A ‘twist in every turn’ speaks true of Melbourne city’s incredible mix of urban lanes and quirky alleyways. With a tantamount of hidden gems waiting to be uncovered, exploring the full depth and breadth of Melbourne’s diverse cultural offerings can be overwhelming.
So whether you’re an interstate traveller, international visitor or a local looking to rediscover the area, we’ve sourced the best Melbourne Laneways tours that offer a real taste of the city’s unique flavour.
With choices for foodies, art buffs and for anyone with a bit of wanderlust, you’re sure to find your perfect walking tour itinerary.
1. Melbourne Lanes and Arcades Tour
Image credit: Unsplash
When you think of Melbourne you think vibrant lanes and unique alleyways dotted with an eclectic lineup of shops, cafes and eateries.
Hailed as the original Lanes and Arcades Walking Tour, Hidden Secrets Tour gives you the lowdown on the coolest local spots, specialty stores, trendiest boutiques, and historical sights that are often lost in Melbourne’s medley of must-sees.
The tour guides are local experts who share interesting historical tidbits and recommendations along the way. You’ll leave your tour with a special goodie bag in hand and many ideas for local spots to revisit on your own.
This 4-hour walking tour starts at Federation Square and winds you through Flinders Street, the Royal Arcade, Hosier Lane, and more.
> Tours ran by Hidden Secrets Tours with prices from $95. More information here.
2. Melbourne Street Art Tours
Image credit: Unsplash
What better way to get the ultimate insider scoop to Melbourne’s internationally renowned street art than by going on a tour led by the street artists themselves?
The first and only one of its kind, Melbourne Street Tours takes you through Hosier Lane, AC/DC Lane, and some of the city’s lesser-known, but equally enigmatic spots. If you’re lucky you might even see some street artists at work!
> Tours run every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday with prices from $69. More information here.
3. Hidden Bar and Cocktail Walking Tour
Image credit: Viator
Fancy yourself as a cocktail connoisseur? Hidden Bar and Cocktail Walking Tour is just the thing to keep your spirits high.
You’ll expect to visit between 10 to 15 bars, with a mix of lesser-known laneway haunts and well-loved local hangouts. This 3.5-hour immersive tour means triple the happy hour and double the fun.
Along with insider scoop from expert mixologists and local distillers, you’ll also get to sip on two complimentary cocktails along the way.
> Tours ran by Viator, with prices from $109. More information here.
4. I’m Free Walking Tours
Image credit: I’m Free Walking Tours
This tour is a Melbourne mainstay and for good reason. Not only is it free, but the informative and friendly tour guides are sure to make your walk entertaining and worthwhile.
I’m Free Tours provide a rundown of Melbourne’s must-see sights and landmarks. It’s a great introduction to the city and is especially useful for first-time visitors, international travellers, or for those short on time.
Tours run daily, be it rain, hail or shine. Bookings are not essential. Simply meet one of the tour guides in the bight green T-shirt from the statue of Sir Redmond Barry in front of the State Library of Victoria.
5. The Foodies Bucket List Melbourne Walking Tour
Image credit: This is Melbourne
The city’s melting pot of cultures and diversity is truly reflected in its eclectic food offerings. It’s home to some of Australia’s most hatted restaurants, such as world-renowned Vue de Monde on Collins Street and Chin Chin on Flinders Lane.
As the name suggests, the Foodies Bucket List tour visits 5 venues where you can sample a curated selection of mouth-watering culinary delights, paired with historical and cultural anecdotes.
From modern Asian-fusion to European delights and Aussie favourites, there’s something to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
This gastronomic journey takes you through Southbank, Melbourne’s premier waterfront entertainment precinct, and around the CBD’s best-kept secrets.
> Tours ran by This is Melbourne with prices from $140. More information here.
6. The Architecture Tour
Image credit: Unsplash
If you’re mesmerised by fanciful colours, Gothic cathedrals, or the allure of Art Deco arches, an Architecture Tour of Melbourne’s city is right up your alley.
The tour tackles the city’s major landmarks along Swanston Street, Flinders Lane and Collins Street where you’ll experience a collection of architectural masterpieces spanning from different eras and styles.
A must for any architecture buff, this tour provides a different perspective to the local history and a glimpse into the city’s future landscape.
> Tours ran by Melbourne Walks with prices from $60. More info here.
7. Dessert Walking Tour
Image credit: Tip Top Tours
If you’ve got a sweet tooth and a penchant for delicate French patisseries, you’ll adore this Delicious Dessert Walking Tour by Tip Top Tours.
This ultimate dessert tour takes you through the Melbourne’s best dessert spots. You can taste La Belle Miette’s scrumptious specialty macarons on Hardware Lane or sample a rocky road cheesecake at Iki-jime on Little Collins Street.
So what are you waiting for? Indulge and experience the sweeter side of Melbourne by strolling through the city’s famed areas guided by locals experts.
> Tours ran by Tip Top Tours with prices from $59. More information here.
8. Coffee Lover’s Tour
Image Credit: Australia.com
If freshly roasted coffee beans and uber cool latte art tickle your fancy then this cafe tour is sure to put a pep in your step.
With new cafes and bakeries dotting every corner, it’s no secret that Melbourne’s coffee culture is some of the best in the world. Hidden Secrets Café Culture Walk takes the guesswork out of finding your favourite spot by showing you around some of the city’s hidden gems and best-loved local caffeine hubs.
This 3-hour tour includes delicious bites and sweet treats along the way, coffee and tea tastings, a delightful cafe lunch, and a parting gift from your tour hosts.
> Tours ran by Hidden Secret Tours with prices from $99. More information here.
Looking for a hotel that’s close to the action? Discover Batman’s Hill on Collins offers so you can explore more.