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Royal Exhibition Building Dome Promenade: Visit This Icon With Spectacular Views Over Melbourne

The Royal Exhibition Building Dome Promenade experience is billed as being Melbourne’s ‘oldest-newest attraction’ and is a unique experience for Melburnians and visitors alike. 

As the first Australian building to be awarded a UNESCO World Heritage Listing, the Royal Exhibition Building has great historical and cultural importance, not only to Melbourne but to all of Australia. 

Now for the first time in 100 years, you can climb to the base of the iconic building’s dome and see the city from a whole new vantage point. 

Dome Promenade Royal Exhibition Building Carlton

Visit The Dome Melbourne

Built in 1880 for Melbourne International Exhibition, the Dome Promenade was a key attraction, providing visitors to the Exhibition Building with the opportunity to overlook the landscaped gardens and view the emerging Melbourne skyline.

After years of restoration work, visitors can once again be able to experience the Carlton Exhibition Building’s spectacular view over Melbourne – from Carlton Gardens to the city skyline, and the metropolitan horizon.

Dome Promenade Royal Exhibition Building Carlton

Dome Promenade guided tours happen every day, with two tours on weekdays at 10am and 2pm and four times a day on weekends 10am, 11am, 1pm and 2pm. You must book a tour to visit the Dome Promenade and there are a maximum of 30 visitors per tour, so pre-booking ahead is highly encouraged to avoid disappointment. 

Adults and children are welcome to attend, though I’d say older kids will get more out of the experience. The views are only really accessible if you’re taller than the chest-height parapet and there aren’t any interactive, push-button elements to the exhibition. 

Dome Promenade Royal Exhibition Building Carlton

For people with accessibility issues or prams there is a lift to access the basement, mezzanine and lower promenade. 

However, the upper dome promenade is not wheelchair accessible and requires visitors to climb around 20 steps. From there, there are additional stairs required to travel around the entire upper promenade to see a 360-degree view.

Dome Promenade Royal Exhibition Building Carlton

The Dome Exhibition

Accompanying the Dome Promenade experience is a small basement exhibition that explores the site’s significant events and varied uses of the building over time. 

All the costumes, artefacts, photographs and paintings help you to learn more about the history of the building. 

Dome Promenade Royal Exhibition Building Carlton

When I visited the exhibition it seems that everyone has a memory of the space. For me, it has been the home of the Big Design Market where I used to work, as well as the site of the annual Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show

The Dome Promenade is the place to absorb the history and views of Melbourne. It is also available for hire as a unique backdrop for events, from cocktail parties to weddings.

Dome Promenade Royal Exhibition Building Carlton

What to see at Melbourne Museum

Play Inside Melbourne Museum’s Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery

Visit the Gandel Gondwana Garden

Royal Exhibition Building Dome Promenade PIN
Royal Exhibition Building Dome Promenade – PIN this picture to save this post!
cropped Kristyna Hess Lockdown Portraits x

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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