Performing Arts Centres

Melburnians love the arts. From the futuristic designs of Federation Square to the creative graffiti that decorate the walls surrounding Melbourne’s historic laneways – the taste for the artistic and inspirational is clearly visible throughout the city.

It comes as no surprise that Melbourne is also home to some of the most prestigious performing arts centres in the country. To many Melburnians watching a show or concert is a regular on their weekly schedules.

The Arts Centre

This modern complex is the flagship of Melbourne’s performing arts. It is spread across the city’s Cultural Precinct just south of the Yarra River and includes the Hamer Hall, Theatres Building and the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.

Hamer Hall is the venue for classical music concerts and sits at the centre of the Southbank Cultural Precinct. This area is currently being redeveloped into a modern, innovative cultural hub that showcases Melbourne’s strong connection to the arts. To leave no doubt about the city’s love of the creative, the Victorian government has allocated $128.5 million dollars to this ambitious project.

The lawn behind Hamer Hall is the location of the Sunday Market, where local artists and producers showcase handcrafted items and freshly made delicacies.

The Theatres Building includes the State Theatre, the Playhouse and the Fairfax Studio. These are the stages for world-class musicals, orchestras, ballet and opera.

The Sidney Myer Music Bowl is one of Melbourne’s most popular open-air venues situated in the King’s Domain. The amphitheatre regularly hosts rock and pop legends such as Pearl Jam or The Asian Dub Foundation.

If you’d like to learn more about the Arts Centre and its strong place in the hearts of many Melburnians, join one of the insightful guided backstage tours that run on Sundays.

Melbourne Recital Centre and MTC Theatre

The award-winning buildings of the Melbourne Recital Centre and the Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC) are located just south of the city centre, on the corner of Sturt Street and Southbank Boulevard. Indeed, their daring architecture stands out even in the arty landscape of metropolitan Melbourne. Both buildings opened in 2009 and are part of Southbank’s transformation into Melbourne’s arts precinct.


At the Eastern end of the city is a series of beautiful old theatres that host many prominent events on the Victorian arts calendar.

The iconic Princess Theatre, right across the street from Parliament, has set the stage to some of the world’s most successful productions such as The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Cats, Mama Mia! and The Producers.

Her Majesty’s Theatre, on the corner of Little Bourke and Exhibition Street and right next to Chinatown, is famous for its Art Deco interiors. Previously shows here have been the top-selling musicals Mary Poppins and Miss Saigon.

The Comedy Theatre on the corner of Exhibition and Lonsdale Street displays, not only comedy, but also popular musicals and a wide range of shows.

Other important inner-city venues in Melbourne’s theatre scene are the Regent Theatre on Collins Street and the Forum Theatre on the corner of Flinders and Russell Street.