Melbourne street art is amongst the best in the world. A mix of world-famous street artists and locals create a dynamic and colourful collection of vibrant laneways and alleys. Add to that an ever-changing and vivid Melbourne graffiti, and you can begin to understand Melbourne’s street art culture.
It all fits with Melbourne Australia’s diverse, modern, and fun attitude. We visit for relaxation, drinking coffee in laneway cafes, walking the neighbourhoods, shopping, and exploring Melbourne street art.
Australia’s second-largest city is internationally known for its colourful and eclectic street art found in “approved outdoor locations” throughout the city.
As street art is fluid, and the wall art is always updating, Many of the images here no longer exist, as they have been painted over.
Where to find the best street art in Melbourne
In truth, finding Melbourne street art is often as easy as turning your head as you pass an alleyway or laneway.
However, finding the best street art in Melbourne requires a bit of guidance. If you are like us, stop by any information booth and ask for a Melbourne street art map, or download your own from the city’s website and enjoy a self-guided journey.
Melbourne street art tours
However, if you want a more comprehensive understanding of the history, the artists, what’s new and what’s missing, you will want to take a Melbourne street art tour from a local street artist.
No one would know what it’s like better than one who is living it. Plus, the artists tend to know the new and secret works.
We like the look of this walking tour guided by a local street artist. Emersed in the community, the fresh perspective is fun, interesting, and not really available any other way.
It’s not a preset route, as the ever-changing world of street art doesn’t allow for it. But you will visit the key laneways as well as end with an exclusive studio tour of Blender Studios, where you may meet artists as you enjoy a snack of cheese, wine, and beer. Reserve your street art tour here.
Rutledge Lane and Hosier Lane street art – Melbourne
No question about it, if you only have the time or inclination to visit one of the Melbourne graffiti lanes, Hosier Lane is it.
And as you walk about halfway down the street, you can’t miss Rutledge Lane, a Melbourne graffiti alley intersecting Hosier Lane. Ever-changing, and overwhelming, Rutledge Lane was painted over in solid blue in 2013 by street artist Adrian Doyle. Funded by the council, it was an attempt to breathe new life into the graffiti-laden area.
More key Melbourne street art locations
AC/DC Lane is probably most famous for being the former home of five works of Banksy street art (of nine Banksy Melbourne creations that appeared following on a secret visit in 2003). Unfortunately, three were destroyed during construction in 2016 after the first two had been ruined in 2014.
In fact, only two Banksy pieces still remain in Melbourne, and according to the Sydney Morning Herald, there is a push to preserve them.
At one end of AC/DC Lane is an impressive four-storey mural painted by Queensland-based artist Fintan Magee. We also found a tribute to Prince amongst the other interesting art on AC/DC Lane.
Don’t miss Duckboard Place, around the corner from AC/DC Lane.
With over 1,000 ceramic tile pieces on display, Drewery Lane is a different example of Melbourne laneway art. Organized and taught by Sanker Nadeson, the ceramics are for Legacy House, an organization committed to caring for families of those who lost their life or health to defend the nation.
Sniders Lane (off of Drewery Lane)
Sniders Lane is a side alley off Drewery Lane, and a quick reminder to always turn your head and look down every laneway and alleyway, as you never know what you will find. It is here we found the famous topless selfie of Kim Kardashian and Em Ratajkowski on Instagram, reproduced larger than life by Australian street artist Lushsux at the end of Sniders Lane.
Union Lane is another of the famous Melbourne street art laneways.
Coverlid Place / Croft Alley
Labelled on the official map of Melbourne street art as Croft Alley, the sign at the street is Coverlid Place.
Melbourne street artists
If you know where to look, you can find the art of some of the world’s best street art artists like Rone, Phibs, Alexis Diaz, Ghost Patrol, Lush, Askew One, Sofles, Adnate, and others. Possibly the most famous are the two remaining stencil street art creations by British street artist Banksy.
While we didn’t meet any of the famous artists mentioned above in Melbourne, we did meet Matt Adnate on a recent visit to Perth. However, we did see a few up-and-coming artist creating their own street art illusions.
Political street art
Street art is also a platform used for political commentary.
Practical information on Melbourne street art
- Lonely Planet included Melbourne street art on its list of the top cities to enjoy this modern artistic expression. And, of course, Melbourne Australia is prominently featured among the 42 countries in Lonely Planet’s guide to street art book.
- Hosier Lane and Rutledge Lane are considered to have the best street art in Melbourne, as well as the most comprehensive.
- Bring a camera.
- Remember to turn and look up and down alleyways and laneways; otherwise, you might miss something special.
- Take the shot when you see it, Melbourne graffiti laneways are continually changing, and the same graffiti art may not be there the next day.
- If you want to add your own cool street art, be sure to check out the current laws surrounding it first, as it is only legal in specific areas, with plenty of restrictions.
- If you have more time, head to some of the neighbourhoods. We have heard incredible things about Fitzroy street art.
Melbourne is not the only street art city. If you’re a fan, be sure to check out some of my favourite New Zealand street art in Auckland and Christchurch as well as this series from travel bloggers around the world including, Australia and New Zealand, North America, Asia, Central and South America, and Europe.
There’s more Melbourne than laneways and street art
To date, we have visited this city four times, travelling here both with and without our teen/adult children. We drank coffee, ate some fabulous meals, and visited a few landmarks like the State Library of Melbourne, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Queen Victoria Market. And of course, shopping, lots of shopping. There is nowhere better within four hours of our home in Auckland, New Zealand.
Save on your Australia trip with these resources
These are our go-to companies when we travel. We believe this list to be the best in each category. You can’t go wrong using them on your trip too.
- Flights: we use Expedia for the best and cheapest flight options.
- Accommodations: we use Booking.com (hotels) or VRBO (self-contained).
- Cars (gas or electric): we use RentalCars to search for deals and dealer ratings.
- Campervans or Motorhomes: we use Campstar where Albom Adventures readers get a 3% discount
- Activity discounts: we check Bookme.com for discounts of up to 70% on activities.
- Private guides: we love the private guides at Tours by Locals
- Travel Insurance: our go-to is World Nomads*.
Check out our travel resources page for more companies that we use when you travel.
*World Nomads provides travel insurance for travellers in over 100 countries. As an affiliate, we receive a fee when you get a quote from World Nomads using this link. We do not represent World Nomads. This is information only and not a recommendation to buy travel insurance.
Louise | Travel Visa Australia
What an artistic work of art, I hope I can see it personally, thank you for sharing.
haha, streets look really interesting. I have never been to AU actually. I will surely enjoy the place if I do.
Great post 🙂
Magnificent post.As i am a painter,so i love reading your blog.Pictures are the best part of this blog.These painting are totally amazing.I have never been to Melbourne,but after reading your post.I would definitely visit here in my coming vacations.Thanks for the post.Keep sharing.
Lisa | Handmade in Israel
Wow! They have really gone for it on Rutledge Lane! It all looks wonderful! I did a graffiti tour with my son over here in Tel Aviv and we had a great time.
These are great pictures, and an interesting documentation of street art over time. I’m fascinated by the evolution of it! I’ve been to Melbourne a few times now and have stumbled across some street art here and there, but I think I need to make more of an effort to track some more down on my next visit. Thanks for the inspiration!
Okay wow, this is some amazing street art! Love looking through all of this. Had no idea that Melbourne was known for street art. That one of Kim Kardashian’s selfie is amazing and also surprised about the Donald Trump piece (very interesting!).. thanks for sharing this, feel like I learned a lot about the street art culture there!
Jessi (Two Feet, One World)
Wow, what an incredible range of street art! I love spotting street art pieces in cities, it’s so interesting to see the political pieces and what matters the most to people.
I’m a huge fan of street art and love going on art walks when traveling. I also thought it was interesting to see your photo of a response through art to Trump in Melbourne. I guess living in the US, I tend to think that of him as OUR problem of a president but seeing him recognized through street art served as a reminder that the whole world is watching, feeling the effects as well and responding in their own way to the craziness of our current administration. Thanks for sharing Rhonda!
I loved seeing this when I visited! Unfortunately I did this on a whim the last day, so didn’t get to see as much as you did.
Hi! Longtime that I haven’t visited your blog!
These photos are great, I am in love with Graffiti lanes and I go to see them to many cities where I travel, I really have something with street art, it is just fantastic!
Have a lovely day dear
Well, if it has to be there at least most of it is actually art! Some of it is actually quite good! I remember in my youth living on the poorer side of town we had a lot of graffiti, but that wasn’t tasteful at all… mostly bad words etc. , but thanks for sharing the other side of town with us. The proposal was cute and the Prince tribute was a fine artist. I love the ones though with the cherubs and I think they’re fairies because they do have wings. It reminds me of that one great artist that I can’t remember his name at the moment. aughhhhhhhhhhhhhh Have a great day & thanks for sharing!
I just love street art – each piece unique in itself and the artists are so clever.
That is so very cool. Thanks for sharing.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right? Much the same in the Graffiti vs Art debate. Much of it is just a mess of stuff – some artistic endeavors competing with people who just want to “tag” everything in sight. But there are some truly beautiful works to be found, too. We enjoy those walls when we find them. Thanks for pointing out some of Melbourne’s to us!
The art is amazing. I wonder if Brooke said, “Yes.”
I did 💖 was there on my first visit to Melbourne
It’s nothing like that here. 🙁 I love the HUGE snake! Really all the color of all of them is so cool! We need more street art!
Melbourne is definitely well known for its lane ways.
I am a big fan and I seek them out when in a new city.
Wow – these guys are for-real artists – the street art is astonishing!
Lydia C. Lee
I was there when the proposal was painted – I have pics of it being done (but incomplete). Ha!
Oh I missed these in my last visit. I would definitely go back just to see the street art… They look fabulous.
Amazing shots and so much talent. Donald Trump has an ego the size of space and a brain the size of a walnut? Nice Prince tribute on top of the one at the Superbowl yesterday. The Duckboard place piece is mesmerizing.
These are brilliant I wish I was artistic so clever
Have an artistictastic week Rhonda 🙂
The 3 story snake is something else Rhonda. And some alliteration for you LOL. This is art. I had different views on graffiti before I hit the road. Now I see it is art, even if folks view it differently. The time and attention to detail floors you. How long does it take to finish some of these jobs? Inspired stuff!
Indeed, this is amazing street art, Rhonda. I wish Melbourne was closer to Los Angeles (lol!) It’s so sad though that they cover up the old murals and replace them with new ones. While I understand there is a reason for that, I think it’s such a waste of talent and time. Think of all the effort is involved in creating these drawings just to see them disappear after a while.
Holy crap! Some of these are absolutely amazing. I didn’t think much at first, and then I started to see the really big stuff.
Lyn aka The Travelling Lindfields
I love street art. I am not a great fan of graffiti though. I wasn’t impressed until I scrolled down past your first few photos. I’m saving this post for our next trip to Melbourne. I hope it wasn’t too hot/cold for you. Great city – awful climate.
Lyn @ A Hole in my Shoe
I love street art, it’s a great way to transform a dull and boring alleyway but I do enjoy more of the murals rather than tags. I love that it is constantly changing and much of what you have shown is totally different from when I was in Melbourne 2016.
Love this post Rhonda! I am a big fan of street art. As a matter of fact, a few hours ago, I was taking photos of murals in Venice Beach. Of course, what I saw cannot compete with what is available in Melbourne. I really want to visit the city one day (not only for that, there are so many reasons to visit).
Wow! Fascinating that they encourage good street art, i am glad. That wedding proposal, i wonder if it got a yes.
I definitely prefer the street art with actual skill and which does not look like just a bunch of graffiti. The Marry Me Brooke is super cute!!
Very impressive. I like that they actually have maps of street art!
I hope Brooke said yes 🙂
Me too, it’s just so romantic.
I’ve always heard that Melbourne is one of the most artsy cities in Australia, but I definitely wasn’t expecting to see this much street art!! I’m so impressed with people’s skills. I understand why people have mixed opinions about it, but when you look at the medium, the surfaces, and how detailed these are, it’s hard to feel anything more than appreciation for the artistic skills that people have!
It’s definitely the most impressive street art I’ve ever seen – even if not in person, which I would love to do. I’d always heard Melbourne was the king of street art – and your photos prove that to be true. Any idea how it became the most famous?
I guess the right people discovered it. And now that it’s in the Lonely Planet book, it might do even better.
Wow…the street art photos are stunning…I love all kinds of street art. Saw some great art in Clarion alley, San Francisco n in Prague but this is simply superb.
Harmony, Momma To Go
I cant believe all the reference to american pop culture – 45, kardashians, prince! Also how in the world did the one that is like 5 stories high get created?!?!? Amazing! I cant even draw a stick figure so I am super impressed.
Ralph Laurence Quito
Cool 🙂 When I visit Melborne will try to drop by here.
You can get a map at the city information sites.
HI Rhonda, amazing artwork! I would love to get the chance to browse somewhere like this and get to see some artwork in the making. The triffid-like flower made me smile too.
We were pretty lucky to come upon three street artists during our walks.
So, so cool! I could spend days there just wondering around. And, I think someone needs to find the happy couple and do a engagement shoot. How cool would that be?! My answer woudl be a definite yes.
We didn’t hit all the streets on the map, and I am sure there are others in different neighbourhoods.
That would be amazing haha
Street art can be such a great way to give a facelift to an older section of a downtown area. We have a few samples here and I love them. These are a great selection ~ I love the bold, bright colorful ones. Thanks for the tour!
I don’t think these are older sections of town. They are laneways, that are brought to life.
Thanks for taking us on your trip to Melbourne. 🙂 You have captured a part of the culture that others would overlook.
Thanks, Rose, it’s easy to overlook in Melbourne, as they control where it is allowed. We sought out the street art.
Very creative murals. Very beautiful.
I don’t like graffiti in general but the portraits and pictures are awesome. The one of the young black boy is very touching. Thanks for sharing!
I didn’t used to like any of it. I am not sure when my attitude shifted, but I love it now.
I was pretty impressed by the talent in the city.
Those are so cool. Love all the talented artist. Very beautiful.
It is a fun city to walk around.
Hi Rhonda – the Aboriginal one looks stunning … such a great piece of art .. however wandering the streets and seeing the art must be extraordinary – I always admire when I see some .. cheers Hilary
It was very impressive. And wandering with a map kept us focused, although still well over our 10K steps for the day.
Some of those look a bit violent for my taste. It must be some feat to create some of the higher artistic contributions. I hope no one falls in the process. That might truly make it art to die for.
There were a few other more nasty ones that I didn’t share here, but most of the street art was bright and colourful.
Jennifer (aka Dr. J)
Melbourne is one of my favorite cities in the world for street art. Thanks for sharing some great pics.
It is amazing here, and the city even provides maps to help us find the artwork.
Oakland Daily Photo
An incredible array of street art. The snake and the aborigine boy are my favourites, but all are compelling.
I contribute when it’s appropriate. I love the snake as well, but the fully painted street is my favorite.
wow what a lot of beautiful street art You see that here in chch increasingly as well. I absolute love the mosaic one
I have to get back to Christchurch one of these days. I haven’t been since before the quake.
The art is beautiful. I especially love the colorful walls.
I thought it was so cool to turn a corner and suddenly see every inch of walls and rubbish bins brightly painted.
soma @ whimsandfancies.com
Wow! I always find street artists to be so incredibly talented, but so few appreciate their talent. Thanks so much for capturing these and sharing them with us.
I love street art, and like you, am quite impressed by the talent.
These are beautiful street art.I like the Rutledge Lane,it is so beautiful when the rubbish bins are also matching with the theme…
I agree with you, I loved that they painted the bins.
I love all of them. The dragon, and Aboriginal child are my favorites.
For both of those, I wondered how they were able to get up so high to paint it. I guess since it’s legal on those streets, they could use a man lift.
Alex J. Cavanaugh
That alleyway is just wicked. So many talented artists.
There were a few like this. I just love them.
Suze - Luxury Columnist
I like the proposal and the Prince tribute in particular. In Shoreditch, there’s quite a similar aboriginal street art so I wonder if it’s the same artist
I almost didn’t include the Prince tribute, so I am glad I did now. I have not been to Shoreditch. Where is it?
L. Diane Wolfe
Those are really creative. I love the dragon.
I seem to be seeing a lot of dragons lately. I wonder what that means.
How wonderfully creative!
Agreed. So much talent.
Very cool art
Have a great day!
I liked the marry me Brooke one the best. That made me smile.
Have a fabulous day. ☺
Me too. I just loved it.
This comment made my day!!! I said yes
Congratulations Brooke. So glad that romantic gesture didn’t go to waste.