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Idle the afternoon away by the bluestone cobbles at a Degraves Street or Centre Place cafe and become part of a Melbourne postcard scene.

Colourful times in Centre Place

Centre Place might supply the stereotypical images of Melbourne's laneways, but even chockablock with happy snappers the laneway-of-all-laneways satisfies and surprises.

Changing stencil art and graffiti provide a sensory overload best dealt with by squeezing into Jungle Juice for an international coffee. Soups, sushi and crepes will tempt, but you might want to save room for the delights on offer at Degraves Street, just across Flinders Lane.

Dining on Degraves

Take your friends from out-of-town to Degraves Espresso, a quintessentially Melbourne cafe experience. Despite the Parisian vibe cast by the café umbrellas in the shadow of the impressive Majorca House, the dining on Degraves veers towards the Italian, with Il Tempo and Andiamo feeding many. Savour the sugar at Little Cupcakes.

Getting arty and smarty

An air of creativity blows up from the Degraves Street Subway and the Platform Artist Group's underground displays. Get your smarts with a short course at the Centre for Adult Education campus, stocking up on artisan notebooks at Il Papiro and nourishing the minds of junior readers at The Little Bookroom.

Laneway shopping

Traverse the cobblestones with new kicks from Sole Devotion on Degraves, and adorn the earlobes with quirky wares from Sine Qua Non.

Back on Centre Place browse threads and accessories, local and imported, new and vintage at Fokus and Kinki Gerlinki. Finally, clamber up the narrow stairs to Hell's Kitchen and survey the frenzy below over an icy cold beer.

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Things to do

Centre Place & Degraves Street

Degraves Espresso Bar

Never tire of the prototypical 'Melbourne cafe', with its laneway charm and uncompromising coffee.

Jungle Juice

Squeezing into Jungle Juice is worth it for a bagel, a fancy coffee, and of course, a fresh juice.

Il Papiro

Distinguish your sentiments with traditional handmade stationery and paper, wax seals and stamps.

Platform Artists Group

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

Kinki Gerlinki

Dress up in playful understated elegant-vintage style from quintessentially quirky Melbourne designers.

The Little Bookroom

Immerse yourself in the hundreds of beautifully illustrated and imaginative children's titles.

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Crossley Street

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Curtin House and Nicholas Building

The city's vertical laneways Curtin House and Nicholas Building each add a unique stamp to the scene with levels of boutiques, bars and eateries.

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Arcades

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

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Arcades

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

48-hour itinerary: Laneways

48 hours: Laneways

Lose yourself among bars and boutiques, galleries and street art, and high-end restaurants and hole-in-the-wall cafes in Melbourne's famous laneways.

Food & wine

Laneway dining

Dine like a local and find some of the city's favourite eateries tucked away upstairs, downstairs and behind bustling queues in Melbourne's laneways.

Art & culture

Public art

Take in art from the City Circle tram, or walk through city streets, laneways and squares and along the Yarra River to see the city's public artworks.