What are the best things to do in Melbourne’s Federation Square?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

James Ridenour
  • James Ridenour

  • Chief Concierge, InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto

Federation Square or Fed Square as the locals call it, was named for Australia’s “federation” as an independent nation which was formalised in Melbourne on 1 January 1901.

Fed Square is now a major hub for tourists, with a visitors information centre located at the corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets. The Square boasts a collection of restaurants, bars, cafes, galleries, performance spaces, river cruises dock as well as a bicycle rental shop.

The building’s façade has a pinwheel triangular design that is repeated in various forms throughout the structure. Three primary materials feature in the design: zinc, glass and sandstone. The Atrium in the centre of the square was inspired by Melbourne’s hidden laneways and arcades and is used for major events and exhibitions, such as fashion shows and wine tastings. The giant screen in the main atrium is a local favourite to watch major sporting events.

Favourites in Fed Square include the National Gallery of Victoria’s Australian art collection, Riverland Bar which is built into the old shipping vaults and The Australian Centre for the Moving Image where you can see Cate Blanchett’s Academy Award* on display. 

The building itself is a marvel as it was created by constructing a platform above the rail lines below, thus creating new land on which to build. This newly constructed real estate has become one of the cities most prominent attractions. 

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