Melbourne’s best shopping haunts

Where to indulge in some retail therapy in this fashionable city – whether you’re after high-street stores, high-end labels, vintage gems or market finds.

Emporium is one of the city's slickest shopping spots
  • Michelle Andrews
  • November 2018

Famous for having some of the best retail therapy spots in Australia, Melbourne opens in new window is a shopaholic’s dream. But while most people already know about Chapel Street and Bourke Street Mall, there are some fashionista-favoured spots for bagging a bargain that fly under the radar. Here we reveal the best of the city’s bunch, from the hot favourites to local secrets.

Emporium Melbourne

About 270 metres from Melbourne Central Railway Station, Emporium Melbourne has established itself as the city’s glossiest shopping destination. In-between spotting celebrities sipping on turmeric lattes, check out the specialist brands alongside designer fashion stores Alice McCall, Camilla and Marc, Scanlan Theodore and more. Napoleon Perdis, Mecca Cosmetica and Kryolan Cosmetics will fill any beauty buff’s heart with materialistic joy. After trying every goo, potion and scent, go up to the top floor for a yummy lunch at Din Tai Fung – the iconic dumpling restaurant.

Chadstone

Just 15 kilometres from the city, Chadstone Shopping Centre opens in new window is the largest retail complex in Australia and home to more than 550 stores, including 38 high-end luxury brands and big names like Zara, H&M and Uniqlo. While travelling to and from Chadstone was once tricky, a free shuttle bus now departs from Federation Square daily, running almost every hour. It will also take you (and your sore feet and tired wallet) back to the city each day, departing from the Tiffany & Co entrance.


South Melbourne Market

The colour and chaos of South Melbourne Market opens in new window will both exhaust and delight you. Renowned for its delis, bakeries and fresh-produce stalls, the market (stop 127 on Tram 96) is also home to little gems like Frankie’s Story opens in new window, a quirky children’s clothing store. Keep an eye out for their swimsuits, printed pants and pint-sized socks. Tucked away in aisle F, you’ll also find Clare’s Bears and Wares, an irresistible plush-toy shop (warning: your little human won’t want to leave).


Smith Street, Collingwood

If you were to distil Melbourne’s character into a street, Smith Street in Collingwood would be it. Once you hop off the route 86 tram at Gertrude Street, pop into ethical and sustainable accessories store Vegan Wares for non-leather wallets, shoes and even dog collars. From here, walk north towards Johnston Street where you’ll find Happy Valley opens in new window, home to all sorts of goodies that will fill the design/book/vinyl/art-shaped hole in your life. Keep walking to number 318 to reach Vintage Garage opens in new window, where edgy streetwear and retro fashion collide.

Head to Gertrude Street for edgy stores and eclectic boutiques
Head to Gertrude Street for edgy stores and eclectic boutiques

Canterbury

Canterbury is a newcomer to Melbourne’s shopping black book. About 12 kilometres from the CBD and a two-minute walk from Canterbury Railway Station on the Lilydale train line, Maling Road is perfect for browsing cool homewares, gifts and fashion. Coco and Chloe, one of the first shops you’ll spy from Canterbury Road, has glorious, eclectic pieces, from statement earrings to concrete bedside lamps. Women’s fashion store Inzagi opens in new window – one minute away on the corner of Bryson Street – is the go-to for hip jumpers, skirts (and the animal-print boots you’ve been eyeing up). For those who aren’t looking for themselves but someone back home, head a bit further down the main strip to B Inspired opens in new window to pick up a Florence Broadhurst pencil set, owl notebook or Papier D’Amour card set.