Melbourne City Skyline

20 Best Suburbs in Melbourne to Live

Melbourne, the cultural capital of Australia, is a city that seamlessly blends urban sophistication with a laid-back, relaxed vibe. While the city’s central business district and iconic landmarks attract visitors from around the world, it’s the diverse array of suburbs that truly capture the essence of Melbourne’s unique character and lifestyle.

From trendy hotspots brimming with street art and live music venues to affluent enclaves adorned with grand mansions and upscale boutiques, Melbourne’s suburbs offer something for every taste and preference. Whether you’re a young professional seeking a vibrant, artsy atmosphere, a family in search of a community-oriented neighbourhood with excellent schools, or an empty nester looking for a coastal retreat, Melbourne’s suburbs have it all.

This guide explores 20 of the city’s most sought-after suburbs, each boasting its own distinct personality and charm. From the bayside beauty of Brighton and St Kilda to the bohemian enclaves of Fitzroy and Brunswick, these suburbs showcase the rich tapestry of cultures, architectural styles, and experiences that make Melbourne one of the world’s most livable cities.

Prepare to be captivated by the eclectic mix of historic charm, modern amenities, and unparalleled lifestyle offerings as we delve into the heart of Melbourne’s best suburbs. Discover hidden gems, indulge in local flavours, and immerse yourself in the vibrant communities that make this city truly extraordinary.


One of Melbourne’s most exclusive and prestigious suburbs, Toorak exudes old-world elegance and luxury. Its grand mansions and heritage homes, set along tree-lined streets, are a testament to its affluent history. Toorak Village is a sophisticated shopping and dining destination, offering high-end boutiques, upscale restaurants, and chic cafés. With its close proximity to the CBD and excellent private schools, Toorak remains a coveted address for Melbourne’s elite.


This charming bayside suburb is renowned for its iconic, colourful bathing boxes lining the sandy beaches. Brighton Beach is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and leisurely walks along the esplanade. The vibrant Church Street precinct offers a diverse array of cafés, restaurants, and shops, catering to the suburb’s affluent residents. With its excellent schools, parks, and community spirit, Brighton is a prime location for families seeking a beachside lifestyle.

St Kilda

Vibrant and eclectic, St Kilda is a hub of entertainment and culture. The iconic St Kilda Beach and its lively esplanade, lined with bars, restaurants, and the historic Luna Park amusement park, attract visitors from all over Melbourne. Acland Street is a bustling strip of cafés, cake shops, and boutiques, while Fitzroy Street offers a diverse mix of nightlife, live music venues, and trendy bars. St Kilda’s bohemian vibe and rich history make it a unique and captivating suburb.


Known for its hip and edgy atmosphere, Fitzroy is a haven for artists, musicians, and young professionals. Its streets are adorned with stunning street art, independent galleries, and vintage shops. Brunswick Street is the heart of the suburb, offering a diverse culinary scene, from cosy cafés to trendy restaurants and lively bars. Fitzroy’s vibrant energy and alternative culture make it a popular choice for those seeking an authentic Melbourne experience.

South Yarra

Upscale and stylish, South Yarra is a fashionable suburb that oozes sophistication. The iconic Chapel Street is a shopper’s paradise, with high-end boutiques, designer stores, and luxury brands. The suburb also boasts a thriving culinary scene, with numerous award-winning restaurants, trendy cafés, and chic bars. South Yarra’s leafy residential streets are lined with elegant Victorian and Edwardian homes, attracting affluent professionals and families.


A leafy and sophisticated suburb, Hawthorn is renowned for its grand period homes, excellent schools, and charming village atmosphere. Glenferrie Road is a bustling shopping and dining precinct, offering a diverse array of cafés, restaurants, boutiques, and specialty stores. Hawthorn’s tree-lined streets, parks, and proximity to the CBD make it a highly desirable location for families and professionals alike.


Nestled just north of the CBD, Carlton is a cultural and artistic hub with a rich Italian heritage. Lygon Street, often referred to as Melbourne’s “Little Italy,” is lined with authentic Italian restaurants, cafés, and gelaterias. Carlton also boasts a thriving street art scene, with vibrant murals adorning the walls of its eclectic mix of shops and venues. The University of Melbourne and the Royal Exhibition Building, a UNESCO World Heritage site, add to the suburb’s cultural charm.


A chic and upscale suburb, Armadale is a shopper’s paradise. High Street is lined with high-end fashion boutiques, designer stores, and trendy cafés, catering to Melbourne’s fashionistas. The suburb’s residential streets are dotted with elegant Victorian and Edwardian homes, attracting affluent professionals and families seeking a stylish and sophisticated lifestyle.


With its diverse mix of cultures and lively atmosphere, Prahran is a vibrant and cosmopolitan suburb. Chapel Street is the beating heart of the area, offering a wide range of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. The iconic Prahran Market is a beloved local institution, offering fresh produce, gourmet delicacies, and a lively atmosphere. Prahran’s trendy bars, live music venues, and art galleries contribute to its dynamic and youthful energy.


A leafy and family-friendly suburb, Camberwell offers a charming village atmosphere with tree-lined streets and a strong community spirit. The bustling Burke Road shopping precinct features boutiques, cafés, and specialty stores, while the Camberwell Sunday Market is a popular local event. Excellent schools, parks, and recreational facilities make Camberwell a popular choice for families seeking a relaxed and comfortable lifestyle.


This historic bayside suburb is steeped in maritime heritage, with its charming Victorian-era homes, seaside cottages, and picturesque beaches. Nelson Place is a vibrant strip of cafés, restaurants, and boutiques, showcasing the suburb’s laid-back coastal vibe. Williamstown’s proximity to the city, combined with its relaxed lifestyle and rich history, make it a desirable location for those seeking a tranquil escape from the urban hustle.

Moonee Ponds

A vibrant and community-oriented suburb, Moonee Ponds offers a balanced lifestyle with easy access to the city. Puckle Street is the heart of the suburb, featuring trendy cafés, restaurants, and local shops. Excellent schools, parks, and sporting facilities cater to families, while the Moonee Ponds Creek Trail provides a scenic route for walking and cycling. The suburb’s strong sense of community and convenient location make it a popular choice for families and professionals.


Trendy and vibrant, Richmond is a melting pot of culture and entertainment. The iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and the bustling Swan Street precinct are at the heart of the suburb’s sporting and culinary scenes. Victoria Street is a hub of diverse cuisines, offering a wide range of international flavours. Richmond’s street art, indie shops, and lively music venues contribute to its eclectic and energetic vibe, attracting young professionals and creatives alike.

Albert Park

This bayside suburb is renowned for its picturesque beaches, lakeside parks, and the iconic Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit. The vibrant Bridport Street and Victoria Avenue precincts offer a range of cafés, restaurants, and boutiques, catering to the suburb’s affluent residents. Albert Park’s beautiful parks, recreational facilities, and proximity to the city make it a desirable location for families seeking an active and outdoorsy lifestyle.


A hub of creativity and diversity, Brunswick is a melting pot of cultures and artistic expression. Sydney Road is the beating heart of the suburb, lined with eclectic shops, vintage stores, street art galleries, and a diverse array of multicultural eateries. Brunswick’s bohemian vibe, live music venues, and thriving arts scene attract young professionals, artists, and creatives seeking an alternative and vibrant lifestyle.

Fitzroy North

Similar to its neighbour Fitzroy, Fitzroy North exudes a bohemian and artistic charm. Nestled among its tree-lined streets are independent galleries, vintage shops, and cosy cafés. The Edinburgh Gardens provide a beautiful green space for picnics and outdoor recreation, while the vibrant Brunswick Street offers a diverse culinary scene and lively bars. Fitzroy North’s unique character and creative energy make it a haven for artists, musicians, and those seeking an alternative lifestyle.


A prestigious and leafy suburb, Malvern is known for its grand period homes, excellent schools, and upscale shopping precincts. Glenferrie Road is a bustling strip of high-end boutiques, specialty stores, and trendy cafés, catering to the suburb’s affluent residents. Malvern’s quiet streets, beautiful parks, and proximity to the CBD make it a desirable location for families and professionals seeking a sophisticated and refined lifestyle.


A vibrant and culturally diverse suburb, Footscray is a melting pot of flavours and experiences. The bustling Footscray Market is a hub of activity, offering a wide range of fresh produce, spices, and multicultural cuisines. Leeds Street is lined with Vietnamese and African eateries, reflecting the suburb’s rich cultural tapestry. Footscray’s thriving arts scene, street art, and lively community events contribute to its unique and eclectic character.


This charming beachside suburb offers a relaxed and laid-back lifestyle. Elwood Beach is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and leisurely strolls along the esplanade. The vibrant Ormond Road and Tennyson Street precincts are home to trendy cafés, boutiques, and local shops, catering to the suburb’s affluent residents. Elwood’s proximity to the city, beautiful parks, and coastal charm make it a desirable location for families and professionals seeking a tranquil coastal retreat.


A charming and historic suburb, Yarraville exudes a village-like atmosphere with its tree-lined streets, heritage buildings, and welcoming community spirit. Anderson Street is the heart of the suburb, featuring independent shops, cafés, and local markets. The vibrant Sun Theatre and the Yarraville Gardens add to the suburb’s cultural and recreational offerings. Yarraville’s friendly vibe, excellent schools, and convenient location make it a popular choice for families seeking a relaxed and community-oriented lifestyle.

Melbourne: A Truly Livable City

G’day mates! If you’re considering a move Down Under, let me tell you why Melbourne should be at the top of your list. This dynamic Australian city has an amazing vibe and really lives up to its reputation as one of the world’s most livable places.  

The City Life

Right out of the gate, Melbourne will wow you with its dazzling centre filled with modern skyscrapers, historic laneways, fantastic street art, and a brilliant mixture of old and new architecture. The CBD is a treat to wander around, whether you’re admiring buildings, popping into quirky cafes and stylish bars, or splurging at boutique shops.

But Melbourne has a thriving scene in its diverse neighbourhoods too. Hip, artsy Fitzroy with its street art and vintage shops. Beachside St. Kilda with its festive Acland Street and Luna Park. The fancy pants mansions of Toorak. The delicious ethnic food of Carlton’s Little Italy. Vibrant nightlife in Richmond. There’s a distinct flavour for every taste!

Life’s a Beach

While it doesn’t have a tropical climate, Melbourne makes the most of its enviable bayside location. The beaches along Port Phillip Bay are the playground for locals, whether it’s taking a bracing dip at St Kilda beach, following the cliff-hugging coastal trails, or throwing some shrimp on the barbie in a beach park. 

The city’s also surrounded by adventure in every direction. Head out to the scenic Dandenong Ranges for hiking, wind through the panoramic Great Ocean Road, or road trip out to the world-class wineries of the Yarra Valley. With incredible nature so close by, you’re never far from an outdoorsy escape.

Culture Vultures Welcome 

You’d be hard pressed to find a city with more cultural cred than Melbourne. It’s brimming with top institutions like the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Museum, Arts Precinct and more. There are always amazing gigs, plays, comedy shows and festivals happening too. 

Sports are also a huge part of the culture, especially Australian Rules Football and the Australian Open tennis championships. Don’t be surprised if a colleague asks you which team you barrack for!

Foodie Paradise

I’d be remiss not to mention Melbourne’s incredible, internationally-renowned food scene. This city is absolutely stacked with award-winning restaurants of every cuisine, funky cafes, raging nightlife, and wine bars galore. Whether you want an upscale omakase experience or just a smashing flat white, you’ll find it all here.

Don’t forget to explore the laneways and arcades too, where you’ll stumble upon cosy street stalls, inviting wafts of curry, and tucked-away bars to while away the night. Whatever your culinary desires, Melbourne aims to please.

Business Hub

But it’s not all play and no work in this town. Melbourne is the business and financial heart of Australia—and it’s booming. The city accounts for a huge chunk of the country’s economic activity, especially in industries like banking, IT, manufacturing, tourism and education.  

Major companies headquartered in Melbourne include ANZ Bank, Telstra, Chadstone Shopping Centre, Crown Resorts and more. It’s also a leading destination for international conferences, meetings and business events thanks to its state-of-the-art facilities and convenient location. For the career-minded, there’s plenty of opportunity to be had here.


Speaking of tourism, Melbourne does a brisk trade here, luring nearly 2 million international visitors per year. Between world-class arts and culture, major sporting events, phenomenal food and wine, and easy access to nature escapes, it’s not hard to see why. Hotels, restaurants, retail and more get a big economic boost from this steady stream of tourists.

There’s truly something for everyone in Melbourne. Whether you prioritise career, cuisine, culture or just a laidback quality of life, it’s a city that has it all! The relatively mild winters are a breeze compared to many Northern Hemisphere cities. While housing costs are high, the overall amenities make it worthwhile for many. 

If you get the chance to make the move, take it! Melbourne offers an amazing lifestyle and big city excitement blended with beautiful natural surroundings. It’s a vibrant, world-class city that should be at the top of any Aussie bucket list.

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