So, you’re heading to the land down under and Melbourne’s on your hit list? As it should be!

Melbourne is EPIC. It provides a totally different vibe to the likes of Sydney. Melbourne has a more chill, laid-back energy and is a hub for arts and culture. It’s no coincidence it’s been awarded the most livable city in the world so many times.

Whether you’re looking to let loose on a night out, catch some rays on the golden sand beaches or dive into the city’s rich history and arts culture. Melbourne has it all and then some. 

But Melbourne is a massive city and deciding where to stay can be overwhelming. It’s not a task for the faint-hearted. 

So you’ll be relieved to know that I’ve done you a solid. I’ve compiled a list of where to stay in Melbourne depending on your travel style, budget and what you want to get out of your trip. 

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s unpack the best neighborhoods in Melbourne (in my humble opinion) and what each has to offer. 

Meet you under the clocks.
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

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Where is the Best Place to Stay in Melbourne

Figuring out where you’re going to stay on your travels can take a lot of brain power, right?

I bet you’ve heard amazing things about Melbourne and you’ve locked it in for your travels through Australia. But where are you going to stay when you get there? There are so many neighborhoods to choose from that each offers something unique and magical. 

Well, you’re in luck. I’ve done the homework for you. Keep scrollin’ to find out which neighborhood in Melbourne is best for you. 

Ovolo Laneways | Best Hotel in Melbourne

Freeflow lounge and kitchen area at Ovolo Laneways.

This is the best luxury hotel in Melbourne because of its great location, modern rooms and comfortable beds. Located in the CBD, this four-star hotel is a short walk from theatres, museums, eateries, boutiques and bars. It has 43 refurbished private rooms, free Wi-Fi and a stunning rooftop terrace.

The Nunnery | Best Hostel in Melbourne

2 black metal bunk beds in a room with wooden floors at The Nunnery. Nice bright light coming through the window.

The top cheap hostel in Melbourne for solo travellers, couples, and groups of friends. The charming Nunnery is housed in a history building that’s bursting with character.

Situated in trendy Fitzroy, the hostel goes all out when it comes to fun and FREE experiences. From the Sunday pancake breakfast and the BBQ nights on Fridays to chilled movie nights and lively pub crawls.

This hostel blows many of the cheap hotels out of the water tbh.

Central City Warehouse Apartment | Best Airbnb in Melbourne

Large spacious, artsy, wooden lounge area. Bright light flowing through windows.

If you’re looking for a bohemian-chic apartment in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD – then look no further than this Central City Warehouse Apartment.

It’s a stone’s throw from the centre of the city. It has fabulous restaurants, laneways drenched in street art, shopping, art galleries and public transport all close by.

Melbourne Neighborhood Guide – Best Places to Stay in Melbourne

FIRST TIME IN MELBOURNE
CBD
FIRST TIME IN MELBOURNE

CBD

The CBD is the centre of Melbourne. It’s the neighbourhood at the heart of the action and is home to Melbourne’s most famous and renowned sights, which is why the CBD is the best area in Melbourne to stay in for sightseeing and exploring.

ON A BUDGET
Coppersmith Hotel
ON A BUDGET

South Melbourne

South Melbourne is an inner-city suburb that sits nestled between the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay. It is a charming and eclectic neighbourhood that is home to Victorian-era terrace homes and one of the oldest public markets in Melbourne.

NIGHTLIFE
Four margarita cocktails cheersing on a night out.
NIGHTLIFE

Fitzroy

Fitzroy is one of the coolest neighbourhoods in Melbourne. It is situated northeast of the CBD and has long drawn hipsters, trendsetters, artists and creatives thanks to its many bookstores, galleries, independent boutiques and eclectic eateries.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Sunny Warehouse Studio with NYC Vibe
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Richmond

Richmond is a cool inner city suburb located not far from the CBD. It was once a run-down district that underwent a significant period of redevelopment in the 1990s. Today, Richmond is one of the most popular and sought-after neighbourhoods in the city.

FOR FAMILIES
St Kilda
FOR FAMILIES

St Kilda

St Kilda is a historic suburb located in south-eastern Melbourne. It’s our number one choice for where to stay in Melbourne for families because it offers excellent access to beaches and the city, and there are plenty of seaside activities to enjoy.

Many backpackers dream of travelling to Melbourne! The city is considered Australia’s capital of culture thanks to its stunning architecture, cosy cafes, energetic bars and restaurants. It has a myriad of museums, art galleries, parks and theatres.

Melbourne also plays host to the Australian Open tennis tournament and the Formula 1 Grand Prix. All this adds to its already fun and exciting vibe.

Home to a population of more than 3.5 million people, Melbourne is divided into many diverse neighborhoods and distinct suburbs. This guide will explore the five best places in Melbourne to stay. Whether you’re after a bit of luxury or you’re embracing the world of budget travel, I’ve got you covered.

At the heart of the Melbourne city centre is the Central Business District (CBD). This lively and bustling district is home to the city’s most famous landmarks. It is one of the best places to stay in Melbourne for sightseeing, dining and exploring.

I actually have this building tattooed on my arm, I shit you not!
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

Travel northeast from here and you’ll arrive in Fitzroy. One of the coolest and most colourful neighborhoods in town. Fitzroy is my number one pick for where to stay in Melbourne for nightlife – it has loads of bars, clubs and restaurants to choose from.

Set south of Fitzroy, in East Melbourne, there is Richmond. A hip inner suburb, Richmond is known for its delicious restaurants and lively bars. It is easily one of the coolest places to stay in Melbourne.

Fitzroy also borders South Yarra which is a pretty posh area. South Yarra is home to the famous Chapel Street, which is packed with swanky boutique shops and vibrant cocktail bars and bistros. If you like a bit of luxury in your life, it is definitely worth a visit!

South Melbourne is an eclectic neighborhood situated south of the city centre. It offers picture-perfect views of the city centre and is home to one of the oldest markets in Melbourne.

Finally, St Kilda is a charming suburb located southeast of the city centre – it has a rich and varied history. It boasts some of the best beaches in the city and is home to Luna Park. This is why it wins my vote for where to stay in Melbourne with kids.

Melbourne’s Five Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Still not sure which is the best neighborhood in Melbourne to stay in? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! If you’re in Melbourne for a weekend or a short visit, knowing where to stay can make your whole trip a lot more enjoyable – and save your feet a lot of walking!

#1 CBD – Where to Stay in Melbourne for Your First Time

The CBD is the centre of Melbourne, Australia. It’s the neighborhood at the heart of the action and is home to Melbourne’s most famous and renowned sights. Hence, the CBD is the best area in Melbourne to stay in for sightseeing and exploring. Across from the Yarra River is the famous Flinders Street Station and from there, can conveniently explore the rest of the city.

The Eureka building is iconic in Melbourne.
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

The neighborhood is also well-known for its sprawling laneways with colourful graffiti and street art. Here you can enjoy a stimulating and fun day wandering the streets and eyeing all the incredible artwork.

The Melbourne CBD is a great place to eat and drink. It has many unique and lively bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes. Being so central there’s a large collection of Melbourne hotels in this area – from cheap hotels to boutique hotel options.

Ovolo Laneways | Best Hotel in Melbourne CBD

Ovolo Laneways

This four-star hotel is a short walk from theatres, museums, eateries, boutiques and bars. It’s one of the best hotels in Melbourne because of its great location, modern rooms and comfortable beds. It has 43 refurbished private rooms, free Wi-Fi and a stunning rooftop terrace.

Selina Hostel

Selina Hostel | Best Hostel in CBD

Set on the edge of the Central Business District, Selina Hostel provides you with a prime city location and great facilities. Situated close to the hippest cafes, bars, and other central activities, staying at Selina Melbourne is a great choice.

Central City Warehouse Apartment | Best Airbnb in CBD

Central City Warehouse Apartment

If you’re looking for a bohemian-chic apartment in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, then look no further than this Central City Warehouse Apartment. It’s a stone’s throw from the Melbourne city centre. It has fabulous restaurants, laneways drenched in street art, shopping, art galleries and public transport all close by.

Things to See and Do in CBD

  1. Admire the architecture of the iconic Flinders Street Station.
  2. Be amazed by the design of the Princess Theatre.
  3. Browse the historic Queen Victoria Market.
  4. Grab a snack and explore Chinatown.
  5. Stand at the centre of Melbourne in Federation Square.
  6. Step back in time at the Old Melbourne Gaol.
  7. Stop and smell the roses at the magnificent Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.
  8. Visit the National Gallery of Victoria, the oldest gallery in Australia.
  9. Head to the vibrant District Docklands Shopping Centre for some good ol’ shopping.
  10. Take a cruise along the Yarra River.
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#2 South Melbourne – Where to Stay in Melbourne on a Budget

South Melbourne is a suburb that sits nestled between the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay. It is a charming and eclectic neighborhood that is home to Victorian-era terrace homes. It’s one of the oldest public markets in Melbourne.

Incase you need a piss whilst in the CBD!
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

This diverse south-central district is one of the best areas in Melbourne to stay for spectacular and panoramic views of the city’s skyline. It is also a gateway to the best road trips in Victoria.

Home to a number of affordable hotels, South Melbourne is my top pick for where to stay in Melbourne if you’re on a budget. You’ll find an array of Melbourne accommodation options that offer comfortable, clean and safe beds at a great price.

Seasons Botanic Gardens | Affordable Hotel in South Melbourne

Seasons Botanic Gardens

Seasons Botanic Gardens is one of the best places to stay in Melbourne if you’re on a budget. It has a great location and comfortable rooms – all for an affordable price.

Each apartment has air conditioning and comes complete with modern amenities. You’ll find loads of boutiques, art galleries, bars and bistros nearby.

Coppersmith Hotel | Best Hotel in South Melbourne

Coppersmith Hotel

This is the best hostel in Melbourne. It is located at the centre of the neighborhood and the iconic South Melbourne Market is just across the street.

They offer a variety of dorm rooms, free linens and Wi-Fi, and have great communal facilities. This hostel also hosts FREE meal nights on Wednesdays – how good!

Heart of South Melbourne | Best Airbnb in South Melbourne

Heart of South Melbourne

This gorgeous Airbnb is a home away from home. Janet and her daughter make you feel so welcome in their home. They go above and beyond to make your stay comfortable. Plus their puppies are too cute!

It’s in a great location within walking distance of shops, cafes and public transport. This is easily one of the most homely, welcoming Airbnbs in Melbourne.

Things to See and Do in South Melbourne

  1. Admire the grand South Melbourne Town Hall.
  2. Catch a performance at the world-class Arts Centre Melbourne.
  3. Dig into a tasty plate of Aussie fish and chips at Hunky Dory.
  4. Excite your tastebuds at Ponyfish Island Cafe.
  5. Relax in Foundry Site Park.
  6. Snack and shop your way through the South Melbourne Market.
  7. Start your day with breakfast at Cottle on Coventry.
  8. Take in the views from the top of the Melbourne Sky Deck.
  9. Marvel at the magnificent exhibitions of the NGV art gallery.

#3 Fitzroy – Where to Stay in Melbourne for Nightlife

Fitzroy is one of the coolest neighborhoods in Melbourne. It is situated northeast of the CBD and has long-drawn hipsters, trendsetters, artists and creatives. I’d put this down to its many bookstores, galleries, independent boutiques and eclectic eateries.

Yeah, I’m a hip and cool kid, what ya gonna do!?
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

If you’re looking to enjoy the Melbourne nightlife scene, this is the best neighborhood to stay in Melbourne. This hip and bohemian ‘hood is home to a wide range of bars, clubs and restaurants.

Whether you want to dance the night away, sip a succulent glass of wine, or indulge in a mouthwatering meal – Fitzroy has exactly what you’re looking for!

District Apartments Fitzroy | Best Hotel in Fitzroy

District Apartments Fitzroy

Perfectly located for shopping, dining, clubbing and exploring, this is one of my favourite properties in Melbourne. Each comfortable apartment is well-equipped with air conditioning, a kitchenette and an in-room dining area.

There’s also private parking, on-site laundry services, and free Wi-Fi. The one-bedroom apartment even has its own washing machine which was super handy!

Tyrian Serviced Apartments Fitzroy | Best Apartment in Fitzroy

Tyrian Serviced Apartments Fitzroy

These apartments are ideally located in one of Melbourne’s best neighborhoods. They’re within walking distance of awesome attractions, eclectic restaurants, vibrant bars and local shops.

Each luxurious apartment comes complete with free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, a terrace and modern amenities. The shampoo and conditioner were pure luxury!

The Nunnery | Best Hostel in Fitzroy

The Nunnery

The Nunnery is a top hostel in Melbourne for solo travellers, couples, and groups of friends. It has a wide selection of private and shared sleeping spaces.

Situated in trendy Fitzroy, the hostel goes all out when it comes to fun and free experiences. From the Sunday pancake breakfasts, chilled movie nights and lively pub crawls – there’s heaps to suit all tastes.

Classic Victorian Cottage in the Heart of Fitzroy | Best Airbnb in Fitzroy

Classic Victorian Cottage in the Heart of Fitzroy

There’s nothing that screams Melbourne more than an exposed brick wall in Fitzroy. And that’s exactly what you’ll get with this Classic Victorian Cottage. The cottage boasts a beautiful, light-filled living room with a wooden ceiling and stained glass windows.

It’s in the perfect location to be close to everything Melbourne has to offer. But far enough away from it that you will still have a great night’s sleep!

Things to See and Do in Fitzroy

  1. Enjoy a famous Melbourne brunch at one of the many hip cafes
  2. Join a pub crawl and hit Brunswick Street for an epic night out
  3. Enjoy a drink at Fitzroy’s trendy rooftop bar, Naked in the Sky and take in the views
  4. Pop into Mr Wow’s Emporium for a cocktail or two and snack on their free popcorn
  5. Feast on excellent pub food at Builders Arms Hotel.
  6. Grab a pint at the iconic Workers Club.
  7. Explore the streets and alleys of Fitzroy’s old crime district on a true crime walking tour
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Grab an eSIM!

#4 Richmond – Coolest Place to Stay in Melbourne

Richmond is a cool inner-city suburb located not far from the CBD in East Melbourne. It was once a run-down district that underwent a significant period of redevelopment in the 1990s. Today, Richmond is one of the most popular and sought-after neighborhoods in the city.

Richmond has a myriad of mouthwatering restaurants and vibey local Melbourne breweries. These are just a couple of reasons why Richmond takes my crown as the coolest place to stay in Melbourne.

Home to the mighty Richmond, go Tiges!
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

Richmond is also home to the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground. A popular destination for sports fans from around the world and the home of AFL (Australian Rules Football).

Whether you’re looking to shop ‘til you drop, tease your taste buds or head to a match, Richmond has so much to offer.

Amora Hotel Riverwalk | Best Hotel in Richmond

Amora Hotel Riverwalk

The Amora Hotel is just steps from Melbourne’s hottest hood. Rooms are modern and comfortable and each comes complete with a private bathroom, air conditioning and a TV. This stylish hotel also has free bicycle rentals, a coffee bar, and a delicious breakfast menu.

Adara Richmond | Luxury Hotel in Richmond

Adara Richmond

This 4.5-star hotel is an excellent Melbourne accommodation option if you’re looking for luxury hotels. It is conveniently located in Richmond, the city’s coolest neighborhood, and is close to shops, bars, cafes and eateries. Comprised of contemporary apartments, this hotel provides a great home away from home in Melbourne, Australia.

Sunny Warehouse Studio with NYC Vibe | Best Airbnb in Richmond

Sunny Warehouse Studio with NYC Vibe

Look no further than this modern Airbnb in Richmond with reviews that speak for themselves. This bright and sunny studio apartment contains a queen-sized bed, kitchen, and balcony full of plants. It also has FREE Netflix, Disney+ and Xbox Game Pass.

Plants and free Netflix – it’s a big yes from me!

Things to See and Do in Richmond

  1. Dine on fresh and delicious seafood at Richmond Oyster Bar.
  2. Watch a match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground
  3. Eat exquisite sushi and Japanese food at Minamishima.
  4. Sip on drinks and snack on some typical Aussie food at the buzzing Corner Hotel.
  5. Visit Moon Dog Craft Brewery, one of Australia’s most exciting breweries.
  6. Head to neighbouring South Yarra and eat some of the best food in town on Chapel Street.

#5 St Kilda – Where to Stay in Melbourne for Families

St Kilda is a historic suburb located in south-eastern Melbourne. It’s my number one choice for where to stay in Melbourne for families. It offers excellent access to beaches and the city, and there are plenty of seaside activities to enjoy.

Me just before being eaten by a rollercoaster.
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

Whether you want a relaxing vacation or to take in the sights, St Kilda will be perfect for you and your family. There are also plenty more budget hotel options here than in the Melbourne CBD.

Love to eat? St Kilda is also packed with delicious, innovative and eclectic restaurants, bars and cafes that will appeal to all palettes. From contemporary Aussie fare to Asian fusion, St Kilda is a neighborhood that will excite your senses and satisfy your appetites.

Quest St Kilda Bayside | Best Hotel in St Kilda

Quest St Kilda Bayside

The Quest St Kilda Bayside is one of my top choices for where to stay in Melbourne with kids. This four-star hotel is close to the beach and is a short distance from shops and restaurants. Guests can enjoy an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and an on-site BBQ area.

Adara St Kilda Aparthotel | Best Apartment in St Kilda

Adara St Kilda Aparthotel

This 4.5-star property is in the best neighborhood in Melbourne to stay in for families. It’s within walking distance of St Kilda Beach and lively Luna Park is a short ride away.

Each modern apartment has free Wi-Fi access and essential amenities. There are even apartments specially designed for families.

Nomads St Kilda | Best Hostel in St Kilda

Base St Kilda

This hostel offers quality rooms, stylish décor and friendly service – all for an affordable price. They provide free Wi-Fi, free activities and free pancakes. This hostel has accommodations for all styles of travellers, including private, double and dorm rooms.

This is the hostel for you if you’re up for meeting new travellers and letting a bit loose. Would 10/10 recommend their bingo night!

Things to See and Do in St Kilda

  1. Go for a stroll along the St Kilda Pier.
  2. Kickstart your day with a filling and delicious breakfast at Galleon Café.
  3. Lounge on the sand at St Kilda Beach.
  4. Spend a fun and exciting day at Luna Park.
  5. Wander through the lush St Kilda Botanical Gardens.
  6. Head over the Chapel Street for some shopping, delicious food or a fun night out
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Active Roots Security Belt

Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

Hide Yo’ Money!

FAQs About Finding a Place to Stay in Melbourne

Here’s what people usually ask me about the areas of Melbourne and where to stay.

What To Pack For Melbourne

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Product
Description
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!

What is the best area of Melbourne for tourists to stay?

The CBD is in the heart of Melbourne’s city centre. It’s at the centre of the action and is home to Melbourne’s most famous and renowned sights. The CBD is the place to be in Melbourne for sightseeing and exploring.

What is the best area for backpackers to stay in Melbourne?

South Melbourne is the best area for us budget backpackers. There are loads of affordable hostels and accommodation options. Plus, Melbourne’s pretty reliable public transport can take you to all the action of the CBD.

What is the best hostel in Melbourne?

The Nunnery blows many of the cheap hostels out of the water. Situated in trendy Fitzroy, the hostel goes all out when it comes to fun and free experiences. They do Sunday pancake breakfasts, chilled movie nights and lively pub crawls – there is something for everyone!

What are the best areas in Melbourne to stay in?

I recommend CBD first. It is one of the most unique areas, not just in Melbourne, but in all of Australia. I also love South Melbourne, especially for travellers on a budget and looking to save a few dollars.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Melbourne

It’s not cheap when things go wrong, so make sure you grab some quality travel insurance before heading to Melbourne!

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Melbourne is known for it’s street art.
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Melbourne

Melbourne is an exciting city with so much to offer visitors. From its beautiful beaches and vibrant shopping to eclectic dining and energetic nightlife – there’s plenty to do.

I can’t recommend Melbourne enough. I’m not a huge city gal myself but even I was hooked on Melbourne’s quirky, arty energy. If you’re looking for a hostel to make new buddies at and to explore the city with, I can’t recommend The Nunnery enough!

I hope this guide helps you decide which vibey little area of Melbourne suits you best. If I’ve missed anything please let me know in the comments below.

Looking for more info on travelling to Melbourne and Australia?

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