As the cultural capital of Australia, you can expect the hipster places in Melbourne to include a bit of everything. Melbourne hosts a myriad of cool cafés, rooftops and incredible places to hang out. From incredible street art to a crazy variety of brunch spots, it’s one of the most cosmopolitan cities I’ve visited. If looking to see Melbourne off the beaten track, where the cool locals thrive, then it is the hip Melbourne suburbs that you should visit.
Every Melbourne neighborhood has a distinct personality, plus that special charm of towns by the ocean. There are endless hipster places in Melbourne to soak in the city’s vibe and power up that creativity. Read all about my top 12 things to in Melbourne beyond the crowds below! For the best Melbourne tours, check out all Get Your Guide Tours here, that I always use when traveling. So easy to book online! Can strongly recommend this PRIVATE TOUR!
We enjoyed our time Down Under quite a bit! You can read all about our adventures on the Australia section of the site. Read all about Melbourne off the beaten track, below.
Tips Before Heading to the Coolest Hipster Places in Melbourne
- Choose the right spot for your stay. Melbourne is huge, very varied, and each section of town has its vibe. Read up in advance to make sure you’re staying in the right area for you. If you’re looking for hipster places in Melbourne, I’d recommend staying around South Yarra, Richmond or Windsor. For a metropolis vibe, the Melbourne City Centre (CBD) is the place for you.
- Getting around: You can quickly get around Melbourne through Uber, buses or the metro. Ensure a smooth arrival and book your airport transfer. SHARED or PRIVATE. All up to you:)!
- Book in advance for the best foodie experience. To see Melbourne off the beaten track, eating should be one of the first steps – there are many fantastic restaurants! However, the best eateries tend to be full, so it’s best to book your place in advance and avoid disappointments.
The 12 Best Things to Do in Melbourne off the Beaten Track
Enjoy my picks for the ultimate hipster places in Melbourne, off the beaten tracks!
1. Enjoy the Vibe at Up-and-Coming South Yarra
Start your tour of Melbourne off the beaten track by visiting South Yarra: it’s a great area to eat, drink and shop! Among the coolest neighborhoods in town. You’ll find an overload of cute boutiques, restaurants, and cafés in its famous Chapel Street. Bars and nightclubs also abound in South Yarra!
Walk around the neighborhood to see all the small hidden gems and breathtaking street art. Come into the cute boutiques for some Aussie boho vibes and get lovely souvenirs for yourself and loved ones.
The Hip Eateries
Some of the cutest hipster places in Melbourne are around here. Lucky Penny, specializing in delicious, healthy breakfast and lunch is one of my favorites. Also loved the industrial chic Journeyman Café, which is almost in Windsor.
Abacus Bar & Kitchen is a must visit for photography lovers, who will fall for the luxurious feel. Mr. Miyagi is excellent for those who can’t leave a city without trying its Japanese food. Hawker Hall, also near Windsor, was another favorite: a street food and beer bar, it’s a relaxed place to spend an evening.
Spend a couple of days in South Yarra and enjoy Melbourne off the beaten track. There are plenty of Airbnb’s here, and you’ll always be a few steps away from everything. We stayed at a very contemporary apartment at the relatively newly built high-rise at Clara Street. It was super spacious and modern with gorgeous windows from floor to ceiling! Just the perfect location!
After walking around South Yarra, head to Richmond, the next neighborhood, for even more cool bars and clubs. Get to know the Melbourne foodie scene with this Melbourne: City & Market Food Tour!
2. Bask in the Fitzroy Street Art – The Gem of Hipster Places in Melbourne
The Fitzroy neighborhood also hosts some of the coolest things to do in Melbourne off the beaten track. This rougher and bohemian area is full of charm, with lots of vintage and second-hand stores. You’ll also find plenty of bars and cafés full of personality!
What makes Fitzroy stand out among hipster places in Melbourne is its street art. It’s the coolest area to explore the little streets and discover incredible pieces of urban art.
Start your afternoon in Fitzroy with lunch or coffee at Faraday’s Cage, and then head to the the surrounding small streets full of street art. Do not miss chopper street lane. Lastly, see The Rose St. Artists’ Market and walk down Brunswick Street to see the cute vintage shops.
Enjoy this amazing Fitzroy Street Art Tour!
3. Find Your Inner Hipster at Brunswick
When talking about hipster places in Melbourne, it’s impossible not to mention Brunswick. Another up-and-coming area, it feels a little Berliner, with lots of vegetarian and vegan eateries and it is supposed to be one of the trendiest areas at the momennt. When you’re engaging in one of the best things to do in Melbourne off the beaten track, eating, this is a must!
My fave eatery here is Rice Queen, an Asian diner and bar with an eclectic look and fantastic food.
4. Treat Yourself to a Beach Day at Brighton
As a beach city, one of the top summer activities in Melbourne off the beaten track is enjoying the sand! For a chill day at hipster places in Melbourne, take a swim at the beach at either Brighton or Elwood.
While too famous to be among the hipster places in Melbourne, it’s still a must. The bathing boxes might be the most iconic spot in town – but you should get there early. Once you’ve taken pics, bring your bathing suit and blanket to the less crowded beach just 100 meters away. Chilling in the sun is one of the best things to do in Melbourne off the beaten track!
Combine these cute bathing boxes with a trip to Phillip Island in this SMALL GROUP ECO WILDLIFE TOUR!
5. Take a Long Walk Between Brighton and St. Kilda
I’d recommend taking a long walk on Brighton, from the famous bathing boxes to St. Kilda. It’s about an hour-long walk, with some of the most refreshing views in town, passing by beaches and harbors while also seeing the downtown skyscrapers.
6. Have a Relaxed Beachy Afternoon at St. Kilda
Head to Pontoon St. Kilda Beach and discover one of the top hipster places in Melbourne. Enjoying this beachside location is among the best things to do in Melbourne off the beaten track, with its great food and cool design and perfect location by the beach!
Hang out at the outdoor terrace facing the sea and chill with a drink or two. It is the perfect place to relax after spending the day enjoying seeing Melbourne off the beaten track. Here, you can start the party mood and then continue the evening in the many St. Kilda spots!
7. See the Famous Downtown Street Art
Fitzroy is my personal favorite street art spot in town, but the CBD ones are much more iconic. Looking at the murals in the AC/DC graffiti walls is one of the best things to do in Melbourne off the beaten track, as they’re quite imposing.
For those looking for more hipster places in Melbourne downtown, ACMI Centre is the right spot. Especially great for modern art, cool vibes, and a nice café.
8. Feel Cosmopolitan at CBD
One of the best things to do in Melbourne off the beaten track, hands down, is soaking up the big city feel downtown. The area feels like a completely different world, as big and impressive skyscrapers built in glass surround you. CBD is full of shopping streets, where you can also find amazing contemporary restaurants attended by local business people.
One of my favorite hipster places in Melbourne CBD is Drumplings, an international take on the Asian classic. They put unusual ingredients like cheeseburger inside dumplings! Mamasita offers delish Mexican options, while Chin Chin has great contemporary Thai cuisine.
9. Have Yourself a Luxurious Downtown Melbourne Evening
Treat yourself to a luxurious evening with the downtown Melbourne off the beaten track. Head to one of the ultimate hipster places in Melbourne, Madame Brussels, and begin the evening right. It’s an incredible rooftop garden bar decorated in French romantic style!
Afterward, have dinner at Fatto, an Italian restaurant by the river and a view of the Melbourne skyline. While the food is just okay, the vibe is great, and you’ll feel magic walking there. End the evening with a flourish with some drinks at the rooftop of the QT Hotel.
10. Stay at a Lovely CBD Boutique Hotel
11. Connect with Nature at the Botanical Garden
For those trying to escape the hectic life of the big city, visiting the Botanical Garden is one of the essential on Melbourne off the beaten track activities. Head over to the lung of the town and one of the hippest and most peaceful places in Melbourne!
There are lots of activities in the garden and you can easily spend a whole day here. Why not do it with this Melbourne Highlights and Punt in the Botanic Gardens tour?
12. Great Ocean Road Trip
After seeing Melbourne off the beaten track and the top hipster places in Melbourne, you deserve a trip out of town. My recommendation? A big road trip through the Great Ocean Road!
We spent three days on this lovely road on the Aussie coast. We ran into gorgeous and isolated beaches, beautiful sights and tiny towns. Meet the koalas and kangaroos! Read all about our Great Ocean Road trip on my travel guide!
If you do not want to drive alone then check out this MELBOURNE TO GREAT OCEAN ROAD TOUR where you avoid the crowds.
We never had time to visit the Yarra Valley but if, like me, you love wine and food, CHECK OUT THIS TOUR!
Travel with a Silver Lining in Australia
- For all you need to know about the Great Ocean Road – Check out my post with a Full 3 Days Itinerary and My 17 Favorite Stops.
- For our time in boho-chic paradise Byron Bay, check out my hotel and restaurant reviews, with breakfast and dinner.
- To read about another tremendous Aussie city, check out my Sydney hotel review. as well as my Sydney Instagram Guide with top 17 spots to visit in Sydney.
- If you need a real retreat, I’d recommend Tasmania: check out my two hotel reviews on the island, for Freycinet Lodge and Eagles Nest!
- Do not miss my top three posts on the Top 18 Instagram Spots in Lisbon, My Amalfi Coast Photography Guide as well as the Top 10 Hipster Restaurants in Moscow!
Booking Support & Input
- Flight. Momondo offers the best flight rates for your trip to Australia. Download their all-in-one travel app and never miss an offer!
- Transfer. Reach your Melbourne hotel in a moment without waiting for one second more than you have to by booking a transfer HERE.
- Hotels. Do you want to find the best Melbourne hotel for your precise wants and needs? You can find amazing options through Booking.com!
- Guide. When I’m visiting a new city, I want to feel its true pulse by going beyond the usual paths tourists take. That’s why I love HI, HI so much! This trendy new site allows you to book a local guide who will personally lead you around their town, providing a custom experience.
- Tour. Get Your Guide provides incredible tours and experiences, and their Melbourne section is a true dream. Check out this incredible tour of the city from above: you can fly over Melbourne for 30 minutes in an air-conditioned cabin. See all their available options to see Melbourne off the beaten track on their city guide!
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