A guide to Melbourne’s CBD shopping malls

Just in case your friends from Melbourne didn’t share the news enough on Facebook, Melbourne has been voted the World’s Most Livable City. Being from Melbourne myself I can understand why, although when I pay $4.50 for a small latte or $12 for a house gin and tonic I start to question it… Anyway, don’t let that deter you! Melbourne has so much to offer, particular it’s CBD. Littered with alleyways and boutique cafes, there is much shopping to be had and even more coffee to be drunk. Melbourne’s CBD has many shopping malls but not all of them are as good as the others, some offer different shops with different price ranges than others or more Australian brands than others etc. I’ve made a list and reviewed the main shopping centers in Melbourne to (hopefully) make it a bit easier for you to navigate your way to the ultimate shopping purchase.

Image by Wonderwallpress
Emporium Melbourne
Image by Wonderwallpress

Emporium is located between Swanston and Elizabeth streets. Use the Melbourne Central tram stop to get there. It’s the newest shopping mall and seems to have all the high-class sheik that Chapel Street used to have. It has Top Shop, Victoria’s Secret, Adidas, Aesop, Gorman, Calvin Klein, Kookai and Michael Kors. It also has a few bigger Aussie designers like Sass and Bide and Manning Cartel. It’s the perfect place to find something a little special, with a capital $. It also has a great food court, if you go you should try the green tea soft serve (it’s only $2 and it will blow your mind).

Image by http://greedygourmets.blogspot.com/ via Flickr
QV Melbourne
Image by http://greedygourmets.blogspot.com/ via Flickr

QV is a little different to the other shopping centers. It has some cool shops like Zimmerman and American rag but it also has stores like Daiso (everything is $2.80), a florist and one of the only stores in Melbourne that just sells Yeezy apparel. As well as this is has a huge food court on the ground level, a Kmart, Woolworths and Dan Murphy’s on the ground level and a whole Strike Entertainment facility below that, complete with bowling, laser tag and just recently, Strike Escape Room. It also has an outdoor, grass patio on level one with beach chairs for a little rest and relaxation while your shopping.

Image by http://www.flickr.com/photos/35518360@N00
Melbourne Central
Image by http://www.flickr.com/photos/35518360@N00

Melbourne Central is the largest shopping center, it’s got a train station on it’s bottom level and then 5 levels on top of that, the top few connect to the Myers and David Jones as well. Melbourne central’s lower level has a food court and some lesser known stores inspired by Japanese and Chinese fashion. The higher levels have stores like Just Jeans, Dotti, GAP, general pants and pretty much any other store you have ever seen in any other Shopping Center in Melbourne. They also have a Hoyts Cinema, a Fitness First and a child care center. The Asian Beer Café is located near the Hoyts and has a great balcony with a view of the State Library and some great (cheap) food and drink specials.

Royal Arcade is located between Bourke and Collins Streets. It edges into alleyway land but for the sake of shopping we will pretend it’s a mall. It has amazing tiled floors and high ceilings, a true quintessential Melbourne shopping experience. It doesn’t have any huge big name stores but that is it’s charm. Rather it is home to smalled, independent retailers from Melbourne selling things like silk scarves, chocolates and Jewellery. If you want to do a tour of Melbourne’s lane ways this is where to start. When you come out on Collins Street you will link up to another arcade across Collins Street called The Block Arcade. If you chose to go down this road (or should I say lane way, excuse the pun), I would suggest checking out the Hopetoun Tea Rooms for some tea and cake.

Southwarf DFO isn’t located directly in the CBD but it’s very easy to get to. You can either way down Southbank to the Convention Center or take a tram (no. 96 or 112) from Bourke Street and the walk is about 5 minutes from the Convention Center tram stop. DFO stands for direct factory outlet and as such the prices are a lot cheaper but the range of clothing in the stores is from past seasons and may be scarce in sizes. Well worth a look, I have picked up a few great bargains at Southwarf. There is a great Micheal Kors there with amazing prices and the Sass and Bide store always has some pretty things.

Wherever you choose to shop, Melbourne will deliver the goods. It’s a great city and we take our fashion seriously (but not too seriously). Anything goes, you can wear whatever you please and the same applies to shopping, you can shop in whichever type of store you want, in whichever shopping mall you please. We have nearly everything, and whatever we don’t have we are sure to have sometime soon. See you in the food court.

About the author: April Lipson is a resident of Melbourne and fell in love with the city on a gap year before moving there to study. When she’s not studying, and writing, you can find her enjoying all varieties of coffee and discovering new places to enjoy.

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