Some are open-air and some have roofs. The older ones date back to the 1800s. Melbourne has a lot more of them than we were able to check out.
Besides restaurants and stores, they’re also famous for street art. In some cases, businesses arrange for and allow artists to do street art on their building and neighboring buildings.
One that we explored had a gallery with artwork by Dr. Seuss. It was pretty cool and of course we couldn’t afford any of it! That particular laneway, the Block Arcade, also had a very elaborate mosaic tile floor and a leaded glass roof. You can even purchase a scarf designed based on the floor.