What to Do in Melbourne Without Breaking Your Budget

Melbourne is generally not cheap, but if you are wondering what to do in Melbourne that is inexpensive and won’t break your budget.

Here are some of our tips – from tramming to hip areas, to live music and discounts on performances.

Also check out things to do in Melbourne for FREE.

Hop on a Melbourne Tram

Melbourne public transport is quite cheap if you use it all day. A daily tram ticket will cost you around $7-8. With this you can ride all day and explore various attractive Melbourne areas. Explore spots of natural beauty, go window-shopping or have a coffee in one of the intimate Melbourne shopping precincts.

  • Take a tram to South Melbourne, stroll the streets, visit South Melbourne Market and then travel on to Port Melbourne and stroll along the beach parade.
  • Take a tram to St Kilda and stroll through Acland Street and along the beach.
  • Take a tram to Bridge Road Richmond, a shopping street dedicated to factory outlets and fashion boutiques.
  • Take a tram to Chapel Street South Yarra, the street of many trendy boutiques and labels. Visit the Prahran market.
  • Take a tram up Sydney Road, Brunswick – an alternative and ethnic long stretch of road, well loved for its variety of shops - from alternative to Italian to Arabic and all sorts of discounts.
  • Take a tram up High Street Northcote – an area well loved by its locals for its funky shops, intimate cafes and bars, while retaining its distinctive community feel.

Listen to Some Live Music

The Melbourne music scene is vibrant. Every day there are numerous live gigs in Melbourne – and the majority can be seen free, if not for a small price. Pick up a Beat or Impress Street Magazine in any pub, trendy cafe or music venue – they are a great starting point in working out what to do in Melbourne at night.

Have a look through these magazines and find something you’d like to see. These guides generally list huge amounts of gigs, and if they don’t specify any costs, go to the venue’s website and find out more there.

Have Coffee and Hang Out in Some Hip Melbourne Spots

There are some places that are really nice to hang out – and they often have a café where you can sit for ages watching people go by, enjoying the scene and just being there part of Melbourne’s life. Here are some of our favourites:

  • Have coffee at CERES environmental park in East Brunswick – you can get there walking or riding along the Merri Creek from Fitzroy North.
  • Have coffee at the Studley Park Boats house – a kiosk in the Yarra Bends with a lot of tranquility (and boat hire). You can walk there from the Yarra Trail in Abbotsford.
  • Have coffee at the Abbotsford Convent on a weekend. There is often a live band and all sorts of activities. A great place to hang out!

Melbourne Museums

Melbourne museums are cheap – under $10 for adults, kids and concession-card holders get in free. They are always an interesting option of you are wondering what to do in Melbourne.

There is the Melbourne Museum in the Carlton Gardens where you can explore our natural environment as well as local life, culture and history.

The Scienceworks museum is a hit with young kids and provides fun hands on and interactive learning about science and technology. It is located in Spotswood and is accessible by train.

The Immigration Museum is fascinating. It explores and recreates real life stories of people from all over the world who have migrated to Victoria. It is located in the Old Customs House in the city.

Half Price Tickets to Melbourne Events and Performances

You can work out what to do in Melbourne on a given night by visiting Half-tix. Half-tix is an Melbourne Art initiative and sells leftover tickets for all sorts of performances: Theatre, music, opera, comedy, dance, the Melbourne Fringe, the International Arts Festival, and even Basketball and bus tours.

They are located in the Melbourne Townhall on Swanston Street and open Monday to Saturday. On Saturdays you can also buy tickets for Sunday performances. You have to get your tickets in person and pay in cash to get your great Melbourne deal.

Melbourne Coupons

If you want to get a good deal on some Melbourne attractions, you can get hold of some coupons that will give you – often quite a substantial – discount. They might also give you some ideal what to do in Melbourne.

You will always find these in the quarterly ‘Melbourne in Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter’ booklets that are brought out by the city of Melbourne. These are available at the Melbourne Tourist office at Federation Square and also often in the free City Circle Trams.

The coupons vary, but there are discounts to such attractions like the Skydeck, the Melbourne Gaol, a Yarra Cruise as well as various restaurants, shops and cafes.

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