Famed for some of Australia’s best coffee, Melbourne is more than cool cafes, boutique bakeries and trendy shops.
Melbourne’s alleys and laneways are also home to some of the world’s best street art.
Whether you’re always on the hunt for cool street art, as I am, or just appreciative when you happen to stumble upon it, you’d be hard pressed not to be ‘wow’d’ by Melbourne’s vibrant street art scene.
When we visited Melbourne for 2.5 weeks in August, it was during the midst of Australia’s winter.
We never felt the city, itself, or attractions we visited were very crowded. I’ve heard tale seeing the city’s street art can be a bit of a challenge when there are huge crowds down every laneway, but we didn’t experience that.
If anything, we were surprised how empty the city’s streets were, and enjoyed how easy it was to roam alleyways, taking time to pause in front of works of art whenever we pleased.
That said, I don’t have tips for visiting some of the more popular spots on this list during peak tourism times aside from, as with everywhere- the earlier, the better.
We were able to wander at our our leisure, but if you’re visiting in the midst of summer and can only see the city’s street art on a weekend, I’d go early in the day.
The best thing about Melbourne’s street art?
Beyond a lot of it being centrally located in the CBD, there always seems to be something new to discover.
New street art appears constantly in the dynamic Melbourne streetscape. Some of the city’s laneways are even designated as ‘legal walls’, which attract both local and international artists to contribute work.
Finding Street Art in Melbourne: 7 Spots for World-Class Work
- Hosier Lane: Melbourne’s most famous example of street art, there’s one main alleyway here, and several side streets to see as well- including Rutledge Lane. Rutledge Lane is best recognized for its spray painted wheelie bins, and made headlines a few years ago when the entire alleyway was painted over in blue to allow artists a fresh canvas
- Duckboard Place: Separate from Hosier Lane, but nearby, you’ll find Duckboard Place. Worth a browse to ogle its vivid pieces of work if you’re already in the area to see Hosier and AC/DC. Don’t miss Axil Coffee Roasters and it’s graffiti-esque murals, across the street. Great spot to grab a flat white pre or post street art wanderings
- AC/DC Lane: Less well known than Hosier Lane, AC/DC Lane has tons of cool pieces to check out, and is home to Cherry Bar, one of the city’s best live music venues and bars. As the laneway is named after the iconic Aussie rock group, a lot of the art here is music inspired
- Rankins Lane: Home to two of Melbourne’s best cafes- Manchester Press and Brother Baba Budan- the draw to Rankins lane is the ace coffee options, but a few pieces of cool street art certainly don’t detract from a visit
- Croft Alley: In this quiet Chinatown laneway, you’ll find some cool pieces of art, and bonus: it leads to the Croft Institute, a great bar
- Degraves Street & Centre Place: One of our favourite laneways downtown, this area is perfect for stopping at if you’re hungry, or in need of a drink. Sidewalk cafes abound, and street art down tiny alleyways provides cool corners to explore
- Fitzroy: Outside the CBD, Fitzroy is a cool ‘hood to check out if you have the time. With loads of trendy cafes and shops, Fitzroy is also home to a bunch of huge murals
Are you a street art aficionado? Would you visit Melbourne to see its world class street art?
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