Collingwood & Fitzroy

Collingwood & Fitzroy

The Collingwood and Fitzroy area is a major cultural and nightlife hub and holds the title of Melbourne's defacto gay village

The Collingwood and Fitzroy area is a major cultural and nightlife hub and holds the title of Melbourne's defacto gay village

The two adjacent suburbs are just north of the CBD and have a similar artsy, bohemian feel. Both have undergone gentrification in recent years with Fitzroy’s starting in the 80s and Collingwood’s still underway. Both are in hot demand and have some of the most expensive rents in the city.

Narrow streets are lined with Victorian architecture housing everything from working-class pubs, bohemian cafes, op shops, art stores and live music venues. The area also has a strong queer representation with some of the city’s best queer venues located in the area.

In fact, the area can be thought of as Melbourne’s gay village. Giant rainbow flags are painted on the sidewalks along Smith street, and there is growing selection of queer-interest bars, clubs and bookshops.

The appeal of the neighbourhood is not limited to locals. Timeout magazine has often sung the area's praises, including ranking Fitzroy as the #1 coolest neighbourhood in the land in its 2022 rankings.

For decades Collingwood and Fitzroy were known as working class areas - which is evident in the names of pubs The Workers Club, The Perseverance and The Builders Arms Hotel. The cheap rents attracted students, creatives and bohemians. The area has since gentrified but has retained much of the character of its former life.

Smith street forms the boundary between Fitzroy and Collingwood and is a major nightlife and dining precinct - so much so that it topped Timeout’s Coolest Streets in the World list in 2021. The street gets quite rowdy late at night so expect to see crowds lined up to get into one of the many drinking venues or for a late night kebab. Huge rainbows painted on the sidewalks are a sign of the queer significance of the area - some of the most popular gay bars in the city are located here including Sircuit, Molly’s, Rainbow House Club and The 86.

Brunswick Street is the commercial heart of Fitzroy and is lined with trendy restaurants, bars and independent shops. A highlight is the rooftop bar Naked for Satan where you can get a bird's eye view of the neighbourhood and people watch as the sun sets over the city.

Gertrude street connects Smith and Brunswick streets and is a character-filled strip of florists, cafes, wine bars and restaurants. The pace of Gertrude Street is slower than Smith and Brunswick so it’s a great option for brunch, lunch or an evening wine. The leafy strip has an undeniable cool factor, as evidenced by it ranking at #2 on Timeout's list of coolest streets in the world in 2022.

Rose street is a narrow laneway that runs between Brunswick and Nicholson streets. It is the location of two weekly markets that capture the character of Fitzroy. The Art and Design Markets run on Saturdays and Sundays and are based on similar markets in London, Berlin and New York. You can browse stalls and chat directly with Melbourne’s best artists, designers, crafters and makers. In addition, the Health and Wellness Markets run every Saturday and feature fresh produce from local growers and makers.


What's On

A funky bar and diner that caters to a queer crowd
230-232 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, Victoria
4:00pm to 11:00pm
Tuesday Trivia





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Image: Shutterstock
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Image: Beau
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Image: Beau
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Image: Beau
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Image: Beau
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Image: Beau
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Smith Street
Rainbows adorn the sidewalks along Smith Street
Image: Shutterstock
Mostly queer
Mixed queer and straight
Hosts queer events