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Neighbourhood Guide: St Kilda
By Concrete Playground
May 26, 2021
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By Concrete Playground
May 26, 2021
  shares

St Kilda’s diverse and colourful history can be felt as you walk down its tree-lined, beachside streets, making this one of Melbourne’s most eclectic suburbs.

Known as much for its mix of people as for its mix of venues and cultural happenings, St Kilda has long been considered Melbourne’s playground. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a Melburnian who doesn’t have a soft spot for this neighbourhood, which is home to some of the city’s most well-known attractions. Its palm-lined boardwalk, stunning Victorian architecture, plentiful parks and spectacular sunsets make it a pretty attractive place to live, too.

St Kilda’s diverse and colourful history can be felt as you walk down its tree-lined, beachside streets, making this one of Melbourne’s most eclectic suburbs.

DID YOU KNOW

Think of St Kilda and you think of the beach, right? Well, for a large part of the 20th century, St Kilda was also famous for a much cooler spot. The St Moritz Ice Rink operated between 1939 and 1982 and, in its peak, was one of Melbourne’s premier social and recreational hubs. The original grand building, adjacent to what is now The Espy, was also used as a dance hall and a film studio over its lifetime.

GETTING AROUND

Located just six kilometres from the CBD, St Kilda is teeming with public transport. Trams regularly run through the main thoroughfares of Fitzroy and Acland Streets, while the former St Kilda railway station — one of Melbourne’s oldest — serves as the light rail terminus for a service that goes straight to the northern suburbs. There are also a number of bike tracks and a ferry service connecting St Kilda to another seaside playground, Williamstown.

PROPERTY PRICES

With its breezy, beachside lifestyle, it’s not hard to see why a St Kilda address is one of the most sought-after in Melbourne. But, given the demand, it’s still relatively affordable — the median price ranges from $556,000 for apartments to $1.3 million for houses. Check out NAB’s Property Report to learn more about this area, or use its handy Home Loan Calculator to find out how much you can borrow. Or, book an appointment here.

LOCALS LOVE

If it feels like there’s always something going on in St Kilda, you’re on to something. Here, no two days are ever the same thanks to the suburb’s eclectic cultural venues and jam-packed calendar of events. It’s home to some of the city’s best-known live music venues, including The Espy, the Prince Bandroom and the country’s largest seated theatre inside the Palais. So, you’ll be able to catch a gig just about any night of the week.

Living in St Kilda

Discover the spots that could become your new local favourites.

Cafes

Start the day with a southern barbecue-inspired brunch, or stop in at one of Melbourne's oldest bakeries.

1. Fitzrovia

From field to table, this is Victorian produce at its best.

2. Galleon Cafe

This St Kilda cafe's been doing this thing for a long time.

3. Staple Providore & Cafe

A sunny St Kilda spot with streetside seating suitable for dogs.

4. Monarch Cakes

Baking the way grandma used to, from recipes brought over from Poland more than 80 years ago.

5. Miss Jackson

Creative brunch in a low-key setting.

Restaurants

Buzzy up-and-comers share the spotlight with Melbourne dining institutions in St Kilda.

1. Stokehouse

After a devastating fire, Stokehouse has made its comeback — and it's here to stay.

2. Babu Ji

This is your place for modern Indian curries, thalis and street snacks.

3. Cafe Di Stasio

Here, expect the upper echelons of elegance, service and rich Italian food. 

4. Mya Tiger

An opulent Cantonese eatery inside St Kilda's new-look Espy.

5. Prince Dining Room

All-day dining in an iconic St Kilda location.

Shops

Get ready to flex the plastic at these fine homewares haunts and fine fromageries.

1. Scout House

Scout no more — this St Kilda shop has all the furniture and homewares you need.

2. Milk the Cow St Kilda

This Fitzroy Street fromagerie is where you go when you want cheese for dinner.

3. Storehouse

A treasure trove of clothes, accessories and art from local designers.

4. Seagulls of St Kilda

Where to go for high-end fashion in the bayside suburb.

5. Pop Wilder

This nursery is a pop of greenery on St Kilda Road.

Bars

Reacquaint yourself with quintessential Melbourne watering holes, or discover lesser-known neighbourhood gems.

1. The Espy

The revamped Melbourne music institution sports 12 bars, two restaurants and three live music stages across its six levels.

2. Land of Plenty

A St Kilda rooftop bar and barbecue joint with an all-Aussie drinks list and Milo desserts.

3. Captain Baxter

Drink rum punch under the new retractable roof while staring out at sweeping beachfront views.

4. Prince Public Bar

The legendary venue is still one of the best spots in town to watch the world go by.

5. Newmarket Hotel

Great pub fare, exciting architecture and a dedicated gig space — the Newmarket is a triple threat.

Outdoor Spots

Beach, park, garden or outdoor plaza? In St Kilda, you don't have to play favourites.

1. St Kilda Botanical Gardens

A surprisingly large green space complete with seasonal displays, a giant chessboard, glasshouses and an eco centre.

2. Catani Gardens

This heritage-listed park has direct foreshore access and palm-lined jogging paths.

3. St Kilda Foreshore

This popular waterfront spot is one of the hottest tickets in town when the warm weather hits.

4. Acland Street Plaza

Head here for old-world European cake shops, new-school bars and excellent people watching.

5. Veg Out Community Gardens

Where you can get your hands in the soil and learn about gardening and conservation.

Culture and Leisure

From immersive art installations to saltwater swims, St Kilda is packed with options to keep you busy.

1. Rain Room

Imagine the magical feeling of walking through a 100-square-metre field of continuous rainfall, without getting the slightest bit wet.

2. Palais Theatre

This historic venue and former movie house is the largest seated theatre in Australia.

3. St Kilda Sea Baths

A beachside complex featuring bars, restaurants, a gym, day spa, and even an indoor saltwater pool.

4. Linden New Art

A not-for-profit gallery in a heritage-listed Victorian mansion.

5. St Kilda Esplanade Market

This arts and crafts market has been a mainstay of the St Kilda Esplanade since 1970.

Living in St Kilda

Discover the spots that could become your new local favourites.

CP's Picks

These are our favourite things to do in the area.

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