St Kilda is the coolest seaside suburb in Melbourne. I didn’t visit it quite so much when I lived in Melbourne, but it is only about a 20 minute tram ride from the CBD. Here is my insider’s guide to the best of St Kilda. It is a great suburb to visit anytime of day: brunch in the morning, Luna Park in the afternoon and penguins on the pier at night.
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St Kilda is a foodie hotspot in Melbourne. Acland Street is the main thoroughfare, but there are also a few good restaurants located off the street. My personal recommendations are as follows:
♥ Rococo for brunch. On a sunny Melbourne day (they happen, sometimes) there is nothing better than sitting out on this restaurant’s patio and people watching.
♥ That Burger Joint for lunch. This place is small, but the burgers are so good! My friends and I each tried a different burger and they were all hearty and delicious.
♥ Radio Mexico for dinner. Mexican is my favourite, in case you didn’t know. Luckily, Radio Mexico did not disappoint. Thumbs up for the cheap Mexican beer and the delicious quesadilla.
St Kilda is also known for all of its cake shops. Yeah, there are a few. Although a lot of the cakes are quite expensive, they are so worth it (and the extra calories). Personally, I am a fan of the pecan slice and the meringues that are as big as my head. I also recommend ice-cream, because is there anything better on a sunny day? I think not.
1. Luna Park
I didn’t actually know this, but you can enter Luna Park in Melbourne and walk around for free. Once you are inside you can buy tickets for the rides. I kind of enjoyed walking and taking photos without spending a cent. Here are some of my favourite snaps.
A tram for decoration, because when you’re in Melbourne…
Do you see that person standing in the middle there? Yeah, that’s the controller of the roller coaster, called the Great Scenic Railway. They have to stand for the entire ride. This may be up there as one of the worst jobs ever from my perspective.
2. St Kilda Esplanade Market
The market, as the name suggests, is located on The Esplanade right next to Luna Park. It is on every Sunday of the year from 10am. You will find the usual suspects: local designers, food trucks, and fantastic turkish delight (or so I’ve heard). But after a trip along the Esplanade and the markets, you can walk across the bridge and head to spot #3.
3. St Kilda Pier
On a sunny day, the pier is flooded with people. I totally understand why, as it offers excellent views of Melbourne’s city skyline. Although I was there during the day’s peak, I think the views would look even better during golden hour.
Make sure you walk all the way to the end for a different perspective. I also recommend heading out along the marina, which is open to the public during the day. Then you can get an uninterrupted view.
4. See the Penguins
Every night among the rocks at the end of St Kilda Pier, penguins come home after a day of play. You can see the penguins after sunset and there are usually volunteers around to point you in the right direction. They recommend using torches covered in red cellophane, which don’t spook the penguins. Apparently there are more penguins out in summer, but I saw quite a few when I visited in spring. Just remember to be respectful of their home. For more information, click here.
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5. Walk along the Beach
I wouldn’t recommend swimming in the beach, unless you want to freeze. But there is a walking path that stretches along the beach from Port Melbourne to St Kilda and beyond.
6. See a show at the Palais Theatre
An iconic venue located next door to Luna Park, check out the Palais Theatre for all kinds of shows. Coming up later this year there is Daily Show host Trevor Noah, Jimmy Barnes, Pentatonix and Ben Folds.
7. Find the Street Art
There is plenty of cool street art located in the alleys off Acland Street. Have fun spotting and photographing!
I feel like an ultimate guide to St Kilda has to include places to stay, right? My friends have stayed at the Cosmopolitan and gave it a thumbs up. It is located in a prime spot for St Kilda exploring. On the budget side of things, there are quite a few hostels nearby. I recommend Base, for its location and the fact I have stayed with the company before in another location.
Definitely make sure you visit St Kilda on your next trip to Melbourne. There is plenty to keep you entertained.