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Do a modern version of "the block", a century-old form of cruising Melbourne's arcades that to this day takes in cutting-edge artwork, independent fashion, imported music and stunning design.

Arcades with history

These days you're not walking endlessly around Block and Royal arcades, unlike your forebears who were trying to escape the prying eyes of their elders. You may still start at Block Arcade, which links Collins Street and Little Collins streets via a glass canopied, mosaic floored laneway. Slaver over the cake displays at Hopetoun Tearooms, rollicking tunes at Basement Discs and al fresco eating options.

Cross over to Royal Arcade, nodding to the giant statues of Gog and Magog and set yourself up with babushkas, board games, bling and super style from Marais and Somewhere.

Embarking on new "block"

Your new-fangled "block" doesn't end there. Cover your tracks back over Collins Street and head for Cathedral Arcade, with the dome, stained glass and leadlighting that the name suggests. Browse the wares at Limedrop and ride the lifts up to the Nicholas Building ateliers, studios and galleries.

Going underground

Slip beneath Degraves Street to Campbell Arcade and be surprised by the latest offering from the Platform Artist Group, one of Melbourne's oldest artist-run initiatives that gives commuters something to smile about. Also proffering reasons to smile is Cup of Truth and its seriously excellent coffee; indie fashion at Cats Meow and Corky Saint Clair; big beats at Wax Museum Records; and Sticky zine world, which almost defies description.

With all the cafes, bars and restaurants scattered around "the block", you can maintain your energy levels, and do it all again.

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Things to do

Arcades

12 of 22 results

Platform Artists Group

The pink tiled interior of the Degraves Street Subway and the glass display cases outside the...

The Block Arcade

Cross the mosaic floor and explore the incredibly ornate Victorian architecture of Block Arcade.

Blindside

Blindside is a not-for-profit, artist run arts space. It's located in the heart of Melbourne's CBD,...

Nicholas Building

Take the veteran lifts to floor after floor of studios and galleries in this heritage-listed creative hub.

Campbell Arcade

Slip beneath Degraves Street and discover an unlikely subterranean world of art, design and fashion.

The Melbourne Shop by Lumbi

Take home stylish souvenirs: Melbourne-themed prints on clothing, accessories, canvas and homewares.

The Terrence John Hadler Gallery

Permeated by the ethos of "I love a Sunburnt Country" Terrence John Hadler's painted tributes to...

Subject To Change

Vintage knick-knacks will draw you in and stylish threads will send you off more kempt than ever.

The Basement Discs

Pick up new releases and find rare titles from the world's best folk, blues and country artists.

Retrostar Vintage Clothing

Discover a treasure trove of vintage clothes that omits the ordinary and focuses on the fabulous.

Edmund Pearce

Get to grips with photography as an art form, or just ogle the stunning photos at Edmund Pearce.

The Cats Meow

Feel like the cat's pyajamas in locally made, totally original designer fashion and accessories.

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Food & wine

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Follow the aromas of freshly extracted single origin coffee beans down cobblestoned laneways and into laid-back coffee strips for that caffeine buzz.

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Architecture and design

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Shopping

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City laneways

There's always something new to discover in Melbourne's hive of bustling, creative laneways with their boutiques, restaurants, cafes and bars.

You may also like...

Food & wine

Cafes

Follow the aromas of freshly extracted single origin coffee beans down cobblestoned laneways and into laid-back coffee strips for that caffeine buzz.

Art & culture

Architecture and design

Keep your eyes peeled for Melbourne's striking modern and historic architecture, and see why the city has become a centre for contemporary design.

Destinations

City laneways

There's always something new to discover in Melbourne's hive of bustling, creative laneways with their boutiques, restaurants, cafes and bars.

Things to do

Shopping

Whether you're after high fashion, local designers, jewellery, furniture or fine art, find out where to start your spree in Melbourne.