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Federation Square

Last Updated: July 21, 2024 City Secrets
Tripadvisor Rating 4.5/5
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avatar By Sam Baldwin

Fed Square is often visited by folks willing to explore the city’s cultural scene and then see the main attractions in the city centre.

Swanston St & Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia


Fed Square, or Federation Square, is a public space in the heart of Melbourne, Australia. The square opened in 2002 and has become one of Melbourne’s most iconic landmarks. The area is situated between Flinders Street Station and the Yarra River.

Fed Square has various cultural attractions, including the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), the National Gallery of Victoria’s Ian Potter Centre, and the Koorie Heritage Trust. The area also holds regular events, such as outdoor concerts, art exhibits, and festivals, making it a centre of bustle and creation in the city’s heart.

The Story

The story of Fed Square began in the late 1990s when the Victorian government decided to redevelop the former Gas and Fuel Corporation complex site in Melbourne’s CBD. The project aimed to create a new public space that would celebrate the diversity and culture of the city while also providing a platform for the arts and creative industries.

The design competition for the new space was won by a consortium of architects led by Lab Architecture Studio and Bates Smart. Their design featured a series of interconnected buildings and public spaces and was inspired by the idea of a “city within a city.”

Construction of the new square began in 1999, and the area was officially opened to the public in 2002. Some considered the project controversial then, with critics arguing that the modernist design clashed with the surrounding heritage buildings.

Despite the initial controversy, Fed Square quickly became a beloved part of the city’s urban landscape. The space was praised for its innovative design, seamlessly integrating various cultural institutions and public spaces. The unique design features of the square include a series of large, angular buildings made from sandstone, zinc, and glass, which create a striking contrast with the surrounding Victorian-era architecture.

facade of Federation Square photo by Francisco Anzola / Rodrigo.Argenton (Wikimedia Commons)

What is Fed Square famous for?

The square is famous for hosting various events throughout the year, from outdoor concerts to art installations and festivals. It has also become a popular spot for tourists and locals alike to relax, socialize, and soak up the unique atmosphere of Melbourne’s bustling CBD. Overall, Fed Square is a cultural hub that celebrates the diversity and creativity of Melbourne, making it a good destination for anyone visiting the city.

Did you know?

How to get there?

The following public transport services will take you to Fed Square:

Bus: 207, 216, 232, 234, 250, 251, and 302,


Tram: 48 and 67.

Nearby parking and cost

You can park your vehicles at the following spots:

Nearby Attractions – Make A Day Of It!

Make your day more worthwhile by visiting these places:

This iconic train station is located just across the street from Fed Square and is one of Melbourne’s most recognisable landmarks.

Fed Square is located on the banks of the Yarra River, which is a popular spot for scenic walks, boat cruises, and riverfront dining.

Top 5 Closest Hidden Gems – Recommended By Adventure Clues

Destination Distance
Presgrave Place 400 m
Ponyfish Island 550 m
Hosier Lane 600 m
Koorie Heritage Trust Walk 650 m
Coop’s Shot Tower 2.6 km

Your Hidden Gems Itinerary

  1. Start your day at Fed Square. 
  2. Next, spend with a stroll to Presgrave Place, an alley filled with vibrant street art and cozy cafes.
  3. Continue your journey to Ponyfish Island, a floating bar under the Southbank Pedestrian Bridge, providing scenic views of the Yarra River.
  4. Immerse yourself in the graffiti-filled laneways of Hosier Lane, capturing the essence of Melbourne’s street art scene.
  5. Visit the Koorie Heritage Trust Cultural Walk, learning about the rich Indigenous culture of Australia.
  6. Conclude your day with a visit to Coop’s Shot Tower, an iconic historical site with a unique architecture.

Melbourne hides its gems in laneways, cultural walks, and historic sites. By starting at Fed Square and exploring nearby locations on foot, you can discover the city’s rich history, vibrant art scene, and unique landmarks, creating a day filled with diverse experiences without the need for a car. Enjoy the hidden treasures that Melbourne has to offer in a relaxed and efficient manner.

Best eateries

You can have a delectable meal at these eateries:

This popular Asian fusion restaurant is known for its bold flavours and vibrant atmosphere.

This stylish eatery features a menu of modern Australian cuisine, including a range of fresh seafood and locally sourced produce.

Entry price

You don’t need a fee to enter Fed Square as it is a public space open to everyone.

BMW Edge, Federation Square photo by Travellers travel photobook / Thesupermat2 (Wikimedia Commons)

Final Thoughts

Fed Square, located in the heart of Melbourne, Australia, is a public space that houses various cultural attractions and hosts regular events, making it a significant landmark in the city’s cultural scene.

Australia values art and artists. Treat yourself to a trip to a wonderland of creativity by booking Melbourne Scavenger Hunts by Adventure Clues.

Fed Square, Melbourne FAQs

Here are the answers to some of your questions about the culturally vibrant and architecturally unique Fed Square in Melbourne, Australia.

What significant attractions are present at Fed Square?

Some of the significant attractions housed at Fed Square include the NGV Australia also known as the National Gallery of Victoria, the Australian Centre for Moving Image popular as ACMI, the Ian Potter Centre, and the Koorie Heritage Trust, which is a cultural hub for the Aboriginal community.

What is the function of the NGV Australia at Fed Square?

NGV Australia at Fed Square, or the National Gallery of Victoria houses Australian art, and frequently hosts exhibitions along with showcasing a variety of installations.

What is the role of the ACMI at Fed Square?

ACMI, or the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, is a part of Fed Square’s cultural precinct. It is dedicated to showcasing the moving image, its art, technology and impact. This centre often organises film festivals and screenings.

Can we enjoy any sporting events at Fed Square?

Yes, Fed Square is often the place to Watch FIFA Women’s World Cup™ and other sporting events on the Big Screen. In fact, FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ matches are to be showcased on the big screen.

What type of architecture does the Fed Square feature?

Fed Square features deconstructivist architecture and was designed by an award-winning team of architects from the City of Melbourne.


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