[Featured destination] Shopping in Melbourne

Although fairly compact in size, Melbourne is a fantastic city for shopping. Divided into distinct areas, each with its vibe and flavor, shopping in Melbourne promises to be an exciting experience.

Photos of Bourke Street Mall and Melbourne's Central, Melbourne
This photo of Bourke Street Mall and Melbourne’s Central is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Bourke Street Mall – Historically been regarded as Melbourne’s “second street” and one of Melbourne’s best known streets, it is popularly referred to as Bourke Street Mall. It is one of the main tourist destinations,  main pedestrian mall and also the entertainment hub of Melbourne.  It links Swanston and Elizabeth streets and is only open to trams and pedestrians. The Melbourne mall remains the only such mall to allow trams to operate in the premises.

Here you’ll find Melbourne’s two main department stores. David Jones occupies three buildings for with its second-flagship store, which houses world-luxury brands. Myer’s nine-floor flagship store also houses over 200 such brands brands.

Melbourne’s GPO
Melbourne’s 1864 postal building has been stunningly refurbished and converted into a sophisticated and contemporary retail experience showcasing fashion, luxury goods and dining. Look out for Gorman, Leona Edmiston, Mimco, Ben Sherman, Georg Jensen, Camper, Cacao Fine Chocolate & Patisserie plus delicious eateries in GPO Lane.

Photos of Collins Street, Melbourne
This photo of Collins Street is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Collins Street – Melbourne’s traditional main street and best known street, is often regarded as Australia’s premier street. Visitors can find some of the country’s finest Victorian era buildings here. In addition Collins Street is well known for its designer stores in heritage buildings, banks, five-star hotels, private clubs and exclusive jewelers. The street has its very own ‘Paris End’ and is often referred to as ‘the top end of town’ or the Madison Avenue of New York. If you want luxury brands like Chanel, Giorgio Armani and Louis Vuitton, this is the street you want to visit. For those with a smaller budget, head west and find retail centres like two3four, Australia on Collins house and many other chain and concept stores.

Little Collins Street –  Parallel to and to the north of Collins Street and as a narrow one way lane, it’s known as the Little Collins Street.  Little Collins and Howey Place  are the markets for haute couture and hip culture, and clothes by some of Melbourne’s most interesting designers. The section between Exhibition Street and Elizabeth Street has many Australian fashion boutiques, primarily focusing on men’s fashion, such as Joe Black the Tailor, Sarti Tailor, Chiodo, Scanlan & Theodore, Arthur Galan AG, Calibre, Saba, Roy Christou, Déclic, Satch and Assin. International designers Kenzo and Ted Baker have their flagship stores on Little Collins Street as well.

Toorak & South Yarra – Located south-east from Melbourne’s central business district, this area is the Hamptons of Melbourne. With the reputation of being Melbourne’s most elite and prestigious area, it has the highest average property values in Melbourne, and is one of the most expensive suburbs in Australia. Needless to say, the shopping strips of Toorak and South Yarra cater to the elite and the rich. European designers and local heroes like Collette Dinnigan will make your wallet very light but at least you will look like a million bucks or however much you pay for that dress. In the  South Yarra Market, visitors can find designs by local fashion designers, music and art by names you just haven’t heard of yet. Check out The Tudor Toorak Village where visitors can shop in unique boutiques carrying exclusive designer fashions. Similarly Malvern Road in Hawksburn Village has its own share of fashion boutiques, cafes and gourmet retailers.

Photos of Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne
This photo of Queen Victoria Market is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Queen Victoria Market – At around seven hectares (17 acres), Queen Victoria Market is the largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere. This market is considered part of Melbourne’s culture and heritage and has been listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. Named after Queen Victoria who ruled the British Empire from 1837 to 1901, Queen Victoria Market is the only surviving 19th century market in the city’s CBD. The market is a popular destination for tourists who flock here in droves to shop. The food stalls offer a variety of fruit and vegetables, meat, poultry and seafood, gourmet and deli foods as well as specialty delicacies. Other stalls in the market sell clothing, shoes, accessories and handmade art and crafts. There is a hot doughnut van which has operated for over half a century in the market and is extremely well known, so much so that it has become part of local tradition. The jam donuts are the most popular.

The Market is open every day of the week except Mondays and Wednesdays. On Wednesday evenings in the summer months, there is a night market which offers dining, bars, live entertainment and a variety of other stalls.

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