As the weather warms up, it’s time to get out and about in the city. Wander through laneways and discover new neighbourhoods on one of Melbourne’s best free walking trails. Download a self-guided map online, or pick up a copy from one of the visitor hubs. You’ll know the city like the back of your hand in no time.

A waterfall

Secret parks and gardens walk

If you never thought of Melbourne as a green belt, then you’ve never explored all the amazing parks and gardens on offer. Discover seven heritage-listed green spaces with this walk. You’ll find secluded ponds and picture-perfect picnic spots without even leaving the city.

Starting in Carlton Gardens, the historic Royal Exhibition Building is set on extensive grounds. It’s a pretty picnic spot so be sure to gather some delicious picnic fare at one of Australia’s oldest grocery stores, King and Godfree, just up the road.

If you’re looking for a time out from the hustle and bustle, head to Kings Domain and wander along the Yarra. As you head toward Anderson Street, visit The Terrace for a coffee, or explore the Wellbeing Gardens. It’s the perfect spot to escape the rush.

Narrow city laneway filled with shops and people eating at pavement cafes.

Iconic laneways and arcades walk

Take a self-guided walk through Melbourne’s laneways and arcades, discovering new cafés and fascinating shops along the way. This walk takes in 15 secluded stops you may have never noticed. Dine at the gritty hole-in-the-wall cafés of Centre Place or tucked-away Italian dining in Postal Lane.

You’ll find unique points of interest, like the 1907 Singer Mural gracing the ceiling of the now-flagship L’Occitane store in Block Arcade. While you’re there, visit The Tea Rooms for a fancy high tea session.

This walk also showcases Melbourne's thriving local makers and specialty fashion stores, like the unique archival designer boutique, Reina. You’ll find the store above the stunning stained-glass ceilings of Cathedral Arcade, in the heritage listed Nicholas Building.

The colourful cube exterior of the Melbourne Museum building surrounded by gardens.

Culture and ideas walk

Take a wander through the northern quarter of the city and enjoy some of the city’s best cultural highlights. You’ll discover a fascinating community where culture and innovation meets art and history.

Start at the State Library of Victoria. Inside this classic library building, you can visit the stunning La Trobe Reading Room with its soaring dome ceiling. Head towards Carlton’s Little Italy along Lygon Street for a taste of European culture. Visit the site of the first espresso machine in Melbourne, at The University Café.

Film history is hidden amongst the architectural highlights of the University of Melbourne. Scenes from Mad Max were filmed in the gothic underground carpark near the South Lawn. Finish your tour at the Queen Victoria Market and enjoy a quick coffee at Market Lane.

The spired tip of a building

Classic icons and architecture

Discover surprises and hidden treasures on this architectural-themed city walk. Gothic gargoyles and unexpected icons grace some of Melbourne’s best buildings. The best part about this walk is that you’ll learn some of the stories behind the impressive façades. Did you know that Malthouse Theatre is a former brewery? Or that the Arts Centre’s spire is modelled on the shape of a ballerina’s tutu?

You’ll also find key Aboriginal landmarks that acknowledge the traditional custodians. Wander over the Sandridge Bridge, which was a traditional meeting place. Look for the Travellers glass panels, showing the ten periods of Australian migration, including the Gayip (Aboriginal) period.

View over cafe umbrellas to the central Melbourne skyline.

Bucket list city attractions walk

This walk is the ultimate exploration of Melbourne’s beating heart. From 3D street art to art deco architecture, there’s something for everyone. Discover some of the city’s key landmarks including Federation Square, Melbourne Town Hall and Parliament House.

If you’re a foodie, head to Flinders Lane. This busy street was the birthplace of the rag trade in Melbourne. Now you’ll find hungry diners queuing for hip restaurants like popular Chin Chin and Supernormal. Or, try Melbourne’s thriving Chinatown for a dumpling feast.

Last updated on Thu 31 Dec 2020

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