Check out our guide to Melbourne’s iconic suburbs – where you’ll find cafes, bars, street arts, vintage shopping and more.

The city of Melbourne, Australia has many cool, quirky neighbourhoods that deserve a place on any visitor’s itinerary.

In the last decades, Melbourne’s neighbourhoods have started to win the attention of visitors. For many years the local Melburnians have cottoned on to the great food, coffee, art and shopping that’s on offer in the suburbs. Now it’s the visitors’ turn to explore these outer areas of Melbourne and enjoy all that they have to offer. 

Whether its seeing farm animals in Collingwood or dining on the best Vietnamese food in Footscray, you are going to enjoy exploring beyond Melbourne’s city centre. 

So if you are planning a visit to Melbourne, check out our guide to the neighbourhoods, and make sure you add them to your itinerary. 

Discover Melbourne’s iconic suburbs


In Melbourne’s east, the two adjacent suburbs of Collingwood and Fitzroy offer some amazing street art as well as some great bars and eateries. 

This former industrial area of Melbourne still has some of its heritage edge. But it has been taken over by a host of new businesses – offering great food, wine and beers in a host of microbreweries, wine bars, and cafes.

The most famous street is Smith Street, which was named by Time Out magazine as the ‘coolest street in the world’. 

The street art includes the tallest artwork in the Southern Hemisphere on the side of a public housing estate. The redeveloped Collingwood Yards is also worth a look for the artwork by lesser known locals and great food, plus a rooftop bar.

What to do in Fitzroy and Collingwood

  • Grab an excellent coffee at Top Paddock or Proud Mary
  • Dine on counter meal and cold beer at the legendary Corner Hotel 
  • Try the omakase-style sushi at Minamishima
  • Visit the gardens and creative spaces at the Abbotsford Convent
  • Take the whole family to meet the animals at Collingwood Children’s Farm
  • View Melbourne’s favourite game (AFL) in action at the Melbourne Cricket Ground 


North of the city, Brunswick is a suburb with an alternative feel and a very multicultural food scene. 

The area has a thriving music and arts scene, plenty of bars and live music to choose from. The Brunswick Mechanics Institute often has interesting art and creative events.

There is a history of immigration in Brunswick that still influences the auburn today. Along with migrants moving to the area came a rich variety of food. You can find everything from felafels to pizza and pasta. 

In particularly Lygon Street in Cartlon has a reputation for some of the best Italian restaurants in Melbourne. While Sydney Road in Brunswick is where you’ll find a wild mix of many different cultures and eateries. 

What to do in Carlton and Brunswick

  • Sip on a local wine at Lord Lygon Bar at Zagame’s House 
  • Dine on fresh pasta at Carlton Wine Room
  • Grab a coffee at Code Black 
  • Try a creative cocktail at The Everleigh 
  • Dine on modern-Australian cuisine at Cutler & Co
  • Enjoy a night of jazz and dancing at The Night Cat
  • Visit the Melbourne Museum in Carlton Gardens 
  • Watch a film at Cinema Nova
  • Take in the live music at The Old Bar


To Melbourne’s west, Footscray is another great neighbourhood with a rich multicultural scene. 

The Footscray Market lets you delve into the mixed food scene, plus in the surrounding streets you’ll find many Chinese, Vietnamese, and North African restaurants.

There are some great bars and venues with live music throughout the week. For art, the Footscray Community Arts Centre hosts regular events. 

What to do in Footscray

  • Stock up on fruits, meats, veggies and produce at the Footscray Market
  • Try the famous Banh mi at Nhu Lan Bakery
  • Grab a donut and a martini at the bakery/bar Bad Love Club
  • Eat some of the famous dim sims from Jim Wong Restaurant
  • Dine on some local craft beers from Hop Nation Brewing Co.
  • Spend an afternoon at the smokehouse and beer garden Up in Smoke


Just south of the city centre, is the bayside suburb of St Kilda. In summertime when the weather heats up, Melburnians flock to the bayside. The beaches come to life and the surrounding bars and cafes are buzzing. 

The heritage buildings, combined with plenty of dining and bar options, give St Kilda a fantastic vibe. 

One of the main attractions for families is Luna Park, a small theme park right by the water. Or the weekly markets on a Sunday have someone for everyone. 

What to do in St Kilda

  • Grab a coffee and cake at the iconic Monarch Cakes
  • Dine on fish-and-chips at St Kilda Beach from Paper Fish
  • Enjoy fine dining with bay views at Stokehouse
  • Visit the oldest theme park in Australia Luna Park
  • Take a dip the the historic sea baths 

Discover Melbourne with Go West

If you are planning a visit to Melbourne, we also recommend you visit some of the great destinations outside of the city. Travel with us to Victoria’s best destinations – the Great Ocean Road, Grampians, Phillip Island, Mornington Peninsula, Wilsons Promontory, and the Yarra Valley. 

You can experience the magic of the 12 Apostles or the excitement of the Penguin Parade. Taste wines and local produce or relax in mineral hots springs. View waterfalls or walk to panoramic lookouts. It’s all possible on our Melbourne day tours. 

We pride ourselves on exceeding industry standards for excellence and customer service. With 22 years in business, Go West Tours is still a family-owned and operated tour business and we are as committed to providing guests with an unforgettable experience as we were back in 2000. We are the most highly-awarded tour operator in Melbourne and we guarantee to provide you with an experience that is memorable for all the right reasons. 


Written by: Leah Furey – Digital Content Coordinator