St Patrick’s Cathedral


Designed by William Wardell, Melbourne's Catholic cathedral is among the world's finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture and the largest church building in Australia. Building took place between 1858 and1897, but was officially completed when spires were added in 1939. The imposing bluestone exterior and grounds are but a preview of its contents: inside are several tonnes of bells, an organ with 4500 pipes, ornate stained-glass windows and exquisite mosaics in the Blessed Sacrament chapel.

Find the statue of St Francis of Assisi and locate the side entrance nearest to it. Look up for the most unusual gargoyle head you've ever seen: a caricature of the 43rd premier of Victoria, Jeff Kennett, carved in 1992 to solidify rumours that the previous incarnation resembled him.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Melbourne attractions

1. Parliament House

0.17 MILES

The grand steps of Victoria’s parliament (1856) are often dotted with tulle-wearing brides smiling for the camera as well as placard-holding protesters…

2. Alcaston Gallery

0.19 MILES

Set in an imposing boom-style terrace, the Alcaston showcases international and Australian art, with a focus on the work of living Indigenous Australian…

3. Old Treasury Building

0.24 MILES

The fine neoclassical architecture of the Old Treasury Building (1862), designed by 19-year old JJ Clarke, is a telling mix of hubris and functionality…

4. Conservatory

0.31 MILES

This 1930s Spanish-mission-style greenhouse showcases vibrant floral displays that change five times a year.

5. Fitzroy Gardens

0.33 MILES

The city drops away suddenly just east of Spring St, giving way to Melbourne’s beautiful backyard, Fitzroy Gardens. The park's stately avenues are lined…

6. Cooks' Cottage

0.35 MILES

Built in 1755, this humble family cottage lays claim to being the oldest building in Australia, but that's sidestepping the fact that it was shipped from…

7. Tolarno Galleries

0.36 MILES

Tolarno was an integral player in Melbourne’s most famous midcentury artistic marriage: that between Georges and Mirka Mora. The gallery was once…

8. Chinese Museum


The fascinating and often fraught history of Chinese people in Australia is showcased in this wonderful little museum in the heart of Chinatown. Start on…