Fitzroy is a super cool, funky part of town in Melbourne, Australia. Like the rest of the city, Fitzroy is vibrant, fun, and full of energy. It attracts artists, entrepreneurs, and creative types of all sorts. For my last weekend in Melbourne, I checked out Fitzroy’s abundance of quirky little shops, cafes, and yoga studios. I stayed at The Nunnery, a former nun convent turned into a hip and inviting hostel. Keeping with the nun theme, the place boasts church-inspired decor, like Jesus clocks, pews to sit on, and paintings of the Madonna. It’s all in good fun, with just a hint of irony. It certainly gives the place character, and they are not afraid to pay homage to their roots. The Nunnery was a nice place to stay because it had all the comforts, like a kitchen with free breakfast in the mornings, wi-fi, and a lounge/common area. I got to mingle with Australian and French travelers as well, a fun part about staying in hostels.
The main street in Fitzroy is called Brunswick Street, with heaps of little shops, cafes, bars, and pubs. You can wander around all day, sneaking a peek at local art, fashion, designers, and books, then duck into one the myriad cafes for a quality Melbourne coffee and a bite to eat. If you travel to Melbourne, you must indulge in a good coffee that the city is known for! These people know their coffee and there is a thriving coffee culture here. One of my favorite cafes is Seven Seeds, nearby in Carlton.
During the weekend, I checked out two yoga studios: Ashtanga Yoga, off of Brunswick Street, and Gertrude Street Yoga. Both of the studios were lovely. First, I went to a led Ashtanga class. It was my first time practicing the style of Ashtanga yoga, which is based on specific posture sequences. The instructor was knowledgeable and kind of intense. She would call me out when my alignment was off and guide me to the proper position. I enjoyed the Ashtanga class and would love to practice further.
I really felt at home at the Gertrude Street Yoga class. It was a strong, dynamic class. The instructor led us through a bunch of vinyasas and got me working hard. Her style was similar to my favorite teacher at Dhyana Yoga, so it was super nice. Also, the space was super beautiful. We got to practice on the third level, overlooking the city.
In addition to the yoga studios, my favorite spot around Fitzroy was the Happy Herb Shop on Smith Street in Collingwood. They had heaps of healing herbs for health, energy, love, and detoxing. I picked up some Damiana and Mugwort tea. Damiana is an aphrodisiac, and helps relieve depression and anxiety. Mugwort is a super potent herb used for lucid dreaming, so I had to give it a try. Mystic Medusa calls Damiana/Mugwort the Aphrodisiac Shamanic Tea. I also picked up some hemp oil, which is absolutely amazing. I use it mixed with essential oil for my skin, instead of chemical-laden lotions. Hemp oil is natural and has a light, earthy hemp smell. I have recently cut many beauty products from my regime, like nail polish, lotion, and hair products, in order to reduce my exposure to toxic chemicals that are commonly added.
Fitzroy is definitely a groovy part of town to hang out if you travel to Melbourne. Check out Trippy Taco on Gertrude Street for yummy vegan tacos and nachos, go thrifting and vintage shopping, have a coffee, discover amazing graffiti art on side-streets and alleyways, take a relaxing yoga class, or get your mates together and go bar hopping any day of the week on Brunswick Street. Cheers.