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Exploring Hosier Lane in Melbourne Australia

Hosier Lane in Melbourne was last updated on April 21st, 2024. This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase through one of these links I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you!

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Welcome to Hosier Lane, the heart of Melbourne’s street art scene. Tucked away in the city center, this laneway has become a hub for artistic expression that is just thrilling to see! Each visit to Hosier Lane offers a new experience as artists from both Melbourne and around the world leave their work on the historic brick walls, meaning you never know what you will find!

Coming from a small town in Canada I had only seen graffiti on dumpsters really. The idea of a whole laneway just for artists to create was very appealing to me. I cannot draw worth anything, but seeing what comes from the minds of others is so cool, so I had a feeling I would love Hosier Lane. I never expected that visiting this laneway so often would become one of my fondest memories from working as an au pair in Melbourne.

Stepping off the train at Flinders Street Station I always had the urge to go see if there was anything new down Hosier Lane before heading off to wherever I was going. It felt like a wasted trip without stopping to take in some art!

Graffiti on the wall of a large pink monster with green teeth and eyeballs, and green flames around it

Graffiti going up the side of a building portraying a tree with a beating heart growing out of it

A woman staring at the graffiti in front of her, with her back to us

Exploring Hosier Lane in Melbourne

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How To Get There

It is very easy to get to Hosier Lane. Simply take whichever train will bring you from your accommodations into Flinders Street Station, exit the station, and Hosier Lane is a 2-minute walk away. When you leave Flinders cross the street to Federation Square (to the right when you leave Flinders) and Hosier Lane is directly across.

Where To Stay Close To Hosier Lane

BudgetMelbourne City Backpackers OR Europa Melbourne

Mid Range Brady Hotels Jones Lane OR Flinders Backpackers

Luxury Dorsett Melbourne OR Quincy Hotel

Why Is Hosier Lane Special?

Hosier Lane in Melbourne is a special place due to its vibrant street art scene. The lane is adorned with ever-changing graffiti, murals, stencils, and other art forms created by local and international artists. This has attracted tourists from around the world, making Hosier Lane a popular destination.

Its historical significance as a transformed service lane adds to its appeal. It’s lovely how the lane has fostered a sense of community among street artists, encouraging collaboration and artistic growth.

A colourful collection of graffiti, pipes, and signs

Graffiti depicting what I believe is an evil mouse's skull in purple, with a black background

White and black graffiti that is impossible to read

My Experience Visiting Hosier Lane

I spent 5 months working as an au pair in Melbourne, Australia, so whenever I went down to the CBD (Central Business District) I would usually walk over to Hosier Lane to see what was new.

People are always down those laneways creating their art, something I could only dream about doing. The higher up the graffiti, the less likely someone will paint over it. Since the graffiti is constantly being painted over to create something new (it’s an unwritten rule) if you want your art to remain for a while, get a ladder and paint high up!

Every time I went down this lane in the 5 months I lived there there was something new to see; never once were the lanes the same. It was fun going over to see which art remained the same and which ones were painted over. Getting to discover something new each time makes you want to go more often. Or maybe the excuse for some delicious coffee nearby makes you want to go more, afterall, street art and coffee do compliment each other.

I went on a walking ghost tour one evening, and Hosier lane was a feature. About a hundred years ago, this lane was quite dangerous to walk at nighttime since there weren’t any lampposts, so women unfortunately were often raped there; not to mention the several murders that took place in the laneway. It is said that if you walk up to one of the walls, ask permission to take a photo and take several photos in quick succession, you can sometimes see glimpses of weird lights and sights in the photos…my kind of ghost tour! Unfortunately, I didn’t think to bring my camera since it was so dark, so no ghost photos for me.

Nowadays it is safe, and during the day you can often see wedding photos being done there amongst the beautiful graffiti backdrop. Even during the nighttime ghost tour there were people in the laneways looking at the art.

A large brown scowling face shown from the left. This is covering colorful graffiti

Two blue dumpsters covered in graffiti, with most of the word Melbourne spelled our behind them, with a skeletal hand reaching out

A mostly green background with a brown animal like face with yellow eyes peering out, sharp teeth, and a distorted face beside it

The typical graffiti picture with all different kinds spread out

What To Do Once You’re Done Exploring Hosier Lane

You’re in a great place! There are endless bars, restaurants, cafes, and shopping in the area. Across the street is Federation Square, where there are art galleries, food, exhibitions, and other events always happening.

If you’re hungry MoVida, a popular Spanish tapas restaurant, is located at the South end of the laneway. Or to keep up with the laneway experience, walk a few blocks over to DeGraves Street. This was one of Melbourne’s first laneways and now, like Hosier Lane, has transformed. Here you can find food, drinks, shopping, and plenty of people watching. DeGraves Street was one of my personal favourite Streets to frequent while in Melbourne.

Since you’re already so close to Federation Square why not walk across the street to check out which exhibits they have on.

Otherwise, you could continue to walk past Federation Square, cross the Yarra River, and discover Southbank. There is lots to see in Southbank, but I might argue that the coolest thing to do here would be going up the Melbourne Sky Deck, which is the highest viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere!

This article is available for download on GPSmycity, along with other Melbourne Guides. Check them out here!

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7 Responses

  1. Hosier Lane is a good place to check out but should be followed up by breakfast in Degraves Street one block away. Centre Place is also worthwhile for some nice food and coffee. All very close to Hosier Lane

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Brooklyn standing in front of the pyramids of Giza

Brooklyn Murtaugh

travel blogger

Hi! I’m Brooklyn. Like many, I thought my purpose in life was to go to university, settle down and have kids. But that is not me. 

My aim is to inspire you to travel as much as you can while you can, whether that be through au pair work, or on your limited vacation days. It CAN be done. This world is incredible, let’s explore it!

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