Within these arts and culture hubs, top-level theatre performances, local and international musicians and creative artists and venues flourish and abound. St Kilda is Melbourne’s festival capital, with a calendar packed full of exciting events all year round.
Great shopping, plus an impressive offering of diverse cuisine from all around the world, makes Melbourne’s seaside playground the place to be.
For some truly unique finds and a slice of local village life, take a stroll down some of the most acclaimed shopping strips in the south. Bay Street stretches up from the pier and is full of quaint cafes plus stylish clothing boutiques, kids’ stores and unique home and giftware stores. Clarendon Street and Coventry Street in South Melbourne intersect at one of the trendiest spots in the city, with hip craft shops, high end home, furniture and kitchen ware and vintage stores lining the streets. Acland Street is the heart and soul of St Kilda, where you can find an abundance of eclectic jewellery, clothing and quirky lifestyle stores such as Urban Attitude, Chakra, Nique and Seagulls of St Kilda.
For an immersive shopping experience, walk the aisles of the bustling and famous South Melbourne Market, known for its uber fresh produce, gourmet delights, designer pieces, artisan wares and lively stallholders. It’s the perfect place to grab a bite, catch up and get all your shopping done! Every Sunday, the St Kilda Esplanade Market’s almost 140 creative vendors set up their stalls on the picturesque Esplanade. From its humble beginnings as a mobile art exhibition, the market has grown to become one of Melbourne’s most celebrated markets capturing the essence of creative St Kilda, in a spectacular setting.
From breakfast to dinner, from Japan to Italy, in St Kilda, South Melbourne or Port Melbourne you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out.
St Kilda in particular is a foodie haven. Check out POW Kitchen in the famed Prince of Wales Hotel for Asian-style street food or Fitzrovia for modern comfort food. Newcomer Matcha Mylkbar is popular with its plant-based brekkies and Milk the Cow, a long-time favourite fromagerie.
St Kilda has many watering holes, wet your whistle at the (in)famous Vineyard or new on the scene are Freddie Wimpoles, Misery Guts and the St. Hotel. For sweet treats, drop into Acland Street’s famous bakeries or indulge in a gelato, from 7 Apples, Trampoline or Fritz Gelato.
In South Melbourne, hungry punters flock to Gas, Chez Dre, St Ali and stylish new The Kettle Black, from breakfast to late lunch. Meatworks Smokehouse Bar & Grill, a new face on the foodie scene, is emerging as a meat-lover’s heaven, with Lume leading the lavish with their amazing 15 course degustation.
In Port Melbourne, fish and chips don’t get any better than at Hunky Dory. If dining with a view is what you’re after, head to stylish Waterfront or Noom Duck at Station Pier or secure a spot upstairs at Mr Lawrence on Beach Road.
Step through the ‘big mouth’ and discover a world of fun for the whole family at Luna Park, or play hide and seek at sunset with the curious colony of little penguins who call the St Kilda pier breakwater home.
Theatre, a beloved pastime of Melbournians, abounds with Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre and Theatre Works offering raw, bold productions, The Alex Theatre an array of current productions and the opulent National Theatre creating a stage for memorable drama and ballet.
St Kilda is also a much-loved home to live music, with local and international acts appearing regularly at the iconic Palais Theatre, the Prince Bandroom and across an array of local venues almost every night of the week.
For art lovers, Gasworks Arts Park, Brightspace, Linden New Art and The Gallery at St Kilda Town Hall are the places to visit – all with frequently changing contemporary exhibitions. Alternatively, watch talented weavers at work at the Australian Tapestry Workshop or be enlightened at the Jewish Museum of Australia.
If you’re looking to get active, rent a bike and enjoy the sea side scenery of the Bay Trail running from Port Melbourne to St Kilda and beyond. Try a new water sport or get an adrenaline fix with Skydive Melbourne in St Kilda.