Melbourne is a sprawling city and its inner suburbs add their own unique flavor to the Melbourne mix. From the creative hipster suburbs of Fitzroy and Brunswick in the north to the flashier, well-groomed suburbs of the south and east, each neighborhood is an essential part of the city’s character. For a few gold coins you can jump on a tram or hire a bike and explore these areas for little to no cost.
This bayside suburb is a fascinating mix of yuppies and the down-at-heel. Long favored by backpackers for its grungy pubs and cheap accommodation, St Kilda has cleaned up its act and polished its venues without losing its unique flavor. Visit on the weekend for the lively street market, stroll along the beach, gorge yourself on cakes and gelati, and people watch from any café along Acland or Fitzroy Street.
Carlton lies just north of the CBD and is know for its proliferation of Italian restaurants and cafés. Lygon St runs through its heart and this is the place to stroll should you be looking for some authentic Italian cuisine. Visit the imposing Victorian Royal Exhibition Building, spend a day at the Melbourne Museum, go shopping or loosen your belt for some carb-loaded treats.
Students, artists, hipsters and bohos call this traditionally working-class suburb home. Brunswick Street is Fitzroy’s main artery and the place to shop for alternative fashion, go foraging through bookstores, take a yoga class or nurse a strong coffee. The best of the action here can be observed from one of Brunswick Street’s many street-side restaurants and cafés.
Fitzroy’s poorer cousin has undergone a revolution in recent years and is fast becoming the genuine hipster’s suburb of choice. More multicultural than Fitzroy, a stroll along Sydney Road will reveal a mix of Middle Eastern, Italian, Greek, Turkish and Lebanese businesses – to name but a few! Go nuts for honey-soaked baklava, score some cool second-hand threads and enjoy Melbourne’s tastiest baba ghanoush (eggplant dip).