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Federation Square

  • Museums
  • Melbourne
  1. Tanderrum at Fed Square
    Photograph: Supplied
  2. The Edge at Fed Square
    Photograph: Supplied
  3. Federation Square
    Photograph: Visit Victoria / Robert Blackburn

Time Out says

If you're a visitor to the fine city of Melbourne then heading to Fed Square is always a good starting point

The banks of the Birrarung (Yarra) where Federation Square sits has long been a gathering place for its traditional owners, the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people and visiting Kulin Nations. 

Affectionately coined 'The People's Square', Federation Square as we know it today was built in 2002. It remains a meeting place for cultural festivals, art installations, exhibitions, free films on the big screen, broadcasts of major sporting matches and live music.

The landmark is home to ACMI, The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia and Koorie Heritage Trust, as well as dining options like Victoria by Farmer’s Daughters, Hero, Big Esso by Mabu Mabu and Taxi Kitchen.

Love or hate its controversial geometric architecture, Fed Square has a great vantage point of other city landmarks and is an easy meeting place—except for some visitors with disabilities.

Disability advocates have flagged that its gradient and cobblestones make it quite inaccessible, despite having some accessible measures in place.

Written by
Sophie Berrill


Swanston St
Nearby stations: Flinders Street

What’s on

Festive Sunday Sessions at Victoria by Farmer's Daughters

  • Food and drink

Can't wait for Christmas Day to celebrate? Launch into the silly season early this summer at Victoria by Farmer's Daughters. The riverside restaurant has teamed up with Four Pillars (you know, only the best gin distillery in the world) to host a series of boozy festive Sunday sessions on the terrace.  Every Sunday in the lead-up to Christmas, the two-hour brunch slots will rock your socks off with bottomless Four Pillars Christmas Gin cocktails, Victorian wine and beer, and share-style plates for just $90 a head. There'll also be a super-cute Christmas pop-up shop on site, perfect for all your gift-buying needs! But a long lunch of libations and festive fare is in order first. You'll usher in the holiday spirit with free-range roast turkey and ham with Bloody Shiraz 'mock cranberry' sauce, fried chook with marie rose aioli, charcoal grilled lamb and Christmas pudding-spiced barbecue sauce, mince pies, spud salad and more. The bottomless cocktails are based on Four Pillars' popular spiced Christmas Gin, including the Conversation Starter (cherry syrup, sweet vermouth, soda and orange), the Jolly Spritz (hazelnut liqueur, lemongrass, ginger syrup, lemon, cherry bitters and soda) and the Santa's Nightcap (orange marmalade liqueur and chocolate bitters).  A vegetarian menu is available to request when you book, and all Sunday session visitors get full access to the adjoining Christmas pop-up store. Expect bundles of premium Four Pillars products, gift boxes, Christmas puddings,

Christmas Choirs

  • Pop-up locations

The festive season is well and truly here, so what better way to celebrate than with a bit of good old-fashioned choir fun?  From November 24 to December 24, choir communities from across Melbourne will be performing all your favourite Christmas tunes at Fed Square. The diverse program has something for everyone, from gospel and Pasifika to acapella and voices from the queer community.  You can expect everything from Christmas classics to more contemporary festive tunes, with carols sung in English as well as other languages. For the full program, head to the Fed Square website. Looking for more ways to be festive in the city? Here's our guide to celebrating Christmas in Melbourne. Plus, where you can see all the Christmas lights.

Koorie Krismas

  • Fairs and festivals

The Koorie Heritage Trust are bringing back their one-of-a-kind festive celebration, Koorie Krismas, with a fun-filled free event this weekend in the heart of the city. It's a jam-packed Christmas party with live music, comedy and dance performances, as well as a special, magical appearance from Koorie Klaus. There's a huge line-up of First Nations performers, including Djirri Djirri dancers, comedians Corey Saylor Brunskill, musical duo Phil and Trudy Edgeley; drag artist Cerulean, musical duo Kristal West, the acclaimed Dave Arden Band, The Merindas and much more.  If you’re needing to get your Chrissy shopping ticked off, Koorie Krismas has you covered too. There'll be a wide array of Indigenous-owned businesses selling their creations, including Melbourne faves like Clothing the Gaps and Haus of Dizzy, as well as crafts and art pieces that would look perfect under anyone’s tree this Christmas. Or you can make your own handmade gift at the gum leaf painting workshop.  It's all happening on Saturday, December 2 at Federation Square, from 10am to 3pm. Find out more on the website.   Looking for more festive fun? Check out our guide to celebrating Christmas in Melbourne. 

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