Shopping on Chapel Street – South Yarra
When it comes to shopping, Chapel Street is one of Melbourne’s best known areas. If you’re fed up of high street shops and looking for something a little bit different, this street is second to none when it comes to variety. For everyone after something run of the mill, I advise you head elsewhere; you’ll find no tracksuits or Target stores here. Three words to best describe this street? Vintage, unique and expensive…
Starting the tour
Catch a train to Windsor (Sandringham Line). From the city loop it should take approximately 15-20 minutes.
As you exit the station turn left, you are now at the start of Chapel Street.
First impressions can be deceiving – I admit at first glance I thought this place seemed rather shabby, dull even, with nothing obviously special to offer. However, after you’ve passed the first few rows of laundrettes and kebab huts, you’ll start to notice some interesting little boutiques. Go in them. Every one is fabulously different!
After roughly ten minutes walking you’ll notice Chapel Street Bazaar to your left.
I found this huge store/mini market to be strangely reminiscent of my Gran’s living room. Even if you’re not after anything it’s worth a look – from kitsch costume jewellery to vintage clothes and accessories, bizarre ornaments and every collectible imaginable, it’s all utterly useless in the most wonderful way. (It’s alarmingly easy to convince yourself that you do actually need some of this junk, I found myself debating whether or not to buy a pair of $150 geisha shoes … don’t ask.)
Exit the Bazaar and continue down Chapel Street.
If you’re hungry, there’s plenty of choice. The cafes are cute and the restaurants are swish; I personally sampled lunch at Tusk (a corner cafe 10 mins from the station on your left), which I couldn’t fault. There are also a few specialist cake shops which you probably wont be able to resist either. Pran Central Food Court is a 20 minute walk from the station, once again on your left, situated in the Pran Central Shopping Centre (just after Wittners shoes). This offers yet more variety.
About 20-25 minutes down Chapel Street you can turn onto Commercial Road (at the traffic lights, left or right)
There isn’t too much here apart from a few more restaurants and high street shops. But if you have time to kill, it could be worth a gander (there is also an outlet of one of Melbourne’s favourite handbag and accessory stores, Quick Brown Fox).
Continue down Chapel Street.
Did I mention how good for shoes this place is? No? Well, it’s really good. If you’re after some retro cowboy boots or 60s pumps then you’re spoilt for choice. And surprisingly enough, heaps of shops here are very affordable. There are, of course, a couple of tres exclusive boutiques that charge ridiculous amounts for second-hand jumpers that look like your Dad’s, but they’re not the only sorts of shops. As you near the Commerical Road end of Chapel Street you will notice the boutiques fade out and are replaced with more restaurants and chain stores.
Tiring, all that shopping eh? If you really can’t be bothered to walk back, you can catch a tram back right to the station anywhere along Chapel Street, catch the number 8 tram from Commercial Road into the city or walk west up the hill from the Chapel and Commerical corner to South Yarra Station where you can catch any of the City Loop or Flinders Street-bound trains into town.