Melbourne, Victoria is Australia’s second largest city and is well known for its cosmopolitan atmosphere. In the heart of Melbourne, St. Kilda is known as one of the most cosmopolitan suburbs in the city.
Like many districts in big cities, St. Kilda has had a checkered history. In its early years, it was Melbourne’s first seaside resort. As the city grew and became one large metropolis, for many years, St. Kilda went into decline. The famed St. Kilda baths, where many famous Australian Olympic swimmers have trained, went out of fashion and many of the formerly fashionable shops and restaurants languished as Melbournians turned to newer venues.
Since the 1980s, St. Kilda has been rediscovered and today, it is one of the trendiest suburbs in Melbourne. College students and backpackers call Fitzroy Street and Acland Street home and they are two of the hippest streets in town. If you’re looking for a place with a lively artistic atmosphere, then you will find it here. Fitzroy and Acland Streets are both great places to just hang out. Grab a book in one of the small independent bookshops you run across, sit down for a cappuccino at a sidewalk cafe and you’ll fit right in. Be sure to check out the Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts while you’re on Acland Street. It’s easy to find: just look for the wonderful Victorian mansion it is located in.
If you have ever been to LAs iconic Venice Beach on a Sunday afternoon, you get an idea of what it’s like at the beach in St. Kilda on the weekend. If at all possible, be in the St Kilda area on any given Sunday. That’s when the Esplanade Arts and Crafts Market is on.
For the family, the beach at St. Kilda offers a great day out. You will definitely want to take the kids to St. Kilda’s iconic Luna Park. Go to St Kilda breakwater and look for the delightful fairy penguins that can often be seen there.
There’s plenty to do in St. Kilda at night, too. If you’re looking for entertainment, the lower Esplanade is the place to go. For a big night out, take in an international act at the Palais Theatre. For more local entertainment, try the Esplanade Hotel or one of the pubs in town. Finding entertainment at night is not going to be a problem in St Kilda: the problem will be in making your mind up about which place to go to.
When you’re on St. Kilda’s Carlisle Street, you may have to pinch yourself before you forget that you’re in Australia and not someplace in Europe. Not only is the atmosphere cosmopolitan on Carlisle street, it seems as if English is only the local’s second tongue. You are in Australia, though, and everyone speaks English, too, so you won’t have any trouble communicating when you order a mouth watering cake or bagel at one of Carlisle Street’s many wonderful eateries.
There are still many people who say that St. Kilda’s days of glory are gone. They are only just beginning. Be part of the action. Stay at a St. Kilda accommodation and get the most out of your visit to Melbourne. Whether you stay in one of the many backpackers resorts or in a magnificently restored Bed and Breakfast, you will love this part of the city.