Many who are visiting Melbourne for the first time find the prospect of entering one of Australia’s biggest cities a daunting one. Whether you are preparing for a leisure or business trip to Melbourne, this ultimate guide to the city’s neighbourhoods will ensure your stay is filled with the very best activities and attractions available. With a population just shy of five million, this picturesque coastal city has a reputation for being one of the liveliest cities in Australia. Already planning a corporate trip to the South Coast city? Browse our ‘Top 6 Serviced Apartments in Melbourne for Business Travel’.
Food & Drink
Australia is lesser known for its own national cuisine, yet plays host to a plethora of internationally influenced restaurants. Heavily saturated around the neighbourhoods of the Central Business District, Carlton and Fitzroy, Melbourne has some of the most popular restaurants in the country.
Central Business District
If style and class are what you are looking for, this French-inspired restaurant ticks all the boxes. Perfect for a romantic meal, business lunch or family supper, Phillipe is the creation of critically acclaimed chef Philippe Mouchel. Including specialities such as oysters, the finest beef cuts and a snapper fish dish, the menu is wonderfully complemented by a delicious cheese board and wine menu and is perfect for lunch when on a business trip to Melbourne.
Red Spice Road
If you’d prefer a more informal dining setting visiting Melbourne, yet still plenty of character and charm, Red Spice Road is one of the best Asian options in Melbourne. Covering a broad range of cuisines, Red Spice Road has dishes from Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and China, with customer favourites including a Thai Green Curry and Salmon Stir Fry.
Located to the north of the central business district, Carlton is brimming with activity mainly due to its high concentration of students. Don’t let this put you off visiting Melbourne if you are looking for a bit of peace and quiet. With restaurants like Kazuki’s, the Japanese culture of care and compassion is fully imbued within this establishment. The memorable dining experience at Kazuki’s is defined by traditional Japanese plates such as Sher Wagyu, bone marrow and miso mustard or duck with beetroot and plum.
Known for being the home of Little Italy, Carlton hosts a multitude of pizzerias such as Leanardo’s Pizza. With everything you’d expect from an Italian pizzeria, one aspect that puts this restaurant ahead of the rest is its homely nature. From the friendly staff to a traditional and welcoming interior, the high-quality experience transcends from walking through the door to the end product on the plate in front of you. Looking for a comfortable venue for a business trip to Melbourne? This could be the perfect place for you.
Cutler & Co
Neighbouring Carlton, Fitzroy is full trendy and colourful bars and restaurants. Epitomizing all things Fitzroy, Cutler & Co is a high-end restaurant that is ideal for a business trip to Melbourne. Serving an A La Carte, Chef’s Selection Menu, as well as a Sunday Menu, the variety and quality on offer at Cutler & Co is second to none. With the menus updated in line with every season, there are always sumptuous meat, fish and vegetarian meals on offer. Travelling to Melbourne on business soon? ‘7 Tips You Need to Know When Travelling to Melbourne on Business’ should be your first stop.
Smith & Daughters
Buzzing with a vibrant personality, Smith & Daughters specialises in vegan meals but with a difference. Unlike most vegan centred restaurants, Smith & Daughters has a rock and roll twist on its approach to dining. With band tributes as décor, along with neon lighting, the Italian focused restaurant is immensely popular amongst the vegan community and is a must-go when visiting Melbourne.
Culture & Arts
Central Business District
East End Theatre District
When looking at the hub of culture and arts within Melbourne, you simply can’t look past East End Theatre District. Playing host to six major theatres (Princess Theatre, Her Majesty’s Theatre, Regent Theatre, Athenaeum Theatre, Comedy Theatre and Forum Melbourne) this precinct of Melbourne is compared to the likes of Broadway in New York or the West End in London. If you are an avid lover of performances such as musicals, theatre and comedy, then the East End Theatre District is the place for you if you are on a business trip to Melbourne.
Moving away from the Central Business District, the Southbank Theatre is situated south of the Yarra River. Unlike the East End Theatre District, this architectural phenomenon has two performance spaces and has hosted a plethora of award-winning plays. Available to hire, this venue has multiple purposes unlike that of the theatres in the East End Theatre District. The Southbank Theatre’s architecture is quite the spectacle, with an illuminous honeycomb-like exterior that draws in the crowds from near and far.
Library at the Dock
The modern façade of this library may fool some to its internal uses. The Library at the Dock has public features such as editing suites, recording studios, practise rooms and community spaces, enhancing accessibility to resources for the local neighbourhood. This is on top of the 200,000 books, e-library and collection of DVDs and CDs. An incredible asset to the local community, it’s certainly worth a look if you find yourself in the Docklands suburb when visiting Melbourne.
Sandwiched between Fitzroy and Carlton in Carlton Gardens, you’ll find Melbourne Museum. Home to over 600 preserved birds, reptiles, mammals and amphibians as well as plenty of historic artefacts from Melbourne’s past, if immersing oneself in the city’s culture is the main reason for visiting Melbourne, this museum in Fitzroy is a must. Perfect for the whole family or a leisurely solo trip, Melbourne Museum always has fascinating exhibitions on.
Central Business District
Situated in the heart of Melbourne’s Central Business District, Emporium Melbourne – is a relatively new addition to the shopping capital of Australia. With a quirky and contemporary architectural twist, this shopping centre houses a mixture of shops ranging from everyday classics such as Adidas to national favourites including Calibre. Staying in the central business district? This shopping complex is perfect for those visiting Melbourne and not wanting to lug their bags around to a more distant neighbourhood.
A street for those who are willing to splash the cash when it comes to high-end brands, Collins Street is the ideal consumer destination when visiting Melbourne. Louis Vuitton, Gucci and BVLGARI are just a few of the multitude of designer brands that line this luxurious central street. Accessible from any suburb or neighbourhood of Melbourne, you can either step off directly onto Collins Street via Southern Cross train station or there are tram stops that litter the street. Taking some clients or partner for a wander around the city whilst on a business trip to Melbourne? Walking them up this street could be a way to impress them.
Full of edgy designer brands and on-trend vintage shops, Fitzroy is home to a younger generation of shoppers and aptly matches the aura of the district. Full of bargains and hidden gems, some of Fitzroy’s most famous shops include Hemley Store and Hunter Gatherer, all located on the renowned Brunswick Street. However, it’s not just clothes shops that light up the neighbourhood, Northside Records and Lost and Found Market both provide music and furniture options respectively.
Central Business District
As with any major city, the hub of the city tends to be the most fruitful in terms of bars, clubs and general nightlife. Looking to enjoy the nightlife with colleagues If you’re visiting Melbourne for a good time, then heading into the centre of Melbourne is where you should be going. The Toff in Town offers live music partnered with a quaint interior and draws in people from all over the city.
If you’re looking for more of a dance venue, Radar is a relatively new venue which focuses on electronic music into the early hours of the morning. For a more exotic venue, Spice Market provides a quirky with plenty of room to dance to 80’s classics and special guest DJs.
Moving further out from Melbourne’s central business district, South Yarra is a neighbourhood based in the south-east region of the city. Backing onto the Yarra River, this suburb of Melbourne consists of picturesque riverside views as well as a young population, hence the wide array of cocktail bars and nightclubs. If you’re on a business trip to Melbourne, South Yarra is the perfect destination for a late evening drink.
The Circus Bar is both a bar and nightclub which is perfectly suited to the traveller visiting Melbourne. Whether it’s for a few evening drinks or a night out with friends, this entertaining venue matches the experience of being at a ‘big top’ performance. For panoramic views over the neighbourhood, The Emerson Rooftop Bar and Club is ideal for those wanting a romantic cocktail with the sunset behind them. With three floors of fun, dancing and laughter, it is easy to see why this is such a hotspot amongst South Yarra.
Melbourne Cricket Ground
Just to the west of the suburb of Richmond and south of Fitzroy, you’ll stumble across Yarra Park and in the centre of this, the Melbourne Cricket Ground. One of the most impressive sports stadiums in Australia, the ground has a capacity of just over 100,000 people and is home to the Australian Cricket team as well as the Australian Football League (AFL). If a test match is on at the same time when you are on a business trip to Melbourne, this is a brilliant location to take associates.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Founded in 1846, these botanic gardens span across 89 acres south of the River Yarra and are home to some 50,000 plants. A lovely retreat from the bustling streets of the central business district, these gardens are ideal for those wanting a bit of peace and quiet when visiting Melbourne.
On the edge of the central business district and north of the river from Southbank, Federation Square provides a great venue for all of Melbourne’s main events. Visiting Melbourne over the New Year period? Federation Square is home to the city’s best vantage sport for celebrations at midnight. Also home to the National Gallery of Victoria, it comes as no surprise that many find themselves wandering around Federation Square for hours.
St Kilda Beach
A handful of kilometres south of Melbourne’s centre lies its most visited beach. St Kilda Beach is where hundreds flock when the sun is out, either for a bit of sunbathing, a quick dip in the sea or partaking in water activities such as surfing, windsurfing and paddleboarding. Visiting Melbourne for the summer months? Why not head over to our website to find some perfectly placed serviced accommodation in Melbourne.
Still unsure which Australian city to go and visit? We compiled a blog on ‘The Great Australian Debate: Is Melbourne Better than Sydney?’.