48-hour itinerary: Laneways
Lose yourself in Melbourne's famous laneways
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Cartel Coffee Roasters 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.
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.
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 a special night, elegant Japanese at upstairs Hihou (ring the bell for entry) 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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