How to spend the perfect Saturday in Carlton North


Carlton North has a unique history – one shaped by prisons, cemeteries and even an asylum.

Today, this gem located just north of the famous Queen Victoria Market Precinct has come along way. And while these historical landmarks are still a part of Carlton North’s distinct charm, the suburb is now better known for its bustling community, wide streets and cool, historic architecture.

If you want to spend your Saturday wandering through expansive parks, dining at top notch cafes and taking in one of Melbourne’s best kept secrets, pop on the tram and make your way to Carlton North. Here’s our guide.

9:00 Fuel up at Small Victories

They say the early bird gets the worm and in Carlton North, the early bird gets an amazing takeaway coffee.

Start your day at Small Victories, one of Rathdowne Street’s quintessential offerings. Simple, cute and unassuming, this is one spot you’ll definitely want to visit again.

9:30 Stretch out at the A Life 

Now that your brain has its fix, it’s time to warm up the mind.

The A Life isn’t just a yoga and pilates studio, it’s a healthy living hub with a holistic approach to wellbeing. On-site osteopaths incorporate strength, mobility, posture and mindfulness into the classes at the A Life so pop in for a mat session you won’t soon forget .

A post shared by The A life (@the_a_life) on

10:45 Breakfast at Cafe BÜ

A rooftop cafe with 5 & Dime bagels, 5 Senses coffee and plenty of sweet treats – need we say more? A day in Carlton North isn’t complete without a meal at Cafe BÜ.

A post shared by Café BÜ (@cafebu) on

11:45 Visit the Carlton Farmers Market

From sweet treats to flowers, free range eggs and bakery items, the Carlton Market has it all, including a playground for the kids and plenty of open spaces to hang out. On Saturdays, the market closes at 1:00, so don’t be late!

12:30 Take a stroll through Princes Park

The official training grounds for the Carlton Football Club, Princes Park is a recreation hot spot. There’s something for everyone in this park, which is equipped with a sports club, playground, picnic areas, extensive walking paths.

1:30 Break for lunch at Park St.

Worked up an appetite just watching the footy stars? Reward yourself and head into Park St. for lunch.

A neighbourhood cafe committed to sourcing the best ingredients around, the team at Park St. doesn’t cut any corners. We’re talking honey made from bees kept on the roof, herbs from the garden and handmade pasta crafted in-house. One bite and you’ll know why this is one of Carlton North’s most beloved eateries.

A post shared by park st. (@parkstreetdining) on

2:30 Check out the shopping on Rathdowne Street

When it comes to the north’s best window shopping, Rathdowne Street gives Lygon Street a run for its money.

Dotted with terraced houses and shady elm trees, Rathdowne Street is Carlton’s quaint retail hub packed with boutiques and shops. Some of our favourites include:

  • Feathered Arbour, a haven of incredible homewares.
  • Alice’s Bookshop, a 30-year-old second hand bookshop with over 18,000 titles under its roof.
  • Clay Health and Organics, a fine food store packed with ecofriendly options.

4:00 Wander around the Kathleen Syme Library

If you didn’t get enough books in Alice’s Bookshop, don’t worry – there’s still the Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre.

The nearly 140-year-old building has been refurbished into an incredible space for the Carlton North community. Inside you’ll find the library, as well as a recording studio, computer lab, meeting rooms.

A post shared by diannasnape (@diannasnape) on

5:00 Finish your day at the Great Northern Hotel 

What better way to reflect on all you’ve accomplished than with a pint and some pub fare at one of the north’s best known establishments. The Great Northern Hotel boasts an impressive draught list and a massive beer garden. Plus, pups are encouraged.

Want to learn more about Carlton North? Reach out to the team at Nelson Alexander or drop into our office to chat about amazing real estate opportunities in Melbourne’s northside.

The Latest