14 Free Things to Do in Melbourne

Melbourne is famously known as the city of gardens and it boasts varied and opulent arts and culture, it is also an amazing food kingdom and this is definitely a city you would want to explore! Best of all, Melbourne can be explored for FREE. Yes, you have read it right. In this article, we are going to look at 15 FREE things to do in Melbourne. So, are you ready?

1) Ride on the FREE tourist shuttle bus

The Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle is the perfect means of transportation to explore the city for FREE! This service runs daily from 9:30am to 4:30 pm, every half an hour. It stops at all popular attractions in the city such as the Chinatown, Queen Victoria Market and also the Fed Square. The whole trip takes one and a half hour and on board the shuttle you can get a commentary with an amazing information about the city and sights.

The Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle (Source: visitmelbourne.com)
The Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle (Source: visitmelbourne.com)

2) Visit fantastic city gardens and city parks

In Melbourne, you can see Australia’s amazing gardens and parks. One of the most famous is none other than the Royal Botanic Gardens. It is situated in the south of the CBD. The Royal Park which is Melbourne’s largest park is located in the north of the city center. It is home to trams and trains, sporting fields and also home to Melbourne’s Zoological Gardens.

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Source: visitmelbourne.com)
Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Source: visitmelbourne.com)

3) Explore the Australian Centre for Moving Image

If you are a big fan of anything digital, then be sure to check out the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACM). This is a unique attraction as it amazingly celebrates all types of moving image. It often exhibits international and local films, exhibitions, events and workshops all year round. Located in Federation Square, it operates daily from 10 am to 6 pm and closed on Mondays.

Australian Centre for Moving Image (Source: archdaily.com)
Australian Centre for Moving Image (Source: archdaily.com)

4) Travel around Federation Square

The Fed Square or Melbourne Federation Square is a spot where you can witness the city’s major cultural attractions and events being conducted. It possesses great choices of shops, restaurants, and places to chill out. This urban and chic square has turned out to be the city’s meeting point for almost everyone in the city.

The Fed Square, Melbourne (Source: australia.com)
The Fed Square, Melbourne (Source: australia.com)

5) Relax on the amazing beach in St Kilda

This is a great beach to be in, without a doubt. Being one of Melbourne’s most famous attractions, St. Kilda is just a short distance from the city center. You can partake in many types of exciting water sports like kite-surfing, sailing, and water skiing. Or perhaps, enjoy yourself with a game of beach volleyball with no cost at all!

St. Kilda Beach, Melbourne (Source: nomadsworld.com)
St. Kilda Beach, Melbourne (Source: nomadsworld.com)

6) Wander along the beautiful River Yarra

Take a wonderful stroll alongside the Yarra River. This is a fantastic thing to be done for FREE either during broad daylight or night. If you walk during the night, the bright lights of the buildings reflecting on the clear water is simply spectacular. If you opt to walk during the day, you will be able to see many works of modern-day arts displayed proudly and authentically.

River Yarra, Melbourne (Source: andreaperrin.com)
River Yarra, Melbourne (Source: andreaperrin.com)

7) Stopover at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA)

The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) is an amazing and FREE art gallery. If you fancy urban art in all types as well as innovative artwork, this is the place you should visit. The building itself is unique and screams for attention with its steel and rustic red façade that is the ultimate trademark in the Southbank area.

Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), Melbourne (Source: artblart.com)
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), Melbourne (Source: artblart.com)

8) Visit the Melbourne Athenaeum Library

This library is established back in 1839 and it is one of the state’s oldest public institution. It possesses a big collection from classic to current books. From fiction titles, travel, and history, to non-fiction genres, they have it. The Melbourne Athenaeum Library opens daily except on Sunday.

Culture Secrets - The Melbourne Athenaeum Library, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Source: m.visitvictoria.com)
Culture Secrets – The Melbourne Athenaeum Library, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Source: m.visitvictoria.com)

9) Street Art

To check out arts all year round, for free, head over to Flinders Street, Hosier Lane, and Centre Place. These places are the most popular street art in Melbourne. The arts here will give you the chance to take plenty of amazing photos for remembrance!

Hosier Lane, Melbourne (Source:photographyhotspots.com.au)
Hosier Lane, Melbourne (Source:photographyhotspots.com.au)

10) Soak up the atmosphere at the Queen Victoria Market

Queen Victoria Market has been Melbourne’s most well-known marketplace and it is also one of its top tourist attractions. This vibrant yet warm marketplace is always packed with customers and vendors. Walk around this market and be indulged with the old world charm atmosphere. If you want to visit when it is less busy, head over on Sunday.

Queen Victoria Market (Source: whereisfatboy.blogspot.com)
Queen Victoria Market (Source: whereisfatboy.blogspot.com)

11) Go to the Ian Potter Centre and Sample Australian Art

Here, you can find a splendid display of Australian Art. This centre displays photos, prints, paintings, textiles, sculptures and more. They represent the country’s art from the bygone colonial era up to the current day. The Ian Potter Centre opens daily from 10 am to 5 pm but closed on Monday.

Ian Potter Centre and Sample Australian Art, Melbourne (Source: en.wikipedia.org)
Ian Potter Centre and Sample Australian Art, Melbourne (Source: en.wikipedia.org)

12) Go sightseeing by riding the City Circle Tram

The City Circle Tram is Melbourne’s popular ride and it takes thousands of visitors to many top charms of the city. The free tram makes pit stop at famous places like the Parliament House, Melbourne Aquarium, as well as the Federation Square.

City Circle Tram, Melbourne (Source: waindestinations.com)
City Circle Tram, Melbourne (Source: waindestinations.com)

13) Discover lanes and alleys around Melbourne

Melbourne’s city is rich with series of lanes, alleys, and arcades. All free for tourists to explore. Where to start? You can begin at the Degraves St, off Flinders St as well as between the Swanston St and Elizabeth St. Just grab a cup of coffee (yes, that’s not free but definitely worth the experience) and do people watching. At the Centre Place, there is an alley that has boutique shops good for window shopping too. Don’t forget to go to the Visitors Centre on Fed Square for a map.

Degraves Street , Melbourne (Source: reddit.com)
Degraves Street , Melbourne (Source: reddit.com)

14) Be part of the Melbourne festivals

Melbourne is often related to being the capital of many festivals in Australia. The highlights of festivals include the Moomba Festival which is held in March. This festival offers free activities for visitors along the Yarra River and city’s park. The popular comedy festival is often held in the month of April and you can witness many free street entertainments. Towards the end of the year like in September, you can expect the Fringe Festival and for October, the Melbourne Festival often took place which will also provide free happenings.

Melbourne Festival (Source: curiositytravels.org)
Melbourne Festival (Source: curiositytravels.org)

There you go, as Melbourne is often related to being Australia’s cultural hub, it is indeed a popular city to be visited by travelers worldwide. Hopefully, you’ll be excited to explore this city; from the vast collections of arts, famous beaches, and exciting market, Melbourne awaits you!