Melbourne: A Shopping Mecca

Melbourne is a city of many personalities. For some, she is the sporting capital of Australia. Others are drawn to her vibrant theatres and galleries. For many, it's the world-class restaurants and colourful enclaves bursting with international flavours and aromas. Yet when it comes to the crunch there's no denying that Melbourne has more boutiques, markets, shopping strips and sprawling malls than you could poke a credit card at.

Melbourne is the place to shop, stock up, browse and discover the fashion, homewares, jewellery, art and assorted nick-nacks of this shopping mecca.

A Little History

Woven between the skyscrapers and modern shopping centres of the city centre are a selection of historic laneways and arcades that provide an ideal introduction to Melbourne's heritage.

Stroll beneath wrought iron balustrades and archways in Flinders Lane, Block Arcade and Royal Arcade and you'll encounter unique fashion, gifts and more. When you're in need of a pick-me- up, drop into one of the many cafes for an espresso, leisurely breakfast or laidback lunch.

Department Stores and Shopping Malls

David Jones and Myer are two major department stores that dominate the mid-city shopping precinct. Around them are several shopping centres, particularly along Bourke and Collins Streets. Discover international labels and innovative local designs at the 'Paris end' of Collins Street, or take advantage of the plethora of inner city options to stock up on essentials or snare a bargain.

Across the river, Southbank is overflowing with shopping options, restaurants, galleries and theatres. And at Docklands, Melbourne's newest shopping, dining and entertainment precinct, you can easily fill a few hours shopping, dining or enjoying the beautiful harrbourside location.

District Delights

Melbourne's historic trams are a great way to get around. Hop on board and within minutes you'll be rolling into any number of colourful, local enclaves.

Head north to Fitzroy Street in Brunswick, and Smith Street in Collingwood, for vintage fashion, items from emerging designers, and handcrafted homewares – not to mention unique artworks at the many small galleries. Or take the tram south to Chapel Street and stroll through South Yarra and Prahran for the best in clothing, shoes, jewellery, homewares, furniture and gifts.

St Kilda is another option, sitting aside the lovely St Kilda beach and noted for its historic Luna Park fair ground.

A Myriad of Markets

Melbourne is a market-lovers paradise and the Queen Victoria Market is an institution that can't be missed. With hundreds of stalls it's the city's premier market, located within walking distance of the CBD. Visit on a Tuesday, or Thursday through to Sunday for fresh local produce, deli treats, fashion, footwear, electrical items and more. The Suzuki Night market runs on Wednesday evenings at the Queen Victoria Market location during the summer period. Discover creative handicrafts, artisan produce, fashion, homewares and delicious hawker food.

Other market options include the Arts Centre Melbourne Sunday Market, Docklands Sunday Market, and for booklovers, the fabulous Saturday Federation Square Book Market, as well as the South Melbourne Market – renowned for its fresh produce, this market even has its own cooking school, and in March and April runs the "Style after Dark" market complete with food stalls, bars and live bands!

Queen Victoria Market