Melbourne is among the most vibrant of Australian cities, if not the world. With a whole lot of style, a richly cosmopolitan feel and a chic feel to its cool streets, Melbourne throws up a storm when it comes to exceptional shopping destinations. 

Car hire in Melbourne is quite simply the finest way to explore this bustling city, and even more so if you're looking to discover its many shopping meccas. You'll be able to pick your way through hidden side streets that uncover many shops, from the local, to the downright off-the-wall, before making your way to the established centres which can offer you almost everything that money can buy.

Here are some of Melbourne's top places to shop, 'til you drop.

Queen Victoria Market 

Queen Victoria Market really is fit for a monarch. Not only does it cover 7 hectares of prime Melbourne space, it also serves as one of the city's great landmarks that draws excited shoppers like bees to honey.

Having started life over 130 years ago, the market has grown from humble beginnings into the largest open-air market to be found in the Southern Hemisphere. Creating a shopping list will be a pointless exercise when visiting the 'Vic Market', as it is locally known. That's because your gaze will constantly be arrested by the huge array of wares on sale from the 1,000-plus army of traders.

Aside from fresh local Australian fruits and vegetables on display, you'll also be able to cast an eye over gourmet meats and delicacies. Away from the tasty side of things, take a look at the original artworks and crafts on offer, handmade by local people to give a a truly unique souvenir to take home with you.

Collins Street

Set your satellite navigation system in your hired vehicle to the gleaming pavements of Collins Street. They aren't quite paved with gold, but they may as well be, as this thoroughfare represents the high-class, luxury end of Melbourne shopping.

Fine jewellers, exquisite restaurants and world-class tailors make up the establishments on this beautifully historic street. Even if your bank balance doesn't quite stretch to meet some of the attendant prices, Collins Street is still well worth a visit, if only to take in the tree-lined route, replete with great hotels, intimate theatres and intricate churches.

Melbourne Central Shopping Centre

With over 160 shops under one roof, you'll find everything you've ever wanted at Melbourne Central. From modern technology stores, through to antique book shops, beauty parlours, in addition to a great variety of food and drink outlets, Melbourne Central should be your one-stop shop (well, 160-shop…) if you're looking for both choice and value.