Melbourne is well known its hidden gems: cafes, pop-up stalls and pubs can be found all throughout the CBD. There’s something for everyone.

The trick? Finding it!

The city makes for an exciting afternoon out if you’re the type of person who loves good food and a little bit of adventure.

The excitement lies in the fact that many of these sights and sounds are so tucked away in Melbourne’s labyrinth of quirky laneways and alleys!

Even finding a place to begin can be daunting. Even if you did, you’d be pressed to visit all the best spots in Melbourne in just a day.

So why not make a weekend out of it, and organise an overnight stay in our Melbourne hostel? That way, you’re just a short tram-ride away from all the excitement and adventure just waiting to be explored.

To help you discover all of Melbourne’s hidden gems, we went around and asked our hostel staff about their favourite laneways. We even asked a couple of current guests, just for good measure!

melbourne hostel


Start your day off with a trip to Hardware Lane

Distance from Urban Central: 13 minutes

Who said you had to go to Italy to experience European-style cafe culture?

Hardware Lane is the perfect place to stop first on your tour of Melbourne’s Laneways.

With beautiful red brick paving, European-style terrace seating and a wealth of fantastic cafes and restaurants, Hardware Lane is the perfect place to kick off your day.

Unlike many other laneways in Melbourne, Hardware Lane is bright and open.

Better yet, It’s only a thirteen minute tram ride away from Urban Central.

That leaves plenty of time to check out places like La Belle Miette, which will certainly tempt any sweet tooth in the group. If you ask us, it’s one of the best places to go for macarons, bonbons and other sweet treats.

And if you find yourself wandering back to Hardware Lane in the evening, there are a number of restaurants you might find tempting to have a meal and a nice glass of wine - Kirk’s Wine Bar and the French Saloon are some of our favourites.

Visit Melbourne’s very own Diagon Alley, Centre Place


Distance from Urban Central: 15 minutes

With winding cobblestone streets, zany characters and all sorts of bric-a-brac, Diagon Alley was one of the most vibrant and visually-striking locales in the Harry Potter series.

And thanks to its eclectic mix of vendors, Centre Place has earned itself a reputation as Melbourne’s answer to the famous wizarding laneway!

This laneway is a stark contrast to Hardware Lane - instead of a clean, wide pedestrian street that wouldn’t be out of place in Rome or Paris, Centre Place is narrow and every-so-slightly grungy and bohemian.

Full of street art, buskers and hole-in-the-wall bars and shops, it isn’t uncommon to experience sensory overload.

If you’re looking to grab a coffee while your peruse through stores, Centre Place should be the next stop on your list. You can grab that much needed caffeine hit from Jungle Juice before perusing the racks at quirky clothing store Kinki Gerlinki.

If you are staying at Urban Central, Centre Place is just a 15-minute tram ride away.

degraves street melbourne laneways


Explore Degraves Street

Degraves Street is just a one-minute walk from Centre Place; in fact, the two basically meet at Flinders Lane.

It’s every shopper’s dream with plenty of stores like Sticky and Clementines offering all sorts of funky nic-nacs.

Eager to stick around? Luckily for you, Degraves Street is filled with fantastic eateries offering sit-down meals or yummy treats to take back to your Melbourne hostel.

Our recommendations? If you’re in a rush, you can’t go past Little Cupcakes or Degraves Espresso Bar. After all, you need to get rid of the appetite you’ll work up from all the shopping and exploring!

And if you need something more substantial, you can’t go wrong with Italian - Il Temp offers fantastic pasta and pizza.

Want something more distinctly Aussie? While Metro Burgers may be styled on a vintage American diner, its menu is anything but, with options including emu and kangaroo burgers!

hardware lane melbourne laneways


Our Melbourne hostel can help you enjoy everything our great city has to offer!

If a trip through Melbourne’s laneways is on your bucket list, then you probably have a long list of other places that you want to visit.

Maybe it’s the Block Arcade or the Royal Arcade or maybe it’s a secret laneway only you know about!

Regardless, Melbourne is chock full of hidden gems - discovering each of them is next to impossible if you’re on your own.

When you stay at our Melbourne hostel however, you needn’t go alone!

At a hostel, you’ll be surrounded by seasoned travellers, some of whom may have already been in Melbourne for weeks. This gives you plenty of opportunities to discover all of the city’s hidden gems!

And if you’re looking for a hostel in Melbourne, you can’t go past Urban Central!

In addition to making accommodation in Melbourne affordable, we also help you get the most out of your stay with plenty of resources and information to help you plan things out.

Whether you’re planning a solo expedition or you’re exploring Melbourne with a group of friends, Urban Central has a room to suit your needs.

If you want to keep your trip on a budget you can book a communal dormitory, or a four bed share room with an ensuite. If you would prefer your own space and a bit of privacy you can book a double or twin room.

If you want to book a room with Urban Central for your Melbourne laneway tour, you can book your accommodation online.

If you would like to find out more about Urban Central and the rooms available, contact our friendly team.