So here’s the big question: Where should you live in the world’s most liveable city?
Firstly, let’s think of Melbourne as a collection of great suburbs that piece together like a puzzle. In the centre is the CBD and around it are all of the places that are well suited for somewhere to call home.
Unlike London which has quite a large Zone 1, Melbourne’s CBD is rather small in comparison to the vast number of trendier areas that surround it. Whilst the centre is great for shopping, restaurants and fun, it does get busy and gives you little space for your bucks. Thankfully though, it’s pretty quick and easy to get there from almost anywhere in suburbia thanks to great transport links.
Suburbia living is vastly superior. Each district offers its own unique hub of restaurants, shopping and entertainment. My favourites tend to be very close to the Yarra River or parks, offering more laid-back living and space, perfect for those morning runs.
Melbourne’s Top 5 Suburbs
Highlights: Superb restaurants, quirky vintage boutiques, atmosphere.
Trendy, hip and full of amazing street art. Fitzroy was where I wanted to live when I first arrived in Melbourne, and if you love restaurants as well as the convenience of being a stone throw away from the city centre, then this could be your burb. It does come with a price tag though and renters are very often priced out. There’s not heaps in terms of green space (which is why I prefer my area) but what it lacks in leaves, it makes up for in the cool factor.
Highlights: Village feel, up-market, transport links, proximity to South Yarra.
If you take a walk down Greville street you’ll now why I’ve chosen Prahran as number 4. It’s cute, quaint and has a bit of a village feel about it. It’s not as arty as Fitzroy but possesses an up-market elegance, and houses a market that is bound to impress any foodie. Connections to the city are excellent but with so much going on locally (it’s right next door to South Yarra), you may not make that trip often unless you have to.
3. South Yarra
Highlights: Superb restaurants, shopping, Como Park & Botanical Gardens, transport.
This place feels like it’s own CBD. There are heaps of shopping, dining options and entertainment which means you rarely have to venture out. It is also home to the Royal Botanical Gardens and Como Park (plus other wide green spaces.) Its chic demeanour attracts many renters to the neighbourhood, so it does get busy, but isn’t as crazy as the city. Whilst there’s more affordable renting options than say Fitzroy, the market is quite competitive and there are many developments offering shoe-box flats. Transport connections from here to virtually anywhere are awesome!
Highlights: Superb restaurants, transport links, closeness to South Yarra, affordable.
It was a close call between number 2 and 3, but Richmond topped the spot because it’s right next door to South Yarra (therefore you get much of its perks anyway) although it’s not as busy and is more affordable. Boasting just one stop away from Flinders Street Station, Richmond is more residential but gives you all you need, including some fantastic eateries and bars.
Highlights: Tranquility, close proximity to other cool suburbs, Como Park & Yarra River.
This is my ex burb in Melbourne and one I am very fond of. I didn’t know before taking the property that Toorak is like the Belgravia of Melbourne, I just thought the area was pretty sleek! It then went on to become one of the best areas I’ve lived.
Surrounded by Masions with Toorak Village in the middle, this suburb is within walking distance to the other neighbourhoods in this article, but far enough from the crowds. As well as bordering Como Park, it also touches the Yarra River which is ideal for those long walks, bike rides or morning runs (you can run to the city centre in about 25 mins.)
Transport from here is also good and even though it’s flooded with huge dwellings, there are smaller, more affordable options available.
Other great suburbs worth naming:
Kew, Albert Park, Hawthorn, Parkville, Collingwood, Windsor, Cremorne, St Kilda, Caulfield. Slightly further out is the stunning Brighton- I would move here if I were staying longer!