Richmond is a suburb on a cultural crossroad. It’s not quite north and not quite south, and it’s been home to both the rich and the poor. Its quiet back streets are lined with renovated workers’ cottages and old factories converted into exclusive apartments.
But no matter how much has changed in recent years, its character has remained: Richmond is a suburb that takes pride in its working-class roots, its football team, and its vibrant community nurtured by Greek and Vietnamese migrants.
Jump to a section:
What’s Richmond known for?
Richmond sits just east of the city, separated from the CBD by Melbourne’s sporting precinct. Though stadiums are closed for the moment, visitors usually pour in all year ‘round to see sporting events and concerts at AAMI Park, Margaret Court Arena, Rod Laver Arena and the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). This area along the Birrarung (Yarra River) has been a gathering place for members of the Kulin Nation long before these stadiums were erected.
The suburb’s three main strips each have a distinctive feel to them. Victoria Street is Melbourne’s go-to destination for Vietnamese food: it’s a one-stop shop for pho, banh mi and Asian groceries. Bridge Road is known for its factory outlets, both fashion and furniture. And Swan Street is home to some of the suburb’s best restaurants and cafés (as well as a few thousand footy fans depending on the day).
Why do the locals love it?
Richmond has a bit of something for everyone. Lara Whalley, manager of the beloved Corner Hotel (57 Swan St), tells us she loves the diversity of things going on in the area (under normal non-Covid circumstances). "There’s amazing live music, the different sporting codes and a whole range of people out and about," she says.
Lara also gave us her top picks of Richmond shops and activities, so look out for them below.
How do I get to Richmond?
Richmond has four train stations: North Richmond, West Richmond, East Richmond, and Richmond. The latter is the suburb’s major hub located on the easternmost point of Swan Street. The suburb is serviced by five trams from the CBD (12, 109, 48, 70 and 75). The 78 tram runs from north to south via Church Street.
East Melbourne and Fitzroy Gardens sit to the suburb’s east, and Collingwood and Abbotsford are to the north. If you hop west over the Yarra River, you’ll be in Hawthorn. If you go south across the river, you’ll find South Yarra and the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Map of Richmond
If you only do one thing
Watch the Richmond Tigers play at the MCG. Deck yourself out in yellow and black, grab a drink on Swan Street before the game, then find your place with the Tiger Army at the Punt Road end of the ground. Cap it all off with a hot jam doughnut from the Gate 5 food truck after the game.