Part of the Corporate Keys Group, Established in 2005 and still proudly an Independent, 100% Australian Owned and Managed Accommodation Provider. BOOK ONLINE OR CALL: 1300 HAMPTONS (1300 426 786)
  INTERNATIONAL: +61 3 9279 7250

What to Do When Staying in St Kilda Melbourne

Whether you’re visiting for a weekend getaway or an extended stay, there’s no shortage of activities to fill your time.
June 11, 2024

St Kilda, a vibrant seaside suburb located just 6 kilometres from Melbourne’s city centre, is renowned for its eclectic mix of attractions, beautiful beaches, and lively nightlife. Whether you’re visiting for a weekend getaway or an extended stay, there’s no shortage of activities to fill your time. Here’s a comprehensive guide to making the most of your stay in St Kilda.

1. Enjoy the Beach and Waterfront Activities

St Kilda Beach is arguably the suburb’s biggest drawcard. Stretching along the scenic foreshore, it offers a variety of activities for all ages:

  • Swimming and Sunbathing: St Kilda Beach's sandy shores are perfect for a relaxing day in the sun, and its calm waters make it a popular spot for swimming.
  • Water Sports: For the more adventurous, St Kilda Beach offers opportunities for kite surfing, windsurfing, and paddleboarding. Equipment rentals and lessons are available from local operators.
  • St Kilda Pier: Take a stroll along the iconic St Kilda Pier, which provides stunning views of the Melbourne skyline and Port Phillip Bay. At the end of the pier, you’ll find the St Kilda Pavilion, a charming Edwardian building that’s perfect for a photo op.

2. Explore Acland Street

Acland Street is the heart of St Kilda’s shopping and dining scene, offering a diverse range of experiences:

  • Cafes and Cake Shops: Acland Street is famous for its European-style cake shops. Enjoy a coffee and indulge in delicious pastries and cakes at places like Monarch Cakes or Acland Cakes.
  • Boutique Shopping: Browse the unique boutiques and specialty stores that line Acland Street. You’ll find everything from trendy fashion to quirky gifts and souvenirs.
  • Dining: The street is home to numerous restaurants offering a variety of cuisines, from casual eateries to fine dining. Whether you’re in the mood for Italian, Asian, or contemporary Australian cuisine, Acland Street has something to satisfy your palate.

3. Visit Luna Park

Luna Park, one of Melbourne’s most iconic landmarks, is a must-visit attraction in St Kilda:

  • Historic Amusement Park: Opened in 1912, Luna Park is home to the world’s oldest continually operating roller coaster, the Scenic Railway. The park’s nostalgic charm and thrilling rides make it a fun destination for families and thrill-seekers alike.
  • Events and Festivals: Luna Park often hosts special events, including music festivals, food markets, and holiday celebrations. Check their schedule to see what’s on during your visit.

4. St Kilda Botanical Gardens

For a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle, spend some time at the St Kilda Botanical Gardens:

  • Beautiful Gardens: Established in 1859, the gardens feature a variety of plants, flowers, and trees. Stroll through the rose garden, palm lawn, and eco-centered garden to enjoy the lush surroundings.
  • Glasshouse and Conservatory: Explore the ornamental ponds, glasshouse, and conservatory, which house a collection of exotic plants and seasonal displays.
  • Activities: The gardens are perfect for picnics, leisurely walks, and birdwatching. There’s also a children’s playground and a community-run edible garden.

5. Experience St Kilda’s Nightlife

St Kilda comes alive after dark with its vibrant nightlife scene:

  • Live Music Venues: Enjoy live music at iconic venues like the Esplanade Hotel (known as The Espy), which hosts local and international bands. The Prince Bandroom is another popular spot for catching live performances.
  • Bars and Pubs: St Kilda boasts a range of bars and pubs, from trendy cocktail bars to laid-back pubs with ocean views. Visit venues like the Vineyard or Captain Baxter for a drink and a good time.
  • Clubs and Late-Night Spots: St Kilda has several nightclubs and late-night spots for those looking to dance the night away. Check out places like the Prince of Wales Hotel or the Secret Garden Bar for a lively night out.

6. Cultural and Art Experiences

Immerse yourself in the local culture and art scene with these activities:

  • Theatre and Performances: The National Theatre is a historic venue that hosts a variety of performances, including plays, musicals, and dance shows. Check their schedule for current productions.
  • Galleries and Art Spaces: Explore local art at galleries such as the Linden New Art Gallery, which showcases contemporary works by Australian and international artists.
  • Street Art: St Kilda is known for its vibrant street art. Take a walk around the suburb to discover colourful murals and graffiti art that add to its eclectic charm.

7. St Kilda Markets

Discover local crafts, food, and entertainment at the St Kilda markets:

  • St Kilda Esplanade Market: Held every Sunday, this market features a variety of stalls selling handmade crafts, jewellery, artwork, and more. It’s a great place to find unique souvenirs and gifts.
  • St Kilda Twilight Market: During the summer months, the St Kilda Twilight Market offers an evening of food, music, and shopping at the O’Donnell Gardens. Enjoy delicious street food, browse artisan stalls, and listen to live music as the sun sets.

8. Outdoor Activities and Recreation

Take advantage of St Kilda’s outdoor spaces and recreational activities:

  • Cycling and Running: The Bay Trail is a scenic cycling and running path that runs along the coast from St Kilda to Brighton. Rent a bike or simply enjoy a jog with stunning bay views.
  • Water Sports: Beyond the beach, St Kilda Marina offers boat rentals and sailing opportunities. Take a boat out for a day on the water or join a sailing tour.
  • Fitness Classes: Many fitness groups offer outdoor classes in St Kilda, including yoga, boot camps, and beach workouts. Joining a class is a great way to stay active and enjoy the fresh air.

9. Day Trips and Nearby Attractions

St Kilda’s location makes it a perfect base for exploring other nearby attractions:

  • Melbourne City Center: Just a short tram ride away, Melbourne’s city centre offers endless attractions, including Federation Square, the Melbourne Aquarium, and the Royal Botanic Gardens.
  • Albert Park: Located close to St Kilda, Albert Park is known for its lake, sports facilities, and the annual Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix. Enjoy a walk or bike ride around the lake, or try paddle boating.
  • Brighton Beach: A short drive or bike ride from St Kilda, Brighton Beach is famous for its colourful bathing boxes. It’s a lovely spot for a day trip with plenty of photo opportunities.

10. Seasonal Events and Festivals

St Kilda hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year:

  • St Kilda Festival: Held in February, the St Kilda Festival is Australia’s largest free music festival. It features live music, food stalls, and family-friendly activities along the St Kilda foreshore.
  • Midsumma Festival: This annual LGBTQ+ cultural festival takes place in January and February. It celebrates diversity with a range of events, including performances, parties, and art exhibitions.
  • St Kilda Film Festival: Held in June, this festival showcases the best short films from Australian filmmakers. The program includes screenings, workshops, and industry events.


St Kilda is a dynamic and diverse suburb that offers something for everyone. From its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife to its rich cultural scene and outdoor activities, there’s no shortage of things to do when staying in St Kilda. Whether you’re a solo traveller, a couple, or a family, you’ll find plenty of ways to enjoy your time in this lively seaside suburb. So, pack your bags, book your accommodation, and get ready to explore all St Kilda offers.

Recent Posts