Love or hate the design, Federation Square (or simply “Fed Square”) is just as much a Melbourne icon as its older neighbours Flinders Street Station and St. Paul’s Cathedral. If you love the way it looks, surely it’s something you look forward to whenever you’re in Melbourne’s CBD. If you agree with Virtual Tourist, that it’s the “World’s Fifth-Ugliest Building,” surely you’ve still enjoyed a few of the things Federation Square has to offer. Either way, Melbourne is quick to forget the wonders that are inside Federation Square and, short of wondering past or cutting through, when was the last time you actually went? In our ongoing exploration of Melbourne, the GoGet team took a trip into the city and found a full day’s work of activity.
The standard sites
Two hot spots everybody already knows are at Federation Square are the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) as well as the large plaza and giant screen. Almost every Melbournian has been to ACMI to see a famous exhibition, or watched a big sports game on the screen in the plaza. But we forget about these spaces when the large touring exhibitions are gone. We’re not going to go into it too much here other than to say that ACMI always has a full schedule. Just pop in and see what there is to see! You may be pleasantly surprised…
The National Gallery of Victoria
This one surprised us as we thought the NGV was on St Kilda Road! That’s true, but there’s a second site, the Ian Potter Centre within Federation Square, that houses more than 20,000 pieces of Australian art. Inside you’ll find artwork by the likes of Sidney Nolan, Emily Kngwarreye, John Perceval, and Margaret Preston. Even better, general entry is free! What better day out with the family that experiencing some of the best Australian artists for absolutely nothing!
Having a bite?
Federation Square boasts sixteen restaurant, cafes, and bars with something to suit every taste and budget. What’s better, there’s onsite parking if you use Melbourne carshare (and have a designated driver), or easy access to Flinders Street Train Station, Melbourne trams, and taxis. So whatever mood you’re in for dining or catching up with friends, you can get home easily, conveniently, and safely. Of course we didn’t visit every one when we went, so go see it for yourself! Just don’t forget, there’s more hidden by the river than you’d expect…