Welcome to the picturesque beachside resort that is St Kilda. St Kilda is a vibrant port town, well known for its lively beach life, affordable accommodation and buzzing theme park. The Melbourne suburb has transformed over the recent years, from a seaside resort with a seedy reputation to a modern, up and coming area, drawing young professionals from all over the world and across Australia in particular.
St Kilda became a favoured suburb during the Edwardian and Victorian eras, when many stately homes and mansions were built along its shores. During the 20th Century the suburb lost its charm, the elite moved away and St Kilda became a densely populated red light district, with only cheap and nasty accommodation left for tourists. Over the recent years, following many renovations, the suburb has been built up again to resemble what it used to be. It is well known now as a bohemian suburb, home to the artists, musicians, punks and hipster types. It is an area of expression, colour and vibrancy with a care free attitude that makes it a great place to visit for a holiday if your main goal is simply to let down your hair and have fun.
Where to Stay
Whether you’re visiting for a holiday with friends or backpacking around the area, St. Kilda has plenty of accommodation on offer, from hostels to hotels, guest houses to bed and breakfasts. But you can also find some more upmarket accommodation for very affordable prices: Wimdu has a whole range of private apartment rentals in St Kilda that offer you a more personal experience staying in the area. These apartments are rented out by locals who know the area well and will be able to give you some great pointers on the secret places to go.
Things to see and do
So what can you actually see and do in St Kilda other than hang out on the beach and hit the bars? As well as cultural attractions, there are the parks, gardens, markets, leisure park, live music scene and loads of entertainment venues to explore. St Kilda has a rich history and is host to several museums and galleries. The award winning Jewish Museum of Australia, houses an excellent collection of exhibitions, both temporary and permanent, as well as learning programmes, giving you the opportunity to learn all about the history of the Jews. If you’re interested in art, there is also the Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts, featuring contemporary art housed in a typically Melbourne environment: informal and friendly. The main attraction of St Kilda of course is the amusement park, with the iconic laughing face entrance. Luna Park is thought to be the world’s oldest amusement park, enjoyed for generations - like an interactive museum, it is possible to ride on the wooden roller coaster that operates in much the same way as it did nearly 100 years ago when the park first opened! If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the amusement park though, you can always seek out the areas of flora and fauna, parks and gardens on take yourself on one of the many walking trails around the suburb. The St Kilda Botanic Gardens is one not to be missed, along with the St Kilda Walking Trails and St Kilda EcoCentre, a community-managed, environment group right near the botanic gardens.
As well as three thriving theatres in the area: The National Theatre, Palais Theatre, and the Red Stitch Actors Theatre, there are also two very prominent and popular festivals in St Kilda: the St Kilda Festival, one of Australia's best known events, celebrating summer in the best style possible - excellent music and free, and the St Kilda Film Festival, screening the top 100 short film entries from the yearly Melbourne competition. The St Kilda festival is held in February and the St Kilda Film Festival in May.
St Kilda is all about the markets. There are four in total: the Southside Handmade & Vintage Market, a monthly vintage market selling everything from clothes to accessories, designer fashion to homemade items and treats, the St Kilda Twilight Market, housing a variety of artworks, as well as vintage ware, hand designed fashion, jewellery and craft items, the St Kilda Esplanade Market, held every Sunday and housing a whole range of different stalls, from bric-a-brac to one-of-a-kind hand crafted pieces and many great food stalls - the perfect one-stop-shop for smuggling tasty melbourne treats back to your apartment.
Eating out in St Kilda is a maze of options, with restaurants fighting for space along the bay. Whatever your tastes you can find something here, from Mexican to New York style grub, tapas to meaty Aussie burgers. Amigo’s Mexican Food is the perfect place to sample traditional, spicy, Mexican cuisine ‘with a modern fresh twist’, Chinta Ria Soul provides a Malaysian dining experience like no other, with modern style Malaysian cuisine, infused with spices, and Kotaraya is St Kilda’s very own award winning all you can eat Asian restaurant, serving an array of food from Malay to Chinese, Thai and Japanese.