Top 10 Ways To See Melbourne on a Budget

by Frugal Brian


If culture is your passion, Australia’s Melbourne is a must-do even on a budget. Music, art and shrimp on the Barbie can be a relaxing and interesting, yet affordable way to spend a getaway.  Melbourne is never lacking for something to do.  Many say that Melbourne is their favorite place in Australia stating that the people there, once you get to know them, are warm and friendly, and will even include you in family gatherings.  Compared to the hustle and bustle of Sydney, it is more laid back with cleaner, fresher air; and less touristy than Brisbane.

1) Starting at approximately $90.00 is Melbourne’s Nunawading Motor Inn.  A family run motel, which offers the modern comforts and pleasant surroundings needed for you to feel right at home.  Beginning at $70.00 is The Kingsgate Hotel.  These accommodations are not only inexpensive but close to the airport.  The river is only a 2 minute walk and close by restaurants and shops will help save on transportation costs.  Others starting at $70.00 are Hotel Claremont, Darling Towers serviced apartments and with rates as low as $75.00, the Flagstaff Motel Hotel. If you book through expedia, check sites like couponloco for expedia coupon codes:

2) The Australian Center for the Moving Image (ACMI) is not only free but the museum offers fun for all.  Its location is Fed Square and it contains interactive activities and evolutionary stories relating to the world of technology.  Since you’re already in Fed Square, take the time to do some exploring.  There are lots of free activities and always the possibility of finding free tickets to events or possibly even an outdoor fashion show which is also free.

3) The Botanical Gardens offer the chance for a peaceful, introspective stroll through some of nature’s finest greenery.  People watching is a pastime also easily enjoyed here.

4) St. Kilda is an accessible beach and a fabulous way to take in the fresh air and enjoy a bottle of wine plus some cheese on the pier, on the boardwalk or on the soft, plush carpets of grass.  The scenery here is magnificent and can be either the beginning of a glorious day or a romantic and relaxing way to wrap it up.

5) Rent A Bicycle. The lay of the land is rider friendly even if it’s been years since you’ve peddled your butt all over town…  So to speak.  There are multiple bike lanes which help keep you safe from traffic and you can take your tour of Melbourne at your own speed or lack thereof.

6) Situated at the intersection of Victoria and Elizabeth is a market with everything your little heart could desire.  Prices at the Queen Victoria Market are affordable for food and souvenirs alike.  Just a little inside tip: if you show up approximately 1 hour before closing time, the market lowers all their prices, which is perfect for the traveler on a budget.

7) Live television taping of concerts in Melbourne frequently offer free attendance.  Eager to please, band members have been known to walk out into the audience to meet and greet.  Here’s another insider tip: movie passes and other free gifts are frequently available to the most enthusiastic members of the crowd.  If you’re high energy and trivia savvy, you can be one of the lucky participants.

8) Brunswick Hotel and The Retreat are probably two of the strip’s best music hotspots.  You can enjoy watching local talent for free along with one of the greatest beer gardens ever on Brunswick’s Sidney Road.  Bands from the immediate area play at these bars, and provided you haven’t sampled too much of the beer from the gardens, you’ll be able to walk to each of them without too much trouble.

9) Hope you brought your camera because Melbourne’s artistic sculptures and breathtaking architecture are something you’re going to want to remember.  Another freebie is the tram that runs along the business district down to the home of some of the most outstanding waterfront sculptures in history… The Docklands.

10) If you thought people watching was in abundance at the botanical gardens, try walking along the river Yarra.  Dragon boats containing rowing clubs are prevalent at day’s end; and if you’re into fine displays of shirtless, well developed males, you won’t want to miss this.  If the thought of that makes your mind’s eye grow weary, get there earlier in the day to appreciate the full magnificence of the artistic installations and sculptures. 

Though Melbourne is not on my top list of the best budget places to visit, you will find that there is much to enjoy while not spending a fortune. Last I heard it is still relatively budget traveler-friendly so see Melbourne first or see Melbourne last, but be sure to see Melbourne!

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