Parkville is bordered by North Melbourne to the south-west, Carlton and Carlton North to the south and east, Brunswick to the north (where a part of Parkville lies within the City of Moreland), and Flemington to the west. The suburb includes the postcodes 3052 and 3010 (University).
A major feature is the neighbouring Royal Park, Melbourne, an expansive parkland which is notable as home to the Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens and was the athlete's village for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
Parkville is a major education, research and healthcare precinct and home to the University of Melbourne, Monash University Pharmacy faculty, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Royal Women's Hospital, Royal Children's Hospital, the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, and CSL.
The residential areas have a high median house price due to the proximity to the city centre and parkland, Victorian era buildings, terrace houses and tree lined streets.