The just as glamorous older sister to Block Arcade is Royal Arcade, a high-ceilinged, checkerboard-floored shopping precinct wedged on the corner of Bourke and Elizabeth Streets. Constructed in 1870, the Royal Arcade takes the prize for the oldest arcade in Melbourne (and Australia) with its Crystal Palace vibe earning it a place on the Victorian Heritage Register.
Enter the arcade from either Bourke Street, Elizabeth Street or Little Collins Street for a bit of boutique shopping. Pick up some fashion from Hill & Dale, an occult artefact from Spellbox, something vintage from Hunter Gatherer or stop by one of the arcade’s cafés for a rest and refresh. Chocoholics note that a Koko Black café can be found just inside the Bourke Street entrance.
Before leaving Royal Arcade be sure to give its most famous residents a quick nod. Gog and Magog guard the Gaunt clock above the Little Collins Street entrance and punctually ring their bells to mark each hour.