We’ve heard it all before — Melbourne is one of the most liveable cities in the world. And perhaps the biggest contribution to this status is the vibrant character of Melbourne’s suburbs, all of which possess their own individual heartbeat and creativity.
To get to know just a few of these a little more, we’ve come up with six of the coolest suburbs in Melbourne. Take note, there is no algorithm or survey that guided us to this list, instead, we let our appetite, caffeine craving and curiosity for culture lead the way.
Fitzroy is not only one of Melbourne’s coolest suburbs, but it’s also the city’s oldest, dating back to 1839. It’s where the true alternative side of the city lives and breathes, and where anything creative, goes. The suburb’s main street, Brunswick Street, is chock-full of locally run boutique shops and carefully curated vintage stores. However, come the weekend, Rose Street’s popular Artists’ Market is where the action is at; filling a large outdoor space and warehouse with fashion, craft, and food stalls, every Saturday and Sunday.
Books, bars, and brunch, oh my! The treasures abound in Northcote, making it the ultimate hipster haven. This popular suburb sports a village vibe, where older Italian and Greek residents live alongside young creatives and families. Northcote is spoilt with an impressive selection of innovative eateries and retailers, found not only along the main High Street, but also scattered throughout quieter, tree-lined streets. It's also a hub for live music venues, with the local Northcote Social Club becoming an iconic spot for the indie-music scene in Melbourne.
3. St Kilda
Although St Kilda is where you’ll find Melbourne’s beloved Luna Park, there’s much more to this coastal suburb than its iconic amusement playground. From joggers to paddle boarders, this is where hipsters who lead active lifestyles come to dwell. Take a walk down the Esplanade and watch the yachts and windsurfers float by on the bay. When lunchtime calls, head to nearby Acland Street where you’ll find an entire strip lined with beloved bakeries, some of which have been there since the 1930s. Just don’t forget to pack your swimmers and a towel with you during summer.
Brunswick is a delightful mecca of diversity and inclusivity in terms of the people who live in this suburb, and for that reason, becoming a well-known cultural creative hub of Melbourne. Whilst here, take your taste buds on a world tour by walking along Sydney Road, where you’ll find a mixture of offerings including Middle Eastern bakeries and Mediterranean cafes. And if you’re lucky enough to find yourself here in March, make sure to head to the annual Brunswick Music Festival, where the Sydney Road Street Party takes place, shutting down traffic for a day and making way for food stalls, live music, and dancing.
Although Melbourne’s CBD means business, it also knows not to take itself too seriously. After all, it’s where the city’s original laneway hub was born, showcasing unique alleyways that sport a Wizard of Oz feel — you never know what lies around the next corner. Perhaps it’s a hidden cafe? Or maybe it’ll be an underground art gallery? Who knows. All you have to do is follow the yellow brick road and explore at your own pace. And of course, there are so many cool things to do in this happening suburb outside the laneways; like seeing a show at the Princess Theatre or simply taking a scenic walk alongside the Yarra River.
Close to the CBD, but far enough to have formed its own unique identity, Collingwood has emerged as one of Melbourne’s hottest locales for eating and drinking out, attracting a young, hip and hungry crowd by the masses. From sipping on cappuccinos inside one of the suburb’s hidden cool cafes like Eddy’s, to devouring a burger on Easey's’ rooftop, Collingwood is truly a celebration of everything that is quintessential about this city. Oh, and if independent shops and boutiques are your thing, head here to shop your quirky socks off.