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Wander Melbourne’s famous symmetrical city grid. Find legendary landmarks, iconic malls, hidden little streets and art-filled alleys. Crammed with historical facades, beautiful boutiques and world-class dining, this is the locals' guide to the heart of the city.
Sights on this walk
1. Fed Square
Snap a photo with the odd angles of Fed Square and drop by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image for free exhibitions. Discover local Aboriginal history at the Koorie Heritage Trust and explore contemporary art in the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia.
2. St Paul’s Cathedral
St Paul’s Cathedral is the site of the first public Christian services in Melbourne. Take a shortcut through Chapter House Lane and grab a cuppa at Chapter House Coffee.
3. Flinders Lane
Find yourself in Flinders Lane’s fashion heaven and make sure to try something on in Alpha 60. Local foodie favourites Chin Chin and Supernormal are worth queuing for. And check out AC/DC Lane and Hosier Lane for a selfie with the street art.
4. Regent Theatre and Plaza Ballroom
Wander through Regent Place, past five-star hotel The Westin, glamorous shoe emporium Miss Louise and the Dior boutique, to Collins Street. To your right is the roaring 1920s era Regent Theatre and Plaza Ballroom, the spot to catch touring musicals.
5. Melbourne Town Hall
Completed in 1870, the grand old Melbourne Town Hall is built from bluestone and Tasmanian freestone. Delve deeper with a Town Hall tour to see the enormous Grand Organ and carved ceilings.
6. Athenaeum Theatre
The Athenaeum Theatre is Melbourne’s oldest theatre, originally an 1839 Mechanics Institute complete with reading room and museum. The library is still open today, and the theatre hosts talks and performances.
7. Assembly Hall
The imposing Gothic Revival facade of Assembly Hall dates back to 1914. You can’t miss the quirky window displays of Kay Craddock Antiquarian Bookseller, a Melbourne institution stocking rare titles since 1965.
8. Collins Street
Affectionately known as the ‘Paris end’, the top of Collins Street is home to luxury retailers like Hermes, Prada and Louis Vuitton, alongside heritage churches and the five-star Sofitel Melbourne hotel.
9. The Hotel Windsor
Established in 1883, The Hotel Windsor predates the London’s Savoy and The Ritz in Paris. Book a famous high tea and check out the iconic bats on display at the Cricketers Bar.
9. Parliament House
Climb the Parliament House steps for a view of the city. This site was a traditional meeting place for the East Kulin Nation, favoured for inter-clan gatherings and ceremonies. The Aboriginal flag has flown here since 2015.
10. Princess Theatre
Facing Parliament is the haunted Princess Theatre. Federici the opera-singing ghost brings good luck on opening nights - a seat is always left empty for him.
Stroll down Little Bourke Street and find yourself in the Southern Hemisphere’s oldest Chinatown. Stop for yum cha or dumplings in the Midcity or Village Centre arcades. Then see the winding Chinese dragons at the Chinese Museum.
12. Bourke Street Mall
Glamorous department stores Myer and David Jones have been keeping Melbourne stylish for more than 100 years. On Bourke Street you'll also find the beloved bronze sculpture Three Businessmen Who Brought Their Own Lunch.
Other places of interest
Want to see more of Melbourne’s central sites? Find church turrets, stop by a slick new skyscraper and watch the sun sink behind the skyline from a favourite rooftop bar.
120 Collins Street
St Michael’s Uniting Church is notable for its Romanesque arches, turreted spire and multi-coloured brickwork, designed in the 1860s by Joseph Reed, who also designed the Melbourne Town Hall and Royal Exhibition Building.
80 Collins Street
Due to open in 2020, this sparkling new office tower complex will include a luxury retail and dining precinct and a boutique hotel.
20 Spring Street
Old Treasury Building was built in the Renaissance Revival style in the early 1860s to store gold bullion in vaults during the gold rush. Explore the vaults and visit exhibitions with a focus on unique aspects of Melbourne’s heritage.
252 Swanston Street
Curtin House has six floors of bars, restaurants and independent retail including the high-octane Thai flavours of Cookie and quirky music venue and bar, The Toff in Town. There’s also offbeat fashion, Metropolis Bookshop and an outdoor cinema in the summer.
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