27 BEST Neighborhoods To Live in Melbourne Australia 2024

Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Live in Melbourne Australia Introduction

Welcome To The Ultimate Guide to the Best Neighborhoods To Live In Melbourne Australia! We are Full time digital nomads who have lived in Australia for a while! so we wanted to help you to understand where are the best places to live in Melbourne!

best neighborhoods to live in Melbourne Australia

We will explore Melbourne’s Best Neighborhoods to Call Home, tell you what you should know about the best neighborhoods in Melbourne, and share videos that can help you find the best areas to live in.

Melbourne, the cultural capital of Australia, is a vibrant city that offers a perfect blend of urban sophistication and laid-back charm.

From its world-famous streets decorated with street art to its trendy cafes serving up some of the best coffee on the planet, this city has something for everyone.

But where should you call home?

We’ll explore the unique qualities, pros, and cons of living in different areas of Melbourne for expats.

You’ll discover insider tips and resources to evaluate if each location suits your expat dreams.

We spent $2,200 – $2,600 per month living in Australia for both of us, and we will break down different neighborhoods based on our experiences.

Table of Contents

10 Top Reasons to Live in Melbourne Australia

  1. Foodie’s Paradise: Melbourne is a haven for food lovers, with an incredible range of restaurants, cafes, and food trucks serving up diverse cuisines from all around the world.
  2. Cultural Hub: From world-class art galleries and museums to festivals and live music events, Melbourne’s cultural scene is unparalleled.
  3. Outdoor Lifestyle: With beautiful parks, gardens, and beaches within close range, Melburnians can enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle yearround.
  4. Vibrant Street Art: Melbourne’s laneways are decorated with stunning street art, creating an ever-changing outdoor gallery that adds to the city’s unique character.
  5. Coffee Culture: Melbourne is known for its exceptional coffee scene, with many quirky cafes serving up some of the best brews in the world.
  6. Shopping Galore: From high-end fashion boutiques to quirky markets, Melbourne’s shopping scene caters to every taste and budget.
  7. Excellent Public Transportation: Melbourne’s efficient public transportation system, including trams, trains, and buses, makes getting around the city a breeze.
  8. Sporting Events: Whether you’re a fan of Australian Rules Football, cricket, tennis, or Formula 1 racing, Melbourne hosts some of the world’s biggest sporting events.
  9. Diverse Neighborhoods: From the trendy inner-city suburbs to the leafy outer suburbs, Melbourne offers many neighborhoods to suit every lifestyle.
  10. Welcoming Community: Melbourne is a multicultural city with a friendly and welcoming community, making it easy for newcomers to feel at home.

Cultural Considerations in Melbourne Australia

  1. Multiculturalism: Melbourne is a melting pot of cultures, and respecting and embracing diversity is essential.
  2. Relaxed Lifestyle: Melburnians value a laid-back and balanced lifestyle, so don’t be too uptight or rushed.
  3. Coffee Culture: Coffee is more than just a beverage in Melbourne; it’s a way of life. Be prepared to learn about the city’s obsession with quality coffee.
  4. Sports Enthusiasm: Sports, particularly Australian Rules Football (AFL) and cricket, are deeply embedded in Melbourne’s culture. It’s worth learning about popular sports to better mix with the locals.
  5. Environmental Consciousness: Melburnians take pride in their clean and green city, so being environmentally conscious is highly valued.
  6. Artistic Appreciation: Melbourne is well known for its vibrant arts scene, so supporting local artists and cultural events is encouraged.
  7. Outdoor Lifestyle: With Melbourne’s mild climate and abundance of parks and beaches, outdoor activities are an important part of the city’s culture.

General Cost of Living in Melbourne Australia Breakdown:

General Cost of Living in Melbourne Australia CategoryItemCost Range per month (USD)Cost Range (AUD)
Housing in MelbourneBasic 1-bedroom apartment (city center) per month$1,200 – $2,000$1,800 – $3,000
2-bedroom apartment (city center) per month$1,800 – $3,200$2,700 – $4,800
3-bedroom apartment (city center) per month$2,500 – $4,500$3,750 – $6,750
3-4 bedroom villa (compound living) per month$3,000 – $5,000$4,500 – $7,500
Utilities (electricity, AC, water) for a family$100 – $300$150 – $450
Internet Plan$30 – $100$45 – $150
Food in MelbourneLocal and imported groceries for a family per month$400 – $800$600 – $1,200
Dining out 2-3 times a week$200 – $500$300 – $750
Cheap street food and fast food per meal$5 – $15$7.50 – $22.50
Transportation in MelbournePublic Transport (Bus/Train/Tram)$2 – $5 per trip$3 – $7.50 per trip
Monthly Transport Pass (Myki Card)$100 – $200$150 – $300
Fuel(per gallon)$3.50 – $5$5.25 – $7.50
Car Maintenance and Insurance$100 – $300$150 – $450
Taxi(per ride)$10 – $30$15 – $45
Rental Car(per day)$30 – $80$45 – $120
Domestic flight(Melbourne to Sydney)$100 – $300$150 – $450
Entertainmentattending cultural events (concerts/theater performances) museums/galleries, recreational activities– visiting parks/ sports events$200 – $500$300 – $750
Total Monthly Cost of Living in Melbourne Australia for Expats$2,500 – $6,000$3,750 – $9,000


  • Consider staying in a flatshare to save $$
  • Share housing can be found on flatmate finders and Facebook groups if you’re looking to save more money on rent
  • Weekly rent for 1 bedroom apartment in the city center can cost around $300 – $400
  • You can find a studio for as low as $280 depending on the area
  • Carlton is a good area where you can find cheap studios to rent
  • If you are looking for cheaper rent, a house, or be able to stay with your pets, it’s best to get out of the city and search for places in the suburbs
  • You can find a 3-bedroom house for as low as $400 in Maribyrnong or in Northgate a 2-bedroom apartment can cost as low as $350 and it’s not too far from the city either.
  • Transport is good but you need to purchase a Myki pass, both full fare and concession.
  • You can top it up with Myki $$ or Myki pass – this helps save $$ and you can even top up on your phone if you have an Android phone using the Google Pay store.
  • A full Myki pass has a monthly cost of $155 or yearly will be around $1,800
  • Disclaimer: Alcohol cannot be purchased in Australian supermarkets.

Pros and Cons Of Living in Melbourne Australia for Expats

Inner CityMelbourne CBD, Docklands, Southbank, Carlton, Fitzroy, Collingwood, Richmond– Vibrant, lively atmosphere
– Excellent public transportation
– Close to major attractions and amenities
– Diverse dining and entertainment options
– Higher living costs
– More noise and congestion
– Limited green spaces
– Parking can be challenging
Bayside SuburbsSt Kilda, Port Melbourne, Elwood, Albert Park, Middle Park, South Melbourne, Sandringham, Black Rock, Hampton, Brighton– Close to beaches and waterfront
– Laid-back, coastal lifestyle
– Excellent cafes and restaurants
– Good public transportation links
– Higher housing costs in some areas
– Limited nightlife in some suburbs
– Traffic congestion in peak hours
Inner EastHawthorn, Richmond, South Yarra, Toorak– Wealthy and prestigious areas
– Excellent shopping and dining
– Good public transportation links
– Tree-lined streets and parks
– Very high housing costs
– Traffic congestion during peak hours
– Limited nightlife in some areas
Inner NorthBrunswick, Carlton, Fitzroy, Collingwood, Northcote– Trendy, vibrant neighborhoods
– Excellent dining and entertainment options
– Good public transportation links
– Diverse culture and arts scene
– Higher housing costs
– Noise and congestion in some areas
– Limited parking in some areas
South EastCaulfield, Clayton, Oakleigh, Murrumbeena– More affordable housing options
– Good access to universities and hospitals
– Multicultural communities
– Good public transportation links
– Fewer dining and entertainment options
– Less vibrant atmosphere than inner city
– Traffic congestion during peak hours
WestFootscray, Williamstown, Seaholme, Yarraville– More affordable housing options
– Good access to the city via public transportation
– Close to the Maribyrnong River and parks
– Diverse multicultural communities
– Limited dining and entertainment options
– Some industrial areas nearby
– Traffic congestion during peak hours

27 Top Neighborhoods in Melbourne Australia for Expats

Inner City Neighborhoods

Best Neighborhoods for ExpatsDescriptionEstimated Rent Range (USD)Estimated Rent Range (AUD)
Melbourne CBDThe central business district offers a vibrant urban lifestyle with easy access to shopping, dining, entertainment, and public transportation. However, it can be noisy and crowded.$1,500 – $3,500$2,250 – $5,250
DocklandsA modern waterfront precinct with excellent amenities, but you may feel isolated from the rest of the city.$1,800 – $4,000$2,700 – $6,000
SouthbankA stylish neighborhood with high-rise apartments, restaurants, and proximity to the CBD. However, it can be crowded and lacks green spaces.$1,700 – $3,500$2,550 – $5,250
CarltonA charming inner-city neighborhood with tree-lined streets, parks, and excellent access to the CBD. However, it can be crowded and parking is limited.$1,300 – $2,500$1,950 – $3,750
FitzroyA hip and artistic inner-city suburb with a vibrant cafe culture and diverse community. However, it can be noisy and parking is limited.$1,400 – $2,700$2,100 – $4,050
RichmondA vibrant and diverse inner-city suburb with excellent dining, nightlife, and street art. However, it can be noisy and parking is limited.$1,400 – $2,800$2,100 – $4,200
CollingwoodA trendy inner-city suburb with a vibrant arts and cafe culture. Can be noisy and parking is limited.$1,400 – $2,700$2,100 – $4,050
South MelbourneA lively neighborhood close to the CBD with a mix of residential and commercial areas. Good for young professionals.$1,500 – $3,000$2,250 – $4,500
Albert ParkA trendy inner-city suburb with a mix of residential and commercial areas, close to the CBD and beaches.$1,600 – $3,200$2,400 – $4,800

Bayside and Southeastern Suburbs

Best Neighborhoods for ExpatsDescriptionEstimated Rent Range (USD)Estimated Rent Range (AUD)
St KildaA trendy beachside suburb with a lively atmosphere, nightlife, and diverse dining options. However, it can be noisy and crowded during peak seasons.$1,300 – $2,800$1,950 – $4,200
Port MelbourneA trendy and lively bayside suburb with a mix of residential and commercial areas. Good for young professionals, but can be noisy.$1,300 – $2,500$1,950 – $3,750
Bayside Suburbs (Brighton, Hampton, Sandringham, Black Rock)Upscale beachside suburbs with a relaxed, coastal lifestyle. Excellent for families and retirees, but can be expensive.$1,500 – $3,500$2,250 – $5,250
ElwoodA beachside suburb with a relaxed vibe and good access to the city. Housing can be expensive.$1,400 – $2,800$2,100 – $4,200
SandringhamAn upscale bayside suburb with excellent beaches and a relaxed lifestyle. Housing costs are high.$1,600 – $3,200$2,400 – $4,800
Black RockA peaceful bayside suburb with good beaches and parks. Limited amenities and farther from the city.$1,500 – $3,000$2,250 – $4,500
BrightonA reputable bayside suburb with excellent beaches and amenities. Housing costs are very high.$2,000 – $4,000$3,000 – $6,000
HamptonAn upscale bayside suburb with a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere and good amenities.$1,700 – $3,300$2,550 – $4,950
CaulfieldA residential suburb with good access to universities and healthcare facilities. More affordable, but fewer dining/entertainment options.$1,200 – $2,400$1,800 – $3,600

Inner Eastern and Western Suburbs

Best Neighborhoods for ExpatsDescriptionEstimated Rent Range (USD)Estimated Rent Range (AUD)
South YarraA rich suburb with high-end shopping, dining, and a lively social scene. However, it can be expensive and crowded.$1,800 – $3,500$2,700 – $5,250
HawthornA leafy, wealthy suburb with excellent amenities and a village-like feel. Perfect for families, but housing costs are high.$1,800 – $3,500$2,700 – $5,250
ToorakAn exclusive, affluent suburb with luxurious homes and high-end shopping. One of the most expensive areas in Melbourne.$2,500 – $5,000$3,750 – $7,500
BrunswickA trendy and artistic suburb with a laid-back vibe, great cafes, and good public transportation links. However, it can be noisy and crowded.$1,200 – $2,500$1,800 – $3,750
FootscrayA diverse and multicultural suburb with affordable housing options and good public transportation links. However, it can be noisy and some areas are industrial.$1,000 – $2,000$1,500 – $3,000
WilliamstownA charming bayside suburb with a village-like atmosphere, historic buildings, and proximity to the city. However, it can be expensive, and public transportation is limited.$1,400 – $3,000$2,100 – $4,500
SeaholmeA quiet, family-friendly bayside suburb with good parks and beaches. Limited amenities and public transportation.$1,200 – $2,500$1,800 – $3,750
ClaytonA suburban area with good access to universities and hospitals. More affordable housing options but limited amenities.$1,100 – $2,200$1,650 – $3,300

Health Insurance While Living in Melbourne Australia

Comprehensive travel insurance is highly recommended to protect against any unexpected incidents when visiting Australia. SafetyWing is an excellent option tailored to global travelers and digital nomads.

Why Choose SafetyWing?

SafetyWing makes travel insurance easy and affordable at just $45 – $250/month. Here are some key reasons to consider it:

  • Global coverage including exotic destinations
  • Flexible policies fit nomadic lifestyles
  • Easy sign-up and claims from phone/computer
  • Covers medical, evacuations, disruptions, baggage, etc.
  • 24/7 customer support anywhere
  • Customizable coverage amounts and add-ons

Other Travel Insurance Options

While SafetyWing is a top choice, companies like WorldNomads, Cigna Global, and IMG also offer comprehensive travel insurance for Australia. Typical policies range from $45 – $500 for 2 weeks to a month of coverage. Compare coverage and premium costs.

Some key considerations for finding a good insurance policy:

  • Emergency medical and evacuation
  • Trip cancellation/interruption
  • Lost/delayed baggage
  • Adventure sports coverage
  • Altitude sickness coverage
  • 24/7 emergency assistance

Australia Insurance Cost Estimates

Insurance PlanTrip DurationEstimated Cost
SafetyWing1 month$45 – $250
WorldNomads2 weeks$100 – $200
Cigna Global1 month$150 – $300
IMG2 weeks$150 – $250

Living in Melbourne Australia As an Expat Overall

Expats can expect a monthly budget between $2,500 – $6,000 USD ($3,750 – $9,000 AUD) to live comfortably in Melbourne.

Basic utilities cost per month around $100 – $300 USD ($150 – $450 AUD).

  • This typically covers electricity, water, gas, and internet.
  • Electricity can cost around $100 a month as a couple($30) water, heater, electric stove included in this price.
  • Around $30 or higher for a prepaid phone plan 
  • Wifi$75 for unlimited broadband internet


  • Groceries are around $400 – $800 USD ($600 – $1,200 AUD) per month for one or two people.
  • Markets offer affordable local produce like veggies, cheese, eggs, etc. Imported items cost more.
  • The cheapest way to eat is to cook at home and eat out only on occasion.
  • Recommended supermarkets: Coles, Farmers’ Market, Aldi, and Woolworths
  • Aldi is the cheapest option but look for discounts and sales at the other supermarkets too
  • Eating out costs $15 – $30 USD ($22.50 – $45 AUD) per meal at local restaurants and if you eat out frequently it can cost as much as $500 – $800 USD ($750 – $1,200 AUD) per month.
  • Best street/local food options: Enjoy delicious and affordable options like
  • souvlaki ($6 – $12 USD / $9 – $18 AUD)
  • banh mi ($4 – $8 USD / $6 – $12 AUD)
  • meat pies ($3 – $6 USD / $4.50 – $9 AUD).


  • Rent for nice 1-2 bedroom apartments averages $1,200 – $2,500 USD ($1,800 – $3,750 AUD) per month.
  • Upscale 3-4 bedroom serviced apartments or houses cost $2,500 – $5,000 USD ($3,750 – $7,500 AUD) per month.
  • Short-term accommodations are $50 – $120 USD ($75 – $180 AUD) per night on Airbnb for a 1-bedroom apartment.

Healthcare and Hospitals:

Australia has an advanced healthcare system providing affordable medical care.

Private healthcare and insurance run around $100 – $300 USD ($150 – $450 AUD) per month.

Consider travel insurance like Safetywing or World Nomads with plans starting at $45 USD / $67.50 AUD per month.

Lifestyle, Culture, and Recreation:

  • Best Activities: Explore street art in laneways, visit museums and galleries, attend festivals and events, go hiking or to the beach.
  • Nightlife: Lively bar and club scene in areas like CBD, Richmond, and St Kilda.
  • Local Culture: Embrace coffee culture, Australian Rules Football, and a laid-back outdoor lifestyle.
  • Recreational Activities: Sports like tennis, golf, and surfing are popular.
  • Expect to pay $10 – $50 USD ($15 – $75 AUD) per activity.

Transport in Australia:

  • A car rental can cost $500 – $1,000 USD ($750 – $1,500 AUD) per month.
  • Taxis/ridesharing apps cost around $10 – $30 USD ($15 – $45 AUD) per short trip.
  • Expect to spend $100 – $300 USD ($150 – $450 AUD) per month on gas + additional car expenses.
  • On average as gas costs $3.50 – $5 USD ($5.25 – $7.50 AUD) per gallon for fuel.

Misc Costs + Shopping expenses: $200 – $500 USD ($300 – $750 AUD) per month.

  • Cinema tickets cost around $20 – $25 


  • A vibrant multicultural city with an excellent food and coffee scene
  • Mild climate and close to beaches and outdoor activities
  • World-class healthcare and education system
  • Excellent public transportation network


  • High cost of living, especially for housing
  • Traffic congestion and limited parking in some areas
  • Limited nightlife and entertainment options in certain suburbs
  • Natural disasters like bushfires and droughts can be a concern

Best Neighborhoods in Melbourne Australia for Families, Singles, Retirees

Tailored recommendations for different lifestyles, catering to families, singles, and retirees in Australia.

Best Neighborhoods in Melbourne Australia By GroupBest Places in MelbourneWhy It’s Best
FamiliesHawthorn, Kew, Brighton, Hampton– Safe, family-friendly neighborhoods with excellent schools and amenities
– Plenty of parks, playgrounds, and recreational activities
– Good public transportation links to the city center
Bayside suburbs like Sandringham, Black Rock– Beachside living with a relaxed vibe
– Great outdoor activities like swimming, cycling, and walking trails
– Good community feel
SinglesMelbourne CBD, Fitzroy, Collingwood, Richmond, St Kilda– Vibrant nightlife, dining, and entertainment scenes
– Plenty of young professionals and social opportunities
– Good public transportation and walkability
Southbank, Docklands– Modern apartments with excellent amenities
– Close to the city center and attractions
– Good for young professionals and students
RetireesBrighton, Hampton, Sandringham, Williamstown– Peaceful, low-density suburbs with a relaxed pace
– Close to beaches, parks, and golf courses
– Good healthcare facilities and services nearby
Hawthorn, Camberwell, Kew– Leafy, well-established suburbs with a village-like feel
– Excellent amenities and dining options
– Good public transportation links to the city center

Additional Tips:

For Families:

  • Consider suburbs with good public and private school options
  • Look for areas with family-friendly parks, playgrounds, and community centers
  • Prioritize safety, amenities, and proximity to healthcare facilities

For Singles:

  • Focus on areas with a lively social scene, nightlife, and dining options
  • Look for neighborhoods with good public transportation and walkability
  • Consider areas with tons of young professionals and students

For Retirees:

  • Prioritize suburbs with a peaceful atmosphere and good healthcare facilities
  • Look for areas with easy access to parks, beaches, and recreational activities
  • Consider suburbs with good public transportation links to the city center

Tips on Moving Banking and Finding Housing in Melbourne Australia

Here are helpful tips on finding accommodations, navigating the housing market, moving your stuff, and making your time in Melbourne as comfortable as possible.

Tips on Living in Melbourne AustraliaTips for ExpatsResources
Finding Housing– Use popular rental websites like rent.com.au and realestate.com.au
– For short-term stays, consider Airbnb monthly rentals
– Be prepared for a competitive rental market and high-demand
– Have all necessary documents ready (employment details, references, etc.)
– Understand the process for paying a rental bond/security deposit
Rent.com.au (local site)
Real Estate.com.au
Airbnb Monthly
Shipping Belongings– Research reputable international moving companies
– Get quotes from multiple companies and compare services
– Understand customs regulations and any duties/taxes
– Consider shipping vs. buying new items locally
– Allow enough time for overseas shipping
Allied Pickfords
Crown Relocations
Seven Seas Worldwide
Banking and Money Transfers– Open a local bank account as soon as possible
– Use digital money transfer services for lower fees
– Understand tax implications for foreign income/assets
– Get a credit card with no foreign transaction fees
Visas– Determine the correct visa type for your situation
– Gather all required documents and meet eligibility criteria
– Allow enough processing time for visa applications
– Understand visa conditions and any work/study restrictions
Australian Immigration Website
Australian Visa Wizard

Here is a list of local apartment rental websites, Government resources for Visas, Facebook Groups, Tourism Boards, and more to help you with your potential move here.

Expat Facebook Groups:

Australia Tourism Board:

Australia Data Sites:

Embassy of Australia:

Australia Local Rental Websites:

  • Rent.com.au (local site)
  • Real Estate.com.au
  • Airbnb Monthly for Melbourne
  • Airbnb – Australia Overall
  • For exchanging money use Wise Which is the best option if you are a digital nomad and Expat. a cheaper option to send and receive money internationally rather than exchanging money through other platforms like Paypal, Payoneer costs a lot of money for exchange fees and rates
    • Booking Flights: To Find insane flight deals, search on Google Flights, and Skyscanner and choose the monthly option to find the best day to fly.

Conclusion Of The Best Neighborhoods To Live In Melbourne Australia

Melbourne, the cultural gem of Australia, offers a wide range of neighborhoods that cater to every lifestyle.

From the busy urban core to the laid-back bayside suburbs, this city has something for everyone and today we discussed 27 of them to help you get started.

Whether you’re a young professional looking for a vibrant social scene, a family in search of a safe and family-friendly environment, or a retiree drawn to the quietness of coastal living, Melbourne’s diverse neighborhoods has got you covered.

Embrace the city’s beautiful charm, indulge in its delicious food, and immerse yourself in the cultures that make this city truly one-of-a-kind.

If you want to keep up with our travels, follow us on our travel page on Instagram @onelifepassport! Comment below what else you would like to know/see about our experiences traveling the world! Also, check out our YouTube Channel!

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