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Guide to Christmas lights and decoration hotspots

Immerse yourself in the magic of Christmas in Melbourne. During the Christmas Festival, the city transforms into a wonderland of light, sparkles and decorations. Many of the beloved favourites return, and there are also plenty of newcomers to admire. Wander the city, discover the sights, and snap your Christmas memories. 

Federation Square

Head to Christmas Square at Federation Square to admire a range of festive sights and sounds. Marvel at the gorgeous 16-metre tall LED Christmas Tree, which comes to life with a dazzling show from 9pm each night. Christmas Square is also home to everyone’s favourite festive selfie spot, the Giant Christmas Bauble, and a new addition: the stunning, sparkling Bauble Walkway. During the day, Santa’s House offers an amazing array of very merry snap-and-share worthy moments.

A large glowing Christmas tree and other decorations in an open city square

Federation Square lit up for Christmas

State Library Victoria

See this iconic landmark take a new shape, thanks to a stunning light show. This year’s renowned Christmas Projections start with a feature show at State Library Victoria, a very Melbourne Night Before Christmas, written by Marieke Hardy and narrated by Lee Lin Chin.

An old building with colourful projections on it at night

State Library projections

Melbourne Town Hall

The Christmas makeover at Melbourne Town Hall is a highly anticipated tradition. During the day, you’ll see nutcracker soldiers, perfectly cultivated flower beds, and large decorations. But it’s in the evening that the real magic happens, with the Christmas Projections bathing the building in beautiful static displays.

A large old building with colourful projections and Christmas decorations

Christmas at Town Hall

Bourke Street Mall

Everyone’s favourite outdoor mall, Bourke Street Mall, is dressed to the nines this Christmas. Discover dazzling decorations, take your place on Santa’s throne, and have your picture taken with Melbourne’s quintessential Nutcracker soldiers. 

Iconic laneways

During these festive weeks, the city’s beloved laneways are lit up with gorgeous streams of Christmas lights. Take a stroll through Centre place, Manchester lane, Degraves street and Hardware lane to enjoy boutique shopping and dine alfresco under the lights.

A city laneway with bright Christmas decorations hung above it

Hardware Lane decorations


Docklands’ shopping and creative precinct, The District, will be filled with the season’s cheer. A not-to-be-missed newcomer, the stunning Giant Reindeer on Harbour Esplanade is bound to be a favourite this year. Walk underneath to marvel at the mosaic structure and shining lights. It’s the perfect addition to your Christmas Instagram story. Docklands also offers Present Boxes, Giant Bon Bons, and Merry Christmas letters at Harbour Esplanade


Watch the sunset from Princes Bridge, and amble along the Yarra as Christmas shines and shimmers against the water. Climb inside the big new golden Present Box for a perfect insta-moment, and wait for the giant Merry Christmas letters to light up on Hamer Hall. Princes Bridge is also a newly added spot for the Christmas Projections so make sure you stick around to see the static display from 9pm.

A giant golden Christmas box in a city street with people taking photos around it

Southbank’s giant Christmas box

The foyer at 333 Collins Street

One of the most elegantly beautiful foyers in the city becomes even more spectacular this Christmas. Visit 333 Collins Street to view a Christmas tree so exquisite that we wish it could stay there forever.

A large ornate Christmas tree in the foyer of an old building with a domed roof

The Christmas tree at 333 Collins Street

The Queen Victoria Market

Queen Victoria Market offers a visual feast of decorations for your Christmas shopping, with stalls decked with gold stars, wreaths, Christmas trees and garlands. Take your family snap in one of the fun cut-outs and see if you can spot Santa, who will be roaming the markets on 22 and 23 December. If you miss the man himself, never fear –  Santa’s throne in the Queen Street Plaza makes for an equally beautiful photo opp. 

Looking for more snap-worthy sights?

Giant tree at QV Melbourne

QV Melbourne’s central plaza will feature Australia’s first walk-through Christmas tree. It’s 15-metres high, with amazing animated lights and Christmas characters inside and out. It’s all part of their Get / Festive celebrations. Season runs until Sunday 22 December.

A giant glowing multi-colour Christmas tree in an outdoor chopping area

The giant Christmas tree at QV

Christmas Thrones

Snap your #selfie as the Queen or King of Christmas! You’ll find the regal Christmas Thrones at Bourke street, North Melbourne Post Office and China Town Square.


Melbourne’s cherished Nutcracker soldiers are popping up in more places than ever this year. How many can you find? From the edge of the Yarra to Block Arcade, North Melbourne Post Office and Argyle Square, these colourful toys are standing guard across the city.

A traditional Christmas nutcracker statue under Christmas decorations

Iconic Christmas nutcrackers

Bon Bons

Heading out for dinner on Lygon street? Make sure to stop for a quick Christmas snap with the Bon Bons between Queensberry and Elgin streets.

Augmented reality Christmas Greetings in Flinders Quarter

Creative businesses in alleys and arcades around where Flinders Lane and Degraves Street meet are celebrating the season as part of the Festival of Independents Christmas. Until 13 December, you can create Christmas selfie greetings that come alive in augmented reality.  Three city sites, each featuring a different animated festive greeting, are waiting to be discovered. Simply download the EyeJack smartphone app, stand in front of one of the artworks, snap and share. The artwork sites can be found outside Bared Footwear on Manchester Lane, the Streetwear pop-up shop in Scott Alley and at Obus in the Cathedral Arcade.