An Artist-Lover’s Guide to Melbourne’s Cultural Hotspots


Melbourne is, in our humble opinion, the Australian hub for cultural expression and artistic flair. Don’t let Sydney tell you otherwise! Not only is it home to some of the greatest local and international artists, but it also houses many great galleries and exhibitions, with international curators often looking for inspiration or installation options in this culturally-diverse city. Even the Melbourne landscape and street culture is a living and breathing art form, with many artists putting their stamp on this inclusive city. If art is your first true love, then Melbourne should be at the top of your itinerary, and he’ll – stick around for the fantastic food and serviced apartments in Melbourne that live these colourful streets. We’ve rounded up a comprehensive guide of where to visit and what to do. Let’s get started!

National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)

The National Gallery Of Victoria (NGV) has exhibited some of the most incredible pieces of work, receiving work from the acclaimed MoMA (New York) many times over the last few decades. Located in the centre of the city (Federation Square), NGV is a beautifully appointed space with up to 6 free and ticketed exhibitions on at any given time. NGV Friday Nights are quite popular for those in the art scene, allowing for a slower curation experience with live music and a bar to accompany.

Centre for Contemporary Photography

Aptly located in the vibrant suburb of Fitzroy, the Centre for Contemporary Photography is a shrine to some of the best names in photography in the world. Depending on when you visit the centre, you might be seeing portraits, large format photography or a series of unique pieces connected to a theme or concepts. If you are a budding artist yourself, there are a few opportunities throughout the year to contribute artwork to be displayed in the centre with an opening night to toast the event. Not a bad way to get your start. The gift store is also quite renowned, offering photobooks in all sizes and styles, many of which are printed on a limited run.

Guide to Melbourne's Cultural Hotspots

Australian Centre for the Moving Image

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) neighbours NGV, and is at the centre of all things media. Here you will find the history of media catalogued in a mixed-media showcase, with many interactive activities available. Beyond the centre for moving image, which is open every day, there are also seasonal exhibits that take place to the left of the centre and upstairs of the beautiful building. Past exhibits have been Alice In Wonderland and Wallace & Gromit, offering media, physical and virtual experiences.

The laneways

Urban Melbourne is a canvas in itself, and the iconic laneways beat capture this unique personality. Now, there are thousands of laneways all over the city, so make sure you include the best ones in your visit. Hosier Lane is the brightest and boldest laneway you will find, with Union Lane and Flinders Lane also offering a sensory experience. Here you will see murals, graffiti and large bodies of work, and more often than not there is an artist present doing the work then and there. There is no such thing as wasted space in Melbourne, so most of these laneways will have cafes, bars and gift shops hidden along these winding paths.

Melbourne is a package deal of culture, art and creative thinking. There is so much to be seen throughout the year, with new concepts and creative spaces presenting themselves every month. Make your way through these hotspots which never fail to disappoint or put on an exhibit that provides a unique experience each time you walk through their doors.

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