It’s in Melbourne’s inner suburbs that you’ll really get a feel for what life in this city is all about. Many have quite distinct characters, whether as ethnic enclaves or self-styled artists’ communities. Browsing through markets and shops, cruising across Hobsons Bay, sampling the world’s foods and, of course, sipping espresso are the primary attractions. Café society finds its home to the north among the alternative galleries and secondhand shops of Fitzroy, while the Italian cafés on Lygon Street in nearby Carlton fuelled the Beat Generation with espresso, though these days boutiques far outnumber bookshops. Grungy Richmond, to the east, has both Vietnamese and Greek enclaves, is home to a number of good Middle Eastern restaurants, and has a diverse music scene in its many pubs. South of the river is the place to shop until you drop, whether at wealthy South Yarra, self-consciously groovy Prahran or snobby Toorak. To the south, St Kilda has the advantage of a beachside location to go with its trendy but raucous nightlife. To firm up your itinerary with something more concrete, make for the well-designed zoo in Carlton, or Scienceworks, a hugely enjoyable interactive museum in Spotswood. The outstanding Heide Museum of Modern Art is in Bulleen and, a bit further along in the same direction, Eltham hosts the artists’ colony of Montsalvat.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Australia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Road trip Australia: the remote Silo Art Trail

Road trip Australia: the remote Silo Art Trail

Australia's largest open-air art gallery is so vast that you'll need a car and a map to explore it. Deep in Victoria's farming country, the Silo Art Trail cons…

20 Sep 2018 • Anita Isalska insert_drive_file Article
A Rough Guide to: visiting Australia's Great Barrier Reef

A Rough Guide to: visiting Australia's Great Barrier Reef

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s most incredible natural wonders – it’s the largest structure ever built by living things and is vi…

08 Jun 2018 • Penny Walker insert_drive_file Article
In pictures: exploring Western Australia's remote northwest

In pictures: exploring Western Australia's remote northwest

Australia’s biggest state has often been neglected by travellers in a hurry to hop straight over to the East Coast or the continent’s Red Centre. This year …

17 May 2018 • Nori Jemil camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Mandatory - can not be deselected. Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

PHPSESSID,aelia_cs_selected_currency,cookie_notice_accepted,RS,bp-message,bp-message-type,id,UIDR,w3tc_logged_out,__cfduid
__cfduid

Statistics

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid,__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xt
__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid
__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xtc

Marketing

Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.

__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID,__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll,c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs
__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID
__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll
c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs