See & Do

Metropolis Bookshop

A long time ago, my sister-out-law took me to a fantastic bookshop. At the time, I didn’t know Melbourne and the location of this store did not register in my freshly relocated brain. We walked there, stepped into the building, walked up three flights of stairs, browsed for an hour, paid for our purchases, walked out, down the stairs, out of the building. I had no idea where it was or even where I was. I only barely remembered the bookshop’s name. Armed with the Google Maps on my iPhone, I recently made my way back to Metropolis Bookshop.

I love Metropolis so much and it doesn’t even sell fiction. It’s an independent shop specialising in graphic design, art, fashion, architecture, and photography titles.  It’s full of books you didn’t know you wanted – quirky children’s books, pop culture casebooks, creative artsy-fartsy hipster stuff, and serious volumes of fashion, art, and design. Metropolis also carries humorous postcards and my beloved Moleskin journals. It’s that store where you buy someone a stunning coffee table book and then you regret giving it to them because you really wanted it for yourself and if only your friends were as good and thoughtful at giving presents as you are.

Metropolis Bookshop is tucked away on the third floor of Curtin House on Swanston St. It has a strict no-mobile policy and an open floor plan that makes browsing easy. They kindly request you don’t take more than a couple of books off the shelves at a time. Many of them are large, heavy, and pricey so it’s understandable.

Metropolis Bookshop is one of my favourite book shops in Melbourne. I always spend more there than I mean to. I went there with the intention of buying one thing, a Moleskin notebook, and walked out with books about the web and advertising.



  • julesdownunder

    “I may have borrowed it from the web.” and “…if only your friends were as good and thoughtful at giving presents as you are.” Ha! You made me laugh and you made me write this place down for a future visit. Thanks!

    • Cosette Paneque

      Thanks 🙂 And I hope you like it as much as I do.

  • I really like the sound of this. Something else for me to explore on my next city visit. Thanks.

    • Cosette Paneque

      Yes! I hope you like it!

  • Love your story always, and it seems you have a lot of “out-law” relatives! Love your sense of humour! Eric.

    • Cosette Paneque

      Thanks 🙂

  • I’d love to have a bookshop like that near me, I’d love to have any kind of bookshop near me. There is a Waterstone’s in Chester I think but I can’t recall finding it. The last time I was in one though it wasn’t as roomy nor as full of the obscure as Metropolis. They should be compulsory in every town to encourage new readers.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • Cosette Paneque

      In the US, we’ve seen a massive decline in chain stores, but small independent and niche shops still do well. I hope we continue to see them.

  • This place looks amazing! Definitely checking it out this weekend! 🙂 Claire x

    24 Hours From Home – Travel, Adventures and Beauty

    • Cosette Paneque

      I hope you like it!

  • wannabearchitect

    I’ve always wanted to visit this place. Now I know that I have to next time I’m in the city

    • Cosette Paneque

      Yes, go there! Do it! I hope you love it too.