Federation Square

Square in City Centre

Image by Ryan Evans Getty Images

Whether they love or hate the architecture, Melburnians embrace Federation Sq as a place to meet, celebrate, protest, watch major sporting events or simply hang out on deckchairs. Occupying a prominent city block, 'Fed Sq’ is far from square: its undulating and patterned forecourt is paved with 460,000 hand-laid cobblestones from the Kimberley region in Western Australia, with sight lines to important landmarks. Its buildings are clad in a fractal-patterned reptilian skin. Check the website to see what's on.

Set within the square are cultural heavyweights the Ian Potter Centre, Australian Centre for the Moving Image and Koorie Heritage Trust, as well as restaurants and bars (though there are better eating and drinking options nearby). Free public events are staged here most days, particularly on weekends. Highly recommended free tours depart Monday to Saturday at 11am, but spaces are limited to 15 people so arrive 15 minutes early.