Carlton is the traditional centre of Melbourne's large Italian immigrant population. Activity centres around tree-lined Lygon Street, full of restaurants and cafés to help you enjoy the good life. Carlton is also the home of the Australian rules football club, the Carlton Blues, who are based at their former home ground at the Princes Park Football Ground in nearby North Carlton. The club plays home games at the Docklands Stadium and The Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Sights and Activities
- Lygon Street - Melbourne's own Little Italy.
- Royal Exhibition Building - A magnificent building completed in 1880 for Melbourne’s first International Exhibition. It was Australia's first World Heritage listed building.
- The Melbourne Museum stands directly next to the Royal Exhibition Building and is in stark contrast with its bold architectural lines. It has a permanent collection of interesting artefacts, including the remains of Phar Lap, Melbourne's most famous horse. The museum is very well set up for young children.
- La Mama Theatre (205 Faraday Street) - one of Melbourne's oldest and most fondly regarded theatres.
- Cinema Nova (380 Lygon Street, inside the Lygon Court Shopping Piazza) - an arthouse cinema. Monday is discount day, public holidays excepted.
Events and Festivals
- The Lygon Street Festa, a celebration of traditional and contemporary Italian culture is held around October.
- The 1 tram (Albert Park - East Coburg) winds its way behind Lygon Street on Swanston Street, before eventually turning towards Lygon Street and joining it at Elgin Street.
- The 8 tram (Toorak - Moreland) also runs along much of the same route as the 1 tram. Getting off at the corner of Lygon Street and Elgin Street is your best bet if you are after the restaurants.
- The 86 tram (Docklands-Bundoora) will take you to the corner of Gertrude Street and Nicholson Street, before turning down Gertrude Street. Get off at that corner to visit the Melbourne Museum or Royal Exhibition Building.
- The 96 tram (St Kilda-East Brunswick) will take you down Nicholson Street, which is the eastern border of Carlton. To visit the Melbourne Museum or Royal Exhibition Building get off at the corner of Gertrude street.
More detailed information on Melbourne's tram network can be read in the general Melbourne article.
Although there isn't a train stop in Carlton, Parliament Station is about a 5 minute walk from the Royal Exhibition Building. Melbourne Central is roughly 15 minutes walk from the bustle of Lygon Street. Generally speaking though, trams are a better way of accessing the suburb.
If you need to drive to Carlton, be aware that parking can be difficult particularly on the weekends. There are several parking garages which are usually the easiest option. One located under the Lygon Court Shopping Piazza provides a discount if you purchase some groceries from the Safeway Supermarket inside the shopping court.
There are countless restaurants lining Lygon Street. You will be welcomed into any number of Italian restaurants while making your way from one end to the other. Below are some favourites in the area.
- Abla's (109 Elgin Street, Ph: 9347 0006) - mouth-watering Lebanese food that knows no equal. Book well ahead.
- Tiamo (303 Lygon Street, Ph: 9347 5759) - well made Italian food in a very cosy setting.
- Brunetti (194-204 Faraday Street, Ph: 9347 2801) - part pasticceria, part trattoria.
- The Lygon Street Foodstore provides some excellent lunch options and some of the best espresso in Melbourne.
- Three, one, two (312 Drummond Street, Ph: 9347 3312) - a relatively new entrant on the food scene, this restaurant has already gained wide recognition as one of Melbourne's finest.
- Jimmy Watsons Wine Bar (333 Lygon Street, Ph: 9347 3985).
See also International Telephone Calls
Australia Post is the government's postal service. Most suburbs will have at least one post office. A standard letter or postcard sent within Australia will cost $0.55. Internationally, it costs $1.40 to send postcards anywhere in the world. Letters cost $1.45 to send within the Asia Pacific region and $2.10 to anywhere else in the world.. It is also possible to send things as parcels or by express mail.