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Get some drama in your life with the international artworks, soaring symphonies, classical ballet, conceptual art and emerging thespians that are stuffed inside Melbourne's bulging arts pocket.

A journey of artistic discovery

Make your way along the Yarra River's south bank to St Kilda Road and begin your exploration of the arts precinct. Catch a premiering performance at the Arts Centre or international ballet stars in big-name productions at the home of the Australian Ballet. Take in blockbuster art at NGV International, and see the artists of the future in training at the Victorian College of the Arts.

Wander further south to the astonishing home of the Melbourne Recital Centre and the Melbourne Theatre Company, which acts as an artistic bridge over to the boundary-pushing Malthouse Theatre and Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), where innovation is relentlessly pursued.

Impressive inside and out

It's what's inside that counts, but in Melbourne's arts precinct the exterior is pretty important, too. Stroll around before your performance begins and witness the iconic Arts Centre spire, the NGV's famed waterwall, the honeycomb façade of the recital centre, the glowing tubes adorning the theatre company, and the rusty box that is ACCA.

The extras

You'll find no shortage of bars and restaurants around the arts precinct for pre- and post-viewing replenishing, and the opportunities inside the venues for refreshments are worthwhile, too.

Explore the area on Sundays and take time to snap up a few handmade artworks of your own at the Arts Centre Market, along the footpaths at the eastern end of the riverbank.

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Things to do

Arts precinct

Performing arts

Melbourne Recital Centre

Listen to the best local and international performers at this outstanding, purpose-built recital hall in the heart of the Southbank arts precinct.

Performing arts

Malthouse Theatre

Encounter endless possibilities presented by an inspired program of contemporary theatre in a cherished building, plus refreshments pre and post-show.

Plays & musicals

The Odd Couple

Everything’s set for the regular poker game at Oscar’s place, but where’s Felix? He’s never late. A call to his wife reveals that she and Felix have...

5 Nov 2016
6 Nov 2016
7 Nov 2016
8 Nov 2016

Art galleries

NGV International

See one of the Southern Hemisphere's most impressive collections of European, Asian, Oceanic and American art at this iconic Melbourne gallery.

Plays & musicals


2014 STA Best New Australian Work Joanna Murray-Smith’s acclaimed tale of cat and mouse comes to MTC featuring the stunning original Sydney Theatre...

Until 29 Oct 2016

Performing arts

Hamer Hall

Catch all your favourite local, national and international stars in the plush surrounds of Hamer Hall at the Arts Centre Melbourne.


Kylie on Stage

In an international first, Kylie on Stage is a major new exhibition celebrating magical moments from Kylie Minogue’s highly-successful concert tours....

Until 22 Jan 2017

Performing arts

Arts Centre Melbourne

See local and international performances and exhibitions at Melbourne's home of performing arts. Take a tour and browse the Sunday arts and craft market.

Architecture & design


Initiated by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation with support from City of Melbourne and the Victorian State Government, every year for four years an...


The Melbourne Ring Cycle

Opera Australia's largest and most ambitious production returns to Melbourne in 2016. Wagner's Ring Cycle, directed by Neil Armfield and conducted by...

21 Nov 2016
23 Nov 2016
25 Nov 2016
28 Nov 2016

Makers markets

Arts Centre Melbourne Sunday Market

Every Sunday local artisans fill Arts Centre Melbourne's lawn to showcase their unique, handmade goods ranging from arts and crafts to freshly made...

30 Oct 2016
6 Nov 2016
13 Nov 2016
20 Nov 2016


John Olsen: The You Beaut Country

John Olsen is one of Australia’s greatest living artists. Born in Newcastle NSW in 1928, Olsen is well known for his energetic and distinctive...

Until 12 Feb 2017

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Art & culture

Theatre and musicals

See the big names of the stage in blockbuster productions at historic theatres, or catch new local talent on tiny stages in edgy theatres.

Art & culture

Public art

Discover the wealth of public art works along the Geelong waterfront from the whimsical Baywalk Bollards to the Cargo Boxes and Paving Splats.


Live music

Variety and energy characterise entertainment and nightlife in Victoria. Melbourne features an ever-changing number of clubs, bars and live music venues.



Spend languid summer nights watching your favourite films on rooftops, in gardens and by the beach, or escape for hours in art houses and multiplexes.