There are a few guarantees when you’re staying in Melbourne: a coffee culture that’s second to none, live music and entertainment in world-class performance venues and theatres, a thriving art scene that showcases top artists from around the world, and some of the country’s best places to eat and drink.

But where you stay will also make a big difference: inner-north suburbs like Fitzroy, Brunswick and Carlton have a reputation for attracting free spirits, resulting in main streets filled with character. St Kilda, South Yarra and other neighbourhoods in the inner-south, meanwhile, put you closer to the beach and Royal Botanic Gardens, as well as the famed Chapel Street for shopping and nightlife.

There’s the CBD, too, which puts you in close proximity to some of Melbourne’s major attractions and institutions. Or you can escape the bustle of the city and find yourself in the bush (without really leaving Melbourne) by taking a 40-minute drive to a haven surrounded by nature.

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Wherever you end up, you’ll have a great time. Here are some of our favourite Airbnbs in Melbourne, whether you’re checking in as a first-timer to the city, a returning visitor or a local wanting to explore more of what the city has to offer.

Napier Quarter, Fitzroy

The living area of Napier Quarter in Fitzroy, Melbourne

One of Melbourne’s best wine bars is also home to one of its most stylish Airbnbs. Neighbourhood spot Napier Quarter has nailed its day-to-night cafe and wine bar format, serving timeless European fare that doesn’t follow trends. You can end your evening with a glass of wine, then stroll up the stairs to owner Daniel Lewis’s moody guesthouse, with a tonal black and white colour palette and windows that look out over the leafy street. There’s a queen bed with handmade linen, a sitting room, simple bathroom and full kitchen (local market tours can also be prearranged). Basic breakfast is included, or order room service from downstairs. Sleeps 2 / from $572 a night / two-night minimum / book here.

Luma House, South Yarra

The living room with couches, arm chairs, fireplace and TV at Luma House in South Yarra, Melbourne

Monochromatic houses abound, but this renovated Victorian residence – close to Chapel Street and Toorak Road – isn’t afraid of colour. Electric cobalt blue cuts through the white walls and timber furniture of the three-bedroom dwelling, which has one king bed and two queens for families and groups. Gather around the fireplace and TV in the breezy living room, with floor-to-ceiling windows out to the balcony, or make a meal in the spacious kitchen. The bath in one of the two bathrooms is good for a soak after a long day of seeing the sights, and there’s even an office for those on working holidays. Sleeps 6 / from $857 a night / two-night minimum / book here.

Martini Suite, Melbourne CBD

The living room of Martini Suite in Melbourne CBD

Step back to the 1920s when you step into in this glamorous Jazz Era-themed apartment. Its perch inside the heritage-listed Majorca Building allows for people-watching over the laneway through big windows, or poke your head out the balcony just off the bedroom, a sophisticated mix of black scalloped wallpaper, gold accessories and plush blue velvet cushions on the queen bed. The compact bathroom includes a shower and bath, while the kitchen is stocked with everything you need to cook a meal. There’s no TV, but one can be provided on request if you want to spend your holiday relaxing on the couch. Sleeps 2 / from $370 a night / book here.

Revel & Hide, Collingwood

The rooftop pool at Revel & Hide in Collingwood, Melbourne

Owners Lisa McKernan and Eddie Farrell’s goal is to provide space for guests to feel like locals, especially in a cool inner-city suburb like Collingwood. The apartment is a cosy spot for two. There’s a queen-sized bed dressed in a cloud of lush linens, a blue velvet Chesterfield sofa in the lounge, and a balcony with room to perch for a gin or two. Moody, French wash walls create atmosphere, balanced by floor-to-ceiling windows to keep a breezy vibe. The building’s rooftop pool overlooks the neighbourhood’s iconic red warehouses and character-filled streetscapes. Sleeps 2 / from $445 a night / book here.

Design House, St Kilda

The backyard of Design House in St Kilda, Melbourne

Walking distance from St Kilda Beach and its many attractions (including Luna Park, restaurants, bars, the esplanade and more), this Edwardian house combines traditional architecture with contemporary luxury. There are three bedrooms – two with queen beds and one with a single – and two bathrooms, making it a good choice for a family getaway. The Airbnb also includes a fireplace, full kitchen, a living area and courtyard garden with a woodfired pizza oven. The CBD is a quick tram ride away, or you can explore other inner-south suburbs like Windsor, Elwood and Balaclava. Sleeps 5 / from $360 a night / five-night minimum / book here.

Studio 60A, Fitzroy North

The living area and courtyard of Studio 60A in Fitzroy North, Melbourne

Solo travellers and couples can easily explore the best of Melbourne’s inner-north in this studio apartment, a short walk from Edinburgh Gardens and close to popular suburbs like Fitzroy, Brunswick and Northcote. Sunlight streams in through the skylight of the A-frame ceiling in the loft bedroom, while downstairs you can find a living room, compact kitchenette (with organic muesli, coffee, tea, milk and basics) and a small courtyard. The hosts have also provided two Mykis so you can make your way around the city. Sleeps 2 / from $229 a night / book here.

Moonlight House, Moonee Ponds

The bedroom and balcony of Moonlight House in Moonee Ponds, Melbourne

Don’t let the name fool you – this dreamy renovated Victorian terrace gets plenty of sunlight, too. Situated in the suburb of Moonee Ponds in Melbourne’s north-west, the multi-storey house is a haven of exposed brick walls with a rooftop garden, outdoor shower, hammock and spa. All three bedrooms have a queen bed and their own courtyard or terrace. There’s also a fully equipped kitchen, two parking permits, open fire and views of the city – which is a quick tram or train ride away. Sleeps up to 8 / from $486 a night / book here.

1888 Heritage Warehouse Loft, Melbourne CBD

The dining area and stairs upstairs to the loft of 1888 Heritage Warehouse Loft, Melbourne CBD

Close to restaurants on Hardware Lane and plenty of cafes around the CBD, this converted loft puts you right in the thick of city living. Renovated in 2019, the studio boasts seven-metre-tall ceilings, a queen bed and a double bed, full kitchen and dining table, plush sectional sofa, a 70-inch smart TV and a bathtub. The heritage-listed warehouse was built in 1888 and is a stone’s throw away from Brother Baba Budan, one of Melbourne’s best cafes. Melbourne Central, State Library Victoria, Emporium and Bourke Street Mall are also short walks away. Sleeps up to 4 / from $426 a night / book here.

Casa Warrandyte, North Warrandyte

The living area with floor-to-ceiling windows of Casa Warrandyte in North Warrandyte, Melbourne

While most spots on this list will have you staying in the inner-city or close to the beach, this modernist home is more than 20 kilometres away from the CBD, nestled in Warrandyte State Park. You’ll be surrounded by eucalyptus trees and cockatoos thanks to large floor-to-ceiling windows that let the outside in. The mid-century mud-brick home is covered in warm timber that complements all that greenery, with three bedrooms (one king, one double, one with single and bunk) that can fit the whole family or a group of mates. It won’t feel like Melbourne at all – perfect for those seeking a nature retreat without completely leaving the comforts of the city. Sleeps 7 / from $654 a night / book here.

Additional reporting by Alice Jeffery

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