Ask almost any Melbournian to help you plan your time in the city, and he or she will advise you to shop until you drop. All Australia regards Melbourne as a shopping capital—it has everything from fashion houses to major department stores and unusual souvenir shops. So even if you’re also visiting Sydney, save your money until you get to Melbourne and then indulge!
Start at the magnificent city arcades, such as the Block Arcade (between Collins and Little Collins sts.), which has more than 30 shops, including the historic Hopetoun Tea Rooms and the Royal Arcade (stretching from Little Collins St. to the Bourke St. Mall). Then hit the courts and lanes around Swanston Street and the huge Melbourne Central shopping complex between Latrobe and Lonsdale streets.
Department store giants David Jones (tel. 03/9643 2222; www.davidjones.com.au)—or DJs, as it’s affectionately known—and Myer (tel. 03/9661 1111; www.myer.com.au) both have stores in the city center. DJs spans 2 blocks separated into men’s and women’s stores and has a vast and tantalizing food hall. Myer is the grand dame of Melbourne’s department stores and is in hot competition with David Jones. It has household goods, perfume, jewelry, and fashions, as well as a food section. Both stores are on the Bourke St. Mall.
High-fashion boutiques line the eastern stretch of Collins Street, between the Grand Hyatt and the Hotel Sofitel. Collins Street features most international labels, as well as shoe heaven Miss Louise, 205 Collins St. (tel. 03/9654 7730). Nearby Flinders Lane has earned style status with the likes of Christine, 181 Flinders Lane (tel. 03/9654 2011), where women are reputed to sometimes faint over the accessories. Down the road is Little Collins Street, another fashion rat run with lots of local labels. Alice Euphemia, in Cathedral Arcade, 37 Swanston St. (tel. 03/9650 4300), also stocks upcoming Australian and New Zealand designers.
Next, fan out across the city, taking in Chapel Street in South Yarra, for its Australian fashions, and the Jam Factory, 500 Chapel St., South Yarra, a series of buildings with a range of shops and food outlets as well as 16 cinema screens. Get there on tram no. 8 or 72 from Swanston Street.
There’s also Toorak Road in Toorak, for Gucci and other high-priced, high-fashion names; Bridge Road in Richmond, for budget and outlet fashion stores; Lygon Street in Carlton, for Italian fashion, footwear, and accessories; and Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, for a more alternative scene.