Melbourne is a centre for art, music and theatre as much as it is for designer shopping. Its neighbourhoods have evolved distinctive identities, from fashion-conscious South Yarra to retro Fitzroy, funky St. Kilda by the bay and the bargain-shopping inner hub of Richmond.
The markets in Melbourne are an attraction of themselves. The Queen Victoria Market is the largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere, selling everything there is to find under the sun. It is located on the corner of Victoria and Peel streets and is open every day. The Prahran Market is the city’s best food market and is a great place to grab some delicious lunch. The market is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays and can be found on 163-185 Commercial Road, Prahran. The South Melbourne Market is a general market with mainly food products and is situated on the corner of Cecil and Coventry streets, South Melbourne. It is open on Wednesdays and Friday-Sundays. Docklands, Melbourne’s first harbour-side market, is open from 11am-5pm every Saturday. Visitors will be able to stroll along the harbour-side promenade and stock up on organic produce, beautiful handcrafts and other treasures.
Melbourne’s two main department stores, David Jones and MYER, are housed in the Bourke Street Mall in the centre of the city. The department stores stock typically Australian products. The best goods to look out for are woollen garments, bush gear, handcrafted jewellery (particularly opals), woodwork design and ceramics. There are also scores of other shops in and around the area on Lonsdale and Swanston streets. Melbourne Central – another shopping paradise - can be found on the corner of LaTrobe and Swanston streets offering young and funky labels.
Little Bourke Street is famous for its hub of outdoor gear shops while Elizabeth Street is a great choice for cameras, computers and Hi-Fi equipment. Watch out for the numerous laneways branching off Little Collins Street for some of the best-hidden treats. Retro fashion, exclusive one-off boutiques and heaps of cafés can be found on Flinders Lane. Brunswick Street is also a popular place to go shopping with plenty of specialty boutiques and vintage clothing stores mixed among funky record shops and retro furniture stores. It’s your best bet for Melbourne-specific designs and artistic creations.
Last but not least, no Melbourne shopping trip would be complete without a visit to the infamous Chapel Street where young and independent designers have their outlets. The exclusive shops along Toorak Road offer the latest designer labels where, between star-spottings, you can pick up the latest fashions.