The inner east of Melbourne is made up of a number of suburbs and localities within the City of Yarra .
One of Melbourne's oldest areas, the inner eastern suburbs were originally known as a working class area, with a large number of factories and warehouses — especially compared with the more established areas around Stonnington. In more recent years, the area has attracted a large migrant population, with a large Vietnamese population concentrated around Richmond and Abbotsford.
Since the 1980s, the area has experienced gentrification, with Fitzroy and Collingwood particularly recognised for their bohemian culture. Most former warehouses and factories have been converted to apartments, and the area is now better know for its bar and dining scene. Rising rents in recent years have meant that prices in many shops and restaurants often approach those of flashier areas south of the river.
The easiest way to reach most areas in the inner east is by tram.
- Fitzroy: tram route 11 connects Brunswick Street to Collins Street in the CBD. The 12, 30 and 109 trams also service the suburb's southern border along Victoria Parade, connecting Richmond and Abbotsford at one end with Collins Street and the Docklands at the other. All three routes run frequently (note that route 30 does not operate on weekends or public holidays).
- Collingwood: the 86 tram runs from Bourke Street in the CBD along the popular Gertrude Street shopping strip, before turning onto Smith Street on the border of Fitzroy and Collingwood. It's a useful route connecting Collingwood with Fitzroy and the CBD.
- Richmond and Abbotsford are easily reached by routes 12, 30 or 109, which run from the CBD to Victoria Street. Routes 48 and 75 connect the CBD to Bridge Road, another popular shopping precinct, while the route 70 runs along Swan Street. Richmond and Abbotsford are both well-connected to the train network, with North Richmond adjacent to Victoria Street, and Richmond well-placed for Swan Street and Bridge Road. The route 200 and 207 bus routes also provide frequent east-west connections along Johnston Street from Lonsdale and Lygon Streets, with buses every 10 minutes on weekdays and every 15 minutes on weekends.
All trains, trains and buses in Melbourne fall under the myki smartcard system.
- Street art. Fitzroy and Collingwood are well known for their street art, with murals and pieces spread around the suburb. The simplest way to discover it is by simply wandering through the backstreets — highlights include the Keith Haring mural on Johnstron Street , and streets of Gertrude St and Smith St in Collingwood. edit
- Art galleries, . Fitzroy and Collingwood are also home to a large number of art galleries, studios and exhibition spaces. edit
- Architecture. The area is also home to some of Melbourne's oldest buildings, with large areas of Fitzroy and Collingwood covered by heritage zoning rules and a high concentration of Victorian-era architecture. edit
- Live music. The inner east is a hub for live music in Melbourne, with a number of popular venues including the Corner Hotel, The Old Bar, Bar Open and The Tote offering live shows almost any night of the week. edit
- The Peoples Market, 64–68 Stanley Street, . Wednesday – Sunday 12 PM - 10 PM. is a summertime “everything goes” experience. A blend of entertainment, retail, food, booze, workshops, yoga, art, music, and market = everything goes. edit
- Bridge Rd, . Bridge Rd (esp Lennox St to Burnley St) contains a large number of fashion (clothing, shoe) stores. This area would compete with Chadstone for the title of fashion centre of Melbourne. Retailers tend to focus not so much on price as variety and quality. edit
Most restaurants are concentrated along Gertrude Street' and Brunswick Street, with the stretch of Johnston Street between Smith and Brunswick Streets also home to a number of new restaurants and bars. Prices are generally cheaper than other areas, with greater variety and generally good quality.
- Little Creatures Dining Hall, 222 Brunswick St, ☎ (03) 9417 5500, . Mon-Thu 10am-11pm, Fri 10am-12am, Sat 8am-12am, Sun 8am-11pm. The Perth-based brewer's Melbourne outpost - big, open and family-friendly with a good range of local beer and wine. edit
- Ladro, 224 Gertrude Street, ☎ (03) 9415 7575, . Popular Italian restaurant, with outstanding pizza and a laid back atmosphere. Pizzas $20-25.. edit
- Cutler & Co., 55-57 Gertrude Street, ☎ (03) 9419 4888, . One of Melbourne's top-rated restaurants, a fine dining restaurant by local chef Andrew McConnell. edit
- Mario's, 303 Brunswick Street, ☎ (03) 9417 3343, . A Brunswick Street landmark with a reputation for simple, traditional food and good coffee. edit
- Charcoal Lane, 136 Gertrude Street, ☎ (03) 9418 3400, . Social enterprise restaurant serving modern Australian food to benefit local Aboriginal youth through hospitality training. Entree $15-20, Mains $25-35.. edit
- Vegie Bar, 380 Brunswick St, ☎ +61 (03) 9417 6935, . Mon-Thu 11:00 am - 10:00 pm, Fri 11:00 am - 10:30pm, Sat-Sun 9:00 am - 10:00 pm. Bohemian vegetarian institution. Prices are average ($20-25 per meal, $15-20 for breakfast/lunch) with good servings. During peak times expect to wait up to 20 minutes for a table. edit
- Mr Natural Vegetarian Pizza, 469 Brunswick St, ☎ +61 (03) 9481 7775, . Sun-Thu 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm, Fri-Sat 5:30 pm - 10:30pm. A tiny pizzeria away from the main Brunswick St restaurants, all manner of vegetarian/gluten free pizzas. edit
- Trampoline Gelato, 381 Brunswick Street, ☎ +61 (03) 9415 8689, . 11am-11pm. The chain's first store, and a popular spot for dessert. edit
Smith St (particularly Johnston St end) has a number of restaurants and bars.
- Coconut Palms, 183 Smith St, ☎ +61 (03) 9419 6429. Mon -Fri 11:00 am - 10:30 pm, Sat 5:00-10:30 pm. A low-key local Vietnamese restaurant. Mains $15-20.. edit
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.
- The Peel, 113 Wellington Street, ☎ +61 03 9419 4762, . All week 9:00 pm - 3:00 am. One of the more famous gay clubs of Melbourne, with a more relaxed crowd. However, the club is known to be quite harsh on straight guys and women. Women are forbidden from kissing (anyone) inside the club and there is generally two lines: one for Gay Guys and the other one for the rest. edit