Like any other big city, Melbourne has plenty of shopping. It has malls, markets, and outlets with both Australian and international stores. If you need something fast and cheap, you can find H&M at most malls—but if you're in the market for a one-of-a-kind look, there’s a whole street dedicated to vintage shopping in Fitzroy. Move over Paris and NYC, Melbourne brings its A game when it comes to retail therapy.
Here’s are the best places to shop in Melbourne.
Boasting over 550 stores and 90 eateries, Chadstone holds the heavyweight title of biggest shopping center in Australia. From designer boutiques to department shops, Chadstone seems to have it all. Plus, it’s only a 30-minute drive from Melbourne Central Business District. It’s easy to get there if you don’t have a car, though. Simply hop on the free tourist shuttle that departs Federation Square daily.
Perhaps the most unique thing about Melbourne Central isn't the fact that it has about 300 stores, or that it's home to both a movie theater and a bowling alley: It's the impressive tower in the middle of the space. Surrounded by a glass of windows, it's been standing there since 1889.
A (literal) one minute walk from Melbourne Central is Emporium Melbourne. Emporium isn’t that big, but it is home to an impressive variety of brands such as Kathmandu, UGG, Mimco, and UNIQLO. It’s also the place to go for dining— especially Asian cuisine. It has a mix of 18 Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese restaurants to choose from.
Bourke Street Mall
Bourke Street Mall is an open-air, pedestrian street with plenty of storefronts. Because the street is closed to cars, it's easy to stroll from one store to the next. You can find all the big names on this one street, from H&M and Zara to Melbourne-favorites David Jones and Myer. Buskers on the road provide musical entertainment while you shop your way through the street.
Brunswick and Smith Streets
When you venture to Fitzroy, you’ll notice a sudden shift in fashion. The locals who walk the streets look exceptionally cool, and that’s thanks to Brunswick Street and Smith Street. While the former is where you’ll find alternative fashion and expensive boutique shops, the latter is full of vintage treasures and used bookstores. Both streets offer heaps of one-of-a-kind items to boost your wardrobe, just like the locals of Fitzroy.
On Chapel Street, you’ll wander past a sporadic mix of stores, from local designers such as Gorman to familiar faces like Top Shop. And if you're in the market for furniture or arts and crafts, you can find that, too. There's a bunch of bars wedged in along the street for when you need to refuel with an espresso martini.
DFO South Wharf
Shopping in Melbourne wouldn’t be complete without an outlet shopping center. DFO South Wharf is on the western end of CBD, next to the convention center. It’s the place to go when you’re looking for a little discount on high-end fashion. It has Armani, Converse, and Billabong outlets, to name a few. It’s easy to find a bargain at DFO South Wharf, you just have to be willing to sift through the racks like at any outlet mall.
An indoor and outdoor shopping center, District Docklands is a breezy place to shop because there’s a lot of space for walking around, grabbing a bite to eat, or playing in the outdoor adventure park. You'll find an array of Australian and international brands here, including UNIQLO and H&M. When you’re not shopping, you can play mini-golf at Glow Golf, bowl at Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq, ice skate at O’Brian Ice House, or watch a movie at Hoyts. And for a little something special, the Melbourne Star Ferris wheel is right next to District Docklands.
Claiming to be the longest strip of retail in the Southern Hemisphere, Sydney Road is a 14-mile long street of storefronts, bars, and restaurants. This shopping haven is a little more local, with secondhand shops mixed in with record and jewelry stores. It features over 30 retail categories—such as beauty and electronics—and it’s where local bride-to-be’s shop for wedding dresses.
Looking for high fashion in Melbourne? Head to Collins Street. Designer stores such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada, and Tiffany line the streets in heritage buildings. Collins Street is a prestigious business address, kind of like Fifth Avenue in New York City. It’s a quiet area, away from bars and restaurants. When you come to Collins Street, you’re going to get designer stores with no distractions.