Here one day, gone the next…there is always new street art appearing, then disappearing in the dynamic Melbourne streetscape. Several of the city’s laneways are designated “legal walls” attracting local creatives and international artists to contribute work to these informal outdoor galleries. Wander these top Melbourne street art laneways for a fun (and free) glimpse into the city’s art and culture.
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Top Melbourne street art laneways
The best concentrations of street art in Melbourne’s central business district can be found in these laneways:
AC/DC Lane and Duckboard Place
You can’t miss the tattoo style “Melbourne” mural by Steen Jones and tributes to AC/DC member Malcolm Young following his passing.
Hosier and Rutledge Lanes
Hosier and Rutledge Lanes are a constant stream of Melbourne’s consciousness. Whatever is on people’s minds tends to end up here. Like a news feed, these walls reflect current events and popular opinion including the legalisation of gay marriage and tributes to our brave Rural Fire Service battling the 2019/20 blazes. You’ll also see long term favourites such as the stunning portrait of an indigenous boy by Matt Adnate and the luminous heart tree.
Centre Place and Degraves Street
If you’re feeling peckish, need a caffeine boost or are looking to do some boutique shopping, Centre Place is more about these things than street art. However, there are the occasional street art gems such as Vexta’s colourful addition below. You’ll see more art early in the morning because a lot of it has been done on the roller doors which aren’t visible during opening hours.
Where Flinders Court meets Flinders Lane is where you’ll find the best street art in this laneway, the Flinders Street end is more smelly dumpsters than art.
Union Lane is a mish-mash of slick tags and scribble. It can be hit and miss, but some of the best displays of wildstyle are down this narrow alley connecting between Little Collins St with Bourke Street Mall.
Tattersalls and Stevenson Lanes
Even if you don’t find any great street art in Tattersalls Lane and the adjoining Stevenson Lane, stop by the Shanghai Dumpling House for super affordable and delicious dumplings or call into Section 8 for a drink or two.
Parts of Finlay Lane are enclosed, so sunny days are preferable for viewing what is predominantly inventive tags in this street art hotspot.
This laneway is quality over quantity compared to say, Hosier Lane. Note that if you plan on photographing the art, the narrow laneway makes it challenging to capture larger pieces.
Another narrow back street, Croft Alley is a hidden gem of Melbourne street art, located in Chinatown. Take a wander late in the day and follow up with drinks at the offbeat Croft Institute.
More Melbourne street art locations
Beyond the CBD, look for street art in the suburbs of Collingwood (note the 1984 Keith Haring Mural there) and Fitzroy.
Graffiti artists and muralists
Featured artwork includes pieces by prolific artists Abyss 607, The 169 and Sunfigo whose work can be viewed all over the city’s laneways. There are also a variety of mediums including paint, paste-ups, plastic twine and stenciling. As always, I have tried to identify as many of the artists as possible. If you have a correction or information about an uncredited piece, please don’t hesitate to drop it in the comments.
Melbourne street art laneways map
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