Melbourne is really growing on me. I mean, I always enjoyed coming for visits but I wasn’t sure how I would take to living here. Would the cooler weather get me down? The graffiti feel too grungy? The endless temptation from coffee and brunch spots get TOO MUCH? (Ok , I admit, that was never going to be a problem.)
But after just 2 weeks I’m feeling more than happy with my new home. The number 19 tram line has become my life and with stops at the Queen Vic Market, Bourke Street Mall and Sydney Road, Brunswick what a life that is!
My biggest love affair so far though has been with the city’s laneways. I love that a simple cut-through in Melbourne becomes an open-air gallery and, if you know where to look, the diciest-looking dead ends lead to awesome bars and music venues. I expect I’ll be waxing lyrical about Melbourne’s laneways in many posts to come but for starters here are my favourite addresses for street art within the city centre.
Charge your phones, tie your laces and get walking to these street-art filled laneways in Melbourne CBD.
You’ll always find a crowd at Melbourne’s number one laneway for street art. With Movida at one end, a charity selling second-hand clothes and coffee half way down, and a side street that tends to have a few graffiti artists at work each time I visit, there’s plenty to check out on Hosier Lane. The turn over of art on these walls is kind of fast so there’s always something new and awesome to view and you may even find an entertaining busker or two. (I’m a poet and I know it!)
Local tip: Don’t forget to look up for Melbourne artist Adnate’s huuuge 23 metre high portrait of an Indigenous Australian boy on the back of nearby McDonald House. Find more photos of Hosier Lane street art.
This laneway is currently home to my favourite artwork in all of Melbourne (see above!). Renamed by the council in 2004, AC/DC Lane is a tribute to iconic Australian rock band (AC/DC – durr) who shot part of the video for It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll) on Melbourne’s Swanston Street. The rockers are no longer featured in the street art but the laneway is still a hotspot for musos due to legendary bar and music venue, Cherry.
Local tip: AC/DC Lane connects to Duckboard Place, which is another hotspot for street art in the CBD.
Hidden in Chinatown, Croft Alley looks like a dodgy dead-end but is one of the only laneways in Melbourne to have a bar hidden at the very end of it. Croft Institute is a cocktail bar with a semi-scientific theme – think: bunsen burners and chemistry class beakers.
Local tip: Don’t visit on a Sunday if you want a tipple at the Institute, coz they ain’t opening for no one on the day of rest.
Blender Lane is a great alleyway to explore when you’re in the vicinity of the Queen Vic Market (which you absolutely must visit) as it’s a little like an outdoor portrait gallery. (Not that all the faces are ones you want to bump into down a dark alley – if you know what I mean!) It used to host an artists market but sadly that had to be shut down. The artwork is still fun though, if a little creepy!
Local tip: Grab a brew at nearby Market Lane Coffee, a Melbourne institution who ‘love to make coffee for the city that loves to drink it’.
Connecting Little Collins and Bourke Street, Union Lane is a colourful cut-through when you’re shopping in the CBD. It’s not my fave in terms of quality of art, there tends to be a lot of graffiti tags, but it’s a good one to check out while window shopping in the likes of Block Arcade and Myer.
Local tip: Don’t touch the walls! These ones tend to be fresher and wetter than others in the city. Watch that sneaky selfie doesn’t create paint-streaked clothing!
For something a bit different check out Guildford Lane, which is taking part in the city’s new Green Your Laneway project. Predominantly about adding greenery to urban areas (think: hanging baskets, window boxes and communal gardens galore), Guildford Lane also has a green-filled mural that was recently completed by Mike Makatron. I reckon all the laneways taking part (Coromandel Place, Guildford Lane, Katherine Place and Meyers Place) are going to be ones to watch in the coming months.
Local tip: Two of my fave places for sweet treats – Shortstop Coffee and Donuts and N2 Extreme Gelato are 2 mins from Guildford Lane.
Pin for later: