Tips to see Melbourne on a budget

There is no doubt about it; Australia is an expensive vacation spot.

Flights to the continent at the bottom of the earth are expensive, and then there are accommodation and maintenance costs that quickly put a strain on a tight travel budget.

But that’s no reason to remove Australia and its second largest city, Melbourne, from your itinerary. We have the tips on how to experience Melbourne on a budget!

No other city in Australia is as diverse and rich in different styles, cultures and lifestyles as Melbourne. There is a Mediterranean atmosphere in the metropolis Cultural Center of Australia.

Under the influence of the many immigrants who settled in Melbourne from the beginning, the city has become a melting pot of peoples and cultures. This population composition ensures that the young city is in constant motion.

Let’s dive in.

Melbourne on a budgetMelbourne on a budget

Melbourne on a budget

Below are some tips to see the best Melbourne has to offer on a shoestring budget.


Melbourne is obsessed with Australia rules football, a game, as the name suggests, only played in Australia. A standard ticket to a game costs more than $ 20. However, on Melbourne’s largest sports field, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), the gates will open at three-quarters time, mainly to allow the losing-side fans to humbly step out of the game venue. For the budget traveler, this means you can watch the final and most exciting quarter of a game for free.

Free tourist shuttle

Fancy a free tour of Melbourne city? The Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle is just that. This free hop-on and hop-off bus takes you around the city of Melbourne and includes attractions like the Shrine of Remembrance, Southbank, Docklands, the Melbourne Museum, and Chinatown. The driver makes a quick comment while the bus goes there and back for an hour and a half, and the buses run every half hour.

Eat at Queen Victoria Market

Eating in restaurants quickly devours your travel expenses. Self-sufficiency is the way to go if you are on a budget. A great way to combine sightseeing with shopping is to visit the Queen Victoria Market. The Queen Vic, as it is known to the locals, has been in the same spot since 1878. All kinds of goods are offered in the deli hall, including freshly made pasta, sandwich meat and homemade dips. The fruits and vegetables are also fresh and che.

Queen Victoria Market is the largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere. Over 600 traders sell everything the palate could wish for and evoke their tempting offers in traditional market style. On Sundays, the stalls are replaced with clothing and knickknacks – great for finding something strange and wonderful. During the summer, the market is open Wednesday evenings from 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM and has hawker-style food stalls, as well as music and dance performances.

Discover the art scene

Melbourne is known for its vibrant arts scene. Some of the free galleries you can visit include the National Gallery of Victoria and the Australian Center for Moving Images, known by the cute acronym ACMI, whose displays change due to digital culture.

Located on an imposing boom-style terrace, the Alcaston is a contemporary Australian art gallery that focuses on living indigenous artists. The gallery works directly with communities and pays special attention to cultural sensitivities. There is also a room for working on Per.

Art is not limited to stuffy Melbourne galleries, however. Hosier Lane near Flinders Street Station is an outdoor street art gallery that is constantly evolving. Every available space in the alley is spray-painted, stenciled or patterned, including the trash cans and metal bars of the gates. Since it is an alley, it is always open.

Swan around Albert Park Lake

Hundreds of elegant black swans and a wide variety of exotic waterfowl including pelicans, cormorants and herons will greet you as you stroll around the 3 miles perimeter of this beautiful lake. Lakeside Drive was used as an international race track in the 1950s. Every March since 1996, the overhauled track has hosted the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix. The lake offers breathtaking views of downtown Melbourne and is well worth a visit for some camera action.

Chinatown for slug dim sum

The red archways at either end of Chinatown in Little Bourke St are your gates to clattering woks, glowing neon, exotic flavors, and shops with floor-to-ceiling chambers selling medicinal herbs and tinctures. Melbourne’s Chinatown dates back to the 1850s when Chinese prospectors joined the rush to find gold. In the 19thth In the 19th century, the one-story brick buildings once housed brothels, opium dens and boarding houses. It’s the best place for yum cha (Dim Sum) or Sea snail in Sichuan sauce for the adventurous eater!

Flinders Street Station for a schooner in a filthy old drunkard!

Melbourne’s first train station, Flinders Street, was built in 1854 and designed by two railroad workers who provided excellent facilities for their work colleagues. Unfortunately, the station is in disrepair, but in its prime there is a concert hall, library, and even a ballroom. Now it’s reputedly one of the busiest train stations in the southern hemisphere!

Enjoy a schooner (slightly smaller than a pint) at the city’s iconic Young & Jackson’s pub, located across from the train station and operating for over 140 years. It’s also famous for the naked young lady hanging around on top! The nude portrait Chloe, painted by Jules Lefebvre, caused an outcry in Puritan Melbourne in 1883. In public opposition, the painting was removed from the National Gallery of Victoria and bought by the hotel in 1908.

Melbourne on a shoestring, AustraliaFlinders Street, Melbourne, Australia

More typical Melbourne experiences

While there are many ways to experience Melbourne on a budget. If there is a little room to splash around on your budget, we recommend adding some of the typical Melbourne experiences below to your bucket list.

Food and drink on Fitzroy Street

Melbourne was founded in 1835 after it was found in the area around the City of Gold. The city’s residents are proud. They love their city much more than people from Sydney.

Melbourne people love the good life and love to eat and drink. There is food and drink all over the city, but food can get pricey in some parts of Melbourne. There are bars and cafes in the area around Fitzroy Street.

Melbourne coffee in Braunschweig

Around Brunswick Street, the best pubs and bars are in the narrow streets known as the alleyways that wind their way through the area.

Cozy little bars are full of young and artsy city dwellers meeting for coffee in famous Melbourne. Many former residents of the city say they still miss Melbourne’s coffee times.

Federation Square

For a good cup of coffee, you can also go to Federation Square. This square was built in 2001 to celebrate Australia and the state’s 100th anniversary.

The modern design of the square is in stark contrast to the Victorian buildings that define the face of Melbourne.

During the long summer evenings, it is an ideal place to enjoy the view over the Yarra River and the Botanical Gardens. During the Australian Open tennis tournament, crazy people from Melbourne are watching the games on big screens in Federation Square.

Melbourne sports city

Melbourne is a sports city, as evidenced by the various major sporting events that are organized each year.

In addition to the Australian Open, the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Australia also takes place in Melbourne. The final of the long Australian Rules Football season will also be played in Melbourne. However, these are probably the least budget friendly times to visit Melbourne.

The main sporting event is the Melbourne Cup, the horse known as “the race that stops the nation”. Everyone dresses up in gala clothes to play on the Flemington Race Track.

Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix in MelbourneFormula 1 Australian Grand Prix

Steps to St. Kilda Beach

In addition to a sports city, Melbourne is also the cultural center of Australia. Every evening of the week there are concerts, shows, club evenings and festivals across the city.

The night in Melbourne is long. It’s only around sunrise that the young people are in town after a night of partying.

One of the areas with a lot of night clubs is St. Kilda. Another advantage is that you can stretch out on Melbourne’s famous beach just steps from the club.

Budget friendly accommodation in Melbourne

We’ve searched high and low to find the best affordable Melbourne lodging options – for all types of travelers!

Boutique Hotel: The Pflug Hotel

Partly restaurant, part bar, part hotel. This multitasking area was set up in 1868, but came back on stage in 2013 after a listed renovation.

Hotel: The Victoria Hotel

A full-featured hotel at no high price: on-site bar, restaurant, fitness center, plunge pool, spa and sauna. It’s also located on coveted Little Collins Street.

Hostel: Melbourne Central YHA

Centrally located with dorms and private dorms. If you want to opt for a private room, you get a balcony, bathroom and coffee maker (depending on which floor you choose).

artment: Cosmopolitan Hotel

A great option for families that offers spacious art pieces with two bedrooms, a kitchen, living area and space to relax.

More in Airbnbs? Look for Melbourne Airbnbs below:

Interested in the major Australian cities? Check out these posts:

A Guide to the Best Cities in AustraliaA Guide to the Best Cities in Australia

A self-guided walking tour in Sydney

Reasons to visit Brisbane, Australia

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