Top Places to Shop in Melbourne
A visitors guide to the top 10 shopping destinations in Melbourne.
Since this article was originally written (2007), times have changed. Some of the once-thriving retail shopping strips have seen a drop-off while shopping centres have grown in popularity.
Melbourne's Central Business District (CBD) continues to be the best place to shop, with strips marked with * well worth a look.
Top Melbourne Shopping Locations
One thing you need to know is that Australians are fairly eco-conscious. As such, they do not like wasting plastic bags. You will gain mega points (along with more favourable bargaining power) if you break down and buy a few cloth shopping bags in which to put your purchases. Besides, these bags usually have handles long enough to fling over your shoulder, making carrying everything much easier.
Bourke Street Mall is not really a mall in the American sense of the word; rather it is a pedestrian only section of Bourke Street full of all the big name stores like Myer and David Jones. If you are looking for up-market clothing and trinkets, then this is one of the spots you want to spend a day wandering through.
--> Map | Myer | David Jones | Melbourne's GPO
Collins Street is where you take your limitless American Express. Seriously. There are wonders galore in the uppity rich shops here, but they come at a hefty price. Even if your bank account isn't close to that of Bill Gates, you should at least go have a look. There are some very cool items here to drool over.
--> Map | Collins Street | Between Swanston St and Spring St.
Collins Place is at the upper end of Collins Street and is an enclosed shopping center worth seeing for the architecture alone. This is a beautiful building of glass and polished metal. Their food court has better than average offerings. Collins Place is very stylish and very popular. It is the place to be seen, if that kind of thing maters to you.
--> Map | Collins Place
Melbourne Central is a shopping centre located on Lonsdale Street in the Central Business District. This one is a mall in the American sense of the word, boasting over 300 shops within its walls. Here you can browse through book stores, buy Australian opals, get your hair done, have a nice lunch, or fill your suitcase to the bursting point.
--> Map | Melbourne Central Shopping Centre
Queen Victoria Market This gigantic market has everything from souvenirs to food. This is one of the largest markets of its kind in the world. Market stalls and String Bean Alleywith everything from clothing to fresh fruit, vegetables, and meats. Forget the grocery store; this is where you want to shop for food if you have a room with a kitchen. Easily accessed by tram, or walk north up Elizabeth Street, is a must-do while in Melbourne.
--> Map | Queen Victoria Market
Swanston Street is not listed inside all of those tourist brochures, but trust me when I tell you this has become one of my personal favourites. Just north of the Flinders Street Station are bargains galore ready to jump into your shopping bag. Do go down into the basement shops. There are a few clothing spots down there with unbelievable deals. Swanston is also a great spot to grab souvenirs a bit cheaper than other spots in Melbourne.
Just Outside Melbourne
Southgate is on the south bank of the Yarra River which flows through Melbourne. While Southgate is mostly nice restaurants and a food court, they do have a number of wonderfully unique boutiques. On Sunday's there is a market outside the Art Centre (east end).
--> Map | Southgate Shopping Precinct | Crown Entertainment Complex
Docklands is located at the western end of the CBD and Melbourne's newest retail mecca. A shopping centre under the observation wheel with bargains to be had in a myriad of laneways filled with factory type outlets.
--> Map | Harbour Town Shopping Centre
South Melbourne Market is one of Melbourne's best suburban markets with an amazing array of vendors selling absolutely everything. It is very big, make no mistake, but you can get through this one in one day. Just be sure to go on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. That is when the most vendors are set up. They are also open on Wednesday, but mainly for the fresh fruit and veggies. Easy tram ride from CBD.
--> Map | South Melbourne Market
Victoria Gardens in Richmond is just down Victoria Street a few miles east of the Central Business District is an enclosed mall. Yes, it's a shopping centre with big names like IKEA and K-Mart, but also a host of great Melbourne shops. They have a nice bookstore, several jewellers, and clothing shops to die for.
--> Map | Victoria Gardens | IKEA
There you have it. The best ten places to empty your wallet in Melbourne, right from the mouth of the shopping queen. You can thank me later.
Worthy Shopping Mentions
More Shopping in Melbourne
❊ Web Links ❊
→ Top Places to Shop in Melbourne
→ Collins Street Shopping
→ Melbourne's GPO
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