Where to Stay in Melbourne: The Best Hotels and Neighborhoods – Happy Frog Travels

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Deciding where to stay in Melbourne is not as easy as it sounds. Australia’s second-largest city is huge and diverse. Indeed, Melbourne has unique neighborhoods that cater to different needs and fancies. Therefore, you have nothing to worry about.

The city spreads out along the coast and inland. There are plenty of sandy beaches to enjoy all year round. The Yarra River cuts the center in two. The city’s famous skyline is here. All types of shops, restaurants, and bars line the center’s streets.

In addition, parks and green areas dot the city. We love Melbourne because it combines fantastic architecture from different periods with lush nature. Besides, Melbourne has some of the best hotels in the country. You’ll find the one that’s right for you!

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City Center – CBD

The best place where to stay in Melbourne is the city center. Locals call it the Central Business District. It’s the area south of Victoria Street, west of the Parliament Gardens, east of Southern Cross Station, and north of the Yarra River

The city’s historic architecture is here, including the Town Hall, the Treasury Building, and the Parliament Building. The incredible Victoria State Library and the Old Gaol Museum are to the north. Queen Victoria Market is here too.

We Recommend These Hotels in the City Center:

Vibe Hotel

Our favorite hotel in Melbourne is the Vibe. The sleek tower is next to the River, in the heart of the CBD. The best rooms have priceless views over the river. The hotel has an indoor pool and a gym.

Intercontinental Melbourne Hotel

The iconic property from 1880 used to be the Wool Exchange building. Today, the Intercontinetal Melbourne is one of the best hotels in the country. It retains its old-world charm but has top-notch modern-day conveniences. The rooftop pool is the best in the city.

Melbourne Central Business District


Southbank is the area in front of the CBD, across the Yarra River. You will see the city’s famous skyline from this side of the river. That said, Southbank is now part of that incredible skyline. Some of the city’s tallest towers are here.

Some of the best luxury hotels in Melbourne are here too. The neighborhood is the gateway to the nicest parks in the city. Begin your walk next to the river in the Alexandra gardens. Walk south for half an hour to the Royal Botanical Gardens.

Walk along the southern bank of the river and stop at any bar to enjoy the views and people-watch. Australia’s most popular and oldest museum is in Southbank. The National Gallery is a cool contemporary building with an astonishing collection of art inside.

We Recommend These Hotels in Southbank:

The Crown Towers

If you have the money to splash, do so at The Crown Towers. Book a room with city or Port Philips views, and you will never want to leave. The spa and indoor pool will take your breath away.

Wrap on Southbank

Considering its class and location, the Wrap on Southbank is great value for money. The fully equipped apartments are huge. Most come with a balcony and views. The hotel has a cafeteria, an indoor pool, a gym, and washing facilities.


East Melbourne

East Melbourne is the best place to stay in Melbourne if you like green areas. The neighborhood is east of the Parliament, south of Victoria Parade, north of the River, and west of Hoddle Street. Therefore, you can walk to the center in minutes.

The star of East Melbourne is the Fitz Roy Gardens. The 65-acre (26-hectare) park has tall trees, lots of plants, and a Tudor village. Cricket fans will be happy to know the city’s stadium is south, next to Yarra Park.

Cross the railway and you will see Melbourne & Olympic Parks. The Australian Open takes over the place once a year. Though a step away from the center, East Melbourne is not that touristy. The area east of the gardens is mostly residential.

We Recommend These Hotels in East Melbourne:

Quest East Melbourne

The rooftop terrace at Quest East Melbourne is awesome, and so are the rooms. All are big, and plush, and include a fully equipped kitchen. The hotel is an original art deco building. You won’t find better accommodation in central Melbourne at this price!

Park Hyatt Melbourne

The Park Hyatt is one of the best luxury hotels in Melbourne. It’s in the Parliament Gardens. It’s got everything you ever dreamed of, including a fantastic spa with an indoor pool. The best rooms are huge, and offer unforgettable views.

East Melbourne


Carlton in central Melbourne is one of the best places to stay if you want an authentic experience. The neighborhood is north of Victoria Street, west of Fitz Roy, south of Princess Street, and west of the University.

Carlton is famous for the UNESCO-listed Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens. The 1880 building is now a cultural center and a museum. Don’t forget to check out the Melbourne Museum behind. Bunjilaka is its section dedicated to indigenous communities.

People from all over the city flock to the gardens to socialize, relax, and check out some art. Some of the city’s best restaurants and bars line Lygon Street. The area around it is called Little Italy. It’s a local’s favorite.

We Recommend These Hotels in Carlton:

Comfort Apartments Royal Gardens

We love the Comfort Apartments, a block from the Royal Exhibition Building. The apartments are set in a lovely garden with a pool. All units are big and come with a seating area, kitchen, and extra big bathroom.

Zagame’s House

The original Downtowner’s Hotel from the 60s was fully restored and upgraded and is now the luxurious Zagame’s House. Everything in the hotel is classy, chic, and plush. The hotel’s bar is known for its delicious cocktails.



Docklands is the ultra-modern neighborhood developed on the industrial part of the port over the Yarra River. It’s behind Southern Cross main train station, after Marvel Station. The neighborhood includes the southern docklands across the river.

The area was famous in the 90s for its never-ending raves. The city decided to convert it into a sleek and expensive neighborhood soon after. We are not complaining! Actually, it has kept pretty cool heritage buildings.

Walk along the river admiring Bolte Bridge. Stop by the Library at the Dock, our favorite in the city. Check out No. 2 Good Shed. The Mission to Seafarers Building is cool too. The Car Museum is inside a historic building.

We Recommend These Hotels in Docklands:

Grand Hotel Melbourne

The Grand Hotel Melbourne used to be the office of the Victorian Railway Commission from 1880.  Today, it’s one of the best hotels near the main train station in Melbourne. The units are huge and come with a fully equipped kitchen and a seating area. It’s got an indoor pool and a gym.

Pan Pacific Hotel Melbourne

Due to its location next to the river, the Pan Pacific Hotel has the best views in the city. It’s within walking distance of most attractions. The luxurious property has everything you ever wanted. Every room has jaw-dropping views!



Fitzroy is the best area to stay in Melbourne for nightlife. The neighborhood is east of Carlton, south of Alexandra Parade, west of Smith Street, and north of East Melbourne. It’s a big residential neighborhood that has changed a lot over the years.

Though it is still pretty authentic and a bit rough around the edges, Fitzroy is getting fancier every year. The neighborhood is famous for its bars, clubs, coffee houses, and restaurants. It’s also the LGBT quarters in Melbourne.

Cool bars and clubs line Brunswick Street. Wine bars and art shops line Gertrude Street. You will find art galleries in the back alleys and side streets. Take a leisurely walk searching for street art and enjoy the vibe.

We Recommend These Hotels in Fitzroy:

Tyrian Serviced Apartments

You are going to love the apartments at the Tyrian. The sleek building is in the heart of Fitzroy. The units are huge, and come with a washing machine and a fantastic balcony. The two-bedroom apartments are perfect for families.

Melbourne Metropole Central

For decent accommodation at a great price, book a room at Melbourne Metropole Central. The hotel is on Brunswick Street and has underground parking. The units are big and have everything you need. It’s got a pool and a restaurant.



Collingwood is a tiny neighborhood next to Fitzroy. It used to be a blue-collar neighborhood that attracted migrants from all over the world. The simple cottages and brick warehouses are now fancy art galleries, restaurants, and bars.

Everybody in Melbourne knows Collingwood for its music scene. People from all over the city flock to Smith Street to drink and listen to live music. The iconic Tote Hotel and its live punk rock bands are on Johnston Street.

We always go to Bendigo Hotel to listen to live bands. The area around Wellington and Johnston Street is now an art hub. There’s always something going on at the Collingwood Yards. Cross the street and check Off The Kerb gallery and studios.

We Recommend These Hotels in Collingwood

Lyf Collingwood Melbourne

The best hotel in the neighborhood is the Lyf Collingwood. The hotel has free bikes! You can use the shared kitchen and chill in the lounge or terrace. The rooms are simple and very comfortable. They also have fully equipped apartments.

Birches Serviced Apartments

You won’t find better-priced apartments anywhere in the city than at the Birches Serviced Apartments. The units are big and have everything you need. It’s got a nice courtyard with a barbeque. The tram stop is on the corner.


Windsor and Prahran

Windsor and Prahran are the best suburbs to stay in Melbourne. We spent 10 days there recently and had a blast. Both neighborhoods are east of the CBD and south of the river. However, several trams and buses connect them to the entire city in minutes.

Windsor, with its leafy streets, is a bit posher than Prahran. That said, it’s still pretty authentic and relaxed. Some of the best bars in Melbourne line Chapel Street. Even if you don’t stay in Windsor, visit at night.

Prahran is still pretty edgy and fun. The area around Greville Street is famous for its eateries and bars. The world-famous Greville Record Shop is here. Don’t forget to check out Chapel Bazaar, a fantastic vintage mall.

We Recommend These Hotels in Windsor and Prahran:

Art Series The Cullen

The best hotel in Prahran is The Cullen. The luxury hotel is within walking distance of Chapel street. It’s got a gym and onsite parking. The units have a fully equipped kitchen and extra comfy beds.

Quest Prahran

The Quest Prahran is next to the Prahran Market and within walking distance of Chapel Street. However, it’s a very quiet property. The apartments are extra comfy, and the service is impeccable. It’s got a laundry, fitness center, and parking.


St Kilda

The best beach hotels in Melbourne are in St. Kilda. The beaches in St. Kilda don’t get all the credit they deserve. We think they are stunning. We are talking about white sandy beaches with crystal blue waters.

You can walk from St. Kilda West next to the sea to Elwood Beach. Even in winter, it’s a lovely walk. The area around the esplanade is full of life. You can shop, eat, have coffee, and drink all year round.

The parks and gardens next to the coast are pretty cool too. Don’t forget to visit the St. Kilda Botanical Gardens. The historic park holds plants from all over the world. You can reach St. Kilda with a short tram ride from all over the city.

We Recommend These Hotels in St Kilda:

The Prince

You can’t get closer to the beach than at The Prince hotel. It’s an original art deco property with lots of class and character. The best rooms have balconies. All have premier beds. The hotel has a cool restaurant and wine bar.

The Quest St. Kilda Bayside

The Australian chain has a fantastic hotel a couple of blocks from the beach. The Quest St. Kilda Bayside offers self-catered studios and rooms on a leafy street. Every unit has a kitchen, seating area, and balcony. The hotel has an outdoor pool.

St Kilda


Richmond in eastern Melbourne is where to stay if you want to be under the radar. The Yarra River kind of loops to the south and east of Richmond. The Cricket Stadium is to the west and Victoria St. is north.

Locals call it little Saigon. Though there’s a vibrant Vietnamese community, today, people from all over the world live in Richmond. That’s why the restaurants in the neighborhood are so good! Since lots of students live here, the bars are cool too.

Richmond is perfect if you like to walk. There are pedestrian paths and bike lanes next to the river. You can walk to the center in 40 minutes. That said, several trams connect Richmond with the center in approximately 20 minutes.

We Recommend These Hotels in Richmond:

Amora Hotel Riverwalk

The Amora Hotel Riverwalk overlooks Richmond Park and the Yarra River. It’s an oasis of peace just a 10-minute tram ride to the center. All of the rooms are big and have a balcony and seating area. The best have gorgeous views.

Quest Abbotsford

The Quest Abbotsford is directly on Victoria Street, a block from the river and within walking distance of bars and restaurants. Every unit has a balcony, a seating area, and a fully equipped kitchen. The hotel has a laundry and a gym.


How Long to Stay in Melbourne

There are so many things to do and see in Melbourne that you can spend weeks in the city and never have a dull moment. The last time we visited, we spent 2 weeks in the city, and it was not enough!

However, we all have time issues and a huge world to discover. Therefore, you are probably wondering how many days are needed in Melbourne to cover the basics. We believe you should spend at least 3 nights in the city.

You will have to rush a bit, but you will get to see the main attractions and enjoy your time. If you have extra time, we strongly recommend visiting Ballarat or Bendigo. If you have even more time, you have to go to Sydney and the Blue Mountains.

Melbourne Street Art

Moving Around Melbourne

The best way of moving around Melbourne is by walking. Since the city is not that big, you can walk everywhere. Besides, most of the city’s main attractions are in the center, within walking distance of each other.

Biking is another way of discovering Melbourne. There are bike lanes everywhere. We like biking along the coast enjoying the views. You can rent bikes everywhere. The city has a bike-sharing system too. It’s very easy to operate.

The city has a fantastic public transportation system that includes buses, trams, and sub-urban trains. Buy the local Myki card and use it everywhere you go. You can recharge it in supermarkets and stations. The tram is free within the CBD!

Flinders Street Station

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