For seven consecutive years until 2018, Melbourne was named the most liveable city in the world. Although it has been bumped from the top spot, the city is still one of the most liveable places on Earth.
You can easily have a great time in Melbourne without draining your wallet. There are restaurants with delicious food, cafes, shops, and hundreds of laneways to explore. The city offers a lot of fun activities for free as well.
Continue reading for seven cheap things to do in Melbourne Australia.
1. Stop By a Music Venue
There’s no shortage of free music in Melbourne. Go pretty much anywhere around the city and you’ll find music venues that host both free gigs and ones that cost money. There’s live music for a range of genres such as pop, rock, jazz, blues, Australian hip-hop, and folk.
For a full gig schedule, follow the Melbournian radio station RRR’s gig guide online. You can also pick up a copy of Beat, a local publication, at cafes and pubs.
Some venues include Bar Open, Tote, Night Cat, Open Studio, Evelyn, Bar 303, Cherry Bar, Toff in Town, and so many more. Live music is plentiful outside of the city. The suburbs have The Retreat, Northcote Social Club, The Esplanade Hotel, and other venues.
Most of these establishments don’t charge you, and the price isn’t much if they do. Why not pay a few bucks to relax at a bar with a drink and some great music?
If you’re not really into live music, the Spleen Bar holds a live comedy show every Monday night for free.
Live music or a good comedy show at a bar is an awesome night out with a bunch of friends. Check out this link for other party ideas.
2. Free Coffee Tasting
Go to Market Lane Coffee on Friday or Saturday for a cupping session. These free coffee tastings are open to the public from 10 to 11 in the morning. Market Lane Coffee is located in Prahran Market.
There are other cupping sessions available in Melbourne too. You can go to Rumble Coffee Roasters in Kensington and Brew’d Cafe in Upper Ferntree Gully.
Visit one of the cafes that are holding Coffee with Olympus. This event includes coffee and camera training at no cost.
3. Relax at St Kilda Beach
St Kilda is the place to go when you want to get away from the noise of the city. Walk along the breezy beach – you can choose from the St Kilda pier or the seashore promenade. Take a photo in front of the iconic grin arch in Luna Park.
You can even just let in the fresh air and people watch. Acland Street is the best area for this. There’s shops, pavement cafes, and European cake shops as well.
Behind St Kilda is an array of beautiful architecture that anyone can enjoy. You’ll find art-deco apartments, units from the 50s and 60s, Edwardian homes, and even some Victorian mansions.
4. Walk Through the Royal Botanical Gardens
Be surrounded by gorgeous flowers and landscaping at the Royal Botanical Gardens. These gardens date all the way back to 1857 and are a total of 38 hectares.
The space is divided into gardens with different themes. They come together with a lake in the center. You could spend the whole day picnicking and exploring the gardens.
It’s also a great opportunity to see local life in action. Not only can you people watch and maybe even chat with some locals, but if you go to the gardens at the right time you’ll witness athletes running The Tan. The Tan is the gardens’ circuit – 3.84 kilometers.
Check out their website for free tours if you’re especially interested in botany.
5. Wander the Arcades and Markets
Melbourne has arcades, which are shopping malls, with incredible architecture.
Just look at the Royal Arcade. You’ll feel like you’ve traveled back in time when you step foot into this arcade. Built in 1870, it’s the oldest arcade in Australia that’s around today.
The Royal Arcade remains elegant with its high glass roof and carvings of the mythical Gog and Magog.
Another shop to visit is the Block Arcade. It was built a little later – in 1893 – but it’s still one of the greatest malls of the Victorian era and one of the most popular places to shop.
Markets give off a more local vibe than shopping malls do, and there’s a bunch you can stop by in Melbourne. You can browse through the craftwork, fresh produce, and little treasures markets bring. Look out for samples of food.
The first market tourists go to is Queen Victoria Market, but you can try the Farmer’s Market at Abbotsford Convent, Rose Street Artists Market, or the Camberwell Market.
6. Check out the Artistic Alleyways
Melbourne’s alleyways have gone from mere shortcuts through the main city to seriously awesome street art. These colorful pieces are done by visiting artists as well as known local artists.
Getting lost in the art of the laneways is part of the fun, but to keep you on track there’s actually a map of the street art. A tip is to start the journey at Hosier Lane.
7. Take a Free Tour
There are so many different kinds of tours you can sign up for in Melbourne, and a lot of them come at no charge. You can take tours of the city, learn about its history and visit places like Abbotsford Convent and Clifton Hill, and walk through the Royal Botanical Gardens while learning about botany.
Melbourne also offers free tours of Federation Square, Town Hall, the State Library of Victoria, and Parliament House.
Don’t Break the Bank with These Things to Do in Melbourne Australia
Having a great time and going on an adventure doesn’t mean you have to spend a ton of money. Keep your money in your wallet when you visit one of the most liveable cities ever. There are so many things to do in Melbourne Australia that are free or cheap.
You don’t need to worry about saving up for vacation if you choose Melbourne. Check out some of our other posts for more travel tips!