Melbourne is renowned for its street art. Some of the good stuff hides in the city’s nooks and crannies. Other pieces take up entire walls. Get the lowdown on where to find it and what to look for, and then map out your next visit with our street art walking guide.
The masked mural in Southbank
Let’s start with this very timely mural in Southbank, created by the sensational @cto.art. The piece appeared in early June 2020. It continues to strike a chord with Melburnians trying to live the new normal.
Melbourne’s most photographed cobbled laneway is usually jam-packed with selfie-stick-wielding visitors. It’s the mother lode of Melbourne street art, and has been an attraction since 1998. This is a shifting canvas, though, with graffiti disappearing and appearing overnight. Perhaps the most memorable is the Indigenous boy by large-scale spray-paint artist Adnate. To see his 23-metre-high realist mural, look up. Hungry? Thirsty? Stop in at Tres a Cinco, a bright and art-filled outdoor Mexican cantina, just off Hosier, for tacos and margaritas.
The street art here leans toward the three-dimensional. Think small sculptures and images set within physical frames. Look down and you might see a whimsical miniature diorama by Liz Sonntag, AKA Tinky. Speaking of miniatures, this lane is also home to Bar Americano, one of Melbourne’s smallest (and best) bars.
Meyers Place was home to the eponymous bar that launched Melbourne's laneway revolution. Now one of four thoroughfares transformed by our Green Your Laneway program. Here, you'll find a Mike Makatron mural. Admire his beautiful urban jungle, then enjoy city views and a brew at Loop Roof.
Named after the legendary Oz rock band, AC/DC Lane is a nexus for music and street art. Marvel at sticker-bombed windows. Check out murals of AC/DC’s Malcolm Young, and Mike Makatron’s 3D sculpture of Bon Scott bursting through the wall. Art making you hungry? Try Peruvian food at Pastuso or contemporary Indian at Tonka.
Big murals cover this lane’s walls. None are bigger than Steen Jones’ towering tribute to Melbourne. This bold design of roses and a butterfly looks like the wall has got itself a tattoo in honour of the city. On a much smaller scale, there’s also one of the last Banksy rats, which used to lurk all over the CBD. In contrast to the raucous street art outside, dip into Lee Ho Fook. Here, you'll find elegant Chinese cuisine.
Upper West Side Street Art Precinct
Melbourne’s first official street art precinct was launched in December 2017. You’ll find it up on Spencer Street, opposite Southern Cross Station. The precinct was curated by the Juddy Roller collective. They worked with six huge names from Melbourne’s street art scene. Adnate, Dvate, Fintan Magee, Rone, Smug and Sofles. The venue is an old power station, the perfect easel for these large-scale graphic murals. There's Dvate’s orange-bellied parrots. Rone’s massive, photorealist muses. There are also a couple of Smug standouts. Look for the enormous portrait of his grandparents.
Blender Lane is another artists’ darling. No wonder, it was the first home of urban art incubator, Blender Studios. The unsigned cul-de-sac is a whirl of tags, stencils, graffiti art and paste-ups. No space has been left untouched. You’ll find it off Franklin Street, up near Queen Victoria Market. These artists also run tours and workshops.
Tiny Caledonian Lane runs between Lonsdale and Little Bourke streets. The alley has been a street artists’ favourite for years. Right now it’s scored a series of murals commissioned by various gaming developers. They're right outside Fortress Melbourne, a brand new games entertainment venue. No surprise, they depict characters from video games and esports. The technicolour artworks cover entire buildings in the alley.
West Side Place Artcade
West Side Place Artcade is an immersive public art gallery. It was created by award-winning art collective Juddy Roller and other Melbourne artists. You'll find installations inhabiting spaces destined for future shops, cafés and restaurants. This project has been dubbed Australia’s first ever ‘artcade’. It features works by Reko Rennie, Rone and Adnate. Lisa King, George Rose, John Aslanidis, Caleb Walmlsey (aka Mayonaize) and Meggs are also featured.
More Melbourne street art experiences
Melbourne Street Art Tours
Local guides treat you to some of Melbourne's underground treasures.
Melbourne laneways are filled with street art, stencils, paste-ups and mixed media.
Stencil Art Workshop
Learn how to create quirky stencil art on canvas with street artist N20.
Last updated on Fri 19 Feb 2021
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Laneways and arcades
The city's famous laneways are buzzing with street art, cafes, bars and boutiques.
Explore history, culture, science, and nature at this popular Melbourne attraction.