Why All Art-Lovers Should Visit Melbourne

By Jessica Russo

Melbourne is, hands down, one of the world's most vibrant art and design hubs. From posh galleries to funky street murals, art flows through Melbourne from the inside-out. Whether you're an artist or strictly an art-appreciator, you'll fall in love with the cool, artsy vibe of Australia's hippest city.

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Photo by Instagram user @j.unllow

Museums and Galleries

You can't walk two blocks in Melbourne without coming upon a gallery or museum. Of course, wander into any small gallery that catches your eye, but be sure to check out these noteworthy favorites:

  • National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)
  • Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)
  • Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA)

And guess what? Admission is free for all three.

Street Art

In Melbourne, eye-popping street art follows you everwhere you go. Discover masterpieces around every corner, where you'll find artwork containing everything from colorful patterns to pop cultural and political messages. For easy access to these amazing works, head to these street art hotspots:

  • Hoiser Lane
  • Centre Place
  • AC/DC Lane
  • Drewery Lane - Mosaics
  • Duckboard Place
  • Union Lane

Be sure to bring your camera! Street art makes the perfect photo backdrop.

Indigenous Art Exhibitions

Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the two indigenous groups of Australia, are known for producing some of the most fascinating art in the world. Learn about these unique cultures through colorful exhibitions at these beloved Melbourne galleries:

  • Vivien Anderson Gallery
  • Ian Potter Centre in central Federation Square building
  • Amagoa Aboriginal Modern Art Gallery of Australia

Coffee Shops

What artist doesn't love coffee? Coffee culture and arts culture have always been intertwined - whether that means sipping a warm latte while writing a poem or admiring the decor of a unique cafe. Melbourne's funky coffee nooks have artsy vibes and awakening aromas that can inspire any artist. Here's a list of our favorites:

  • Brother Baba Budan
  • Manchester Press
  • Auction Rooms
  • St. Ali Coffee Roasters


The entire city of Melbourne is really one big open-air museum. From modern, unique, metallic buildings to elegant, grand Victorian structures, this city is filled with eye-popping architectural diversity. Keep your eyes out for these iconic buildings:

  • Southern Cross Railway Station
  • Victoria State Library
  • City Baths
  • Storey Hall
  • Federation Square
  • The Melbourne Convention and exhibition centre (MCEC)
  • AAMI Park - Melbourne Rectangular Stadium
  • Flinders Street Station
  • Royal Exhibition Building


Melbourne is performance paradise. On any given night, you'll be able to find a plethora of productions ranging from experimental dance to symphonic music to dramatic plays. Be sure to look up, down, and all around - sometimes the theaters are just as beautiful as the performances they hold.

  • Malthouse Theatre
  • Melbourne Recital Centre
  • Arts House
  • Arts Centre Melbourne - check out their Sunday arts and crafts market!

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