Melbourne is known (and loved) for its magical and secret laneways. Exploring them is one of the best things to do in Melbourne. The city’s planners never intended for these thoroughfares to hold their own charm, and so unlike the main streets of Melbourne, they have evolved independently and organically. We’ve compiled a list of our favourite laneways in Melbourne.
Best laneways in the city
Hosier Lane is by far one of the most popular Laneways in Melbourne. Located just across from Federation Square, Hosier Lane is a perfect showcase of Melbourne’s street art culture and a great place to take photos; Don’t be surprised if you come across an artist working on something new.
You’ll also find a couple of venues, including Movida and Bar Tini – a Spanish cocktail bar. The most striking piece of street art is perched high above on a building’s facade. It’s a colourful depiction of an indigenous boy is by Melbourne based artist, Adnate.
Not far from Hosier Lane is Degraves Street, Melbourne’s most iconic cafe laneway and one of many popular tourist attractions. This laneway is often described as having a Parisian or European flavour because of the art deco buildings and café canopies.
Named after Charles and William Degraves, they were pioneer merchants from Hobart who built a flour mill at the corner of Flinder’s Lane and Degraves Street in 1849.
Just across from Degraves St, is Centre Place, a laneway as quirky as those from Harry Potter. Centre Place is home to many cafes, a couple of hard to find bars and Shandong Mama Mini – a great little dumpling place. Centre Place was one of the first laneways in Melbourne to be revamped by the city council in the 1980s. You really can’t visit Melbourne without exploring this laneway.
Meyer’s Place is probably our favourite laneway in Melbourne. Originally named Nicolas Lane, Meyer’s Place is now home to some of the CBD’s best restaurants and laneway bars, including San Telmo and Lily Blacks – one of the best cocktails bars in Melbourne.
Meyer’s Place has also been selected as one of the leading laneways for Melbourne’s ‘Green Your Laneways’ campaign. This means it is now home to a beautiful wall garden that hangs off Loop Roof – one of Melbourne’s awesome rooftop bars.
Spanning from Bourke St to Little Lonsdale St (that’s long), is Hardware Lane. Home to countless restaurants, this lane has a very distinct European feel and features unique red brick paving. The land was formerly occupied by Kirk’s Horse Bazaar built in the 1840’s, but its residence now includes Kirk’s Wine Bar, Campari House, and Rice Paper Sisters.
It is a popular laneway for dinner, and most of the restaurants will have a spruiker out front, doing their best to win your service. Feel free to haggle with them to get a good deal – they’ll often throw in free drinks.
During the early 2000’s, several of Melbourne’s laneways underwent a renaming; this was one of the first. Formerly called Corporation Lane, it was renamed AC/DC lane in honour of Australia’s iconic rock ‘n’ roll bar. Now it’s covered in street at and home to several bars and restaurants.