Melbourne is not only one of the world’s most liveable cities; it’s also one of the most photogenic. Walk a few metres in any direction, and you’re practically guaranteed to stumble across a snap-worthy laneway, vintage arcade or heritage building sandwiched between modern skyscrapers.
It’s a city of juxtapositions, where classic and contemporary, hipster and mainstream, history and progress have been woven into an ebullient cultural tapestry that brings Melbourne’s past, present and future to life.
From Degraves Street to Princes Pier, Federation Square to the State Library, the city that was almost Batmania is a beguiling labyrinth of lens-worthy lures that offer style and substance. Melbourne is one of Australia’s most colourful cities, complete with high-rise buildings, outdoor spaces and beaches. It’s one of the best places to snap photos “for the ‘gram”. There is so much to see and do in this cultural capital of Australia you won’t be left wondering what to do next.
Melbourne is a photographers dream. There are so many interesting or picturesque places in Melbourne that it’s hard to pick favourites. However, I’ve done my best; here are what I think are the most instagrammable spots in Melbourne. I’ve mainly tried to pick Instagram shots that are slightly different to the usual ones taken in these places to show a different angle.
Melbourne has been featured in various travel magazines and websites, but most of the photos that we see were shot to promote a business or specific place. If you really wanted to see the real Melbourne, the best way to do that is by browsing through Instagram. Through this social media platform, you can glimpse images snapped by the locals and tourists who were fascinated by the place and not by those paid just to take pictures of the area. If you plan to visit Victoria’s coastal capital and have no idea where to take some cool photos to post on social media, check out our list of the Most Instagrammable Places in Melbourne.
Degraves Street and Centre Way
Melbourne has become known for its bustling sidewalks, but Degraves Street cemented the city’s laneway love affair. Enter via Flinders Street, and you’ll find yourself meandering through a maze of laneways, cafes, coffee shops and boutiques. Tourists sit at sidewalk tables sipping their morning coffees while suit-clad city slickers dart easily through the crowds. Cross over Flinders Lane, and you’ll find yourself in the even narrower Centre Way, which links up with Collins Street via Centreway Arcade. You can even join a walking tour and step your way through some of the city’s hidden attractions.
La Trobe Reading Room at the State Library
Forget books, and people are flocking to the State Library of Victoria for a photo of its iconic, domed reading room. The State Library, which opened in 1854, is Australia’s oldest public library and one of the first free libraries in the world. Though its collection spans more than two million books and 350,000 photographs, newspapers, maps and manuscripts, the striking La Trobe Reading Room, which reopened in 2003 after a four-year refurbishment, claims more than its share of attention.
Melbourne has become synonymous with street art. And what better place to capture it than the city’s world-famous Hosier Lane – the vibrant bluestone thoroughfare that put Melbourne on the map for its urban art scene. It’s painted from wall to pavement, and nothing is off the palette, with dumpsters, windows and wheelie bins given the technicolour treatment. Continue paying your hues on Rutledge Lane, another animated alley that horseshoes off Hosier.
Of course, no visit to Melbourne is complete without taking a walk down Hosier Lane. Get your camera ready while admiring the graffiti street art. Located between Flinders Lane and Flinders street near Federation Square, this famous street is well worth checking out.
Flinders Street Station
Let’s start with an obvious one. Melbourne has some amazing architecture, and Flinders St Station is one building that is photographed a lot. However, you’ll find hundreds, if not thousands, of photos of the same view of the station. So why not pop inside? It’s equally as beautiful as the outside.
Flinders Street Station is one of the main hubs in Melbourne. This iconic Victorian-style station is hard to miss. The best photo spots of Flinders Street Station are from St. Paul’s Cathedral across the street from Flinders Street, where you’ll get amazing views of the clock. This domed beauty is the prettiest train station in Melbourne – nay, Australia.
Flinders Street Station is one of the city’s busiest commuter hubs, but it also makes for an excellent Instagram thanks to its glorious domed roof and canary-yellow paint job. The building practically screams Melbourne and has been honoured through art, music and countless fridge magnets. So do the crowds of commuters a favour and take your pick from across the street at Federation Square or next to St Paul’s Cathedral.
Brighton Beach Boxes
No doubt you’ll have seen photos of the iconic and colourful Brighton Beach Boxes. There are 82 of them, and they’ve been there since the early 1900s. One of them recently sold for more than $330,000 (that’s around £185,000!!), and when you consider that no water or electricity is even connected, you realise just how in-demand they are. Owners have to be local and cannot sublet the boxes, but they can decorate them and make minor changes. So stroll along the beach to find one with a VW camper painted on it or possibly the most Instagrammed of them all – the Aussie Flag.
It wouldn’t be a guide to Melbourne’s most ‘grammable locations without a nod to one of the state’s top-snapped coastal locales. Brighton’s iconic bathing boxes have long appeared on postcards and calendars, but, these days, they’re taking over social media, too. The colourful attraction includes a row of 82 brightly coloured beach huts that stretch along Brighton’s idyllic Dendy Street Beach foreshore.
The Brighton beach boxes are an iconic landmark within Victoria. These colourful Victorian-style beach huts are located on Brighton Beach, just south of St. Kilda. Many beach huts are lining Brighton Beach, each with its own motives. One of the most Instagrammed in the famous “Australian Flag” beach hut. From Melbourne Central, the beach boxes are easily accessible via train.
Great Ocean Road
The 12 apostles are the most photographed part of the Great Ocean Road, possibly even of Victoria. And of course, you should make sure you take some photos there. But there are so many more locations along the Road to take stunning photos. So keep your eyes peeled for Koala’s, and a fair few are hanging around. Well, they’re mostly sleeping.
The picture below is of Cape Otway Lighthouse on the Great Ocean Road. It’s the oldest surviving lighthouse in Australia and was often the first thing 19th-century migrants saw of Australia after months spent on a ship.
St Kilda Pier
Another popular Instagram shot is of St Kilda Pier with the Kiosk at the end. The pier’s history began in 1853, while the Kiosk was first built in 1904. Take a stroll down the pier to enjoy amazing views of Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay. You may even spot some penguins. From kite surfers to fairy penguins, there’s plenty to snap at this beach.
With its proximity to the city, it’s no wonder St Kilda is one of the most popular beaches in Melbourne for sun and snaps. On fine days you’ll find people playing beach cricket, volleyball or frisbee on the sand while the water is filled with swimmers and watersports enthusiasts. Take a walk down the rustic St Kilda pier and breakwater, and you might spot one of the local fairy penguins (they’re most active at dusk).
Offering a stunning view of Port Phillip Bay, the St. Kilda Pier is another spot in Melbourne often preferred by walkers, runners, and fishers alike. The pier also offers beautiful views of St. Kilda Beach to the south and is home to the St. Kilda Ferry service and St. Kilda Marina.
Staying in St Kilda, the entrance to Luna Park is also a great shot. Luna Park is a theme park found both in Melbourne and in Sydney. The entranceway may be iconic, but I’m not sure how that face says ‘fun’ and ‘great for kids. I think maybe taking the photo at night does make him seem even more creepy than usual.
If there is any place that is part of the fabric of Melbourne’s cultural DNA, it’s Luna Park. Who hasn’t taken a photo in front of its striking, gaping entrance? The popular amusement park opened its mouth in 1912 and has been operating almost continuously ever since. But while many rides have come and gone over its 100-year history, one has remained through all the ups and downs – the Great Scenic Railway. This heritage-listed rollercoaster, which dips and dives around the park’s perimeter, is the oldest continually running wooden rollercoaster in the world. Plus, RACV members save on ride tickets when pre-purchased online.
Luna Park was one of my favourite places in St. Kilda. I think this playful theme park really brings the area to life. The iconic clown face that graces the entrance is instantly recognisable in Melbourne. In addition, the fun facade makes for an awesome Insta shot.
Melbourne’s Yarra River exudes charm and a vibe that is hard to ignore. Find time to stroll along the river, where you will have plenty of great photo opportunities, or you can take a sightseeing cruise. The banks of the river also have paths suitable for walkers, joggers and cyclists.
The Yarra River runs through the Melbourne CBD and can be photographed from a variety of angles. Enjoy a boat ride through the Yarra River or from the shores of the Southbank.
The Southbank is one of the best places for photographing the Yarra River, with the Skyline in the background. Also, the ornate Princes Bridge is also great for any photo ops.
Looking for premier and majestic setting for a wide range of local and international musical acts and concerts? Then head to the famous Melbourne Concert Hall, now known as Hamer Hall. Entering the venue, you may feel like you are being transported into a grand cave, deep underneath the city’s streets.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Situated at Birdwood Avenue, Melbourne Gardens at Royal Botanic Gardens is only a 15-minute drive in your reliable car hire from the city centre. Hailed as a world-class botanic garden, this spot is another popular tourist attraction with more than 10,000 plant species. So find time to relax and breathe in the city’s favourite green space.
There’s only one location in Melbourne where you can snap serene lakes, lush rainforest and cactus gardens all in the same place. That location is the Royal Botanic Gardens. Open from sunrise to sunset every day of the year, the huge expanse of gardens is a favourite lunch spot for city workers. So take a selfie underneath one of the huge, leafy trees, get a close-up shot of your favourite plant or take of snap by the lake.
Eureka Skydeck 88
At nearly 300 metres in the clouds, it’s not surprising that the Eureka Tower has one of the best views in the city. Taking a photo this high in the sky isn’t for those afflicted with vertigo, especially if you want to go the extra mile and try out the Edge: an all-glass box that extends three metres out from the tower. Don’t worry – those cracking noises are recorded.
The Eureka Skydeck is one of the best things to do in Melbourne at night, but It boasts amazing panoramic views of the cityscape no matter the time of day. You’ll experience a unique view of Melbourne, a whole 91 floors above the ground!
The Melbourne Star is Melbourne’s answer to the London Eye. The Melbourne Star is also located in the Docklands area of the city and makes for an amazing photo op around sunset with unique views of the city.
Coop’s Shot Tower
People visit Melbourne Central for three things: to shop, catch a train, and take a photo of Coop’s Shot Tower. The building was built in 1889 to manufacture bullets – lead bullets dropped from the tower would form perfect spheres when they reached the ground. When Melbourne Central was built in the 1980s, architects worked around the tower, covering it with a huge glass dome and inadvertently turning it into one of Melbourne’s favourite Instagram locations decades later.
If you’re visiting Melbourne, or even if you’re just pretending to be a tourist for the day, you should check out the big Marionette Watch (or big clock). Every hour, on the hour, a marionette display pops down from the bottom of the clock, and you can see Aussie animals like cockatoos, galahs and minstrels while a soundtrack of Waltzing Matilda plays.
The shopping centre itself is filled with key tenants like Country Road, Sephora, Cotton On, JB Hi-Fi, Rebel Sport, Samsung and more. Upon the higher levels is a Hoyts cinema complex, Strike Bowling and B Lucky & Sons. A glass footbridge takes shoppers over to the nearby Emporium Shopping Centre and a railway station on the bottom levels.
A glowing neon bed. A psychedelic dining room. Who would’ve guessed that some of Melbourne’s ultimate photo spots are hidden away in a museum? You’ll find them at Becoming You: An Incomplete Guide. The exhibition’s eye-catching installations and displays reveal 70 coming-of-age stories. Together, they capture the pleasure and pain of growing up.
Queen Victoria Market
This is the longest-running and most intact 19th-century market in Victoria. And, being set over seven hectares, it is also the largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere. Queen Victoria Market was established in the 1860s and has cemented itself as one of the city’s must-see, snap or eat-your-way-around attractions. Plus, the skyline setting makes for the ideal photo backdrop. Hello, hot jam doughnuts.
It cost $450 million to build, but this now-iconic arena takes the cake for being one of Melbourne’s most controversial public spaces – mainly thanks to its angular, geometric design. Since opening in 2002, Federation Square has had more than 100 million visitors. In the first year of its life, it became the most awarded project in the history of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA) Victoria, receiving five major awards for architectural and design excellence. It was even ranked sixth in a top-10 list of the world’s best public squares in 2014. Over the last 200 years, the site has been home to the city morgue, a fish market, corporate offices and rail yards. These days, with myriad restaurants, bars, galleries and specialty stores, it is well and truly part of the city’s cultural psyche.
Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq
Arcade games old and new will have you clicking away at Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq. Go classic with Space Invaders, or take a seat in the life-sized Mario Kart. Be dazzled by neon while playing Let’s Bounce or NBA Hoops. Test your skill in the vintage shooting gallery. Try to keep your camera steady while driving a dodgem car. With 67 games to choose from, Archie’s is an Insta feast.
Royal Exhibition Hall
Built in 1880, the Royal Exhibition Building is located in Carlton Gardens and a delicate piece of Victorian architecture in Melbourne. The Carlton Gardens as a whole are beautiful to wander through, but this majestic building adds to its beauty. So if you get the chance, make sure you head inside the building. More Insta-opportunities await in the halls of this building.
More here: An Instagram guide to Melbourne, Most Instagrammable Spots in Melbourne, 7 Most Instagrammable Places in Melbourne, The 10 most Instagrammable places in Melbourne, Melbourne’s most Instagrammable experiences, Melbourne Instagram Spots – Most, Instagrammable Places In Melbourne