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Free Things To Do In Melbourne

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    Do you wish to spend no money while visiting Melbourne? Then, check out these tips for seeing Melbourne on a budget.

    The best things in life, as the saying goes, are usually gratis. Of course, there is some degree to which we disagree with that (have you ever had a drink that was prepared precisely to your specifications? That's not exactly cheap, but there are plenty of ways to enjoy Melbourne without breaking the bank.

    It's hard to find something to do in this great city that doesn't cost anything, from art shows to wine tastings. In fact, there is zero price. Nothing, nada, nil. No monetary value.

    To ensure that you have a memorable and cost-effective time in Melbourne, we have researched the city's best comedy shows, events, and free art galleries and activities.

    Patriotic Melburnians are just as passionate about their city as anyone else; they will be the first to tell you how amazing it is, and they are usually more than happy to share specifics about their favourite locations.

    Despite Sydney's larger visitor numbers, Melbourne is the prefered destination.

    Because there are so many amazing places to visit and things to do in Melbourne, it's nearly impossible to get bored there.

    Despite the abundance of opportunities to do so, one need not spend any money at all to have a fantastic time in Melbourne.

    The Best Free Things To Do In Melbourne

    Many iconic Melbourne landmarks have become known on a global scale in recent years, including the Yarra River, the beachfront, the National Gallery of Victoria, and a number of the city's markets and parks.

    Further down this page, we've assembled a list of some of the best free things to do in Melbourne.

    De-stress by taking a leisurely stroll through one of the area's many beautiful parks or gardens.

    One of the best ways to spend an afternoon in Melbourne is by visiting one of the many gorgeous parks the city has to offer.

    Relax In The Green Gardens And Parks

    It's no secret that Melbourne is home to some of Australia's most stunning parks and gardens. A visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens, which are convenient to the CBD and the Yarra River, is always recommended.

    Here, among the many species of trees, plants, and flowers, you can lose yourself in the splendour of nature. There is so much to see and do (38 ha) that you could spend an entire day here if you wanted to.

    It's also worth mentioning that there's the Royal Park, a sizable green space that occupies an area of 180 ha. You can take the train or tram to get around, and then visit the Zoological Gardens.

    Hang Out In Federation Square

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    If you want to see the best of Melbourne, a visit to Federation Square is a must.

    It is the beating heart of the city, and locals and visitors alike refer to it as "Fed Square." The square is the site of numerous free events throughout the year.

    Additionally, there is a plethora of places to hang out, such as restaurants, cafes, and bars, and if you feel the need to put some money in your pocket, you will find some very cool shops here.

    Tour Melbourne's Spectacular Churches

    It's no secret that Melbourne is full of architectural gems, and one of them is the city's collection of magnificent churches. By taking in their beauty, you can temporarily escape the mundane world and enter a more ethereal one.

    St. Paul's Cathedral, built in the 13th century and designed by the English architect William Butterfield, should be your first stop. Located smack in the middle of Melbourne's bustling financial district is this neo-Gothic cathedral.

    St. Patrick's Cathedral, a stunning medieval-style building, can be found nearby as well.

    St. Mary Star of the Sea Church and St. Michael's Uniting Church are two more stunning churches worth visiting in the area.

    View World-class Artwork

    The city of Victoria is home to numerous museums and art galleries. Start at NGV International, part of Victoria's National Galleries that presents international art shows.
    Here you can find works by famous artists of all genres and styles. The permanent collections are free to view, and in many cases, temporary exhibits are free as well.

    The best time to visit St. Kilda Road is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., any day of the week except Tuesday.

    In addition to the National Gallery of Australia, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) in Southbank is a must-see free museum. The ACCA showcases cutting-edge and original pieces of contemporary art.

    This is extremely unusual because the gallery itself places the orders for the artwork. The building itself is so well-designed that it merits artistic recognition.

    Admire impromptu public displays of creativity? Hosier Lane is not to be missed.

    Get Amongst Some Free Live Comedy

    On Monday nights, some of the best stand-up comedians in Melbourne and beyond perform at Spleen Bar, which is located at the top of Bourke Street. It's a great chance for well-known artists to try their hands at new kinds of music. You can count on consistently high quality and a pulsating environment (considering the tickets clocking in at the resounding price of free).

    Explore A Model Tudor Village At Fitzroy Gardens

    Stop by the beautiful Fitzroy Gardens, right in the heart of Melbourne's busy CBD. Taking a stroll through the park is a great way to take in the beautiful scenery and learn about the park's rich history.

    A replica of a Tudor village built in the 1940s by a retired Londoner named Edgar Wilson stands in the middle of the gardens. This miniature replica of a Kentish village was built in England during the Tudor period. The lord mayor presided over the unveiling ceremony in Fitzroy Gardens in 1948.

    Walk Around Queen Vic Market And Try All The Samples

    Do you know that one of the best things to do in Melbourne doesn't cost a dime? Sure enough, you can explore the various sheds at Queen Vic Market and marvel at the numerous fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products, and wares for sale.

    If you hang out in the cheese aisle, you just might run into a few vendors handing out free samples.

    Explore Acmi's Free Exhibitions

    ACMI is made up of a lot more than meets the eye. It's true that it houses some of the most fascinating and entertaining items in Australia's moving image collection.

    This permanent exhibit provides a survey of the development of moving pictures. However, a media preservation lab, classrooms, and theatre space are also available, and hostess Karen Martini extends a warm welcome. One can find all of these here.

    The fact that the exhibition up top offers free video game play is exciting, but keep in mind that you'll have to share with other visitors.

    Wander Around The State Library's Beautiful Dome Reading Room

    Step into the Dome Reading Room, the most elegant room in the State Library of Victoria, and you can hear mental cogs turning: people are studying, examining old books and expanding their knowledge on anything from rare birds to architectural history. 

    Don't miss a stop at the impressive Ian Potter Queen's Hall, which was reopened in 2019 after being closed off to the public for nearly 15 years. Daily free tours will show you the library's hidden reaches.

    Explore The Library At The Dock

    An online library, a DVD and CD collection, a newspaper subscription service, and a collection of over 400 periodicals are all standard features of modern libraries.

    Despite this, the library at the Dock is used for much more than just reading. Table tennis, yoga, tai chi, and movie screenings can all take place on the well-ventilated green terrace, which also features a recording studio, practise rooms for musicians, an art gallery, and a retractable roof.

    Visit The Best Bookshop In The World

    It's not often that a bookstore is packed at 10 o'clock on a Saturday night, but that's exactly what happened here.

    Free readings for you, proving the continued relevance of wonderful local bookstores (which, by the way, don't frown upon customers who do some preliminary reading before making a purchase).

    Try Free Exercise Classes At Fed Square

    As a diversion from complaining about the weather, Melburnians will often turn their ire towards Federation Square, the city's designated "meeting place."

    Whether you're a fan or a hater, you'll find plenty to do, and many of the events won't even cost you a dime. On occasion, a free movie is shown on a big screen, and there are also classes in tai chi, morning meditation, and Qigong.

    Get Back To Nature In The Royal Botanic Gardens

    Melbourne is fortunate to have the Royal Botanic Gardens located in the middle of the city. The gardens are conveniently located, making them ideal for a leisurely stroll, a relaxing picnic, or a peaceful midweek lunch.

    The vastness of the grounds ensures that you won't constantly be elbowing other fans for a prime viewing spot. We recommend instead that you take a seat by the ever-beautiful Ornamental Lake and meditate for a while or take some pictures.

    Listen To Live Music

    Melbourne locals love to rock out to live music. Thankfully, this event also ranks highly among the best free attractions in Melbourne (aside from the cost of a beer). The Cherry Bar, located on ACDC Lane, claims to be "pretty much the best rock 'n' roll bar in the world."

    It is well-known for its free concerts and celebrity after-parties. The Esplanade in St. Kilda is another popular destination. The Basement bar is an awesome place to check out new rock bands, and on most nights, it doesn't cost a thing to get in. On Sydney Road, at The Brunswick Green, is a beer garden that you should definitely stop by.

    Go On A Hunt For Public Sculptures

    Deborah Halpern, Australia's preeminent sculptor, has strong ties to Melbourne, where she received her education and where she now lives.

    You can see three of her colourful mosaics—"Angel" (1987), "Ophelia" (1992), and "Portal to Another Time and Place" (2005)—on display around town right now. Ophelia is at Southgate, and Angel is at Birrarung Marr.

    The Eagle (2002) by Bruce Armstrong and the Cow up a Tree (1999) by John Kelly can be found in Docklands; Simon Perry's The Public Purse (1994) can be found in front of the GPO; and Petrus Spronk's sinking building, also known as Architectural Fragment (1992), can be found in front of the State Library of Victoria.

    Wander Through The Royal Botanic Gardens

    If you're looking to escape the clamour of Melbourne's city streets, the Royal Botanic Gardens are the place to go. The gardens are expansive, covering a total of 94 acres (38 ha), and housing a collection of 10,000 plants from around the world.

    The hotel's 11 lawns provide ample space to stretch out, relax, and plan your next move in Melbourne.

    The garden is surrounded by a walking/jogging path called "the tan." The main entrance to the gardens and the war memorial, the Shrine of Remembrance, are both on this 3.8-kilometer-long (2.4-mile-long) path.

    Reward yourself for completing the circuit with a cup of coffee from one of the many establishments that dot Domain Road.

    Discover Melbourne's Most Beautiful Buildings

    There isn't much to see in Melbourne's skyline that's noteworthy. Our city lacks any truly iconic skyscrapers; the tallest structures are the famous spire atop the Arts Centre and the enormous Eureka Tower.

    Some of Melbourne's most impressive buildings are actually hidden within the city's grid, on the corners of streets, or in large, lush gardens. If you have the time, we'd greatly appreciate it if you stopped by some of our favourite places, like the General Post Office, the Royal Exhibition Building, and the most beautiful McDonald's building in the world.

    Attempt The 1,000 Steps Kokoda Track Memorial Walk

    Despite the difficulty, people from all over the city make the trek to this memorial on the stony hilltop that was once the site of a massacre. Twitchers, tourists, picnickers, and "bucket listers" all fall into this category.

    It's going to be nearly impossible to keep track of the 1,000 steps as you trudge up the hill, what with your blood, sweat, and adrenaline all competing for control of your brain.

    As it stands, they think there are only 770. While it may be easier to keep track of the number of hot young things in lycra who pass you on the 1.5-kilometer ascent, this is ultimately a depressing activity. Tired of not being athletic? Huge gum trees frame the area, and there are plenty of lush spots to set up a picnic.

    See The Penguins On St Kilda Beach

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    The little penguin population in St. Kilda is thriving, so take in the sunset as you stroll down Jacka Boulevard towards the breakwater (also called fairy penguins).

    The best time to spot the tiny black and white creatures is in the summer, after sunset. Simply put:

    They use the rocks to nest and raise their young, so staying off of them is a good idea.

    A camera flash is unnecessary and should be disabled.

    Avoid contact and don't feed them.

    Tour The City Using The Free Tram Zone

    One of the best places to live in Melbourne's downtown area? The convenience of the free tram zone allows easy travel in any direction. Queen Vic Market to the north, Spring Street and Parliament House to the east, Flinders Street to the south, and Docklands and Victoria Harbour to the west are all within this area's jurisdiction.

    It crosses to some of the coolest inner-suburban hangouts like Madame Brussels cocktail bars, Heroes karaoke joints, and inner-city parks, making it a great option for city sightseeing.

    Spend The Day Snapping Street Art

    You can't go anywhere in Melbourne without seeing some incredible street art.

    The street art scene in Melbourne is not limited to the well-known hotspots of Hosier Lane and Centre Place.

    Alleyways all over the central business district get a fresh coat of paint on a regular basis, and so does all the street art outside the city limits.

    Pay A Visit To The Koorie Heritage Trust

    The Koorie Heritage Trust is a museum dedicated to preserving and showcasing the Indigenous art and culture of Australia's south-east. Fed Square is home to the Koorie Heritage Trust.

    Since the 1980s, the collection has grown through a combination of acquisitions and commissions.

    The trust intends for these displays to promote greater awareness and appreciation of Koorie culture. This move is an attempt to bridge the gap in understanding between Australia's Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

    Visit The Shrine Of Remembrance

    The Victorian community built the Shrine of Remembrance between 1927 and 1934 as a way to mourn, honour, and perpetuate the lives of those who had died in World War I. It has been transformed into a war memorial honouring the service of all Australians.

    This memorial is more than just a statue because it hosts exhibitions and lectures that explore Australia's past in war.

    In addition, we provide tours that take you on foot. There is no cost to visit the Shrine, but donations are accepted.

    Join in on a citywide treasure hunt!

    Meander The Lanes

    The city's downtown is a maze of interconnected lanes, alleys, and arcades. Fed Square has a visitor centre where you can get a map if you're having trouble figuring out where to start.

    You can get to Degraves Street from Flinders Street, which is a plus. It's a quiet place with a wide selection of tasty coffees, perfect for relaxing before exploring the rest of the city's backstreets.

    Just across the street from Degraves Street is the equally intriguing alley of Centre Place. There are some great restaurants and bars in this alley.

    If you want to see and experience as much as possible during your time in Melbourne, you should schedule your day accordingly.

    Using this guide as a starting point, you should be able to swiftly fill your trip with significant and memorable activities that won't break the bank.

    Time will reveal why so many people regard Melbourne as "the world's most liveable city!" I hope you enjoy yourself.



    Melbourne is a popular destination for tourists in Australia. There is an abundance of low-cost and no-cost entertainment options in the city. We have compiled a list of some of the best free things to do in Melbourne, from comedy shows to wine tastings. The city's many beautiful churches are just one of Melbourne's many architectural treasures. Your first stop should be at St. Paul's Cathedral, which was constructed in the 13th century.

    Several museums and art galleries can be found in Victoria. Visitors interested in art should definitely check out Australia's National Gallery. The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) displays contemporary works that are at the forefront of their fields. Visit the stunning Fitzroy Gardens and stroll through their replica of a Tudor village. The State Library has a stunning Dome Reading Room that is well worth a visit.

    Docents will take you on a free daily tour of the library's lesser-known areas. Readings According to the London Book Fair International Excellence Awards, Carlton is the best bookstore in the world. The Cherry Bar is a popular venue for live music in Melbourne. In the heart of the metropolis can be found the Royal Botanic Gardens. Docklands and Docklands are home to sculptures by John Kelly, Bruce Armstrong, and Deborah Halpern.

    Throughout the city's grid, on street corners, and in expansive gardens are some of Melbourne's most impressive structures. See the Royal Exhibition Building, the General Post Office, and the most stunning McDonald's in the world. Honor the fallen by taking on the Kokoda Track Memorial Walk, a gruelling 1,000-step test of endurance. The Indigenous people of south-eastern Australia have a museum called the Koorie Heritage Trust that exhibits their art and culture. A memorial to those who lost their lives in World War I, the Shrine of Remembrance stands as a solemn reminder of the futility of war. Snap pictures of Melbourne's street art all day long.

    Smaller works of art can be found in Melbourne's Brighton Beach lockers. The central business district of the city is a complex network of alleys, arcades, and side streets. See the city from a new angle by wandering its alleys and side streets. Take this itinerary as a springboard for a full day in Melbourne.

    Content Summary

    • Then, read these suggestions for saving money while sightseeing in Melbourne.
    • We have compiled a list of the best free and cheap things to do in Melbourne, including comedy shows, events, and art galleries.
    • Melbourne has so many incredible attractions and activities that it's next to impossible to get bored.
    • We have compiled a list of some of Melbourne's finest free activities below.
    • It's common knowledge that Melbourne, Australia, is home to some of the country's loveliest green spaces.
    • If you want to visit the Royal Botanic Gardens, also known as the King's Gardens, you can find them on Birdwood Avenue.
    • Federation Square is a must-see if you want to experience the best of Melbourne.
    • Visit Melbourne's Breathtaking Churches
    • The magnificent churches in Melbourne are well-known as one of the city's many architectural highlights.
    • Appreciate the Finest Artwork There Is
    • Numerous museums and art galleries can be found in Victoria.
    • Located in Southbank, not far from the National Gallery of Australia, is the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), a free museum that is equally impressive.
    • Victoria's National Galleries can be found in this area.
    • Visit the stunning Fitzroy Gardens, located in the middle of Melbourne's thriving Central Business District.
    • The State Library has a stunning Dome Reading Room that is well worth a visit.
    • Explore the Dock's Library and see what information you can unearth.
    • Nonetheless, the Dock library serves many other purposes besides just book-reading.
    • Visit the Top Bookstore Anywhere
    • It's unusual to see a bookstore so crowded on a Saturday night at 10 o'clock, but that's exactly what happened here.
    • Take a trip to the Royal Botanic Gardens to reconnect with nature.
    • The Royal Botanic Gardens are an incredible urban amenity, and Melbourne should count itself lucky to have them.
    • The Royal Botanic Gardens are the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre of Melbourne.
    • The following are descriptions of several of Melbourne's most impressive structures.
    • Melbourne's skyline doesn't offer much in the way of interesting landmarks.
    • Some of Melbourne's most impressive structures can be found tucked away on the city's grid, at the end of quiet side streets, or within expansive gardens.
    • Honor the fallen by taking on the Kokoda Track Memorial Walk, a 1,000-foot climb.
    • People from all over the city make the trip to this memorial on the stony hilltop where a massacre took place, despite the fact that it is a bit of a hike.
    • Within the Free Tram Zone, you can travel around town without spending a dime.
    • Among the finest neighbourhoods in which to make your home in the heart of Melbourne?
    • The free tram zone makes getting around very convenient.
    • You could spend all day taking pictures of art in public places.
    • Amazing street art can be found just about everywhere in Melbourne.
    • The Koorie Heritage Trust is a museum that showcases and preserves the Indigenous culture of south-eastern Australia.
    • Located in the heart of Fed Square, the Koorie Heritage Trust is an important cultural institution for Australian Aboriginal people.
    • Does your knowledge of Melbourne extend to every facet of the city?
    • This quest for the city's hidden masterpieces, historical artefacts, and hidden gems is a fun way to see the city in a new light.
    • There are a total of eleven, including one that is the smallest in Melbourne.
    • Examine the Brighton Beach changing room lockers.
    • Get lost in the alleys and side streets.
    • The central business district of the city is a complex network of alleys, arcades, and side streets.
    • If you find yourself at a loss as to where to begin your exploration of Fed Square, head to the visitor centre and pick up a map.
    • Scheduling your time in Melbourne effectively is essential if you wish to see and do as much as possible during your visit.

    FAQs About Melbourne

    Free things to do in Melbourne
    • Get amongst some free live comedy. ...
    • Explore a model Tudor Village at Fitzroy Gardens. ...
    • Walk around Queen Vic Market and try all the samples. ...
    • Explore ACMI's free exhibitions. ...
    • Wander around the State Library's beautiful Dome Reading Room. ...
    • Visit the best bookshop in the world.
    But if you find yourself strapped for cash, don't fear, there are plenty of free exhibitions held across an assortment of museums around the city, too. To help you find them, we've picked six of the best free Melbourne museums for you to visit this weekend. Stay up to date with what's happening in Melbourne here.
    The Children's Gallery is a wondrous place for babies to 5-year-olds to explore, play and learn. ... Due to capacity limits, you must reserve a free, timed entry slot to the Pauline Gandel Children's Gallery in addition to your general admission ticket.

    Melbourne is known for being one of the most liveable cities on earth. Often referred to as 'the Sporting Capital of the World', besides this it is also famous for its graffitied laneways, excellent coffee, cultural diversity and bayside location. This eclectic Australian city has something for everyone.

    Melbourne is ranked as one of the top 10 safest cities in the world, according to the Economist Safe Cities Index 2019. The city is ranked highly for digital security, health security, infrastructure and personal security and there are very few natural disasters experienced in Melbourne.

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