Colour photograph of the Melbourne Town Hall from Swanston Street at night. On the corner of two city streets the building, with its French Renaissance style clock tower prominently positioned, is brightly lit in the evening sky.
Colour photograph of three people standing in front of corinthian-style columns supporting the portico of the Second Empire style town hall.

Melbourne Town Hall

Reed and Barnes Architects and Surveyers 1867


Melbourne Town Hall became the heart of the city and cultural civic activity when completed in 1870. Today it hosts theatre, weddings, receptions, exhibitions while operating as a workplace for council staff. Construction of the Town Hall began in 1867 at the corner of Swanston and Collins streets. Architects Reed and Barnes had won a competition for its design, and the firm was also responsible for later additions in 1887.

The Second Empire-style building takes inspiration from several different periods and styles and celebrates its corner site with a tower in the grand French Renaissance style.

The exterior façade is made from Tasmanian freestone and sits above rusticated bluestone plinth, while the clock tower houses clocks donated by the son of Melbourne’s first mayor, Henry Condell.

For over 135 years, Melbourne Town Hall has been a focal point for events that have helped shape the Melbourne of today. As the location of today’s council meetings it still plays an important role in how Melbourne is shaped for the future. Participants will learn about the place where Federation was debated, Dame Nellie Melba debuted, and the Beatles waved from the portico at their adoring fans.

What's On

Led by a professional tour guide, take a walk through one of Melbourne’s most iconic buildings. The Portico was once the place where important visitors were presented to the people in the street below, giving everyone a great view. Visitors include Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip in 1954, the Beatles in 1964 and ABBA in 1977, as well as Lionel Rose in 1968, the first Aboriginal person to win the world bantamweight boxing title. Hear stories about the Yarra Room, which was the original council chamber, and the Melbourne Room, where Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth was entertained during her visit in 1954. Don't miss the Melbourne Town Hall Grand Organ, dating back to 1929, in the auditorium.

Images: (1) Melbourne Town Hall lit up at dusk. (2) Under the town hall portico. Courtesy of Melbourne Town Hall.

Important Details

Time & Date

Saturday 29 + Sunday 30 July
Tours run every hour starting at 10am. Last tour departs at 3pm
Running for 60 minutes in groups of 15
Bookings required
First release tickets: Thursday 6 July, 12pm
Second release tickets: Saturday 8 July, 10am

Meet at Melbourne Town Hall, Administration Building, Swanston Street.
Security check and baggage scanning will be conducted upon entry.
Children under 18 years must be accompanied by an adult.


Partially wheelchair accessible, Accessible bathroom, Accessible parking nearby, Elevator access


All Ages


Melbourne Town Hall, Administration Building, Swanston Street, Melbourne

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