It can be hard to choose between going global or local, boulevard chic or laneway cool, but thanks to the twin strips of Collins St and its narrower sibling Little Collins St, you can explore it all.
You may know Collins Street proper for its designer stores in heritage buildings, five-star hotels, private clubs and exclusive jewellers. It boasts its very own 'Paris End' and is often referred to as 'the top end of town'. Head in this direction for the flagship stores of Chanel, Giorgio Armani and Louis Vuitton, and to see all that sparkles at Georg Jensen, Jan Logan and Bvlgari. Stroll west for the twinkle of Tiffany & Co., and for more international brands at new luxury shopping centre St. Collins Lane.
It's time to add something local to your designer outfit, so veer out of the mainstream and into to Little Collins and Howey Place for haute couture and hip culture, and clothes by Melbourne's most interesting designers. Gents, find sartorial splendour in the menswear stores along the stretch between Swanston and Russell streets.
Look up to admire the 120-foot spire and decorated Gothic architecture of the historic Scots' Church, built by David Mitchell, father of Dame Nellie Melba, in the 1870s. Just a few doors west, discover fine and rare tomes dating as far back as the fifteenth century at Kay Craddock Antiquarian Bookseller.
Continue west to admire the elegant Art Deco architecture of the heritage-listed Manchester Unity Building on the corner of Swanston Street, and to meander the glass-canopied, mosaic-tiled Block Arcade linking Collins Street and Little Collins Street.
Cocktails and revelry
Keep your eyes out between shops for the hidden bars on Collins and Little Collins. Have a G&T at the Gin Palace and keep the midnight oil burning at Bar Ampere. Munch on tostadas and tequila at Mamasita, taste the Thai at Magic Mountain Saloon and for late night revelry, catch a band at Boney.
How to get there
By tram: Any tram along Swanston and Elizabeth streets to Collins Street; the free City Circle Tram to the corner of Spring and Collins streets or the corner of Spencer and Collins streets.
By foot: One to one and half blocks north from Federation Square (about three minutes).
Melbourne Visitor Shuttle: Stop 4. 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 major event days) and includes an on-board commentary. Tickets at Melbourne Visitor Centre at Federation Square or from ticket machines at shuttle stops.
Things to do
Collins Street & Little Collins Street
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