It is no secret that Australia is an expensive travel destination for many. That is also one of the main reasons that many have it on their bucket list for years. If we would not be one of the TOP 16 winners in Big Blog Exchange, Australia would also still be on our bucket lists.
Even though our accommodations, food and activities were covered by YHA Australia, we tried to have our expenses minimalistic. Instead of spending money for payable activities, we always tried to find free things, which we can do – it was nothing different in Melbourne.
Free Melbourne Attractions
1. Walk along Yarra River
A unique promenade area on the banks of the Yarra River is wonderful to walk around and see hustle and bustle next to the river. The view on Melbourne skyscrapers is wonderful and there are many cafes and restaurants too.
2. Federation square
Federation square is a cultural and entertainment center of Melbourne. People come here to meet, protests or just having fun under the Melbourne sun. An eye catching glass building and amazing square, covered with 470.000 ochre-colored sandstone blocks brought from Western Australia is an unique sight. The Federation square includes also an Australian Centre for the Moving Image and tourist information centre.
3. Street art
Melbourne is one of the world’s capitals for street art. Not only we can find street art all around the city and its areas, street art in Melbourne is completely legal. The city of Melbourne post daily areas, where street art can be done, but where are some of the best examples, find out here.
4. Bohemian suburb Fitzroy
If you want to know bohemian Melbourne at its best, head out to Fitzroy. Fitzroy is a place, where alternative scene is home. The area is full with pubs, cafes, restaurants and night clubs. To know the local vibe, spend at least one evening in Fitzroy.
5. Shopping Malls
Melbourne is known as the Australian shopping capital, so do not be surprised by the enormous offer of modern and antique shopping malls. There are also areas in Melbourne which are known for its outlets. If you travel light, you can easily stock yourself up here. Do not forget to walk into two most known shopping malls – The Block Arcade and the Royal Arcade.
6. China Town
It does not really matter where in Australia you travel, you will always see a China Town. It is no surprise as during the golden rush Australia was overwhelmed with Chinese people, searching for gold. Also Melbourne has a China Town, which is actually the world’s longest continuous Chinese settlement in the western world. We can find everything here – Chinese restaurants, shops and traditional medicines. It is like visiting China.
7. National Gallery Victoria
If you like art, you should not skip visiting the NGV in Melbourne. It is completely free of charge and you will find everything from Indigenous and non-Indigenous art from the colonial period to the present day. Opening hours 10am – 5pm.
8. Queen Victoria Market
Markets are always fun and interesting, so visiting the city’s main markets is a must thing to do. The Queen Victoria market in Melbourne offers everything you can imagine –from souvenirs, to veggies and clothes. More about the Queen Victoria market here.
9. Shrine of Remembrance
The Shrine of Remembrance is Victoria’s memorial to the men and women who have served Australia in armed conflicts and peacekeeping operations throughout the history. Going up to its view platform will also give you a nice view over Melbourne.
10. Seaside playground St. Kilda
The area of St. Kilda is a place where residents and visitors come to relax, swim and enjoy the warm sunny days. The area is expensive to live in and is packed during the summer. St. Kilda has lots of restaurants and cafes, but it is also famous for its long pier and marina. Do not skip the Luna Park and its laughing face.
11. Brighton Beach / Dendy Beach
I am not sure about you, but in our opinion, you don’t see the real Melbourne if not seeing the famous colorful beach huts at Dendy Beach, near Brighton Beach. The beach huts are owned by Melbourne wealthiest people, as one costs about 140.000 EUR. At the moment there are 82 of them. You can reach Brighton Beach by a train from the Melbourne city centre and from the station it is another 10 minutes coastal walk to them.
12. City Circle Tram
Local transport in Melbourne is payable, but there is a free circle tram in the CBD available. Find number 35 and you will be able to see the city center free of charge.
13. Royal Exhibition Building
The city of Melbourne was established in 1835, so one of the oldest and fascinating building was build in 1880-1881. The building was build because of the Royal International Exhibition, which was held in Melbourne. The Royal Exhibition Building is now under UNESCO protection and is part of the city museum.
14. Parks and green areas
There are 4 million people leaving in Melbourne. The city has lots of tall buildings, but the city center luckily still has many green areas and parks. Parks are very popular among Melbourne residents and as soon as the weather is nice they gather there with friends or just going out for lunch.