You might be about to embark on a study journey in Melbourne, or maybe you’re already living in the city and looking to move elsewhere. The great thing about Melbourne is that there are so many interesting places to live. The city is kind of like a bunch of villages strung together, meaning each suburb offers a distinct vibe.
From up-and-coming inner west areas to established student hubs, we’ve put together a list of some of the most student-friendly suburbs in Melbourne.
The best spots for city campuses
If you’re looking for affordable living near the University of Melbourne, RMIT, or Victoria University in the inner west, there are a few great options.
Footscray is a relatively affordable suburb in Melbourne’s inner west. Here, the median rent for a two-bedroom unit is around $380 per week, while a private room in a share house can be up to $220 per week.
The whole west side of Melbourne is full of potential, with new cafes and bars popping up all the time. Footscray itself is full of Asian and African restaurants and grocers, as well as a number of other great cuisines from around the world. You can really sample a bit of everything in Footscray.
The suburb is only a couple of stops from the city, and Victoria University has two campuses here.
Just south of Footscray is Seddon, nestled between Footscray and the hipster haven of Yarraville. Seddon is full of character, with plenty of restaurants and cafes in its main shopping precinct, coupled with some quirky independent stores and relaxed streets.
In Seddon, the median rent for a two-bedroom unit is around $350 per week, and a room in a share house is up to $245 per week.
Seddon is just a quick train ride away from the city and within walking distance from the Victoria University campuses in Footscray.
Coburg is just a few stops further north from trendy Brunswick. It offers a similarly eclectic vibe with great restaurants, cafes and bars popping up around the area. Plus, it’s quite a bit cheaper than Brunswick when it comes to rent.
A two-bedroom unit is around $400 per week, while a room in a share house can be up to $225 per week. Just a few stops up from trendy Brunswick is Coburg. Very similar to Brunswick but you don’t pay top dollar for an old house without working doorknobs.
From Coburg, it’s relatively quick and easy to get into the CBD, making it a great option if your campus is in the city.
Thornbury is to trendy Northcote as Coburg is to Brunswick. It’s only one suburb up, but is still within easy reach of Northcote’s bar, restaurant and cafe scene – all it takes is a quick tram-ride south.
In Thornbury, you can expect to pay around $400 per week for a two-bedroom unit. If you’d prefer a room in a share house, you’ll likely be paying up to $210 per week.
Trains, trams, and buses will take you from Thornbury to nearly anywhere in the city. The 86 tram also runs through Thornbury and goes to La Trobe University in Bundoora.
Top suburbs for Universities in the North
If you’re studying at La Trobe University, RMIT Bundoora, or one of the TAFE institutes in Melbourne’s north, there are some great options when it comes to suburbs.
Bundoora is a large suburb, with La Trobe at one end and RMIT at the other. The 86 tram runs through the middle, with enough supermarkets and shopping centres that you wouldn’t need to leave the suburb.
Two-bedroom units in Bundoora are usually around $375 per week, while a room in a share house can be up to $140. There are also plenty of managed student accommodation options in the area.
Public transport here is also pretty good. The 86 tram can take you from Bundoora to Preston, Northcote, Smith Street in Collingwood, and all the way into the city.
Preston has become somewhat of a hub for artists. Now, cafes, bars and restaurants are nestled among the traditional and quirky stores along High Street. It’s home to one of the Melbourne Polytechnic campuses too, so is a great option if you want to live where you study.
Median rent for a two-bedroom unit in Preston is around $400 per week and up to $130 per week for a room in a share house.
Preston has a train station that will take you to the city and is also serviced by the 86 tram that runs from the city to Bundoora.
Where to live near south-east campuses
If you go to Deakin University, either the Monash Caulfield or Monash Clayton campus, or Box Hill Institute, there are plenty of options nearby.
Box Hill is a hub for Asian restaurants, grocery stores, hairdressers and banks. It’s also home to various cultural events throughout the year, including a huge Chinese New Year festival. The suburb is also home to Box Hill Institute, so is ideal if you want to live within short walking distance of your campus.
In Box Hill, the median rent for a two-bedroom unit is around $420 per week and up to $180 per week for a room in a share house.
Box Hill is well-equipped when it comes to public transport, with the 109 tram running into the city and Box Hill Station serviced by two train lines.
Ferntree Gully sits at the foot of the Dandenong Ranges in Melbourne’s east. You’re likely to have a lot of living space here, while still being in close proximity to various educational institutions in the south-east. Plus, the Dandenong Ranges is one of the best places to hang out on a weekend.
A two-bedroom unit in Ferntree Gully is likely to be around $400 per week. You’ll probably be spending up to $130 per week for a room in a share house.
Ferntree Gully has its own train station, and you can get into the city from here in just under an hour. You can also get to Box Hill, Deakin University and either of Monash’s campuses in under an hour. Otherwise, you’ll probably want to have access to a car if you’re living here.
Clayton is kind of like a mini Box Hill, with a number of great Asian eateries and grocery stores in the area. It’s also home to its own Monash University campus and relatively close to Monash University’s Caulfield campus. Plus, there’s an IKEA outlet just around the corner in Springvale.
The median rent for a two-bedroom unit in Clayton is around $375 per week, while you can expect to pay up to $150 per week for a room in a share house.
It’s just a 15-minute train-ride from Clayton Station to Monash University’s Caulfield campus or a 15-minute bus-ride to its Clayton campus. You can also get a train to the city in just over 30 minutes.
If you’re keen to get a better idea of how much it’ll cost to live in Melbourne, check out our Cost of Living Calculator.