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Tuck your Penguin Classic into your back pocket, scuff those shoes and adjust your specs: you're entering the home of Melbourne's creative elite and the stomping ground of the city’s fashionistas. Hark at the bars, design stores, writers' studios, galleries and boutique fashion outlets.

Looking good

Be dazzled by the choice of local and international fashion between Swanston and Elizabeth streets, the heart of Melbourne's original 'rag trade'. Find something to challenge and delight around Flinders Lane and Cathedral Arcade, a long-time haven for experimental designs by young and emerging designers.

Take home an artwork

Catch the contagious creativity from the art spaces that comprise Australia's highest concentration of commercial galleries. Find quirky letterpress, contemporary sculpture and Indigenous art, and snap up one-offs at Craft – a gallery and shop showcasing the work of Victoria's finest craftspeople.

Recharge or charge up

With an endless array of hole-in-the-wall cafes, bakeries, sushi, sandwich and soup bars plus with bars and restaurants galore, you’ll easily find a place to recharge.

Chow down at Chin Chin, go subterranean at Coda, be bookish at Journal and admire Andrew McConnell's golden touch at Cumulus, Inc.

Loiter over Centre Place at Hell's Kitchen, and earn your rock stripes at Cherry on AC/DC Lane.

How to get there

Free Melbourne Visitor Shuttle: Stop 2. 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 Good Friday and Christmas Day) and includes an on-board commentary.

By foot: Half a block north from Federation Square (about one minute).

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Things to do

Flinders Quarter

12 of 27 results

Restaurants

Coda

From Movida's Mykal Batholomew and Longrain chef, Adam D'Sylva, this hatted eatery ticks all the right boxes without taking itself too seriously.

Art galleries

fortyfivedownstairs

Head downstairs for independent, experimental and thought-provoking visual art, theatre and live music at this not-for-profit theatre and gallery space.

Fashion

Obus

Drench yourself in colour, and dresses, coats and pants, at this distillery of cutting edge fashion. In fashion's lottery, Obus is the golden ticket.

Restaurants

Lucy Liu

Give your tastebuds a flying kickstart with this pan-Asian culinary angel from chef Michael Lambie and the MAde Establishment. It's all action at this neon-lit laneway kitchen and bar.

Bars

Hihou

Take your drinking to a new level of sophistication at this decadent Japanese-influenced bar and lounge offering libation with unmatched elegance.

Restaurants

Fonda Flinders Lane

Take your tastebuds to Mexico at Fonda Mexican, where their signature burritos, tacos and antojitos keep diners coming back for a flavour fiesta.

Bars

Cumulus Up

Kick back and sample the best of local and European wines in the designer interiors of this loft-style bar from the award-winning Cumulus Inc. team.

Fashion

Lady Petrova

Find quirky ethereal and elegant bespoke creations that are equally functional and feminine at this super cute fashion boutique behind Flinders Lane.

Restaurants

Cecconi's Cantina

Push the boat out with a modern Italian feast at Cecconi's, purveyors of style and service and winners of a hat in The Age Good Food Guide.

Restaurants

Sake

Overlooking the Yarra River in revamped Hamer Hall, this sleek city restaurant and bar offers new-style sushi and classic Japanese cuisine.

Restaurants

Ezard

Chef Teage Ezard combines the East and the West with verve and creativity, making this two hatted restaurant a must try for any visiting gourmand.

Restaurants

MoVida

Assembling the menu for Melbourne's favourite date restaurant, MoVida chef Frank Camorra scoured Spain for the finest bite-size comestibles.

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Itineraries

48 hours: Art and design

Find inspiring art and design in likely and unlikely spaces, in galleries, laneways, shops and markets, upstairs, downstairs, and all across the city.

Destinations

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.

Shopping

Fashion

Wear Melbourne with pride and seek out the Melbourne-based designers who are taking the world by storm. You'll be spoilt for choice.

Food & wine

Bars

Take an unexpected turn, duck into one of Melbourne's famed laneways, scamper up some stairs and take a tipple in a bar with a distinct personality.