BIG BUDGET ACTIVITY: HEAD TO A SHOW
Melbourne is great at any time of day, but it truly comes alive at night, meaning there’s something extra magical about seeing a show here. There’s an old-world charm to getting dressed up, going out for a nice dinner and heading to one of Melbourne’s many incredible theatres.
This year, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Princess Theatre is one of the most popular shows. Her Majesty’s Theatre also hosts a number of events and shows over the year – check the theatre’s website to see what’s on.
CHEAP ACTIVITIES IN MELBOURNE
HEAD TO THE YARRA VALLEY
Just outside the city, you’ll find the Yarra Valley – a wine region home to lots of wineries doing pinot noir, chardonnay, sparkling wine and more. The Yarra Valley is great for any budget, as you can choose how much or how little you want to spend.
Here, you can move between different wineries and enjoy free tastings. Head to the Blue Hills Berries and Cherries farm from November to April to pick Australian cherries. Check out the Buxton Trout and Salmon farm and catch a rainbow trout for dinner. Meet Australian platypuses and other adorable animals at the Healesville Sanctuary.
GET UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH PHILLIP ISLAND PENGUINS
Phillip Island is one of the most popular day trips from Melbourne, just a two-hour drive from Melbourne or accessible by bus or ferry.
Set yourself up at beautiful Woolamai Beach and go swimming or snorkelling. Check out the area’s boutiques and markets and buy a souvenir or two. At sunset, buy a ticket at Phillip Island Nature Parks to watch the famous Penguin Parade. The experience allows you to see a colony of little penguins return to land after a day at sea catching fish. You can also check out other natural and wildlife attractions such as the Koala Conservation Centre and Churchill Island Heritage Farm.
INDULGE IN A MELBOURNE BRUNCH
Melbourne is famous for its brunch scene. Here, you’ll find delicious healthy smoothies, creative dishes, and some of the best bakeries in Australia offering all kinds of breakfast treats.
Check out French-inspired Hardware Societe in the heart of the CBD. Venture to South Yarra and try Two Birds One Stone. If you’re willing to go a little further, head to Instagram-famous Legacy Camberwell.
FACE YOUR FEARS AT EUREKA SKYDECK
Eureka Skydeck offers the ultimate view of Melbourne’s skyline, sitting 297 metres above street level. If you’re feeling brave, make sure to give The Edge experience a try. It involves sitting on a clear-bottom platform that extends from the top floor, letting you feel as if you’re floating above the city. Eureka Skydeck is also open at night, so you can watch the city completely lit up.
MELBOURNE’S BEST FREE ACTIVITIES
SOAK UP THE STREET ART
Melbourne is home to some awesome street art dotted all over the CBD and surrounding suburbs. Hosier Lane is the best place to check it out, but there are also several areas that get overlooked. Head to Blender Lane, Tattersalls Lane, Centre Place, ACDC Lane and Duckboard Place in the CBD or suburbs like Fitzroy, Brunswick, Prahran and Footscray.
TAKE INSTAGRAM SHOTS AT BRIGHTON BATHING BOXES
The vibrant Brighton Bathing Boxes are not only a great sight, but they’re also entirely free to visit. Located on Dendy Street Beach, there are 82 beach huts lining the Brighton foreshore. Built during the Victorian era, they were designed for ladies who wanted privacy while changing into their swimwear.
Don’t forget to get your photo outside Box 2, which is painted with the blue, red and white of the Australian flag!
CHECK OUT MELBOURNE ATTRACTIONS ON THE CITY CIRCLE TRAM
Melbourne’s famous City Circle tram (also known as Route 35), is the best way to see some of the top Melbourne attractions for free. The tram stops at several locations around the city, including the City Museum, Parliament House, Docklands, Federation Square, Melbourne Aquarium, Bourke St Mall and the Princess Theatre.
Trams come every 30 minutes, meaning you can spend the whole day hopping on and hopping off between attractions. Even staying on the tram and watching the city go by is a nice way to spend an afternoon!
EXPLORE ST KILDA
The beautiful seaside suburb of St Kilda is the perfect place to spend the day without spending a cent. Lie back and relax on St Kilda Beach or take a walk on the iconic pier. Check out the many boutiques and restaurants, and soak up the chilled seaside vibe. Make sure to head to St Kilda Breakwater to see the little penguins. You can also browse the famous Arts and Crafts Market every Sunday and check out lots of cute items made by locals.
YHA is the biggest budget accommodation network in Australia. With more than 70 hostels around the country, there is a YHA ready to welcome you wherever your wanderlust might lead.