7 things to do in St Kilda – Melbourne

Melbourne is my favourite city in Australia. Always has been always will be. It feels less touristy than Sydney, buzzier than Canberra, bigger than Brisbane and then I’ve not visited the other capital cities so sadly can’t validate my love for Melbourne against them. But I’m pretty sure Melbourne would always win.

Growing up in a VERY small country town I loved when we would go to Melbourne in the summers. We’d go to the Australian Open and MCG, shop in ‘cool’ shops, eat out in fancy restaurants, wander along the Yarra, travel by tram, shop the at the Queen Vic markets, marvel at the Crown Casino decorations and spend far to much time getting myself lost in the captivating Melbourne side streets. One suburb of Melbourne we would always visit and still always visit is St Kilda. A trip to Melbourne isn’t complete without it.

St Kilda is around 5kms out of the city centre and is easily reached by tram or bus. It’s on the coast so if you are feeling brave you can even go swimming in the crisp Port Philip Bay water. There are key points of interest there as well as the amazing cafe culture that will keep you feed and watered on your adventures around Melbourne. The boutique and vintage shops offer a great shopping experience and the beach and pier just help to slow down the pace of the city life.  With the beach, esplanade and parks there is plenty of places to get active on and off the water. We once stayed just off the esplanade and with my new roller blades I decided that was the only way I was going to get around. This was of course back when roller blades were cool. If you grew up in the 90s in Australia you would also know St Kilda frequented heavily in The Secret Life of Us. I LOVED this show and alway used to wander part the Espie Hotel imagining I was in the show hanging out with Deborah Mailman. Yes 16 year old, rollerblading me was soo cool.

Alas, I digress. I love St Kilda a lot it’s my favourite suburb in my favourite city so here are my 7 favourite things to do in St Kilda

1)St Kilda  Beach &  Sea Baths

This is the most famous beach in Melbourne and whilst Melbourne doesn’t always get the warmest of weather all year round you can swim in the beach year round. But you may freeze. There is also the sea baths located just off the beach which have the history of the area and pier shown through pictures so you can see it back in its heyday. There are lots of activities available both on water and land by the beach from windsurfing to beach volleyball and as you can imagine it’s a hugely popular with locals and tourists alike enjoying the beach lifestyle

2)St Kilda Pier

You can’t to St Kilda and not walk along the historic Edwardian pier. You really can’t. The pier was built in the 1850’s and is cloaked in history.  It also feels very British- the Brits do love a pier and you can tell from the piers of  Britain were a good influence on this build. There is a kiosk at the end of the pier which is a lovely spot for a cuppa and cake. There is also a colony of penguins at the breakwater but they aren’t always out to play so you could be lucky in seeing them. Visiting this pier is just a lovely change of pace from the hustle and bustle of the city.
3)The Melbourne SkyLine

I love a city skyline and standing out on the pier looking back over the city you get a gorgeous panoramic view of the Melbourne Skyline.  I don’t think there is anywhere else in the city you would get views like this. It’s also particularly beautiful at sunset so have an early evening stroll along the pier and look back over this striking city.

4)Luna Park

The big (slightly creepy) smiling face of Luna Park is a firm favourite in St Kilda and Melbourne alike. It’s been there since 1912 and is one of two Luna Parks operating in Australia (the other being in Sydney just under the Harbour Bridge). It doesn’t cost anything to go in and walk around but if you did want to go on any of the rides there is a charge. I’m not one for roller coasters ( I’m a bit of a scardey cat) but I do love walking around the park. It’s all very old world theme park with street performers, funny mirrors and old school games.  https://lunapark.com.au/

5)Acland Street & Fitzroy Street

Food and drink in St Kilda is amazing! From the restaurants with all cuisines covered, bohemian/hipsta bars, trendy cafes and coffee shops to the bakeries stocked with the most lust-worthy cakes and sweet treats. I get about 10 pounds heavier just looking at the menus and shop windows in these streets.

Getting fat just looking at these!!

6) Esplanade Markets

We always try and get to St Kilda on a Sunday to see these iconic markets. They are full of wonderfully creative items and you can always pick up some real gems for presents and souvenirs.  For more details on the stall holders check here http://www.stkildaesplanademarket.com.au/index.htm

7)Palais Theatre

I’ve sadly never been to a concert in this beautiful Art Deco theatre but I do have a huge appreciation for the facade of this grand building. Even if you don’t go in its one of those places where you need to stop and stare. Just off the ESplande and next to Luna Park it’s a beautiful juxtaposition of old world class vs the bright lights of the theme park. We also met Janelle Timmins from Neighbours circa 2007 on our neighbour’s tour there so obviously a very dear place in our hearts. Haha!

Have you been to St Kilda and love it also? Anything I’ve missed off the list? Do let me know in the comments below.


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Travel, photography and lots of laughter

50 thoughts on “7 things to do in St Kilda – Melbourne”

  1. Great guide! I haven’t been to Melbourne or Australia yet (along with everywhere else it’s on my list) haha, but can’t argue that it certainly looks like a city with a lot of charm… And

  2. Great post! I remember the roller blading fun you had 😊 I must say those gorgeous people featured in this post look like a lovely couple!!

  3. Pictures and stunning and so is the post. Nicely written. What time in the year is it possible to swim in the beach which is otherwise uncomfortably cold ?

  4. Nice pics! Looks beautiful and interesting. Planning to visit Melbourne this year so I’ll add this to the list of places to visit.

  5. The pier is what drew my attention the most! Love such towns,where you can stroll along the pier, eating at lovely restaurants and watching the yachts and sailboats.

  6. I would absolutely LOVE to visit Melbourne & my Oz friend that has just visited us from there, so between how she talks about it and this post I’m desperate to go. St. Kilda looks & sounds like my kinda place too. I love the pier! (Oh and the cakes!). Lovely post x

  7. This is absolutely beautiful!! I love penguins, so I’d probably be that person at the pier day after day, waiting for them to appear haha. Is there a particular place to eat that you would recommend?

    1. Yeah I was disappointed we didn’t get to see any. There is another place just out of Melbourne where you can see fairy penguins come into nest at dusk. It’s sooo cute to watch. To be honest I can’t think of any specific names of where to eat. There is so many good places to eat!

  8. I love that you can get there easily from Melbourne, although I’d be packing my rollerblades – yes, I still have them, and know where they are!

  9. Love this article, love you Aussies, even wrote a little tale bout ya’ll: The Tail Of Boomerang Roo. We have friends from Australia who near us here in Texas so am a bit familiar with the lingo..

  10. Love St Kilda! I lived there for a while when I lived in Melbourne a few years ago and I loved its little village vibe on the outskirts of the city. There is so much to do here (and so many great places to eat) that I kick myself for leaving! I have enjoyed many a sunset overlooking the ocean on St Kilda Beach. Thanks for the memories!

  11. Thanks for your tips on Melbourne! I’m considering living abroad in Australia next year so I appreciate hearing and reading more about the country so I can decide where I want to be. 🙂

  12. Great post! I spent a couple weeks in Melbourne with one of those weeks in St. Kilda. I loved it! You’re so right about there being amazing places to eat. I’d love to go back just to eat at all of the restaurants I didn’t get to try the first time!

  13. Great post! I spent a couple weeks in Melbourne with one of those weeks in St. Kilda. I loved it! You’re so right about there being amazing places to eat. I’d love to go back just to eat at all of the restaurants I didn’t get to try the first time!

  14. It’s making me jealous that you had all of those experiences as a child getting to go to Melbourne in the summers! I have only been to Australia once, and I have all these places I want to see, including Melbourne. I’ve heard so many great things about it that I feel like it might be my favorite too.

  15. This is a great blog! We’re heading to Melbourne right now for a few days and plan to visit St Kilda, this blog has made us even more excited 😆 and you’re right, us brits do love a good pier!

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