Melbourne’s arcades and laneways speak as much of the city’s past as they do of its future. From original Victorian arcades and specialty shops to fashion boutiques showcasing upcoming local designers, Melbourne’s most unique shopping experiences are not on the main drag. Let us take you on a walk through the city’s most popular laneways:
1. Degraves Street
Turn off busy Flinders Street to the bustling sophistication of Degraves. This pedestrian-only street has a European feel and is dominated by the tables and umbrellas of Degraves Café, where you can enjoy one of Melbourne’s best coffees. Shop for the latest Campers or Fluevogs at soleDevotion, nibble on a fancy cake at Little Cupcakes, or drool over exquisite stationery at Il Papiro.
2. Centre Place
Directly across Flinders Lane is Centre Place, a narrow laneway packed full of eateries, shops and bars. Check out the local fashions in Kinki Gerlinki and Body. Browse in the Foreign Language Bookshop, then continue north across Collins Street to the Block Arcade.
3. Block Place & the Block Arcade
This 19th century arcade was once Melbourne’s most richly decorated interiors and still has its original tiling, wrought iron and carved stone finishes. Here you’ll find a number of quirky and original shops selling everything from glassware, chocolates and golliwogs! Stop at the tearooms or continue on through Block Place onto Collins Street.
4. Royal Arcade
This gorgeous arcade was built in 1869 in a Renaissance Revival style. Its specialty shops are worth a browse and include a sweet shop, a toyshop, and a shop devoted entirely to babushkas! Koko Black is a popular stop for chocolate-lovers. Perhaps you might meet a local here who can let you in on a few of the city’s other unique experiences?