Best Suburb to Live in Melbourne?

Hey guys!

My friends and I are looking to move to Melbourne early next year and was wondering which places are good to live in. We're all mid 20s and have an artist background.

A few have suggested Prahran for its artistic atmosphere, but I'd like more recommendations- preferably close to the city or at least somewhere with good public transport. Any help and advice would be appreciated!

Big thanks!

Thank you very much for the many recommendations. I do apologize for the lack of info. Ideally looking for a 3br 2 ba with 1-2 car spaces . Personally I would love to move to Sydney but it is too expensive and neither friends really want to move there. One is already a bit uncertain because of the whole covid situation. Our budget is $700/w and we've seen some houses/apartments that looked nice but just wanting to know more a bit about the suburbs. Most of the houses we've found were in Footscray, Maidstone and Yarraville area. With some in Kensington and Brunswick.


  • +1

    Fairfield, 15 minutes to CBD, leafy suburb close to train station and shops and the Yarra river.

  • +9

    Melton? Seen a lot of creative types there covered in artwork head to toe.

  • +1

    Do they have job$ or just hang around doing financially independant "arty" stuff?

    I like Cremone,+vic+3121%3b/..., walk to lifestyle , mix of rental options, mix of people, close to all forms of transport, dont need a car.

  • Just live in the CBD or Carlton. There are a zillion empty apartments. Free trams within the zone.

    Plenty of arty farty shit in the several laneways.

    • -1

      Kind of like inviting someone to stay in a sewer?

  • +2

    All the biggest "artists" convene @Spring St.

    • Anti vaxxers and freedom marchers?

    • Yes, if you mean artists of the bovine-faecal variety

  • +5

    Depends on what you want life style wise and how much $$$ you got

    If i could afford any of the following i would say Williamstown, Brighton, Hampton and Port Melbourne are probably the best areas

    Altona (on the beach side of the tracks is also pretty under-rated)

    That is just me as I like the view of the water and the life style in the areas mentioned.

    However it all depends on your personal preference of life style - if you are single and looking to have a very active social life places like South Bank would be more your speed.

    Like others suggested if you like a art/hipster vibe Brunswick or Yarraville would be your best bet - personally i couldn't think of anywhere worst then living with a bunch of uptight know it all hipsters but thats just me.

    If money is no issue - Places like Toorak and Camberwell are the most 'up market' areas

    • +2

      I think you missed being 20 and an artist background. Your list spells out trust fund baby.
      Except for Brunswick and Yarraville.
      Yarraville I wouldn't call arty.

      • lmao grew up in the Western Suburbs and i still live in the Western suburbs - i wish i had a trust fund, i wouldnt be on ozbargin trying to save a few bucks daily!

        I was suggesting areas based on the info i had in which op was saying he was considering 'Prahran' which is a very expensive area.

        • dunno why you got downvoted, pretty fair list. as for the trust fund baby remark that just sounds like misplaced jealousy

          • @juki: Tall poppy syndrom is common online esp on ozbargin.

            I just wish i was true

          • +2

            @juki: fair list for a 20 yr old?
            who is their right mind being 20 with an artist background would want to live in any of those suburbs?
            Elwood / St Kilda over Williamstown (you're not a retiree), Brighton and Port Melbourne. Port Melbourne can be decent but more yummy mummies and young corporate types.
            Thornbury over Brunswick ( Brunswick has changed but still a good spot).
            Footscray over Yarraville - Yarraville is more younger families, Footscray is more grunge.

            • @dasher86: fair list in general.. i wouldnt just go off a suburb reputation really.

              buy where you can afford and if possible not next to a busy road

      • Lived in Yarraville for a few years and if you live within walking distance of the village, it's nice. The Sun is a great little indie cinema, lots of little cafes and bars, book shops and the odd gallery. There's also a great festival every year. I don't know what your bar for 'arty' is, but I think it qualifies.

        • i lived in altona for a while Yarraville is a stone throw away - it is probably one of the most hipster areas in Victoria - brunswick has become a bit to 'rich' for my taste it has a good 'night scene' but it isnt what it once was - as the other jealous op mentioned it is full of trust fund kids similar to what has happened in byron Bay. - it isnt for me but if that is your vibe then fair play. i liked altona more becuz it was far less busy and had more of a relaxed vibe.

          However altona is now pretty expensive from what i have heard lately.

    • Personally I wouldn't live with those kinds of people but my friends do and I'm not really fussed as long as it's close to CBD and I won't get murdered or mugged walking the streets tbh

    • Williamstown is pretty underrated.

      • For a reason…

  • -3

    You must be the only ones moving to Melb - those who can are fleeing this cesspit.

    • +4

      Good to hear.

    • +1

      what? lol

      • -1

        much exaggeration

        • +2

          More like repeating old talking points. Must be waiting for his weekly ingestion from Murdoch.

    • Haha, ok see ya!

  • -1

    Brighton +1

    Beach, Church Street with Country Road, Yacht Club, Cinemas and schools all walking distance.
    Village atmosphere, leafy green streets.
    Famous Dendy Street Bathing Boxes.
    All 25 minutes by rail from MCG and city.

    • +4

      i find brighton a little sterile, in the sense all the rich people are pretty barricaded on their properties, the european feel in the backstreets is nice, i dont know if I'd say village atmosphere. Nice place, i'd consider it if i won lotto

    • +2

      Brighton generally attracts pretentious status obsessed rich people, I'm very familiar with that suburd and would never choose to live there again

  • -3

    I've lived here over 30 years, including Brunswick East and Prahran (in the last 6 years). Please PM me for actual advice not just shizposting :)

    • +4

      This is creepy.

  • +4

    Right wing media like sky news herald sun (newscorp) most presenters on 3aw all promoting bad news about Melbourne, mostly about Dan Andrews, I can assure you I am allowed outside my front fence and I can visit the shops without the police on my tail.
    Werribee is not a bad suburb to live in cheaper housing compared to the east side of Melbourne but having said that, no matter where you live you can come across bad neighbours etc etc, good luck!!

    • -5

      It's funny how people who live in shitty suburbs try and normalise the etc. etc. etc.

      • +3

        Well you seem to be a charming person? It’s probably the reason why I don’t travel to the inner city good luck with your projects mate!!

        • +1

          Shhh… don't tell people how great the west is, the commute traffic's bad enough as it is :P

  • +2

    Depending upon budget - possibly Hawthorn/Camberwell (I dont know whether they have artistic atmosphere but close to city and good public transport.)

    • Hawthorn has Swinburne close to Glenferrie Station so, that works. And, it's growing pretty hipster (especially with that swanky new Coles!)

      • +2

        The expansion of Swinburne absolutely ruined that part of Hawthorn. It's just full of skeezy dudes hanging around the streets trying to eyefck their virginity away on every passing woman in active wear.

        • +1

          I have to agree, but, at least COVID got rid of the super sleazy bar next to the train station :)

      • +2

        Hawthorn is a hot mess with great shops. The people are intolerable.

  • +4

    I'd say with your age and love of arts, Fitzroy (Smith and Brunswick St's are your bff's), Hawthorn (younger uni crowd and Glenferrie Rd), Footscray (becoming very hipster).

    If you have a car, maybe Maribyrnong or Maidstone is an option.

  • -1

    Prahran Prahran Prahran!!!

  • +1

    The best places to live are the most expensive places. Anywhere in the top 15 suburbs is your best bet. Unless you have visible tattoos, in which case, stay North of the river, or West of the city.

  • Sunshine/ardeer, 20mins to city by car, heaps of public transport, not paying a kidney like Footscray or Yarraville. Melting pot of cultures and people, Asians, Euros, Africans, addicts. Good food, heaps of amenities. Not much of a night life in the area unless you're into drag racing or running from sketchy characters.

    • +2

      Why would you recommend literally one of the worst suburbs in Melbourne?

      • Because it had a pulse vs. gentrified zombie suburbs of the east.

        • +2

          This is bullshit. Unless you want to get mugged

      • +4

        Worst, Fitzroy, collingwood weren't much chop 50 odd years ago, but look at it now. If money was no object than yeah, choose the best. But value for money, experiences (good and bad), give me the West any day of the week. Give me a $12 bowl of pho, a $5 pork roll, walking down a main street with a multitude of languages, seeing the good and the bad in life. Makes you more rounded and appreciative of life

        • Yeah, Fitzroy and Collingwood are still shit today.

  • Without a budget, suggestions are pointless. Do you have money? Then there are some good suggestions here. But if you're more of the 'starving artist' type, then you'll live where you can afford.

  • +7

    Most artsy people i know live in struggle street.

    • That's where we currently are so looking to move in hopes to move up to a little bit financially okay street

      • Go a bit further north of Brunswick to Preston/Coburg/Coburg North - lots of artists there and a bit cheaper.

  • +1

    We're all mid 20s and have an artist background


  • For inner city depends on your vibe; richmond, south yarra, Windsor are pretty hip but I find kinda snobby lol. Then you've got Fitzroy, Brunswick, Princess Hill, Carlton, Parkville side which is more hipster. Yarraville, Newport and Seddon are 5-10kms from the city and p nice areas. Footscray is not too bad, it's not the best either but definitely a lot of culture and closer to the city.

    • I forgot to mention Collingwood and Abbotsford! The most happening spots are around Collingwood and Fitzroy for your interests :)

  • -3

    Don't do it. Melbourne is a hole.

    There's a reason everyone is leaving.

  • +2

    If you are in your 20s and on a budget and artistic, the place to be is Brunswick. However if you can't afford it, try Coburg and then if you can't afford that, then Pascoe Vale is where you can rent cheap, good public transport (if you live close to Bell Street). But to make the most of it you have to have a car.

  • +1

    Richmond and Fitzroy.

    People who recommend Brunswick havent been living in the area recently.

    • -1


      Especially near the drug injecting room.

  • Fitzroy, Brunswick, Prahran, St Kilda, Carlton, or an apartment in the CBD.

    Having said that, it might help narrow it down if a budget was specified.

  • +1

    My friends and I are looking to move to Melbourne early next year and was wondering which places are good to live in. We're all mid 20s and have an artist background.

    Northcote, Fairfield, Westgarth

  • -2

    The best suburb to live in is undoubtedly South Melbourne, it has everything the other inner suburbs do minus the commission housing. It is unique as it is geographically isolated, it has very little foreign traffic passing through. the artsy type would also like the inner north or southeast - Chapel St/Prahran, Brunswick, Flemington, Kensington, Carlton.

    • +4

      South Melbourne has huge commission housing towers. They dominate the suburb.

      • -1

        Perhaps I'm getting my suburb names mixed up…

        • +3

          Seems pretty strange to be giving advice about a suburb that you have zero idea about. But I guess ignorant yet assured posting is the ozbargain way.

    • South Melbourne is a nice cosmopolitan place to live but not artsy. Sandwiched between the CBD and Albert Park makes it great and not cheap. The City of Port Phillip also don't really have the Arts in their portfolio. A few handfuls of great graffitis (done by local school kids or by an artist) at tram stops and sidewalks don't necessarily make a suburb 'artsy'.

      • Which is nuts as the City of Port Phillip (St Kilda) was pretty much THE music creative hub in the 70's and 80's.
        Totally inverted itself

  • +2

    I'm your age with a design background so sure we appreciate the same things. Currently live in the CBD and frequent most of the suburbs people are suggesting.

    Despite what others are saying I think Brunswick is still your best bet. Very short tram ride to the city, I don't even bother driving. Lots of different bars and restaurants + easy tram to other suburbs like Carlton and Fitzroy with similar vibe and good restaurants.

    Footscray can be good If you want more of a quiet suburban feel. Definitely not the New Brunswick as one of the other posters said as although there are a lot of restaurants majority are still Vietnamese (also some great Indian and Ethiopian restaurants too). The bar scene is growing but I don't think it's very good yet tbh.

    Whenever my siblings arrange a hang out in footscray as that's the middle point for us we do feel like we're limited in food options and venues in comparison to Brunswick, Fitzroy etc.

    I grew up in footscray so it's still one of my favourite suburbs + my sister lives there so still frequent all the time, but as someone in my mid 20s who likes a little bit more energy on the streets and with people my age Brunswick is better.

    • -1

      Plenty of energy on the street on Thursday after the dole payments have come through and the tweakers are trying to sort their score for the weekend.

      • Lol I was actually there last night and can confirm. Nice guy though!

  • +7

    All these "best" suburbs for artists all smell of urine and have no parking spots. Couldn't pay me enough to live amongst these trendy flogs.

    • +1

      Not really, people have this image of inner city living, I think they just perpetuate it to convince themselves that the 2 - 3 hr commute each day is worth it. It's actually the visiting outer city types visiting the city that cause most of the ruckus. Day to day inner city is quite peaceful. Heaps of beautiful parks, restaurants and bars

      • +4

        Nah, I've spent a lot of time around Prahran/Windsor/South Yarra etc.
        If I had to be amongst the trendy crowd, I'd rather live in Malvern or Carnegie and then commute in on my fixed-gear bike, using the sounds of car horns and the scent of homeless people's piss to guide me towards my destination.

        • Prahran etc isn't the trendy crowd. That's where all the wannabe rich kids from the outer suburbs congregate, take a boatload of drugs and piss everywhere.

        • +1

          Malvern or Carnegie had cool people in them in the 2000s. Now it is all rich flogs

      • Sorry, my bad. I was talking about the inner north. I find it less… transient, I guess the word is. Less backpackers, chapel st types. I find the inner north more laid back, more pubs and stuff, less night clubs and the like.

  • Frankston

  • How many vehicles do you own? I think that's more important than being from a particular background. Artists can thrive anywhere,

    Don't be one of those renters who rent a place with one car parking spot but you and your friend owns 4+ cars and forced to park on the street or occupying visitor designated spots, increasing congestion.

  • Coburg, or possibly Preston, if you are arty and on a bit of a budget. Brunswick West is probably even better, a little cheaper than Brunswick. I hear people say Footscray, it's better than it was for sure, not a terrible choice, but personally I would not want to live there.

    • Second Coburg and Preston.

  • +3

    North Melbourne, close to the action without much action itself to keep you awake.

  • +1

    st kilda

  • +1


    • +3

      …Road Brunswick

  • +3

    i like to live in well established suburbs, that have good parks, and bike paths, and aren't building flats or splits.

    Glen iris is good. At least the traffic wont get worse.

    Lots of hot suburbs are just going to get more congested.

    Of course ridic expensive.

    • +1 for Glen Iris. Close to the city but still big houses, lots of parks, bike paths and cafe's. Easy to get to the best of the rest of Melbourne too and right next to Armadale, Hawthorn and Malvern.

  • -1

    Clyde and Clyde North, lots of young 20s and immigrant but hard working young families there, its a good surburb and still very affordable, i reckon it wont be long before it becomes unaffordable, give it ~ 10 years

    Also close to cranbourne station and good scenery

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