Events in Melbourne

Please select a Date first.

Search for a company in Melbourne

Gangsters, Brothels and Lolly Shops Tour

Sightseeing Tours Tours Culture & History Tours

Take a 2-hour walk through Melbourne’s former seedy underbelly, an era when Melbourne’s downtown crime district was run by women. Learn about the battle for supremacy, and madams who stood their ground against gangsters such as Squizzy Taylor.


  • Explore the streets and alleys of Melbourne's former slums & brothel district c. 1870s to 1930s
  • Stop outside the home, brothel and gang headquarters of Australia's most famous gangster Leslie 'Squizzy' Taylor
  • Discover buildings which were lolly shop (candy store) brothels 100 years ago
  • See former opium dens and cocaine cafes and learn about the people who frequented these premises
  • Visit the last remaining single storey cottage in Melbourne's back lanes


Take a walk through downtown Melbourne and learn of an era in which there was much more on offer at the local confectionery store than just lollies and soft drinks. Explore Melbourne’s underworld circa 1870s-1930s, an era in which Melbourne’s downtown slum district, ‘Little Lon’, was mostly run by women. Learn about the battle for supremacy, madams who stood their ground against well-known gangsters such as Squizzy Taylor, and an all-female crime syndicate known as ‘The Combine’. Stop outside buildings which were once brothels and sly grog shops (speak easies), and hear the stories of what occurred within their walls and on the streets and laneways around them. You can also see examples of former opium dens and all night cocaine cafes, and learn of the characters who frequented these establishments. You will hear of shootings, bombings, bashings, brothels, robberies, opium, cocaine and sly grog (speak easies), on a tour designed and delivered by writer and historian, Michael Shelford.


Free tour booklet containing photos of the characters featured on the tour

Important Information

  • Wear comfortable shoes for walking suggested
  • Sunscreen and weather protection are recommended according to conditions

Easy cancellation

Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
  • Reserve Your Experience

    Instant Booking Confirmation

    Book Now

Contact Gangsters, Brothels and Lolly Shops Tour


Book Now Gangsters, Brothels and Lolly Shops Tour

My Lists

Create New Guide


Mini Guides

Login to create your guides for Melbourne.

Add to My Guide

Create New Guide



Create & Share your Guide to Melbourne with friends and family!

Add your recommended places to visit by browsing the website and pressing the icon.

Create your own guide of favourite 'must see' places

Earn your Local Expert badge by Sharing your guides with others

Get your guide seen by submitting it to the Mini Guides section


We Are Part of the My Guide Network!

My Guide Melbourne is part of the global My Guide Network of Online & Mobile travel guides.

We are now in 120+ Destinations and Growing. If you are interested in becoming a local travel partner and would like to find out more then click for more info about our Website Business Opportunity.

Nearby Destinations