Concerts, theater, weddings, and more grace Melbourne Town Hall, which has welcomed everyone from Queen Elizabeth II to The Beatles. Completed in 1870, this grand neoclassical building is at the heart of Melbourne’s city and cultural life. Although a working town hall, it opens to the public for prebooked tours several days a week.
To enter Melbourne Town Hall, you must book a tour in advance. Melbourne Town Hall tours are free and run twice a day several days a week, but numbers are limited, so most visitors opt to experience the town hall simply by admiring its architecturally impressive exterior. This is easy to do on a guided or self-guided Melbourne walking tour, and a number of city tours pass by Melbourne Town Hall.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Photographers will want to visit Melbourne Town Hall either early in the morning, for the best light with minimal crowding, or late at night early in the week, to capture the illuminations.
- If you’d like to see the interior but don’t want to book a tour, consider visiting for a concert, which allows access to the grand auditorium.
- Melbourne Town Hall is wheelchair accessible.
- The impressive portico was added to the building in 1887.
How to Get There
Melbourne Town Hall stands proud on Swanston Street, north of the Yarra River at the heart of the city, and about 950 feet (300 meters) from Flinders Street station. It is most easily reached by public transport or walking from other attractions. Downtown Melbourne is not car-friendly, and parking in the city center is difficult and expensive.
When to Get There
The grand building and portico look their best illuminated at night and often host colorful projections over the Christmas season. If you’d like to access the interior, Melbourne Town Hall tours run a couple of times a day during the week, with the exception of Tuesdays, but must be booked at least 24 hours in advance.
The Melbourne Town Hall Grand Organ
Melbourne Town Hall’s original Grand Organ opened in 1872 but was destroyed by a fire in 1925. Today’s Melbourne Town Hall Grand Organ dates back to 1929 and uses 90,000 cubic feet (2,549 cubic meters) of air every minute to produce its impressive sound. The town hall hosts occasional free organ concerts, which are a great way to see the auditorium.