Shopper’s Guide to Melbourne

city mall

block arcade by Doogsta/Flickr

Melbourne might not have the international fame or the allure of Sydney, but, in terms of business and shopping, Melbourne is second to none. While tourists flock to Sydney to admire its landmarks and enjoy its sunny beaches, Melbourne makes an ideal destination for a shopping vacation. From high street shopping to the huge factory outlets at the city’s outskirts, Melbourne’s commercial centers are meant to appeal all categories of buyers. And the more time you spend strolling through its fabulous shops, the better it gets: although not listed in travel guides, there is a whole unexplored side of Melbourne, consisting of local brand outlets and exclusive boutiques. Is the shopaholic in you already searching for travel deals? Then here’s a brief shopper’s guide to Melbourne to start you up:

High Street Shopping

For those interested in high street shopping, things just couldn’t be easier: all they have to do is wander around Melbourne’s Central Business District. Crossley Street is a great example of a big city street, where business types go for a quick brunch and international retailers display their latest creations. Also, along Flinders Lane you can find some good brands, as well as small art galleries and antique shops. At the and of Flinders Lane you’ll find the Federation Square (Fed Square), a favorite hangout for sophisticated urban-types and also a good place to buy some original souvenirs.

city mall

block arcade by Doogsta/Flickr

 

Commercial centers and Outlets

Melbourne is home to huge commercial centers of all types, from the old town market turned landmark to the big, glossy mall in the suburbs. The two most famous and popular commercial centers in Melbourne are the Queen Victoria Market and South Melbourne Market.

shoppers

queen victoria market by avlxyz/Flickr

 

Here you can find a great diversity of merchandise,  from fresh local vegetables to hand made clothing items. The Block Arcade and Royal Arcade are also two spacious, centrally-located shopping centers. Melbourne Central is another popular mall, with several hundred commercial spaces that include restaurants, shops and service providers. Last but not least, like any multicultural metropolis, Melbourne’s got its Chinatown.

Off the beaten path

Those willing to adventure outside the well establishes areas I describe above shouldn’t be surprised to discover that they bought the best things from an inexpensive antique shop or some fabulous local designer boutique which is not even listed in the Lonely Planet guide. Chances to run in such a store are considerably higher if you find yourself wandering along the well-known Chapel Street or Swanston Street in CBD.

mall stand

cosmetics seller by avlxyz/Flickr

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