Globe Alley is located between Swanston and Russell streets, extending north from Little Bourke Street. Globe Alley was named for the Globe Hotel, which was situated on the south-west intersection with Little Bourke Street. The Globe Hotel is now listed on the Victorian Heritage Inventory as a significant historical site. In addition to a hotel, the site was also used as an animal pound in 1848.
Globe Alley is located in Melbourne's Chinatown precinct. In 1860, a Chinese lodging house was located on the alley. In the late 1800s, a site near the Swanston Street end of the lane was occupied by a Chinese joss house, a traditional place of worship. The lane reportedly had no frontages of its own in 1868, however the buildings on Swanston Street and Tattersalls Lane had back entrances which opened onto Globe Alley.