Going out in Melbourne and having a good time doesn't have to mean spending too much money. Whether you're new to Australia or just settled in, you'll want to experience Melbourne from every angle without breaking the bank.
We've put together some ideas for things to do in Melbourne without spending a single Australian dollar.
Wander around Melbourne to see the street art
The best way to experience a city on a budget is to wander the streets and soak up the atmosphere. You're especially lucky as Melbourne is internationally known for the street art that covers many of its streets. Frescoes, graffiti or committed messages, it's a real open-air museum that you can appreciate, especially on Union Lane. Here, you can find a guide to the most important street art places in Melbourne. Don't hesitate to take the City Circle Tram, a free tram that goes around the city center and stops at many points of interest.
Take a walk through Melbourne's many Markets
You can then continue your stroll through Melbourne's many markets, the most famous being the Queen Victoria Market. Overflowing with souvenirs and food of all kinds, we can't promise you won't fall for it! For fans of handmade and crafted goods, check out the Rose Street Artist's Market... Check out all the other markets you'll come across in Melbourne.
Take a break in the park
Melbourne also has some lovely parks where it is nice to stop for a picnic or to read a good book when the weather is nice: Luna Parc, Flagstaff Gardens. Don't miss the Royal Botanic Gardens to discover a piece of the Australian fauna and flora for free!
Bookstore and State Victoria Library
If you want to pick out a book to take to your favourite park, or if you're just a book lover, the State Victoria Library is a must-see. You will be delighted by the architecture of the world's first free public library! As for bookstores, why not stop by Carlton's Readings, voted International Bookstore of the Year in 2016.
Go Bargain shopping
If you're looking for a bargain, we recommend a trip to the city's thrift shops and op-shops, where you can pick up a few treasures for just a few dollars.
Watching a Movie Other than in the Theatre
Tired of watching movies from the couch? One Monday a month from 3 to 5 pm, the Library at the Dock offers a movie on the big screen for free.
Learn new things at the museum and discover numerous exhibitions
What better way to learn more about a subject that interests you than to visit a museum or an exhibition? The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) regularly offers free exhibitions, as does the National Gallery of Victoria.
A meeting place and central square in Melbourne, Federation Square is also a place where many events take place. In February 2023, candlelight concerts were held in the square for free. To learn more about Melbourne, head to the City Gallery for an exhibition on the city's past and present.
Get Cultural Once Again
Cultivate yourself and learn about history at the Shrine of Remembrance, which honours the fallen of the Second World War. To learn more about Australian politics, take a free tour of Parliament.
Explore the Beach
Australia is lined with beaches and it would be a shame not to take advantage of them! Dip your feet in the water, walk on the shore or watch the sunset, everything is possible! For an unforgettable memory, we recommend heading to St Kilda Harbour at sunset to watch the penguin colonies. For the ultimate tourist photo, Brighton Beach is the place to be. This is where you'll find the famous colourful beach huts that will look great on your Instagram page!
Walk outside the city
Whether you're a casual hiker or a seasoned walker, there are routes around Melbourne for all levels of ability! Some walks even start from the city itself and are accessible via public transport.
As you can see, there are many ways to enjoy Melbourne without breaking the bank! You have all the keys in hand and no more excuses to embrace Melbourne and make the most of your experience here!
The best way to save money in Victoria for students and backpackers
Victoria – home to one of the most livable cities in Australia, and the world. From the inner-city life of Melbourne’s bustling lane-ways and streets to the gorgeous regional landscapes of Mornington. Whether you’re interested in visiting to study or work across an Australian working visa, or wanting something new in life with a working holiday visa, if there’s a will, there’s a way! This is your best way to save money in Victoria for backpackers.
Of course, being one of the most livable cities in Australia, Victoria itself is not the cheapest state to venture out too, and it always helps to be prepared to know how much to budget across accommodation, dining and even experiences that can help make your backpacker experience here valuable.
So if you’re worried about not being able to catch that coastal morning wave, or want to make sure you have enough in the bank for your next morning Melbourne coffee, as Aussies say, no worries – Let us share some dining and experience secrets to make your next visit a great one with our best backpacker
BACKPACKERS IN MELBOURNE CAN ENJOY THE MELBOURNE’S MIDWEEK MONEY PROGRAM
Being one of Australia’s busiest cities, the pandemic affected the economy in Melbourne, but as part of the recovery program that will continue to boost the city back to it’s glimmering life pre-pandemic, the Victorian Government has put together a “Midweek Melbourne Money” program that encourages dining in the city and getting up to 25% cashback for that meal. A great way to spend and save, and one of our best backpacker tips for your next week!
The cashback program is only available for midweek dining between Monday – Thursday, and for meals over $40.00AUD, to encourage more movement in the CBD location during the lull days of the week, but it’s an easy tip to do!
Just grab your mates, head to any venues that have the “Midweek Melbourne
Money” sign and dine in! Then make sure to keep the receipt for your records and head here to put in your claim for your 25% cashback.
IF YOU ARE NOT IN MELBOURNE YOU CAN STILL ACCESS VICTORIAN DINING AND ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM
While the firsts best backpacker tips were strictly for Melbourne settlers, this tip is for those who want to explore around Victoria without missing out on all the fun across the year. The Victorian Dining and Entertainment Program is an extension of the Midweek Melbourne Money program, that offers the same 25% cashback offer for any dining or entertainment experiences across Victoria – but not in Melbourne – for $40.00 and over. This not only allows you to travel to more regional areas in Victoria like Ballarat or even Healesville but allows businesses that get most of their economic growth from tourism, the chance to recover too.
How to save money in Victoria
VICTORIAN TRAVEL VOUCHER SCHEME
If you’re more about the outdoors and nature-based experiences for your next backpacker trip to Victoria, then we have you covered with this last best backpacker’s tip with the Victorian Travel Voucher Scheme. A program that aims to boost regional tourism experiences and accommodation around Victoria, those who are successful with the application will be able to get cashback of up to $200.00AUD on expenses for accommodation, attractions, and experiences outside of Melbourne that add up to $400.00AUD. You can soar up in a hot air balloon above the Yarra Valley, or go to the hot springs in Daylesford, if you’re able to go during the set times provided by the program, you could get your money back for your experience! You’ll have to be quick, as these vouchers come and go based on the Government’s ability to release them, so make sure you keep your eyes out here to learn more about how you can claim this cashback offer.
You’ll need to make sure you have an Australian bank account open and that the program is open – as all these programs opens and closes during the year based on the funds available, so a best backpacker’s tip from us is that once your working holiday or study visa gets approved, that you also apply for your
local bank account. This way, you can also get your cashback quicker without delay.
*Please note that all these programs are run on a first come first serve basis, so it’s not always expected that your claim for cashback will be approved or successful.
*Please also note that these programs open and close during the year, so while this article provides tips, we do not control when they start or end. Please learn more about how these programs work via the links in the article.
By the way, you know what else is free? Our experts' guidance at Study Destination to find you the best option to study in Australia! We will discuss your career aspirations, help you with administrative matters, assist you in applying for a visa, and provide you with ongoing support throughout your project. Don't hesitate to contact us for help!