The inner east of Melbourne is made up of a number of suburbs and localities, within the municipality known as Yarra. Compared with glitzy Stonnington on the other side of the river, the inner eastern area is known among Melburnians as a working-class district, filled with pubs and old factories. Richmond is the home of many low price fashion stores and restaurants; the northern area, centred on Victoria Street, is often called Little Vietnam due to the huge number of Vietnamese food and shopping outlets. Fitzroy is known as the Bohemian quarter of the city, with numerous trendy boutiques interesting restaurants. Squeezed in the middle is Collingwood, a suburb that is not held to such a high esteem as the surrounding neighbourhoods, but still has its fair share of character-filled pubs and heritage-listed industrial buildings. Abbotsford sits on the eastern fringe by the river, with some nice parkland among disused factories and breweries.
Fitzroy: The 11/112 tram from the CBD (Collins St) runs through the centre of Fitroy along Brunswick St.
Collingwood: To get here you can get the 86 Tram from the CBD (stops along Bourke St) and get off on Smith Street. Smith Street actually separates Fitzroy from Collingwood, the east side of the street being Collingwood and the west side being Fitzroy.
Alternatively, you can take the train to either Collingwood Station or Victoria Park Station (either will set you also near to Abbotsford).
Richmond: From the CBD, Victoria the 24,42 or 109 will take you along Victoria Rd. The 48 tram (via Collins St) or 75 tram (via Flinders St) will take you along Bridge Rd. The 70 tram (via Flinders St) will take you through Swan St. If coming from the south, the 78 or 79 tram traverses Richmond north/south but depending on the time of day can be particularly slow south of Swan St due to traffic.
Remember that all public transport has recently moved to the Myki system - as such you cannot buy your tickets on board of trams or buses anymore.
Melbourne in general has a very big Graffiti culture, and this seems to be even more concentrated in Fitzroy. Best way to discover them is to keep going on all the small streets around the neighborhood. The scene is ever changing as new artists leave their mark on buildings.
Brunswick St (centred around the Johnston St intersection) contains a large number of restaurants and bars. On average prices are cheaper than Lygon St in Carlton and restaurants are more varied (both in focus and in quality).
Smith St (particularly Johnston St end) has a number of restaurants and bars.
Victoria St (particularly Nicholson St to South Audley contains a large number of Vietnamese restaurants with food at good prices.
Swan St between Richmond station and Church St contains a number of pubs and restaurants
Fitzroy and Collingwood are both very gay friendly areas and with many gay clubs and bars. As previously mentioned, Fiztroy tends to be the "hipster" neighborhood of Melbourne, complete with soul cafes, fancy bars and wild clubs.