Enjoy St Kilda like a local – things to do in St Kilda

Things to do in St Kilda - Luna Park

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Ahh St Kilda. Much loved Melbourne suburb by the bay. We Melburnians often first venture here as teenagers keen to discover the beach and cool vibes and then form a long running attachment to this quirky part of our city.

The area is wonderfully eclectic with a vibrant mix of people and activities. There are things to do in St Kilda for everyone both day and night.

Apart from the well loved attractions like St Kilda Beach and Luna Park you will also find some off the beaten track experiences that may not appear in the guidebooks.

Things to do in St Kilda guide

relaxing after a hard days sailing at the royal melbourne yacht club st kilda

Outside activities in St Kilda

St Kilda Beach

Of course! Most first time visitors venture outside of Melbourne’s CBD just for this beach. It is a sandy beach with calm bayside waters suitable for swimmers of all ages.

Cafes and restaurants line the foreshore and you can stroll, ride, take a bike tour or rollerblade along the beachside path. On warm sunny days this beach is very busy until late into the night.

St Kilda Pier

st kilda pier

Take a stroll along the iconic pier where post war migrant ships from Europe first docked. From here we welcomed thousands of new immigrants to our city.

The pier is a wonderful spot to view the city of Melbourne, take a romantic stroll and view the local wildlife. You can often see seals and dolphins playing in the water and the area is home to a colony of over 1,000 fairy penguins. The best time to see the penguins is at dusk.

READ:   My Melbourne: must do highlights for visitors

St Kilda Esplanade Market

Every Sunday the arts and crafts market along the St Kilda Esplanade is a popular place to shop for gifts and souvenirs. The market is open 10am – 4pm and can be found on the Esplanade between the Esplanade Hotel and Palais Theatre.

Luna Park

The fun fair at Luna Park has been entertaining Melbourne families for over a century. Boasting the world’s oldest continually operating wooden roller coaster and a beautiful carousel, the park has rides and attractions for adults and  children of all ages. The open mouthed face entrance is an iconic part of St Kilda’s landscape.

Lawn Bowls at St Kilda Sports Club – 66 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda

A very popular afternoon activity is a round of barefoot lawn bowls at the St Kilda Sports Club. Casual bowls is suitable for people of all ages and abilities and is lots of fun. You will find the club on the far corner of Albert Park.

Sailing from the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron – Pier Rd, St Kilda

Learn to sail at one of the oldest sailing clubs in Australia. The club has courses for children as young as seven as well as adults. Sailing can be thirsty work so luckily there is a fantastic bar at the Yacht Club with wonderful views of Melbourne that you can access if you know a member too.

Where to eat in St Kilda

best places to eat in st kilda

Baker di Chirico

149 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda

I would cross town for the baked goods from this little St Kilda bakery. The bread made here is some of the best in Melbourne and you will often find queues out the door. Baker di Chirico are also famous for their nougat.

Breakfast at Dr Jekyll 

107 Grey Street, St Kilda

Classic Melbourne style breakfasts executed extremely well. Dr Jekyll caters for all your breakfast needs – from croissants to smashed avo and chia and oat bircher. Excellent coffee too.

*Top pick* Seafood feasts at Claypots

213 Barkly Street, St Kilda

One of my all time favourite Melbourne eateries, Claypots is an institution and rightly so. In a casual and friendly environment you will eat some of the freshest and tastiest seafood imaginable. There is often live music in the bar next door and the whole experience makes for a great night out.

Cakes of Acland Street

Stroll down Acland Street and you can’t help but be tempted by the traditional East European cake shops. I love vanilla slice so my favourite shop is Le Bon Continental Cake Shop but you can’t go wrong with any of these cake shops. They all specialise in something different so look through the window and don’t even try to resist temptation.

Artisan gelato at 7 Apples

75 Acland Street, St Kilda

There’s no beach without ice-cream right? 7 Apples makes unique and delicious flavours like white peach with pecan praline and black sesame with Nutella swirls. I love my gelato and I give 7 Apples my seal of approval!

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Wine + cheese at Milk the Cow

157 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda

If you are a cheese lover, this bar will become a quick favourite. The bar has over 150 varieties of local and imported cheeses with which to pair your favourite wine. Find out more – Milk the Cow

Stylish pub turned restaurant – Newmarket Hotel

34 Inkerman Street, St Kilda

Flavours from California and a grown up grunge vibe make for a great night eating tacos and drinking cocktails. Must try the soft shell crab tacos and the Hell Yeah cocktail. More info on their website.

Romantic dinner at Donovans 

40 Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda

Donovans is a longstanding favourite restaurant. The restaurant sits looking over the sand and water and is designed to feel like a cosy beach home. The menu at Donovans has an emphasis on seafood and is constantly evolving.

Their chocolate fondant dessert  is one of those dishes you don’t forget in a long while. Tip – enjoy champagne on the terrace as you watch the sun set over the bay to the west of Melbourne. Their children’s menu is great too.

Delicious pizza at Mr Wolf  or iCarusi II

9-15 Inkerman Street, St Kilda | 231 Barkly Street, St Kilda

Who doesn’t love wood fired pizza? Karen Martini’s Mr Wolf serves amazing Roman style pizzas in a smart casual setting. The restaurant also caters for coeliacs and those avoiding gluten and has a wonderful children’s menu.

For a more rustic but equally delicious pizza and antipasto feast head to iCarusi. They are also famous for their dessert calzone or calzoncino.

Nightlife in St Kilda

St Kilda nightlife


Soak up the relaxed St Kilda vibes at the Prince Public Bar

29 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda

A great spot to start a night out or enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon drink. There is usually free live music from local artists. You can also hear international acts upstairs in the Prince Bandroom – check their website for listings

Enjoy a concert at the Palais Theatre

Lower Esplanade, St Kilda

The theatre itself is difficult to miss as you stroll along the St Kilda beach and Fitzroy Street. A wonderful example of art deco architecture, the Palais Theatre is a much loved Melbourne venue for many different types of concerts – from ballet to rock classics. Check their website for listings.

Epic Melbourne band and pub venue – The Espy (Esplanade Hotel)

11 Upper Esplanade, St Kilda

This most Melbourne of venues is currently closed but the city awaits its reopening with baited breath. Stay tuned. It has been said that if you haven’t had a drink at The Espy you haven’t been to Melbourne.

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Indoor activities in St Kilda

Jewish Museum of Australia

26 Alma Road, St Kilda

St Kilda is home to a large number of Orthodox Jews, many refugees from holocaust atrocities in World War II. The Jewish Museum of Australia tells the history of these people and the broader Jewish population in Australia.

The museum is open from 10am every day except Mondays and Saturdays. View the website for more details.

Classic films at the magnificent Astor Theatre 

corner Chapel Street and Dandenong Roads

The Astor is a much loved Melbourne institution. One of the last single screen cinemas in operation in Australia, the art deco theatre can hold over 1000 visitors and is famous for showing re runs of classic movies like The Wizard of Oz and Singin’ in the Rain.

St Kilda Sea Baths

10/18 Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda

 Even in winter you can enjoy swimming in the sea water. The St Kilda Sea Baths has an indoor swimming pool using heated sea water from the bay. You can also use the hydrotherapy spa.

Luxurious spa treatments at Aurora Spa – Prince Hotel

2 Acland Street, St Kilda

Massages, hand, feet and facial treatments are divine at Aurora Spa. One of the best spas in Melbourne in my opinion.

Where to stay in St Kilda

Tuesday has us dreaming back to the weekend, tangled up in blue at #TheBlackman. Beautiful shot from @inbedwith.me #regram

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There are several St Kilda hotels and serviced apartments to choose from – here are my favourites

Best for music and nightlife – The Prince

Right in the heart of the action, The Prince has modern rooms each with a BOSE sound system so you can relive the tunes you heard the night before. The hotel is also home to luxurious Aurora Spa.

Check prices and availability | Read reviews

Best for art lovers – Tolarno Hotel

Just a short walk from the beach, the Tolarno Hotel is decorated with pieces from celebrated local artist Mirka Mora. This small and friendly hotel has several room sizes catering to overnight and longer stays.

Check prices and availability | Read reviews

Top pick – The Blackman

Just a short walk from the Fitzroy Street hustle and bustle, The Blackman is a stylish and modern boutique hotel offering on-site restaurants and a fitness centre. I love the decor and comfort at this hotel.

Check prices and availability | Read reviews

Favourite Melbourne boutique hotels

St Kilda is easy to get to from Melbourne’s CBD and surrounding suburbs. If you like staying at stylish boutique hotels, there are many to choose from in Melbourne. Here is a list of my favourites.

How to get to St Kilda

St Kilda pier at sunset

Taxis and Uber are common throughout Melbourne. Uber is significantly cheaper and easier to access at peak times.

Public transport – it is a 15 minute tram ride from Melbourne’s city centre to St Kilda. Catch a tram down St Kilda Road from stops outside Federation Square opposite Flinders Street Station.

You will need to use a Myki public transport card to use the tram.

Need more info about Melbourne and the surrounding area? Read my Melbourne city highlights guide, my picks of  Melbourne’s boutique hotels and tips on visiting the Great Ocean Road

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and as always all opinions are my own. Please review my disclosure page for more information on my affiliate policy.

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Wander Mum

23 thoughts on “Enjoy St Kilda like a local – things to do in St Kilda

  1. Lolo says:

    I’ve seen that clown face before but was never interested in figuring out what it was! Now I know! Looks like a lot of fun but the face alone creeps me out! haha #CityTripping

  2. Alex says:

    Woah-fairy penguins!? Really!? I never knew. This is going on my list, along with those vanilla slices you mentioned (my personal favourite!) #citytripping

    • Katy says:

      Yes! Fairy penguins! They are so cute. The vanilla slices are amazing, you won’t be disappointed. They have a special name in Australia but it’s quite disgusting (in a way 7 year old boys appreciate) so I won’t share unless you really want me to tell you 😉

  3. Elizabeth (Wander Mum) says:

    Great local insight into St Kilda. It has been many years since I visited but remember it was one of my highlights of Melbourne…a really cool area with a gorgeous beach and great restaurants and bars. Thanks for linking to #citytripping

    • Katy says:

      Were you there as a backpacker? So many backpackers stay in St Kilda. I guess it’s for the beach and fun times. I actually prefer some of Melbourne’s more subtle attractions. Coming soon!

  4. Clare Thomson says:

    It’s so great to get a local’s view of the best places to go. This is such a useful guide, Katy, and only a 15-minute tram ride from Melbourne. Sounds like an essential addition to a visit to the city. And I’m totally with you on the gloriousness of vanilla slices, by the way…

  5. Cathy (MummyTravels) says:

    One day, I will get to Melbourne – it’s always sounded such an enjoyable place to go, and fantastic bakery plus beach is normally all I ask. But fairy penguins too? Amazing. #citytripping

    • Katy says:

      Oh thanks so much Christy. I do hope you make it to Australia and to Melbourne where I will make sure you have the most amazing time. Make sure you let me know if you are coming to London soon too. I’d love to catch up x

    • Katy says:

      Thanks Corey. There is certainly something for everyone in Melbourne. I’d love to show you around if you make it to Australia

Comments are closed.