Get some drama in your life with the international artworks, soaring symphonies, classical ballet, conceptual art and emerging thespians that are stuffed inside Melbourne's bulging arts pocket.
A journey of artistic discovery
Make your way along the Yarra River's south bank to St Kilda Road and begin your exploration of the arts precinct. Catch a premiering performance at the Arts Centre or international ballet stars in big-name productions at the home of the Australian Ballet. Take in blockbuster art at NGV International, and see the artists of the future in training at the Victorian College of the Arts.
Wander further south to the astonishing home of the Melbourne Recital Centre and the Melbourne Theatre Company, which acts as an artistic bridge over to the boundary-pushing Malthouse Theatre and Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), where innovation is relentlessly pursued.
Impressive inside and out
It's what's inside that counts, but in Melbourne's arts precinct the exterior is pretty important, too. Stroll around before your performance begins and witness the iconic Arts Centre spire, the NGV's famed waterwall, the honeycomb façade of the recital centre, the glowing tubes adorning the theatre company, and the rusty box that is ACCA.
You'll find no shortage of bars and restaurants around the arts precinct for pre- and post-viewing replenishing, and the opportunities inside the venues for refreshments are worthwhile, too.
Explore the area on Sundays and take time to snap up a few handmade artworks of your own at the Arts Centre Market, along the footpaths at the eastern end of the riverbank.
By tram: Any tram along Swanston Street and St Kilda Road to stops at Federation Square, the Arts Centre and NGV International and the Victorian College of the Arts; the free City Circle Tram to the corner of Flinders and Swanston streets; Number 1 (South Melbourne) for Melbourne Theatre Company, Melbourne Recital Centre, ACCA and the Malthouse Theatre.
Free Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle: Stop 1. The complete trip includes 13 stops and takes approximately an hour and a half. The bus runs every 30 minutes between 9.30am and 4.30pm daily (excluding Good Friday and Christmas Day) and includes an on-board commentary.
By train: To Flinders Street Station.
By foot: From Federation Square, over Princes Bridge to Southbank, St Kilda Road and Sturt Street (5-15 minutes).