Melbourne is consistently voted the world’s most liveable city. It is known for its buzzing coffee scene, foodie hot spots and an artsy vibe that makes it easy to love and hard to leave. But what makes a city really liveable is the stuff you can enjoy without opening your wallet.
From cheap and free things to do to the best inexpensive places to stay in Melbourne, this is the primary guide for backpacking in the amazing city!
Take a ride on the City Circle Tram
The City Circle Tram is the best free service the city of Melbourne provides its visitors to get to all of the tourist attractions within the city. This free service operates daily, every 30 minutes between 9.30 am and 4.30pm. There are stops at popular attractions like the aforementioned Queen Victoria Market, Chinatown and Fed Square. The complete trip takes roughly 1.5 hours and you can get a free map of the City Circle tram route from the Information Centre at Federation Square.
Take a stroll around Queen Victoria Market.
This open-air market is a great place to stroll around with the electric atmosphere, discover fresh produce, hot donuts, souvenirs, homewares and more scattered throughout the market’s many diverse precincts. The Night Market is also run on the same spot, and there is always entertainment and fun activities at both.
Seek out the cheap eats
You won’t struggle to find great deals during the week, so you can spend happy hours every corner. Naked for Satan does an incredible value for money with $9 for every dish on their menu. You can also check out Hotel Jesus in Collingwood for $2 tacos on a Tuesday, Bimbo Deluxe in Fitzroy for $4 pizza, and St Kilda Branch for $10 burgers on a Monday.
You can’t visit Melbourne though without heading to Chinatown for a cheap eat. Juicy Bao always has a queue but their tasty dishes are well-worth the wait.
Tour alley and lane art
Melbourne’s laneways are what makes the city truly unique. Our stunning graffiti-covered laneways including Hosier Lane, Union Lane and Degraves Street. You will find is a dizzying mash-up of colourful murals by well-known local artists as well as contributions from visiting artists.
Chill out on the beach in St Kilda
St Kilda is a short 20-minute tram ride from the CBD. This is a beautiful beach to take a stroll on even on a windy day. There are plenty of cafe and restaurants where you can pop in for a coffee & snack or dine in style. If you’re there at sunset you might wander to see the fairy penguins the end of the pier.
Cycle the city back streets
You’ll see the blue bike kiosks dotted around the city. For just $3 per day, you can visit all the CBD hotspots including the prettiest Yarra River views, Freshwater Place on Southbank and whizz over Sandridge Bridge. With unlimited 30 minute rides between stations plus free helmets. This is a great way to explore this friendly city. Opt for this healthy, convenient and inexpensive way to tour marvelous Melbourne.
Explore The State Library Of Victoria
This building is an absolute gem. You don’t have to want a book to see this place because the architecture alone is beautiful. Start by heading to the top to look over one of the reading rooms then work your way down checking out the free exhibits on each floor.
Participating in outdoor activities
If you love free outdoor entertainment, Melbourne is the place to be. When the weather is fine you can take a picnic to one of the many outdoor parks in or outside the city. On a Friday or Saturday night, as you walk from dinner to the bar, you’re bound to go past a busking musician filling the streets with their tunes.
How about you? What makes you want to stay in Melbourne longer?