Exploring St Kilda
Once Melbourne’s infamous suburban red light district, the picturesque bayside suburb of St. Kilda is now one of the city’s coolest entertainment destinations, offering sandy beaches, restaurants, music venues, and a café lifestyle. Edwardian architecture dating from the suburb’s early days as a refuge for the wealthy, one of Melbourne’s dedicated Food Precincts, glorious views over the bay, the historic Luna Park fun fair, the Palais Theatre, and the roses in the St Kilda Botanic Gardens are all reasons to head for this premier tourist destination.Access to St Kilda from Melbourne’s downtown district is via the cultural melting pot of Fitzroy Street and St Kilda Road, and the best times to be here weekends. Sundays see the fabulous art and craft street market, crammed with paintings, sculptures, glass, leatherworks, and more, all created by local artists and craft workers. A wander to the end of the pier gives great views of Melbourne’s cityscape, Port Philip Bay, and the local penguin colony, and line fishing off the pier is a favourite occupation.
St Kilda is a great base for exploring nearby sights and having fun in its lively cafés, bars, and entertainment venues, and there’s a good choice of accommodation here to suit all pockets, starting with the Adina Apartment Hotel and extending to bed and breakfasts and budget hotels, such as the Base Backpackers Hostel.
- Fitzroy and Ackland streetsLinked by the Edwardian Esplanade and St Kilda Beach, these two streets are the foodie and shopaholic paradises of the village. First-class restaurants, funky bars, and unique stores selling everything from haute couture and New Age fashions to delicious deli delights are the focus here, and the area is home to the famous Sunday art and craft market.
- People-watchingMelbourne is one of Australia’s most extravagant cultural melting pots, with St. Kilda Beach’s position as the closest stretch of sand and sea to the city and therefore attracting all styles of Melbournians at weekends and holidays. Combined with the village’s eclectic mix of inhabitants, the resulting mix gives people-watching on a grand scale.
Eating and drinking and shopping nearby
Foodies visiting St Kilda are literally spoiled for choice, as there are over 100 indoor and outdoor eateries set along Fitzroy and Ackland streets. On Fitzroy, you’ll find a contrast between upscale formal restaurants and totally informal fish and chip takeaways, as well as a selection of internationally-themed eateries.Those with a sweet tooth should head for Ackland Street with its choice of mouthwatering pastries, desserts, and cakes. All-day breakfasts are served in the cafés, while weekend parties concentrate on the beachside bars. Shopping is most fun in the markets and quirky fashion stores, whether you’re looking for souvenirs or the latest gear.
The easiest way to get to St Kilda from Melbourne’s downtown district is by tram, taking around 25 minutes on the number 16, 112, or 96. Trams continue along the Esplanade to the night-time hubs of Ackland Street and Carlisle Street, passing by the beachside bars, pubs, and clubs. Most of the area’s attractions are within walking distance of St Kilda’s hotels, including the Easystay Studio Apartments.