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Cheap or Free Things to Do in Melbourne, Australia

Updated on September 20, 2017
Heather Ingram profile image

Heather is a Melburnian keen for you to explore this wonderful city.

Melbourne is a wonderful city both to live in and to visit. We're famous for our laneways, our fantastic coffee, and our high prices! That doesn't mean a holiday here has to break the bank, here are a few fun things you can do here that are cheap or free.

show route and directions
A markerFlinders Street Station -
Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
get directions

The City Circle Tram stops here

B markerMelbourne Museum -
11 Nicholson St, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
get directions

C markerRoyal Botanical Garden Melbourne -
Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Birdwood Ave, South Yarra VIC 3141, Australia
get directions

D markerState Library Victoria -
328 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
get directions

E markerDegraves Street -
Degraves St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
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F markerUpper Ferntree Gully Station -
Railway Ave & Burwood Hwy, Upper Ferntree Gully VIC 3156, Australia
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Walk from here to the national park

G marker1000 Steps -
Dandenong Ranges National Park, Mount Dandenong Tourist Rd, Ferny Creek VIC 3786, Australia
get directions

Catch the City Circle tram

Melbourne has a free tram zone that covers the CBD and trams are the best way to get around the city centre. Most of the trams that run through this zone are standard commuter trams, but the City Circle tourist tram is different. It's a beautiful old tram, and it runs on a loop through the city every 12 minutes linking up major tourist attractions. It has a prerecorded commentary that plays and gives you a bit of history about the area. Much better (and cheaper) than a hop-on-hop-off bus tour!

State Library of Victoria

The State Library takes up a full city block and there is plenty there to see. You can check the State Library website in advance to see if there are any special events on while you're visiting. The City Circle tram stops right out the front, so it won't even cost you a cent to get here.

You'll also get the chance to mingle with the locals. RMIT University is close by and Melbourne Central train station and shopping centre are across the road. Many people choose to eat their lunch sitting on the library steps or lawn. Go grab some lunch at Melbourne central and have an impromptu picnic. Just beware of the seagulls!

Free Walking Tour

Walking tours run by I'm Free meet twice a day at 10:30am and 2:30pm outside the State Library. Look for the tour guide wearing the bright green shirt near the statue of Sir Redmond Barry. Tours run for approximately 2 and a half to three hours and will show you the major attractions and give you a good overview of the city. You pay what you think the tour was worth at the end of the tour.

The tour concludes outside of Hamer Hall, part of the Arts Centre Melbourne. If you decide you'd like to see a show at the Arts Centre while you're here head to Halftix which is near the corner of Collins and Swanston streets to see if you're able to get a discounted ticket.

Royal Botanic Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens are well worth a visit while you're here. It's a fantastic place to have a picnic, or just spend a lazy afternoon. Entry to the gardens is free, but you can also opt to pay to join a tour. If you're here in summer, you might be lucky enough to get to see the Australian Shakespeare Company performing Shakespeare in the park.

Explore Melbourne's laneways

Melbournes graffiti-covered laneways are world famous. Spend some time wandering down them and checking out the artwork. Tucked down Melbournes laneways are also where you'll some of Melbournes fantastic coffee shops. Degraves Street is probably the most well known, but there's plenty more to explore.

Melbourne Muesum

The Melbourne Museum is a fantastic place to spend a day of your life. A general entry adult ticket is $14, but it's free for children or anyone with a concession card. Access to special events will set you back a little bit more, but general entry to the museum is also included in your ticket price.

Dandenong Ranges National Park

If you're interested in seeing a little bit of nature while you're here, catch a Belgrave line train out to Upper Ferntree Gully and then walk to the Dandenong Ranges National Park. The 1000 Steps Kokoda Memorial track is the most popular, but there are plenty of other tracks to choose from. If you're lucky you might see wallabies, echidnas or even a lyrebird.

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© 2017 Heather

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