St Kilda West is bounded by Albert Park and Canterbury Road in the north-east and south-east, West Beach Road, Scoops Lane and Beaconsfield Parade in the south-west, Port Phillip Bay in the west, and Fraser Street in the north and north-west.
It is a primarily residential area characterised by a mix of medium density terrace housing and flats, dating from the turn of the century to modern hi-rise apartments along the foreshore and closer to near Albert Park. The suburb's community and commercial facilities (including schools and shops) are located in nearby suburbs.
The suburb has several parks, most notably Catani Gardens and the West Beach foreshore. Other smaller parks include Johnson Reserve on Canterbury Road and the Jacoby Reserve, all of which have playground facilities for children. The Cummins linear reserve on the median of Beaconsfield Parade has public toilets at the Cowderoy St end. Just outside the suburb are the Albert Park and Lake running along the suburb's border to the north east and Cleve Gardens and St Kilda foreshore gardens to the south.
St Kilda West is serviced by four tram routes.