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Collins Street, Melbourne

Collins Street, Melbourne

One of the city's major streets, Collins Street is part of the original city grid made in 1837. The city grid is named for surveyor Robert Hoddle. True to his specifications, the street is exactly one mile long and one chain (99 feet) wide. It is named for the Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen's Land, as Tasmania was known then. Lieutenant-Governor David Collins led settlers to found Sorrento in 1803, which was the first British settlement in Australia outside of Sydney.

The east end of the street is known locally as the Paris End since the historic buildings, trees, sidewalk cafes, and small boutiques are reminiscent of France. Near Queen Street, the west end of the street has been home to the financial district since the 1800s. The retail heart of the area is the Block Arcade, which runs between Swanston and Elizabeth Streets.

The first trees planted here were the elm trees, which were added in 1875. Trams were installed in 1885 and were initially cable-drawn until the system was electrified in 1930. Many historic buildings from Melbourne's early boom times were unfortunately destroyed in the 1950s and 60s as the area went through an extensive period of redevelopment.

Notable Victorian buildings like the Collins Street Baptist Church, The Scot's Presbyterian Church, and the St. Michael's Uniting Church are still present. Alston's Corner, designed by Nahum Barnet in 1914, is an excellent example of Edwardian architecture. At the financial end of the street, you'll also see some Victorian gothic buildings known as the "Cathedrals of Commerce."

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Melbourne, Australia within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Collins Street on Map

Sight Name: Collins Street
Sight Location: Melbourne, Australia
Sight Type: Shopping
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Melbourne, Australia

Create Your Own Walk in Melbourne

Create Your Own Walk in Melbourne

Creating your own self-guided walk in Melbourne is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Historical Buildings Walking Tour

Historical Buildings Walking Tour

The architecture of Melbourne is characterized by a wide variety of styles dating from the early years of European settlement of Australia to the present day. The city is particularly noted for its Victorian buildings. If you wish to learn about Melbourne's rich past manifested in the historic edifices, such as the Government House and majestic St Paul's Cathedral, or, perhaps, to hear...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles
Laneways and Arcades Walking Tour

Laneways and Arcades Walking Tour

With over 40 laneways and arcades in Melbourne, one can easily traverse a good part of the city's Central Business District through them, without even setting foot on a street. Many of these laneways date back to the Victorian era and are famous for their shops, cafes, bars and boutiques – all with their own distinctive character and charm. To find your way around the city awash with cute...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
St. Kilda District Walking Tour

St. Kilda District Walking Tour

St. Kilda district of Melbourne is situated along a fantastic beach of the Pacific Ocean. It is a cosmopolitan suburb near Port Phillip Bay. Its most popular attractions are situated not far from the beach. This self-guided tour will lead you through St. Kilda's main attractions.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles
Melbourne Food Tour

Melbourne Food Tour

Relatively small a city compared to the likes of NYC or London, Melbourne is quite big in terms of food – fit to stand tall among these and other grand international destinations. The influence of multiple waves of immigration from Europe and Southeast Asia has rendered the local culinary scene insanely varied and opulent. To give your taste buds a due treat and to eat to your heart's...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Melbourne Introduction Walk

Melbourne Introduction Walk

Melbourne is the capital and largest city in the Australian state of Victoria. The metro area consists of 31 different towns spread around the bay of Port Philip. Indigenous Australians have lived here for more than 40,000 years. European settlement began in the 1830s when settlers arrived from Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania). The settlement, incorporated in 1837, was named for the British Prime...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Chocolate Indulgence Tour of Melbourne

Chocolate Indulgence Tour of Melbourne

Melbourne has a reputation for cafés and fine restaurants, and lately a chocolate fever has taken over the city. This tour takes you through the alleyways and arcades of the city center whilst stopping at selected chocolate indulgence points. Take your senses on a unique experience through six of...