I’m either a brilliant shopper or a terrible one. I’m a minimalist and spend most of my shopping budget (I use the word “budget” loosely) on books and music, both of which are mostly digital and take up no physical room in my space. I see many things that I like, but always end up asking myself, “What am I going to do with this?” Back on the display it goes. But if you’re a shopaholic, you’re in luck because there is some fantastic shopping to be had in Melbourne.
1. Melbourne Central is a mall built around Coops Shot Tower, which is now a museum. It’s a neat place to visit and there are many familiar stores such as United Colors of Benetton, Lacoste, Armani Exchange, EB Games, Nike, Diesel, and GAP as well as Aussie retailers such as Witchery and Billabong.
2. Collins Street is the place to go with an unlimited American Express card. Think New York’s Fifth Avenue. This is where you’ll find Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Tiffany & Co, and Louis Vuitton.
3. Queen Victoria Market is a huge open air market in the CBD. It’s an important landmark and the food selection is excellent, but don’t expect fine goods here. This is a great place to pick up souvenirs such as Australia T-shirts, key chains, and kangaroo furs. There is a wide range of merchandise here, however, so if you want a one-stop shopping experiencing, the Vic Market is the place to go.
4. The Bourke Street Mall is a pedestrian and tram only strip in the CBD. It includes two major luxury department stores – Myer and David Jones Limited – several retail chains such as Adidas, The Body Shop, and Sportsgirl, as well as a few arcades that run off the Bourke Street Mall. One that you shouldn’t miss is the Royal Arcade, a beautiful Victorian era arcade full of specialty stores.
5. The Melbourne Museum Shop is an excellent choice for quality souvenirs. You’ll pay premium, but the gift shop has a nice selection of books, jewellery, toys, scarves, and more. The National Gallery of Victoria shops in Fed Square and St Kilda also have lots of wonderful books and other gifts.
6. Chapel Street has a wide range of shopping options ranging from exclusive upmarket fashion designers to a variety of second-hand shops. I especially like the awesome Chapel Street Bazaar, home to 70 stalls crammed with retro and vintage items including clothing, furniture, jewelry, toys, chinaware, and cameras.
7. Brunswick Street is one of my favorite shopping districts. For some decades it was a grungy working-class area of cheap shops, but low rent attracted immigrants, artists, and bohemians turning Brunswick Street into an artsy, alternative precinct with lots of funky shops. Here you’ll find lots of art, unique handmade clothing, jewelry, and decor, as well as vintage goods. Brunswick Street is also home to Kleins perfumary, which carries over 80 brands of Australian and imported perfumes, lotions, and other little luxuries.
8. Camberwell Sunday Market is one of many weekend markets in and around Melbourne. What I like about it is that only second-hand good or handcrafted products made by the stallholder are allowed. I don’t like markets that look like dollar shops. I want to see retro and unique items and the Camberwell Sunday Market has 370 stalls of vintage clothing, books, furniture, decor, and more.
9. For those of you interested in metaphysical shopping, the Bookshop of Melbourne Lodge of The Theosophical Society has an incredible selection of books.
10. The Spellbox, located in the Royal Arcade off the Bourke Street Mall, is a small, but lovely shop for metaphysical and Pagan wares such as jewelry, cauldrons, herbs, chalices, and figurines.
For a few more great places to shop, please see Lady Melbourne’s Top 5 Must See Shops.
Do you have any favorite shopping destinations in Melbourne?