Steeped in history, architecture, and artsy walls, the arcades and lanes of Melbourne are attracting expatriates with their looks and additionally, with their moreish eats and tipples.
An art decor arcade built in the 1890s to look like an Italian arcade stands proudly in the central business district of Melbourne. An entire lane flanked with art is named after a popular rock band. This goes to show how the streets of this city are just as rich in art and culture as the rest of it and we get to explore something new each time.
Steeped in history, the Cathedral Arcade on Swanston Street is on the ground floor of an art deco structure, Nicholas Building. The building itself was built in the 1920s making it a century-old structure and even had an old manually-operated elevator. You can make use of the arcade to make your way to Flinders Street, click some Insta-worthy pictures, gawk at the stellar architecture of the cathedral-style vaulted ceiling made with stained glass and lit-up by leadlight archways. Walk up to the central dome and check out the high-end boutiques, studios, and galleries. Image Credit: Visit Melbourne
Yet another historic, heritage-listed arcade in Melbourne is the Block Arcade on Collins Street. Made way back in 1893, the Victorian architecture is a wonderful reminder of the Milano Galleria Vittorio Arcade in Italy. The colourful floor with mosaic tiles, a glazed roof, and intricate stucco decorations are eye-catching. You’re likely to be greeted by musicians as soon as you enter. Housing tea rooms, boutiques, and of course, the famed Haigh’s Chocolates, the arcade is hard to ignore. Image Credit: The Block Arcade Facebook Page
Potterheads would love the sounds and sights of Centre Place for it feels like walking through Diagon Alley from Harry Potter books and movies. The blue cobblestone street is flanked with eateries, coffee shops, bars, and boutiques. Picture sitting in a cafe, looking out from the window, and observing the crowd as they shop, marvel at the graffiti and stencil art, click pictures, and tuck into piping hot dumplings or simply doing it all yourself; Centre Place is not to be missed. Image Credit: Visit Melbourne
Speaking of graffiti, Tattersalls Lane is not far behind with its walls flanked with the artwork, as it takes it up a notch. Connecting Chinatown and Lonsdale Street, this lane is home to famed eateries like Shanghai Dumpling House and creatively designed bars like Section 8 serving drinking in a shipping container and walls covered in graffiti. All in all, if you’re looking for a “cool hangout” to grab a drink, eat something delicious, or click pictures with killer artwork, this lane has it all. Image Credit: Visit Melbourne
No hard guesses here; AC/DC Lane is dedicated to the famous Australian rock band and is located off Flinders Street in the central business district of Melbourne. Walk on the cobblestone floors as you enjoy the street art, or sit back and enjoy a drink or two at a lounge bar. Relocated to Collins Street a while back, the well-known Cherry Bar was originally located on AC/DC Lane, and to this day, rock musicians love to perform there. Image Credit: Nicholas Doherty
Also located in the business district is Hosier Lane, pretty popular for its street art all across the world. Local and international artists have made good use of the walls, making them colourful with stencils, paste-ups, murals, and even installations. The lane was one of the first places where graffiti artists in the 1980s used its walls to express themselves. Despite the art being vandalised in 2020, the artists were quick to come back and create new artwork. Image Credit: Visit Melbourne, Nicholas Doherty & Shawn Tung
Not all streets and lanes in Melbourne have graffiti or are flanked with high-end boutiques. Some are quaint and revel in their class, style, and zazz, like Hardware Lane. Diners who want to have a fancy drink on a restaurant rooftop or listen to jazz while they enjoy a romantic dinner date frequently use this street. Commit to the foodie mentality of this lane, and soon you’ll be wining and dining in a true Aussie fashion. Image Credit: Visit Melbourne
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