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Melbourne is a sprawling city with numerous suburbs that you could stay in, many with a unique character of their own. Don't assume that the best place to stay is in the center of the city. Beachside suburbs like St Kilda , or hipster areas like Fitzroy offer good quality budget accommodation in charming surrounds.
Inner suburbs are within 30 minutes of the CBD by public transport and often that distance can even be walked. Here are some of the most popular areas where you will find good budget options.
A traditional beachside tourist resort area, St Kilda has become a first choice for backpackers visiting the city. It's about 20 minutes out of the CBD by tram and unfortunately no train lines go here. The great attraction of staying in St Kilda is that there is a beach on your doorstep and a great walking trail along the foreshore. There are also a large number of restaurants, bars and pubs along the two main strips of Acland Street and Fitzroy Street. Luna Park, the city's iconic amusement park is also located in St Kilda.
Within walking distance of the CBD, North Melbourne provides a good range of cheap hotels and hostels. This is within easy walking distance of the CBD. Multiple trams also head this way, so you should have no trouble getting into the center when you need to. The main attraction in North Melbourne is the Victoria Market, where you will be able to save even more money by buying cheap fresh food and souvenirs for family back home. It's a great place to visit for lunch, coffee or just to have a browse around.
While many of the options in the CBD are mid-range and luxury hotels, there are a few hostels and cheap(ish) hotels that are incredibly popular. If you want to explore the laneways and bars to the fullest, then being in the CBD is perfect, because you will be able to stumble back to your bed after a big night out. Victoria Market is still just a walk away, as are sporting grounds like the Vodafone Arena, MCG, Etihad Stadium and AAMI stadium. There is no shortage of things to do in the CBD. Enjoy walks along the Yarra, strolling through the Royal Botanical Gardens or getting a good look over it all at Eureka Tower. Consider also that if it's going to cost you a few dollars extra to stay in the CBD, you will save a few dollars by not having to catch a tram in. There's also a free tram that circles the CBD, allowing you to get around very cheaply.
Fitzroy and neighbouring Collingwood are great places to be if you enjoy somewhat more bohemian surrounds. It's still within walking distance of the city and a few tram lines run through it making access easy. Nearby you will find the Melbourne Museum and Royal Exhibition Building. A short walk away is also Carlton, where you can find an abundance of Italian restaurants and cafés.
A few options are available in the outer suburbs, particularly motels. If you have a car with you, this can be a good choice because it will mean less money spent on parking. The trip into the city to see things will be a bit longer though, up to an hour if you're staying a long way out. Consider carefully what the public transport options are when you stay in the outer suburbs. It's not ideal to have to drive into the city for the day, since parking can be exorbitant.
For more information about Melbourne, have a look at our travel guide, created by members of Travellerspoint.
Sander This is really a budget hotel, which happens to have a tiny kitchen on the second floor, and thus also can function as a hostel. As such, it unfortunately lacks all hostel atmosphere. If you book a private room, you will need to explicitly ask about that kitchen to have your room key recoded to provide access, as you won't find information about its existence anywhere. Staff is friendly enough, and the location is great (right next to Errol Street, for some great restaurant options), but WiFi is freakishly expensive. Definitely not bad, but know what you're getting.
137-139 Johnston Street CollingwoodAwesome 88%
freya.lewis Although I am only 21 I have had the chance to travel quite extensively across the world, yet Collingwood backpackers has been my first experience of staying in a hostel. I had tended to avoid backpacker places before now, having heard less than pleasant things about them and the wild guests they attract. After traveling 40 hours to get to Australia, me and my brother found ourselves lost in Collingwood and contacted the hostel. Paul, the owner, was kind enough to come and find us and take us there. The area itself is amazing, full of great bars and coffee shops. It is not for the prim and precious, but rather for those who want something different and a bit weird. During the day you can find some of the best food in Melbourne here and at night it caters for a variety of musical tastes, whether it is dance hall to psychobilly. Collingwood is also home to some fantastic skate shops and record stores and is just off from Brunswick street, one of the best shopping streets in Australia. The locals themselves are some of the most pleasant people I have met and always make the effort to help you with anything you need. The hostel itself is like no form of accommodation I have seen. It is full of charm and character, which is something that I have found absent in all of the places I have stayed in, both previously and afterward. From its eclectic collection of music and film posters to the eccentricity of its guests, this hostel provides a fantastic atmosphere. As a new and nervous traveler to Australia who is also traveling with a younger sibling, it is this that which I praise above all else. Here, everything is completely safe and everyone treats each other with respect. In response to the very few negative reviews you will read about this hostel I will say this, that more often than not these reviews will have been written by those who frequent five star hotels. Having stayed in many myself I can honestly say that if such quality as this was reflected in every hostel I stay in I would abandon the sterile rooms and snobby staff of five star hotels forever. Collingwood has truly become a home from home and I would recommend anyone to stay here. Freya
mvac001 The place wasn't bad at all...the room my friend and I got was a private room, and was very small - but cost $80 a night. Good location, about a 10 minute walk from the main city centre Quite clean, the staff are all awesome, very friendly
333 St Kilda Rd, St KildaGreat 84%
lemet We had a great stay at the Habitat HQ. The staff was nice and helpfull, it was a clean place with all the facilities you need. Can gladly recomend this place for other travellers.
32 Carlisle Street St KildaGreat 84%
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