Tuck your Penguin Classic into your back pocket, scuff those shoes and adjust your specs: you're entering the home of Melbourne's creative elite and the stomping ground of the city’s fashionistas. Hark at the bars, design stores, writers' studios, galleries and boutique fashion outlets.
Be dazzled by the choice of local and international fashion between Swanston and Elizabeth streets, the heart of Melbourne's original 'rag trade'. Check out Arabella Ramsey on Flinders Lane, get duds for the dudes at Incu and try not to drool at Lenko and Alice Euphemia in Cathedral Arcade, a haven for experimental designs by young and emerging designers, there’s always something to challenge or delight.
Take home an artwork
Catch the contagious creativity from the art spaces that comprise Australia's highest concentration of commercial galleries. Find quirky letterpress, contemporary sculpture and Indigenous art, and snap up one-offs at Craft Victoria - a gallery and shop showcasing the work of the state's finest craftspeople.
Recharge or charge up
With an endless array of hole-in-the-wall cafes, bakeries, sushi, sandwich and soup bars plus with bars and restaurants galore, you’ll easily find a place to recharge.
Chow down at Chin Chin, go subterranean at Coda, be bookish at Journal and admire Andrew McConnell's golden touch at Cumulus, Inc.
Loiter over Centre Place at Hell's Kitchen, and earn your rock stripes at Cherry on AC/DC Lane.
How to get there
Free Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle: Stop 2. 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 foot: Half a block north from Federation Square (about one minute).