Melbourne is one of the great street art cities of the world. Rather than fighting the graffiti artists, the city has recognised their artistic talent and has opened up many of the city’s laneways for these artists to express themselves through their graffiti art, while murals are commissioned on walls throughout the city. The great thing about Melbourne’s street art is that it is ever changing, with artists constantly respraying the walls with their artworks, meaning that there is always something new to see and of course, its free!. If you’re visiting Melbourne, seeing some of the city’s street art is a must, as it has become an integral part of Melbourne’s laneway culture. Here are some of the best places to see the famous Melbourne street art.
If you’re visiting Melbourne for the first time and have accommodation in Melbourne CBD, Hosier Lane is a must see. This graffiti covered lane is probably the most well-known street art laneway in Melbourne, and you will always see people here walking through and admiring the art. Located between Flinders Street and Flinders Lane, just east of St Paul’s Cathedral, Hosier Lane is easily accessible, right in the heart of Melbourne. While you’re in Hosier Lane, grab a coffee at Good 2 Go – a little hole in the wall coffee shop that donates to the homeless.
Within Hosier Lane itself, there is another laneway that branches off in a crescent shape where you can wander through and join back on to Hosier Lane. This little lane is known as Rutledge Lane and is simply impressive when it comes to Melbourne street art. A few years ago, all the walls were covered over to provide the street artists with a blank canvas, but it didn’t take them long to fill up the walls again. Amazing street art climbs all the way up the walls to heights that will make you wonder how the artists even got there.
Located right in the middle of the CBD’s main shopping precinct, Union Lane is a long, narrow laneway which connects the Bourke Street Mall with Little Collins Street. The entire lane is filled with stunning, everchanging graffiti art, and the length of the lane means that you can spend quite some time here wandering along and admiring the different work. It is a good way to take a break from shopping in the busy Bourke Street Mall and one of the top places to catch the famous Melbourne street art.
Degraves Street is an excellent laneway to visit for its European feel and its abundance of amazing cafes. This is always a busy place and it connects Flinders Street with Flinders Lane. The northern end of the street is where the cafes are located, while the southern end has several nice street art murals to check out after lunch or a coffee.
Centre Place, running off Flinders Lane, is what Melbourne Laneways are all about. This busy little lane is full of unique little cafes, bars, shops and restaurants, and the walls along the lane are filled with exquisite street art and murals. While you’re checking out the art, stop in at the Soup Place for a nice cup of soup and to support the homeless, or have a drink at Hell’s Kitchen – an upstairs bar with window seats that are perfect for people watching in the laneway.
Named after the famous Aussie rock band, AC/DC Lane, running off Flinders Lane just east of the amazing Chin Chin restaurant, is another cool little street art lane to check out. There are lots of cafes and bars to try out in the area, so you could grab a coffee and take a stroll through to admire the art. Down this little laneway, you will find the Jack & Bones Island Bar – perfect for a craft beer or a cocktail. We are also huge fans of AC/DC so we couldn’t visit Melbourne without paying tribute to this amazing band!
ACDC Lane then turns into Duckboard Place, which in turn goes around the corner to connect back onto Flinders Lane, so you can make this a walk-through street art tour. The walls of Duckboard Place are adorned with fantastic street art, and there are several cool bars and restaurants to check out. Lee Ho Fook offers some great Asian fusion food, while Rose Garden is a good spot for a cocktail. This is one of our favourite places to go Melbourne street art hunting!
Caledonian Lane might just be the narrowest laneway in Melbourne, but it is well worth taking a walk through, located between Little Bourke Street and Lonsdale Street. This narrow, open air laneway isn’t quite as full on as some of the other laneways in Melbourne when it comes to graffiti art, but it has some nice mural style and expressionist pieces to check out and is also often less crowded than many of the Melbourne street art hotspots.
Cocky Alley is the tiniest smidgeon of a laneway running off Flinders Lane, just west of Swanston Street. This little alley is worth a quick look for its ever changing graffiti art, where there is always something new to check out and one of the off the beaten track locations for Melbourne street art.
Drewery Lane, located between Lonsdale and Little Lonsdale Street, doesn’t look like much at first sight, and is the sort of lane you might just walk straight past; but explore further and you will be pleasantly surprised. There is a cool Melbourne street art projects happening here by the mosaic artist, Sankar Nadeson, who is slowly covering the walls in his exquisite tiled artwork.
Another laneway that you could easily walk past without looking any further is Finlay Alley, which runs off Little Lonsdale Street before turning right to connect to Queen Street. This is one of Melbourne’s more forgotten laneways but it is home to some excellent street art and murals, all well worth checking out during your street art tour of the Melbourne street art scene.
The Melbourne street art is an integral part of the city’s laneway culture, which has grown to become such an important part of the city. With so much street art on offer from these often underrated and talented artists, Melbourne truly is one of the great street art cities of the world. When you visit Melbourne, don’t miss visiting some of these impressive street art laneways. We’ve included touring the laneways on our Ultimate Melbourne 5 Day Itinerary we recently put together.
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