Everyone in Melbourne likes to think their suburb is the best. West side, east side, south or north of the river – the competition for which place has the highest jinks is fierce. In fact, the only time we seem to band together is when our city as a whole is compared to Sydney (Melbourne wins, obviously). So now it's time to settle the debate once and for all. Take a look at the merits of the five suburbs below and let us know how they rank on your fun in the subs meter, and if you really and truly believe St Albans or Karingal have it going on, feel free to put that out there too.
St Kilda Starting down south, St Kilda is renowned for its quirky folk and rowdy revelry. Set along the beach, this thriving suburb is home to Luna Park, a whole host of edgy clubs, enterprising cafés and some of the city's coolest grungy bars.
Heading upwards, Prahran melds some of St Kilda's characteristics with a heavy dose of fashion and a few tweaks of middle-inner eastern snobbery that are currently still being ostensibly disdained further south. Here you'll find the sports of shopping and showing off in full swing, with the Chapel strip and its multitude of laneway offshoots providing an arena of vintage stores, boutiques and bars, plus the market and a few posh restaurants for good measure.
One of St Kilda's many icons. Photo credit: Donald Y Tong.
Richmond Over the river we go to the more family-oriented Richmond, where it's all about shopping, eating and sport. Edged as it is by the MCG, it's a great place to live if you like football and can get to it without negotiating the pre- and post-game traffic. It's also notable for Bridge Road and its many shops and cafés, Victoria St with its Vietnamese flavour, and some of the best breakfasts in town.
Around to the inner north we find the laissez faire cool of Fitzroy, where convention is anathema and creativity is key. This is the place to go for unique restaurants, bars patronised by hippies so hip they're wearing Armani with the labels ripped off, and a swag of swag galleries to boot.
The Titanic Theatre Restaurant gets many on board in Williamstown.
Williamstown On the west side we have Williamstown, with its maritime attractions and mixed bag of shops and restaurants ranging from swanky to simple. You can see the city, but it's a whole bay away, making this a good place to relax with some day-time recreation.