A Tour of Melbourne's Architectural Landmarks

Photo of Monique La Terra
21 June 2017

If you have limited time in Melbourne, don’t fret, as many of our most architecturally remarkable buildings are located within walking distance of each other. Culture Trip has mapped out a simple route for you to follow, where you will discover six of Melbourne attractions.

Shrine of Remembrance

Memorial, Shrine
Map View
Start your tour in Kings Domain at the Shrine of Remembrance. Designed by WWI veterans and architects Phillip Hudson and James Wardrop, the Shrine of Remembrance was built to honour Victorians who served during World War I and has since become a memorial to all Australians who have served in a military operation. Housing over 800 objects, photos and uniforms, The Shrine offers a reverent glimpse into Australian military service. On ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day, commemorative events are held at the memorial.

National Gallery of Victoria

Art Gallery, Building
Map View
Heading up St Kilda Road, you will come across a monumental bluestone building on your left. Designed by Roy Grounds, the National Gallery of Victoria has a collection of more than 73,000 works of art. Make your way through the arched entrance, behind the wall of water and towards the Great Hall to see the world’s largest stained-glass ceiling, which casts a kaleidoscope of colours onto the gallery floor. Asides from the Gallery’s permanent collection, NGV also holds exhibitions such as Melbourne Winter Masterpieces.

Federation Square

Map View
Federation Square
Federation Square | © Jamie Wang / Flickr
Once you’ve crossed Princes Bridge, you will find Federation Square on your right, sitting on the corner of Flinders Street and Swanston Street. Completed in 2002, the square was designed by Lab + Bates Smart and incorporates deconstructivist design with a modern minimalist style. Known locally as Fed Square, the piazza features three public spaces, restaurants, bars and event spaces as well as ACMI, the Ian Potter Centre and the SBS Television and Radio Headquarters.

Flinders Street Station

On the opposite side of the Swanston Street, adjacent to Federation Square is Flinders Street Station. Featuring a green dome, arched entrance and clock tower, Flinders Street Station was the first station built in an Australian city and by 1926, it had become the busiest train station in the world. A longstanding rumour is that there was a mix up with building plans and that Flinders Street Station was originally intended for Mumbai. It’s unlikely to be true, but it’s an interesting thought to ponder as you wonder through the terminus.

Pixabay | Pixabay

State Library of Victoria

Map View
State Library of Victoria, Melbourne VIC
Continue along on Swanston Street for one kilometer, and you will happen on the Neoclassical State Library of Victoria on your right. The Library holds over two million books in addition to significant Australia artifacts, including the diaries of Melbourne founders John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner, and also Ned Kelly’s original armor. Architecturally, the octagonal La Trobe Reading Room is one of the library’s most magnificent features and is the room where many Melbourne authors have chiseled away at their manuscripts.

Royal Exhibition Building

From the State Library of Victoria, turn right onto La Trobe Street. After 850 meters, La Trobe Street meets Victoria Street from which you will see Carlton Gardens. Cross the road and follow elm-lined avenues to the Royal Exhibition Building, which held the first Parliament of Australia on the 9th May 1901. Designed by Joseph Reed, the Royal Exhibition Building was built to host the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880 and today, the space hosts exhibitions and festivals.

9 Nicholson St, Carlton VIC Australia +61 3 9270 5000