Friday, April 25, 2014

Moving To Melbourne Tip: How To Choose A Suburb To Live In

Being a city spanning a very large land area, Melbourne consists of many suburbs of differing traits and character. Comparing all the various areas can be mind-boggling for anyone, let alone an immigrant moving to Melbourne.

So how do you choose a suburb to live in Melbourne that is suitable for you?

Here are 3 areas of considerations that I reckon will be help to narrow down your shortlist to just a few suburbs making your choice a whole lot easier!


A good starting strategy would be to draw a 10 km radius around either the Melbourne CBD or your place of work, and see which suburbs fit into your budget.

Since you’re only just moving to Melbourne, I would recommend you start off renting first so as not to commit to a big mortgage on a house until you are more familiar with the lay of the land and eventually find the suburb of your dreams. :)


If you have children, a key driving factor might be the location of a specific school.

Many public schools (especially the popular ones) are “zoned”. What this means is that you must live within the defined neighborhood boundary in order for your child to be eligible to study there.


If you like a specific lifestyle then that may influence your decision. For example,

  • If you like beaches, places like St Kilda and Altona might appeal to you

  • If you like rivers, you can’t go past the scenic locations around the Yarra or Maribyrnong rivers

  • If you enjoy shopping and a poshier lifestyle, South Yarra or Prahran might appeal to you

  • If you like the artsy and hippie crowd, then places like Fitzroy would be your pick

  • And many more!


Moving to Melbourne is a big change in anyone’s life and filled with many decisions to make. I hope this article about how to choose a suburb to live in will help to make things a bit easier.

Whichever suburb you have shortlisted, have a leisurely walk around the town centre, sit down for a coffee and soak up the area’s ambience. Also do drive around the neighbourhood, visit the schools, chat with the locals, pay a visit both day and night, etc .. then decide.

As usual, local knowledge helps a lot so feel free to post questions on specific suburbs here and I will do my best to answer them.


Ed: This post was originally posted at the Melbourne Ahoy website - Moving To Melbourne Tip: How To Choose A Suburb To Live In


  1. Ha, funny that you posted this because I am relocating from Syd to Mel in a week time. Looking to rent in Inner East/ Bayside, because I checked that they have lower crime rate.
    I would love to live on the tram/train line because I will be working in CBD. But I hate being too close to city and love driving around to beach/cafes. Somewhere green and quiet, with positive vibe.

  2. Hi Nora,

    Congrats and a very warm advanced welcome to Melbourne !

    Crime rates can be quite misleading. Its true that there is relatively more crime in the West as historically it is the industrial side of town. However, over time much has changed and if you love beach / cafes, Williamstown and Altona in the inner west are beautiful areas. They are also much cheaper than their equidistant East-side cousins of Elwood and Sandringham.

    If you looking to the East, suburbs like Albert Park, Elwood, South Yarra, Port Melbourne, etc would fit your bill. If you provide a bit more information like rent/buy budget, distance limit, kids, etc, I can help narrow down the list for you. :)

  3. Thanks MA! I have finally found a place in Hawthorn East, not too close to the hustle and bustle of the city yet not too far for my journey to work everyday.
    Inner East is such a beautiful area, not only that there are too many restaurants and cafes to choose from, but also the people are just so amazingly friendly.
    Definitely has no trace of regret of relocating!

  4. Awesome ! Hawthorn East is a beautiful suburb and you chose very well. There's a few very good schools in that area too if you have kids or are planning too. And if you like Asian food, make sure to check out Penang Coffee House. They are a small casual eating place that serves very authentic and yummy Malaysian hawker fare. A favourite with the nearby Uni students !

  5. And of course ... a BIG welcome to MELBOURNE !!!


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