It is well served by public transport, having trams in Chapel Street (1886) and Carlisle Street (1913) and a train line from Melbourne to Brighton (1859). There is also a busy tram route nearby in St. Kilda and Brighton Roads, running past the St. Kilda town hall (1890), now the council offices of Port Phillip city. The town hall is an impressive building in a garden setting, with a white portico added in 1925. The council library (1973) is in Carlisle Street.
Like the rest of St. Kilda East there is no government school in Balaclava, but there are two Jewish campuses and a Catholic school to the east. The shopping centre along Carlisle Street is an active strip, being served with trams, trains and off-street parking.
The median house price in Balaclava was 28% above the median for metropolitan Melbourne in 1987, and in 1996 it was 79% above the metropolitan median.
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