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Harry Vincent / © Culture Trip
Harry Vincent / © Culture Trip
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A Guide to Melbourne's Arcades and Laneways

Picture of Monique La Terra
Updated: 19 March 2018
Melbourne’s tangle of gritty narrow laneways and opulent historic arcades captures the true essence of the city. From alfresco dining, quaint boutiques and cosy cafés in Degraves Street and Centre Place to the vibrant urban canvases of Hosier and AC/DC Lanes, Culture Trip explores Melbourne’s Arcades and Laneways.

Block Arcade

Shopping Mall
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Harry Vincent /
Harry Vincent / | © Culture Trip
With exquisite mosaic floors and a glass canopy, the historic Block Arcade is an awe-inspiring shopping precinct which dates back to 1893. The L-shaped shopping arcade links Collins Street, Elizabeth Street, and Little Collins Street and features Melbourne’s Golden Mile heritage walk. The Block Arcade contains over twenty retailers including Haigh’s Chocolates, Dafel Dolls & Bears, Alpaca Collection, Gewurzhaus, Basements Discs and many others, but the biggest attraction has always been Hopetoun Tea Room. Never without a queue, the opulent tea room dates back to 1891 and features a decadent display case arranged with cakes and a wide variety of English, organic and exotic teas.
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Royal Arcade

Shopping Mall
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Harry Vincent /
Harry Vincent / | © Culture Trip
Opened in 1870, The Royal Arcade is the oldest surviving arcade in Australia and connects Little Collins, Elizabeth Street, and the Bourke Street Mall. Ornate and flooded with sunlight, the Royal Arcade is a heritage listed shopping precinct comprising boutiques and gift shops. Watch the mythical statues of Gog and Magog strike the clock every hour at the southern entry, before treating yourself at one of Melbourne’s best chocolate cafés – Koko Black – and indulge in their signature Belgian hot chocolate.
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