Top 10 Things To Do For Free In Melbourne
Melbourne is a fantastic destination with shopping, attractions, destinations and culture, but sometimes you just want something to do in the afternoon without breaking the bank. Here’s our favourite things to do in Melbourne for free.
- Visit the markets: Queen Victoria Markets are the largest in Melbourne and an eclectic mix of traditional, modern and souvenirs. From the bustle and noise of the meat market where vendors will frequently shout their specials to drown out their neighbour over the way, to the iconic American Jam Donut van (fresh and fantastic, you can watch the dough balls being made), to the many choices of fresh coffee the Queen Vic is a great place to spend a few hours.
- Add some culture to your day: The National Gallery of Victoria on St Kilda road is free to enter the general exhibitions. The gallery has special exhibitions as well which will cost you money to see, but there’s multiple galleries and floors of everything from classic oil paintings to modern audio visual art to take in.
- Learn about the first people: Australia was first settled over 40,000 years ago by the ancestors of the Aboriginal People. The Koorie Heritage Trust at Federation Square is an Aboriginal owned and operated center which showcases Aboriginal art as well as provides a learning experience about their history and culture.
- Take a tram ride: Most visitors have heard of and have travelled on the City Circle Tram, Melbourne’s free heritage tram which includes commentary about landmarks as you pass. However, all Melbourne trams inside the CBD boundary and down to the Docklands are free as well! It makes getting about the city of Melbourne to see everything else on the list child’s play.
- Read a book: The State Library of Victoria is a beautiful building in the heart of the city. The central atrium of the library is a huge dome and a bibliophile’s dream location. It also has a great space for kids in the free play pod. Enjoy some proper quiet time, and don’t forget to look out for the ‘sunken’ library sculpture out the front.
- Appreciate nature: Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens span over 38 hectares and feature over 50,000 different species of plants. A serene place for a relaxing walk and our favourite place to commune with nature while still on the doorstop of the CBD.
- Street art plus food plus drink: Melbourne is famed for its many laneways and they are too many and too diverse to list here. A tour of the lanes could take all day and will take in some of the best street art in the world as well as definitively the world’s best coffee. Melbourne laneways also play host to some of our finest, and hardest to find, dining.
- Catch some sun at the beach: Melbourne is known more for its urban life than swimming, but the beaches extending southward from St Kilda run for over 11 kilometers and in the shelter of the bay are a safe place to swim for the less experienced. The foreshore is home to cafes, restaurants and bars, and there’s always things to see such as at the beach volleyball courts which occasionally host tournaments in costume!
- Amazing views: You don’t have to head for the Eureka Skydeck for great views over Melbourne, there’s lots of great bars in Melbourne where you can chill out with a drink and drink in the Melbourne skyline at the same time. Check out these locations for a drink with a view
- Promenade along the river: The Yarra is a lot nicer than it used to be, but I wouldn’t swim in it yet. However, the river walk along Southgate and Southbank is full of cafés, restaurants and other places to shop, eat, drink as well as host to street performers on the weekends. There’s plenty of nightlife, and don’t forget to catch the gas brigades fire show outside Crown Casino each night.