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Traveling on a budget: Free things to do in Melbourne

Dec 13

Melbourne is known as the cultural capital of Australia. It is popular for its numerous museums, art centres, cultural festivals, live music, and amazing food. It also ranks as one of the world's most liveable cities for seven years in a row. With its dynamic and laid-back vibe, it is hard not to be convinced that it is truly one of the best places to reside in. Exploring the wonderful city of Melbourne need not be bank-breaking. You can enjoy the sights and sounds of Melbourne on a budget, even better, for free! We have come up with a list of free things to do in Australia's cultural capital. 

Top 10 Free Things to do In Melbourne

1. Take a tour of the Parliament House

The Parliament House is one of Melbourne's most popular landmarks and is the meeting place of the Victorian Government. Its exterior boasts of an elegant and grand structure while the interiors of the Legislative Assembly and Council, the Queen's Hall, and the Library are also equally impressive. Public tours are available from Monday to Friday, runs for 45 minutes, and are free of charge. 

2. Visit the State Library of Victoria

This is one of the world's oldest libraries and Australia's first and longest existing library.  It was created in 1854 and coined the Melbourne Public Library. Considered as one of Melbourne's cultural institutions, it houses, documents, and preserves the legacy of Victorian history by offering services and activities for free. 

3. Hop on over to Brighton Beach and take your social media-worthy photos by the colored bathing boxes. 

Get that social media-worthy photo by the iconic Brighton Beach bathing boxes. The bathing boxes, which were built well over a century ago in response to highly Victorian ideas of morality and bathing, have remained untouched throughout the years. All preserve basic Victorian architectural characteristics such as timber frame, weatherboards, and corrugated iron roofs, but they also display the creative and colorful additions of renowned artists.

4. Indulge your taste buds and enjoy market samples at the Queen Victoria Market 

Soak the fun, colorful, and energetic vibe at Queen Victoria Market. Having been opened for 140 years, Queen Victoria Market has been included in the list of National Heritage sites in Melbourne. It's a busy and bustling inner-city market with over 600 small enterprises selling anything from Australian fruits and vegetables to local and foreign gourmet meals, apparel, and souvenirs.

5. Ride the City Circle Tram and take a quick tour of the city's sites 

No need to spend on bus fees and expensive taxi fares when going around Melbourne. The City Circle Tram offers free tourist rides all over the city. Trams run every 20 minutes in both directions between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Sundays through Wednesdays, and between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

6. Photograph the majestic and beautiful churches all around the city 

Appreciate and revel in the wonder of the old Churches in Melbourne. Some of these Churches include St. Paul's Cathedral, St. Michael’s Uniting Church, and Scots Church.

7. Re-discover the Old Treasury Building

The Old Treasury Building was originally built to house the vaults that stored the gold during the gold rush era. The Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation have unceded land on which the Old Treasury Building sits. It recognizes, pays respect, and honors the Aboriginal Australians of the past, present, and future. 

8. Go on a leisurely stroll in the Royal Botanical Gardens

The Royal Botanical Gardens have been a large part of Melbourne's culture for the past 170 years. It is the perfect place for leisure and for learning. The 38-hectare gardens are proud to house more than 8,500 plant species, including diverse, rare, and threatened species collections from all over the world. Various activities and services are offered by the Gardens, all free of charge. 

9. Take a peek at the penguins at St. Kilda Beach 

Breathe in the salty air and bask in the beautiful sunset by St. Kilda Beach. The famous beach  is also home to a small colony of black and white penguins also called fairy penguins. These penguins are visible all-year-round but the best season to come to visit them is during the summer. You are not allowed to flash cameras, touch them, or give them food. 

10. Immerse in and educate yourself about the Aboriginal culture at the Koorie Heritage Trust 

The Koorie Heritage Trust is an authentic and immersive Aboriginal center located near Flinders Street Station in the Yarra Building at Federation Square. It was founded in 1985 when campaigners filed a lawsuit against the University of Melbourne and the Museum of Victoria demanding the return of their Indigenous artifacts. The centre aims to showcase the history, culture, and art of Aboriginal Australians through different forms of media and activities that are available to the public for free. 

What are you waiting for?

Soak in the sights, smells, and sounds of this vibrant and culturally rich city! You don't need to spend a lot or break your bank in order to fully enjoy what Melbourne has to offer. Visit Melbourne today!