The best Melbourne neighbourhoods


City Guide: Melbourne, Australia

Amelia manages the beauty section at Harper's BAZAAR Singapore, and has a soft spot for fashion and travel. She thinks she spends way too much time shopping online, scouting out the best travel deals and dreaming about new places to visit. Her fiance is from Melbourne, so she's an almost local. She tells us about her favourite neighbourhoods in her adopted city, and where to eat, drink and shop in each of them!

What are your favourite neighbourhoods in Melbourne?

Flinders Lane in the city

This quirky little laneway is home to many Australian labels and multi-brand stores. Shop away at Incu, Alpha 60, Green with Envy and Zambesi then head to one of the many hipster restaurants along the same stretch.

Chin Chin is a must-do - this food institution does mouthwatering Thai fusion food and wait time is anything from one to five hours depending on what time you go. There is always a line so I say the earlier the better. Get a queue number, leave your number and they'll text you when it's your turn. Do the 'Feed Me' menu as they serve you a heap of Chin Chin's best dishes all for $66.

Then head down to Go Go Bar (the bar part of Chin Chin) and grab a cocktail and pulled pork sliders.

Other great alternatives are Meatball & Wine Co., which is next door to Chin Chin, Cumulus and Lucy Liu.

Also try Mamasita for hearty Mexican food (it's not on Flinders Lane but it's in the city and it deserves a mention.)

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Pictured above: Alpha 60 (photo credit: Annevi Petersson), Chin Chin (photo credit: Luc Wiesman), Lucy Liu (photo credit: Kristian Dowling/ Lucas Dawson)

South Melbourne

This suburban neighbourhood always has a breezy, happy vibe to it. Everything is low-rise here so Melbourne's famous blue skies are at your disposal. The South Melbourne markets are a fantastic pitstop for fresh produce, fruits, crafts and handmade beauty items. I love this one pushcart that sells grilled fish drizzled with lemon in between lightly toasted bread. OnStone is a store in South Melbourne that prints your pictures on all kinds of stone slabs and is a fabulous gift idea. The cafes in South Melbourne are also pretty sweet - St. Ali for coffee and brunch and Chez Dre for macarons and desserts.

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Pictured above: (photo credit: South Melbourne market MICM Property), Chez Dre (photo credit: Chez Dre)

Brunswick & Smith Street

Vintage stores, hipster vegetarian food, delicious gelato, old record stores... they all co-exist in harmony along these two streets. There's a hippie factor in almost all the stores (and the people walking around too). There's never a dull moment so my advice is to start somewhere, stroll and get lost in this colourful neighbourhood. When you're done, hit up The Everleigh for a cocktail or Messina for gelato if you're after something non-alcoholic.

alt Pictured above: The Everleigh (photo credit: The Usual Suspects)

High Street in Armadale/Hawksburn

High Street in Armadale is known for their bridal boutiques, but I found that it had way more than that. It's a bit of an expensive area, but the shops here are practically fashion museums that you want to spend all day in. Acne Studios, Scanlan & Theodore and Bul all have spacious, naturally-lit stores with floor to ceiling windows. Ryder does these amazing candles from Speakeasy Co. - I want to buy one in every flavour. When you're done, head over to neighbouring Hawksburn and hit up Flannel for fun prints and sophisticated lace/crochet galore, and the other cute fashion stores in the area.

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Pictured above: Scanlan & Theodore (photo credit: Scanlan & Theodore), Bul (photo credit: Bul)

Can't get enough of Melbourne? Check out more of Amelia's Melbourne recommendations.

Stylish places to stay in Melbourne

Nestled in between famous Brunswick and Smith Streets, this gorgeous accommodation in Melbourne is for travelers who want to live like a local.
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Going to Melbourne? Check out more places to stay in Melbourne on Roomorama.