Guide to the St Kilda area | A local guide in St Kilda
St Kilda’s past is as colorful as its present. Long considered Melbourne’s seaside playground, it was first known for its elite holiday culture in the mid-19e century, before moving on to its chapter of red light entertainment district in the 1950s and 1960s.
The suburb quickly became a haven for artists, musicians, and a diverse LGBTQIA community thanks to its carefree bohemia that continues to this day, drawing hordes of backpackers every summer and people from all walks of life all year round.
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Why is St Kilda famous?
Today, St Kilda retains its vibrant sense of culture and pride (it is home to the Victorian Pride Center, the first center specifically designed for LGBTQIA + communities in Australia) and is increasingly known for its lifestyle cosmopolitan in the city center. Thanks in part to two seasons of The block, which transformed the infamous Gatwick Hotel and Oslo Inn, grain and grunge continue to gentrify at a rapid pace – but if you ask many locals, it’s exactly this contrast in character that defines St Kilda, making it different from anywhere else in Melbourne – and possibly the world.
Close to the CBD, the 3182 zip code is inexhaustible in its list of all it has to offer. Home to many famous tourist attractions, a trip to Melbourne is not complete without a visit to St Kilda and its strip of palm-fringed beaches, heritage buildings and eclectic dining scene, reminiscent of a curious cross between Venice Beach and San Francisco .
Why do the locals love it?
The director of the St Kilda Twilight Market event, known to locals only as Oakies, says one of the best things about St Kilda is “its really strong creative community – and not just artistically creative, but also in terms of entrepreneurship “.
“St Kilda is constantly evolving – it has gone through several different stages of gentrification and it still has that edge, that vibrancy that locals love. I think this is due to its transient nature.
“St Kilda is a meeting place for people. It is somewhat known as the waterfront playground in Melbourne. Then with Luna Park there – there’s a carnival vibe that I think will never change.
“Everyone leaves something of themselves in St Kilda and picks up something to take with them forever. ”
How do I get to St Kilda?
Although there is no train station, St Kilda is easily accessible by public transport, with three trams (12, 16 and 96) running from Melbourne’s CBD to or via Fitzroy Street. Several other St Kilda Road trams will drop you off at St Kilda Junction if you fancy a leisurely stroll past Albert Park and the excellent selection of restaurants and cafes opposite. There are also several bus lines. If you are heading to or from the airport, the SkyBus has four convenient stops around St Kilda.
What is nearby?
St Kilda occupies prime real estate on Port Phillip Bay, between Middle Park to the west and Elwood to the east. Windsor and Prahran are a short walk north.
Map of Saint-Kilda
If you only do one thing …
Pick up a selection of treats at one of the Acland Streetmany famous pastries, reminiscent of the summers of the 1950s when European vacationers descended on the suburbs. Share them with friends on or near the St Kilda Foreshore Gardens of Catania Where St Kilda Botanic Gardens.