Melbourne’s City Arcades

“The block” is the term for a century-old form of cruising Melbourne’s city arcades that to this day takes in cutting-edge artwork, independent fashion, imported music and stunning design.

Start at Block Arcade, which links Collins Street and Little Collins streets via a glass canopied, mosaic floored laneway and be tempted by the cake displays at Hopetoun Tearooms, decadent jewellery and homeware window displays, rollicking tunes at the subterranean Basement Discs, and a selection of al fresco eating options.

Cross over to Royal Arcade, which is guarded over by the giant statues of mythical figures Gog and Magog. The high glass roof of the arcade houses shops dedicated to babushkas and boardgames, jewellerya nd sweets. High end fashion and streetwear can be found up an unassuming set of stairs beneath the clock.

Back over Collins Street to Flinders Lane is Cathedral Arcade, featuring an impressive dome, stained glass and leadlighting. Local experimental fashion store Alice Euphemia is a Cathedral Arcade stalwart, as is the American vintage purveyor Route 66.

Beneath Degraves Street is Campbell Arcade, where commuters are given something to smile about by the latest installations from the Platform Artist Group, one of Melbourne’s oldest artist-run initiatives. Decent coffee is also readily available, as is indie fashion and accessories, hip-hop vinyl, and a world of ‘zines.

All the cafes, bars and restaurants scattered around “the block” ensure you can maintain your energy levels to do it all over again.

Any tram along Swanston or Elizabeth streets will deliver you to Collins Street and Block Arcade, or hop off at any of the 13 stops along the free Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle route.

Melbourne Australia

Category: Destinations

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