Collingwood Shopping -
Funky, Quirky & Eclectic

Collingwood shopping is a real insiders Melbourne tip. It has a fascinating mix of shops, galleries, cafes and bars - from eclectic to stylish, from vintage to ethnic and old style – and factory outlets.

Its history is rich, complex and colourful - a mixture of post gold rush riches, migrants, the unemployed, artists and designers.

Collingwood - a Contradiction

Collingwood, just northeast of the CBD, was one of the very early Melbourne suburbs. Its back streets are lined with small inner-city cottages as well as large warehouses, manufactories and mills.

Its main street, Smith Street, Collingwood, displays large stately nineteenth century buildings from the post gold-rush era when Collingwood shopping was a major Melbourne shopping district. At the turn of the century, Smith Street rivaled Chapel Street, Prahran as classy home of shopping emporiums and department stores.

In the 20th century, Collingwood took other turns. After the Second World War it became ‘working class’ and ethnic and was taken over by post-war migrants, such as Greeks and Italians, as well as artists and craft people.

It provided cheap accommodation, and during the 1970s, as people left the inner city, Collingwood was for a while a place where many really did not want to live. It was rough and unkempt.

Not much of this image is left today. Collingwood has become very hip and trendy. House prices have shot through the roof, which means that you now have your high and low income earners living there side by side - students, artists and CEOs - push bikes and BMWs.

Collingwood Shops

Smith Street is still a blend of the old and new. It has a mix of very trendy designer shops and funky galleries, factory outlets, old bars and pubs, take-aways, expensive restaurants - in short, a very eclectic mix…

It is a great place for finding uniquely Melbourne clothes and accessories, hats, jewellery, outdoor or vintage clothes.

There is a large range of bookstores as well as shops set up by Australian fashion designers… together with a collection of quirky cafes, bars, restaurants, cheap Lebanese eateries and discount shops.

It is a great area to explore, have lunch and find some very uniquely Melbourne things. The corner of Gertrude Street is a very funky Collingwood section. Gertrude Street technically belongs to Fitzroy.

Smith Street eclectic shopping happens all the way from Victoria Parade to Johnston Street. On the other side Johnston Street towards Alexandra Parade, you find a lot of brand factory outlets. brand factory outlets. It is a short trip on the #86 tram from Bourke Street in the city.

Do you have a Collingwood shop you would like to list here?

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