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Itinerary

Laneways

Friday night

Start your discovery in one of the laneways that started it all: Meyers Place. Climb the stairs to Loop Roof for decadent cocktails surrounded by palms and panoramic views. Stay close-by for dinner – you're only a short stroll from Bar Lourinhã's delectable tapas, HuTong's famous dumplings and Pellegrini's classic Italian.

For a nightcap, find cheer at Liverpool Street's Double Happiness or cocktail love at Romeo Lane. If your heels need kicking up, Market Lane's Ding Dong Lounge promises to keep you up till all hours with live music and DJs.

Saturday morning

Breakfast at Cumulus Inc. will see you fuelled to explore nearby street art. Take your camera out and wander down Flinders Lane to Hosier Lane, scouting out stencils and paste-ups, murals and installations. For the local, inside word on Melbourne's famous urban art, consider taking a street-art walking tour.

Saturday afternoon

Check out the murals on Movida Next Door's exterior walls before stepping inside in for Frank Comorra's superb tapas. If it's looking a little busy, make your way across to Centre Place and take your pick from hole-in-the-wall eateries. Shandong Mama Mini's dumplings are a real treat if you can squeeze your way in.

Spend the afternoon browsing the boutiques in Centre Place and head underground for an art fix in Campbell Arcade, beneath Degraves Street.

If a serious caffeine hit is in order, Cup of Truth and Sensory Lab will see you fixed, and if it's time for a sundowner, Flinders Lane's Garden State has just the spot.

Saturday night

Find the perfect feast in Flinders Lane, one of the city's best addresses for dining. Queue up for pan-Asian flavour sensations at Chin Chin or Supernormal, or go full circle with a return to Cumulus Inc. Nightcap options abound up this way: upstairs at Cumulus Up, downstairs at Eau de Vie, and plenty of laneway bars in between.

If entertainment is in order, check out the program at independent gallery and theatre space fortyfivedownstairs.

Sunday morning

Kick start your Sunday with coffee aficionados at Manchester Press before exploring the shops and galleries of Rankins Lane and neighbouring Guildford Lane and Somerset Place. Gentlemen's outfitter and cafe Captains of Industry will fix you a coffee and offer a cut-throat shave, while Comme des Garçons will deck you out in cutting-edge cute. If it's a multi-coffee morning, get an extra kick from The Little Mule or a dose of architecture along with Proud Mary coffee at Krimper.

Further laneway retail therapy awaits in Crossley Street, where boutiques stocked with jewellery, fashion, memorabilia, and much in between, stand wall to wall with inviting restaurants and bars. While you're there, make time to browse the Beyoncé-favoured bling at Lucy Folk.

Sunday afternoon

Like some of the best bars, some of the city's best finds are upstairs, in 'vertical laneways'. Swanston Street's historic Nicholas Building is a creative hub housing artist studios, galleries and shops. Take the almost-antique elevators to explore the art, fashion and curiosities. Make time to browse Blindside gallery and phone ahead to view Louise Macdonald's millinery masterpieces. Downstairs, check out the wares of independent local designers and the retro fabulousness stocked in the boutiques of Cathedral Arcade and around Flinders Quarter.

Further north on Swanston Street, pay a visit to Curtin House, where the seven-level stair-climb takes you to boutiques and restaurants, and bar and bandroom The Toff in Town.

Sunday night

Back on street level, pull up a piece of crate at outdoor bar Section 8, or take the stairs to neighbouring Ferdydurke. For dinner, Chinatown cheap eats are just a chopstick away, and for splurge, elegant Japanese at Kappo and inspired Indian at Tonka are well worth the walk back to Flinders Lane.

Stretch out your Sunday with a show at the Butterfly Club and a laneway tipple at Chuckle Park before surrendering to the call of Monday morning.

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Laneways

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Restaurants

Garden State Hotel

Get a group together for drinks and snacks or a meal at Garden State, a verdant, spacious alternative to Flinders Lane's teeny drinking dens.

Bars

Loop Roof

Climb the stairs at Loop Project Space & Bar to discover this chic, rooftop spot perfect for a cocktail or hard ice tea come rain, hail or shine.

Cafes

Cup of Truth

Go underground for coffee so smooth you'll never want to get it at street level again, made even better with the addition of morning pastries.

Public art

Hosier Lane

Wander down the bluestone laneway and take in the dizzying array of colours and characters created by local and international street artists.

Live music

The Toff in Town bandroom

For those looking for a break from the noise and sweat of the usual rock club, The Toff, upstairs in Curtin House, is a glossy change of pace.

Heritage buildings

Nicholas Building

Take the veteran lifts to floor after floor of studios and galleries in this heritage-listed creative hub. See behind the scenes at an Open Day.

Restaurants

HuTong Dumpling Bar

Demand is deservedly high here for an alluring menu of homemade dim sum, especially the exquisite xiao long bao, and other provincial delights.

Bars

Double Happiness

Get double the happiness thanks to Chinese-themed fun, like Chairman Mao decor, bubble tea cocktails, dumplings and Kung Fu movie nights.

Bars

Romeo Lane

Find love in the form of cocktails seductive enough to woo tastebuds from any side of the family divide at this laneway newcomer (formerly Von Haus).

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.

Bars

Chuckle Park

Pull up a stool at this converted caravan on the doorstep of New Guernica for an intoxicating blend of retro charm, cheeky attitude and city chic.

Fashion

Louise Macdonald

Adorn your crown with a striking piece by this pro milliner, with your choice pillbox, beret or cloche creation guaranteed to turn heads.

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