Photo courtesy of Penny Blacks
Melbourne is probably most famous for two things: its bars and its creative arts. Sightseeing in this awesome city if pretty unique as it’s not all about major sights, some of the best attractions are bars, clubs and galleries. We urge you take a tour of the artistic bars that combine the two in the city and St Kilda.
The Butterfly Club
A small theatre, The Butterfly Club is a Melbourne icon with comedy, music and burlesque shows, bars and plenty of kitsch. See up to five shows a night from rising stars and local legends with a cocktail in hand.
5 Carson Place, Melbourne
Stop 1 on the City and St Kilda Tour
A celebration of Melbourne’s street culture, Workshop supports local talents in music, film, art, fashion and more by showcasing them in an excellent space. Music ranges from EDM to acoustic guitar, and previous art exhibitions have included photography, stencil and watercolour. You can enjoy the arts with bar food, craft beer and cocktails from mid-morning ‘til late, seven days a week.
413 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
Stop 8 on the City Tour
The Croft Institute
Where creative heads go for launch nights, film screenings and photo shoots, The Croft Institute is an ideal location for the arts thanks to its play of light and dark, architecture and décor across multiple levels. From the ground-floor science lab to the first floor girls and boys’ loos and the second floor gym – which welcomes DJs and dancing on weekends – you might even be too distracted to order a cocktail. Maybe.
21 Croft Alley, Melbourne
Stop 12 on the City Tour
With a mix of delicate wallpaper prints and Chinese Communist propaganda, Double Happiness is a vision washed down with an espresso martini. A laneway bar with an edgy, Oriental charm, there’s even hip-hop background music, which just makes it a winner in our eyes.
21 Liverpool Street, Melbourne
Stop 12 on the City Tour
Dedicated to the memory of Katishe, the struggling artist who went missing the ‘80s, this casual gallery and bar evokes a ‘60s New York apartment with ease. Vinyl records fill the bookcases, posters cover the red brick walls, a retro TV plays classics films like Breakfast At Tiffany’s and a graffiti-covered alleyway leads patrons to the toilets – think Holly Golightly meets Andy Warhol.
29 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
Stop 4 on the St Kilda Tour
Take a tour of Melbourne’s art bars with Melbourne City Sightseeing and choose from a 24-hour, 48-hour and unlimited annual bus pass to make your way around the city. Buy yours at www.melbournecitysightseeing.com.au