10 Free/Very Cheap Things To Do in Melbourne

By on December 31, 2014

Australia isn’t the cheapest place to travel around, so if you’re stuck for cash and looking for something fun to do in Melbourne, here are ten free or very cheap ideas:

1. Take the City Circle Tram

Take the City Circle Tram

The city circle (number 35) runs on a loop around Melbourne’s CBD bringing you to some top attractions, including Flinders Street Station, Parliament House, the Harbour Esplanade and the beautiful Princess Theatre. What’s more, it’s absolutely free. The trams run every day from 10am to 6pm Sunday to Wednesday and from 10am to 9pm Thursday to Saturday.

2. Visit the Beach at St Kilda

Visit the Beach at St Kilda

It’s not the best beach I’ve ever been to, but it’s pretty decent and its short distance from Melbourne’s CBD makes it all the more attractive. Just hop on a tram and you’ll be there within half an hour.

3. Take the Train to Brighton Beach to see the colourful beach huts

Brighton Beach

These colourful reminders of Victorian morality have made Brighton Beach a popular little tourist spot. Just have a look at how pretty they are. Need I say more? To get there hop on the Sandringham line and get off at Brighton Beach, too easy. Oh and don’t forget your camera!

4. Find the Penguins at St Kilda Pier

Penguins at St Kilda Pier

This is absolutely free; so while your hostel might offer tours don’t bother with them unless they’re complimentary. Just walk to the end of St Kilda Pier after sunset and wait for the colony of little penguins to return from the sea after a hard days fishing. You can see them all through the year, but you should expect big crowds during summer months. Don’t bring torches, use flash photography or get too close to the penguins as they can get stressed easily and you’ll probably get told off by a volunteer.

5. Luna Park

Luna Park

Entry to Luna Park (also in St Kilda) is free, but after that it can become pricey with unlimited ride tickets costing $44.95, but that’s not to say you can’t have a look around this historic park (it turned 100 years old this year!) and take a few photos with Mr Moon.

6. Visit Acland Street and Have Some Cake

Acland Street

While you’re in St Kilda be sure to visit Acland Street and its famous cake shops. If you haven’t got a sweet tooth, a lot of these shops also sell delicious savoury pies and pastries.  Just try walking by their front windows without salivating, I bet you can’t!

7. Queen Victoria Market

Queen Victoria Market

If you’re a major foodie Queen Victoria Market (or Vic Market) is the place for you. It offers all kinds of fresh and delicious food; and you can also find a wide variety of non-food items such as handmade arts and crafts, clothing, jewellery and footwear. The best thing is you don’t even have to spend a cent if you want to as it’s a great place to just stroll around. Vic Market (on the corner of Elizabeth Street and Victoria Street)  is open every day except Mondays, Wednesdays and certain public holidays. During the summer months (November until February) there is a night market on Wednesday nights. If you like Vic Market you should also check out Prahran Market and South Melbourne Market.

8. Take a Graffiti Tour

Take a Graffiti Tour

You won’t have to look very hard to find amazing street art in Melbourne, it’s everywhere. Your hostel might offer this tour, but you can also do this on your own. Check out Google maps Melbourne Graffiti Walks and plan your own route. It doesn’t get updated too often and some graffiti may be cleaned away, but it’s a good place to start. The areas with the biggest concentration of street art seems to be in the CBD (particularly Hoisers Lane just off Flinders Street), Fitzroy and Collingwood areas. The backstreets and laneways of Melbourne are full of colourful street art. It changes from laneway to laneway, backstreet to backstreet and you can find it in many different forms, including stencil art, social and political commentary, murals and sticker art. To find out more about the best street art locations in Melbourne click here.

9. Federation Square

Federation Square

The actual building itself may not be the prettiest in the world, but Federation Square is a great place to hang out and people watch. At weekends you’ll most likely catch a street performer or a film or major sporting event on the big screen. There is always something to do or see around Federation Square and it’s usually free.

10. Visit Southbank

Visit Southbank

Walk along the promenade and take in the scenic views of Yarra River and the Melbourne city skyline, as well as catch a few street performers. In the Southbank area you’ll also find the Melbourne Exhibition Centre and the Melbourne Arts Centre, as well galleries and museums. Check these out as often they host free events.

Anything I missed that you think should be added to the list? Drop a comment below and let us know.

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