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What's on City of Melbourne

Cultural precincts

Melbourne’s cultural precincts are well established attractions for both locals and visitors. Their great appeal adds to Melbourne’s international reputation as an exciting and welcoming city.

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Greek precinct

City at nightAthens might be a world away but Melbourne is home to the largest Greek-speaking population outside Europe.

Melbourne’s Greek Precinct adds a splash of the Mediterranean to parts of Lonsdale and Russell streets and is filled with culinary delights. Brunch on sweet baklava, lunch on savoury mezes, grab a late-night souvlaki – the choice is yours, at all hours of the day or night.

Locals and tourists alike have discovered the wonders of the Greek Precinct and its al fresco dining. If you bypass the footpath tables and dive into the shops, you’ll find everything from magazines, music and jewellery to clocks and religious icons – all imported from the land of the gods.


Greek Precinct Association (GPA)
c/o Tsindos Restaurant
197 Lonsdale Street , Melbourne 3000

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Lygon Street cultural precinct

Lygon Street cultural precinctLygon Street in Carlton is the historic heartland of Melbourne’s Italian community. This is where the city’s famous café culture was born, when one of the street’s Italian-owned cafés imported Melbourne’s first espresso machine in the 1950s. Melbourne has never looked back!

Tantalise your taste buds with pizza, pasta, gelati and torte. International restaurants, speciality delicatessens and cake shops tempt visitors as they spill out of the theatres, cinemas, libraries, and galleries.

Just a short stroll away in the Carlton Gardens is one of Australia’s most important classical structures, the Royal Exhibition Building. Across the courtyard, and reflecting the historic Exhibition Building in its enormous glass frontage, is the ultra-modern Melbourne Museum.

To experience Carlton like one of the locals, follow their lead and see an art-house film at the Nova Cinema, buy a book at Readings bookstore or sample the superb coffee and cake at buzzing Brunetti’s.


Carlton Association Precinct Inc. (CAPi)
Address: Gino Francese, c/o Cavallino Café, 181 Lygon Street , Carlton 3057
Email: Alessia Galioto, Executive Officer, at

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ChinatownOrnate gates guard the entrance and fat lanterns dangle overhead. Welcome to bright and buzzing Chinatown, a slice of Asia in the heart of the city.

Little Bourke Street is the focus of the Chinatown Precinct, where shoppers and diners throng the narrow streets and yum cha is the word for lunch, especially at the weekend.

Cuisines from across Asia are represented in the throng of restaurants: Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Japanese, and of course Chinese all tempt the hungry visitor. You’ll find dozens of traditional laneway eating houses alongside some of the city’s most-awarded contemporary silver service restaurants.

Chinatown is home to the Asian Food Festival (August-September) and the Chinese New Year Festival (February), attracting visitors who want to experience the sights, sounds and tastes of Asia.

But Chinatown is not just about food. Shops and businesses in the thriving arcades off Little Bourke Street sell everything from Chinoiserie to fungi, so why not buy some paper lanterns, try some ancient herbal medicine or even take part in a Feng Shui tour?

Visit the Chinese Museum at 22 Cohen Place to learn about the stories and culture of Chinese Australians. See the Chinese Dragon, and artefacts and photographs dating from the gold rush of the 1850s to modern times, spread over five levels of exhibition space.


Chinatown Precinct Association Inc
PO Box 483, Moonee Ponds, Victoria 3039
phone: Eng Lim, Vice President on 0418 589 778
email: or

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Cake shop sign