Melbourne is truly the Christmas capital of Australia. We’re the city equivalent of that friend that sets up their Christmas tree in November, around the same time they start wearing their Christmas earrings to work every day.
So banish any skerrick of your inner Grinch and embrace Christmas decorations on a mega scale. The best bit? It’s all free – so you can save your pennies for your Christmas shopping.
The first stop of any festive expedition through the city is, of course, the festive hub: Christmas Square. On the corner of Collins and Swanston, here you’ll find a magical forest where the main man in red will be spending the whole month leading up to Christmas.
Deliver your wish list in person and snap a free photo with Santa – or if the kids are feeling a little shy, you can post a complete list via Santa’s Mail Box. Include a stamped, self-addressed envelope and you’ll even receive a reply.
While you’re at Christmas Square, you can also check out:
- #BePresent presented by TAC: Dress up in themed decorations, pose for a photo and receive a personalised Christmas card.
- Christmas Advent Calendar: Count down the days to Christmas with this illuminated advent calendar.
- Nativity Scene: A new nativity scene has been constructed this year, measuring three metres tall. Inspired by stop-motion films like James and the Giant Peach, it features an abundance of animals including a cheeky camel.
Once you’ve wrapped up your stop at Christmas Square make the short walk along Swanston Street to Melbourne Town Hall. Later in the evening, this will be the site of the famous Christmas Projections, but throughout the day the Gingerbread Village is the main drawcard. For a gold coin donation to the Royal Children Hospital Foundation, you can see Melbourne’s major landmarks made out of delicious gingerbread.
Next up, is an old favourite: the Myer Christmas windows. Dabble in some Christmas shopping along Bourke Street Mall and catch the 61st year of this Christmas tradition.
If your feet aren’t tired yet, discover the many large scale decorations dotted around the city, including:
- Swanston Street Baubles: Twinkling lights and sparkling red baubles will line the walk between St Paul’s Cathedral and Victoria Street.
- Nutcracker Soldiers: Find these festive icons around the city centre including Melbourne Town Hall, Southern Cross Station, Christmas Square and Queen Victoria Market.
- Deck the Shops: Wander down Collins Street to see the shops decked out in their festive best.
- Laneway Decorations: Liverpool Street, Crossley Street and Market Lane will receive a Christmas makeover.
- Queen Victoria Market: See the giant Christmas wreath and nutcracker soldiers, and then stock up on your Christmas gifts and produce for Christmas lunch in the market halls.
- Mistletoe Kissing Bridge: Smooch up a storm on Melbourne’s kissing bridge. Our bearded sources tell us it brings long and lasting love.
- Princes Bridge Merry Christmas: Believed to be the most photographed spot in Melbourne, snap a picture-perfect Christmas portrait throughout December.
There are many more Christmas decorations around the city. Download the decorations map to plan your festive journey