We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Melbourne CBD vs. St. Kilda - which is better?

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
63 posts
15 reviews
Save Topic
Melbourne CBD vs. St. Kilda - which is better?

Hello all,

I'm doing some research on where to stay during a week-long trip to the Melbourne area in December. I'm already planning a two day trip to see GOR/Phillips Island, as well as Yarra Valley, but would like to explore the city and beaches while I'm there as well. I'm torn between whether to stay in Melbourne CBD or in St. Kilda, as I've heard and found amazing things about both locations.

I'm in my mid-30s, traveling alone and on the one had would love to have my last week of my holiday to be spent in a relaxing beach atmosphere close enough to venture into the CBD during the day to walk about and take in the sites. On the other hand, since I only have three days after my tours are booked, I'm wondering if staying the CBD will allow me to better maximize my time and see/do more. Although I really, really do like the idea of beach side accommodations to round out my trip.

I'll be utilizing public transportation throughout my stay as I will not have a car of my own. I'm leaning towards St. Kilda, but how close is it really by public transport? Also, if I stay in St. Kilda, is there a recommended (i.e. is not a two hour commute) way to get to the airport via transport as well?

Appreciate any/all advice anyone might have in advance!

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Bargain Travel, Food and Travel
Level Contributor
25,210 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Melbourne CBD vs. St. Kilda - which is better?

Hey Irish,

Generally speaking, the CBD and South Bank are the more 'preferred' locations, as it's closer to attractions, transport, central to everything, and so many more dining options - particularly the great cafe scene. Not to mention many many more hotel choices.

Whilst St Kilda may seem an attractive location (and it is in its own right) to the water, Melbourne is famous for its 'four seasons in one day'. So there's a potential that you could get bad weather, which would negate the benefits of being by the sea - for almost a week. With the frequent running of the trams, you can always go spend a morning or afternoon if you wish.

Edited: 19 January 2014, 03:58
2. Re: Melbourne CBD vs. St. Kilda - which is better?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

Removed on: 19 January 2014, 08:05
3. Re: Melbourne CBD vs. St. Kilda - which is better?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

Removed on: 19 January 2014, 10:05
Edited: 19 January 2014, 10:05
4. Re: Melbourne CBD vs. St. Kilda - which is better?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

Removed on: 19 January 2014, 10:05
Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Melbourne
Level Contributor
2,178 posts
200 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Melbourne CBD vs. St. Kilda - which is better?

Given your needs, I think St Kilda would suit you. Personally, I dislike St Kilda beach as it is too dirty for me ( it is an inner city beach - so please don't expect it to be like the beaches of the GOR or Phillip Island)

However, it does have a nice seaside atmosphere with loads of great places to eat with the tram into the CBD only taking 10mins or so, max, one way. It is also a pleasant journey along tree-lined St Kilda road.

The only thing you need to factor in is if you are willing to travel into and out of the CBD each day to access your tours. I'm not sure if tours will pick up from St Kilda based hotels but surely some tour operators do service that region?

Also, please be aware that parts of St Kilda are within the red light district so please keep to the tourist zones and you will be fine. The night life in St Kilda is a lot of fun and if you have a social conscience, do make sure you check out Lentil As Anything, a not for profit organisation (cafe) that asks patrons to pay what they can for the food they eat. lentilasanything.com/contact-us-2/st-kilda/

Hope you have a great time in Melbourne. Do make sure you get to experience Melbourne laneways

( visitvictoria.com/Regions/…Laneways )

and have a look at the boats at the Docklands if you have time.

Edited: 19 January 2014, 07:27
Sydney/Melbourne
Level Contributor
18,129 posts
74 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Melbourne CBD vs. St. Kilda - which is better?

St Kilda is a suburb. People live there so it has, IMO, a better atmosphere. People work and play in the CBD so for one or two nights it's fine because it's close to many attractions, but for a week I'd pick St Kilda over the CBD. As far as the myth of St Kilda being a 'red light district' it's just that, a myth. There are far more houses of ill repute closer in to the city than in St Kilda these days. It's become much to gentrified for that. When people pay mega buck for a home they don't tolerate street walkers in the neighborhood. I'm sure there are one or two streets where it happens but you have to be out in search of such activities these days.

Not only are you near the beach but there are hundred if bars, restaurants and cafes in close proximity.

The beach isn't great. But none of Melbourne's beaches are. It a bay so no surf beaches like you will see on the GOR.

Just to confuse you even more, consider staying in South Melbourne. Good atmosphere if you are not into the night club scene, some great pubs and restaurants and a short tram ride to the city. A quieter and somewhat cleaner beach too.

As to the weather, December can have scorching hot days and sometimes it's cold. It's the start if summer so hard to predict.

Edited: 19 January 2014, 08:23
Melbourne
Destination Expert
for Melbourne
Level Contributor
5,416 posts
54 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Melbourne CBD vs. St. Kilda - which is better?

Not an easy decision is it? Both areas are different and well worth visiting. The only thing I will say is that before you book a hotel, get back to us. We will tell you if that hotel is near transport. If you book a hotel in either the city center or Southbank, then you will be near transport. But St Kilda is a big suburb, and parts of the suburb may require a substantial walk to catch transport.

Docklands Melbourne
Level Contributor
144 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Melbourne CBD vs. St. Kilda - which is better?

Apologies Kve if I upset you...it was meant to be a little hearted......I did believe that my other comments were useful...me being a passionate local....so assuming that you complained...I do apologise......I certainly won't do it again but most disappointed that my other comments were deleted......

Edited: 19 January 2014, 09:11
Docklands Melbourne
Level Contributor
144 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Melbourne CBD vs. St. Kilda - which is better?

Your idea about being by the beach at St Kilda is a good option. Selecting accommodation close to Acland St will meet whatever budget you need to meet, plus the Number 96 Tram runs right through where all the action is. It's about a 30 min tram ride into the city and the trams travel every 20 mins during the day.

The St Kilda beach while not a surf beach is a good compromise with your request plus the weather in December while a little changeable is not cold, and really should not be a deciding factor where you stay. Around Acland Street there are varied food options and your age suits the St Kilda Demographic.

Whichever area you choose, I doubt you will be disappointed, if you stay in the CBD it's further to get to the beach.

And our changeable weather...if it does go bad (not often in December) catch a tram into the city and enjoy all that the World's Most Liveable City has to offer.

And yes I am a passionate local.....

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Bargain Travel, Food and Travel
Level Contributor
25,210 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Melbourne CBD vs. St. Kilda - which is better?

No, I've never reported a post other than duplicates ever - it disrupts thread continuity. Besides, you and I are about the only people here that vouches for the Docklands.

No need for apologies DTM, its all good, and there's nothing wrong with being a passionate local. Unlike many, not into the whole Melbourne v Sydney thing, as I'm a fan of both. But that's a discussion for another day.

Edited: 19 January 2014, 10:39