to hear Melbourne is on your bucket list – I’m sure you will enjoy the food in particular considering your are a chef!
I’ve been to Melbourne a long, long time ago and stayed with two different Couchsurfing hosts. Can’t remember where exactly now, but if I go again, I would love to stay somewhere near St. Kilda. Very cool and relaxing vibe. ?
Yeah, St Kilda is a really cool place to live.
Thanks, it’s really helpful that you divide the city into areas. That’s always my biggest concern during planning a trip: which part of an unknown city should we stay?
So true. Knowing what you are going to a city for is helpful to work out where to stay.
I have to admit the main things I have heard about Melbourne have been about the incredible food – which of these do you think is the best for finding tasty grub?
Or if the best food is everywhere I guess I’d aim for St Kilda, and go for the nice walks between meals. 😉
There are plenty of places to get good tasty grub in Melbourne. Lygon Street in Carlton is known for its Italian Restaurants. Southbank have some high class restaurants run by notable chefs and of course there are plenty of food places in St Kilda – you definitely won’t starve!
I want to visit Melbourne so badly as I have a friend who lives there. This is a great guide to some of the neighborhoods. She lives around St Kilda so I know that looks really beautiful but so many other places to check out too
St Kilda is a great place to stay. It has everything – accommodation, bay beach, restaurants and cafes and a great lifestyle that many Melbournians enjoy.
I love the range of budget options you’ve given and info about the different areas. It makes choosing where to stay so much easier. Thanks for sharing!
There are plenty of options in Melbourne. I hope you choose the right one.
Great post! I hope to be in Melbourne (from NZ) in a month or so (hoping things go better soon) and this will be really handy, thank you for sharing!
Melbourne is a wonderful place to visit and there are plenty of accommodation options for every budget.
I never knew Melbourne has so much to do. I was only counting on Sydney and Gold Coast.
Most people only know about Sydney and the Gold Coast but Melbourne has lots to offer. I hope you can get there one day.
I only got as far as Melbourne airport on my first visit to Australia, but am saving this in case I get to visit again, so thanks for sharing.
Hopefully you can get out of the airport next time – there is plenty to see and do.
I loved Melbourne. It is such a walkable city. The architecture reminded me of a European city.
Melbourne is very walkable because it was designed on a grid system making it easy to walk around. And the architecture is very European.