Federation Square

The Fascinating Federation Square, Melbourne

Melbourne, Victoria 3000

Federation Square sits in the middle of Melbourne, inside the inner city, and includes two large public spaces within its clutches.

Federation Square

There are two open squares known as St. Paul’s Court and The Square, as well as a covered space known as the Atrium. These spaces perch on a concrete deck that hovers above busy railway lines, offering the area an urban and industrial feel. But that also means it’s easy to get to – situated between Flinders Street and Swanston Street in the bustling and lively Central Business District, it is right next to Melbourne’s busiest railway station.

The History of Federation Square

Federation Square lies on the same spot that City Square did – Melbourne’s first public square which was masterminded back in 1968. At this time, the Melbourne City Council were planning a new initiative to connect up certain landmarks in the city and provide a multi-functional space for locals and tourists, but at first City Square was considered a complete failure. It was quickly put forward for redevelopment in the early 1990s, but even then many of its major design flaws weren’t addressed. It wasn’t until later on in the 90s that the Victorian State Government put forward new plans for a better and more functional square – and so Federation Square was born.

The Design of Federation Square

The square itself harbours a mix of old and new. Intricate architecture rubs shoulders with more modern offerings, including the metallic-clad shards that cut angular shapes against the sky. Throughout the square you’ll find a maze of laneways that weave in and out of the major landmarks and connect the square to the popular Flinders Street and the Yarra River, whilst the Atrium offers a five-storey high public space. Then there’s the Labyrinth, a passive cooling system with an unusual appearance – 1.2km of honeycombed walls latched together – which keeps the inside 12C cooler than the outside during summer months and 12C warmer in winter.

Attractions in Federation Square

Federation Square is home to a range of attractions that draw in visitors all year round. It promotes Melbourne’s unrivalled cultural scene, showcasing theatre performances overlooking the Yarra River at The Edge, contemporary art exhibitions at the National Gallery of Victoria, concerts and events at Zinc, a premiere function space, and a seemingly endless supply of upmarket restaurants, bars, and cafes. It’s also the home of numerous festivals throughout the summer, which make use of the unusual space and its eclectic backdrop. Here are just a few sites worth the visit!

The Restaurants and Bars at Federation Square

  • Riverland Bar and Café

    Federation Square Riverland Bar

    Nestled right along the Yarra River, the Riverland promises exceptional views of the sparkling water and skyscrapers surrounding it. An outdoor venue, offering local craft beers, delicious Australian wine, and some of the best nibbles in town! It is open throughout the year regardless of the season, either spending a summer afternoon in the sun or warming up to the outdoor heating during the winter. It is forever crowded with both locals and tourists, being a hot spot for after-work drinks, pre footy hangs, or simply catch-ups with friends.

  • Transport Public Bar

    Renowned for its complete glass wall window, Transport Public bar offers epic views of Melbourne’s best sights. Featuring live music, sporting events, and delicious food and drinks, the public bar promises a relaxed and friendly place to unwind after a day of sightseeing. Being in the centre of everything, it is perfect for the first spot on the night of adventure. Being close to the train, trams, main streets, and iconic venues.

  • Chocolate Buddha

    If you have heard of Melbourne’s famous fusion style food, Chocolate Buddha is for you! Specialising in traditional Japanese dishes with a contemporary twist, with a variety of sushi, gyozas, zentai, and noodles. The restaurant also offers a range of Japanese Beer, Wine and Sake to wash down the delightful cuisines. However, the food and drink are only a part of the appeal, with the stunning and unique interior design makes it a beautiful place to relax in.

The Events at Federation Square

  • Guided Tour

    Learn more about the site’s history, unique architecture and the engineering wonders of Fed Square. Departing daily, this tour allows visitors to get more insight into one of Melbourne’s greatest icons.

  • The Winter Village

    Melbourne might get to bone-chilling temperatures, but it sadly never sees snow during the wintertime. With many locals and tourists heading up to the mountain regions nearby, spending a day or weekend amidst the thick blanket of snow. However, this isn’t the only option, with Federation Square offering an alternative, Transforming the region into a frosty, white winter wonderland. Known as the Winter Village, it features large igloos, an ice-skating rink, and plenty of yummy food and cocktails. So, book an igloo and cuddle up under a blanket while sipping on a delicious mulled wine or cinnamon cocktail.

  • Aboriginal Walking Tour

    Imagine how this region was back in ancient times when the only humans roaming the land were the traditional owners of Australia, the Aboriginal community. Take the historic walking tour with the experience of Aboriginal guides and step back in time when Federation Square was bush and grassland. The tours are held every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, only taking an hour and providing many visitors with an unforgettable experience.

  • Winter Garden

    A joyous and playful profusion of handmade flowers! Held in Melbourne’s wintertime, this riot of colour brightens the cold and dreary days by bringing life to Fed Square. The flowers are in fact handknitted woollen wildlife, arranged perfectly so as if guests are visiting a completely manicure botanical garden. The colourful floral are all mounted onto recycled bicycle wheels and remind us of the colour of spring when the world is at its darkest and coldest period.

Other tourist attraction: