Federation Square is Melbourne's cultural heartbeat.
By Ellie Schneider
Federation Square is a unique cultural precinct. It brings together world-class events, galleries, restaurants and bars, coupled with a creative program that showcases diverse works throughout the year. Here are the best things to see and do.
- Discover exceptional public art
- Take part in community celebrations
- Pick up paperbacks at the weekly book market
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Top things to do around Federation Square
Visit for the events
Federation Square is Melbourne's events hub. More than 2000 events are held here each year, including the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival in March, Melbourne International Comedy Festival in April and Melbourne Festival in October. It also hosts school holiday programs, performances, pop-up exhibitions and free workshops. One hour guided walking tours are offered each morning from Monday to Saturday at 11am and depart from the Melbourne Visitor Centre.
See cutting-edge art and design
Federation Square is home to the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI). Since openings its doors in 2002, ACMI has cemented its reputation as one of the world's leading moving image centres, and is dedicated to screen content in all its forms, including cinema, gaming, TV and digital culture. Alongside its permanent exhibition, ACMI hosts film festivals, talks from industry experts and hands-on workshops. At Federation Square you'll also find the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, housed within The Atrium. It's the world's first major gallery dedicated exclusively to Australian art. The collection includes photography, prints and drawings, fashion and textiles, decorative arts and a suite of galleries dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.
Hunt for treasure at the Fed Square Book Market
Each Saturday book lovers can trawl through more than 5000 new and preloved titles at the Fed Square Book Market, housed within The Atrium. Melbourne's most experienced dealers set up shop alongside authors, illustrators and street performers. Titles span literature, history, art, travel and children's stories, so there’s something to suit every taste.
Join in morning meditation
Wake up early to take part in a guided morning meditation class. Held each Thursday from 8am, the free, half hour sessions are run by Calm in the City, a not-for-profit initiative that aims to make meditation accessible to the whole community. You won't have to travel far to dig in to a classic Australian-style breakfast, served on the terrace at Time Out Fed Square. There are also countless cafés tucked within the laneways opposite Flinders Street station.
Chill out on the Yarra
Federation Wharf links Federation Square with Melbourne's picturesque Yarra River via a series of historic "vaults" that date back to the 1890s. You can discover Melbourne from the Yarra River on one of the city river cruises, or hire a bicycle and explore the city's beautiful parks and gardens. To the east of Federation Square lies Birrarung Marr, a riverside park with open spaces and sculptured terraces. Visit ArtPlay, a centre and gallery where children can create their own artworks alongside professional artists. More than 300 workshops, performances and events are held at ArtPlay every year. The park's William Barak pedestrian bridge leads directly to the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).