Running east to west through Central Melbourne, Collins Street is one of Australia's most famous thoroughfares. A series of prestigious Victorian-era buildings showcase its heritage while flagship designer stores help Collins Street retain its reputation as Australia's premier shopping street. Collins Street is also one of Australia's most important financial centres, is home to two iconic theatres, and is a major tourist destination.
Collins Street lies a few hundred metres north of the Yarra River in Melbourne CBD, running from the Docklands in the west to the Old Treasury Building and Treasury Gardens in the east. The redeveloped Docklands is a hub for finance and business in the city. By following Collins Street east, visitors then pass through Southern Cross Station, Victoria's main railway hub. Four blocks further along is the Block Arcade, followed by the historic Melbourne City Town Hall, the Athenaeum Theatre and Regent Theatre. A variety of premium fashion brands have their flagship stores on Collins Street, including the likes of Prada, Louis Vuitton, Dior and Paul Smith filling glamorous buildings. These brands are joined by small boutiques and gastronomic treats, like chocolate shops and fine dining restaurants. Collins Place and George on Collins are large shopping centres leading off the street.
It's a long walk along the length of Collins Street, although the contrast between Victorian buildings and towering skyscrapers makes it one of Melbourne's most walked attractions. Various trams run on Collins Street, and there are tram stops at very regular intervals. Southern Cross Station is on Collins Street, and Flinders Street Station is two blocks to the south.
Collins Street has retained some exceptional examples of Victorian architecture. The buildings are often hemmed in by contemporary towers, providing a contrast that reflects the development of the city. Among the finest historic buildings are Collins Street Baptist Church, Alston's Corner, the Block Arcade, and the Gothic-inspired Old Stock Exchange.