By Telma and Thomas | 18 February 2016 | Australia | Travel Guides

Exploring Melbourne on a Budget it’s easy, because there are a lot of free things to do. Our travel guide will show you how.
Once there, you realise why Melbourne is one of the most popular cities in Australia, because Melbourne or “Melbun”, as the locals call it, has something for everyone, regardless the budget, tastes and age. Melbourne on a budget had a combination of:
– Amazing food from all over the world, markets, the coffee culture, graffiti laneways with incredible street art, the inner suburbs for shopping and dining, stunning lookouts, exotic parks, iconic landmarks and a quirky architecture. And no wonder  Melbourne is one of the most liveable cities in the world.

We always travel without a plan. That’s more enjoyable for us while exploring new places. But Melbourne wasn’t just another destination, I was also visiting family and a good friend of mine. Those were two strong reasons why we decided to stay and live in Melbourne on a budget for five weeks. All that time to spare and we even made it to Tasmania, which was not in the itinerary at all.
There was something about Melbourne that kept us wondering what it would be to live there and perhaps was the resemblances of London that made us feel being back at home.

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Melbourne Travel Guide on a Budget

how to visit melbourne on a budget

Things to do in Melbourne

Head to the city centre, or nearby suburbs like Fitzroy, Carlton, South Yarra, Richmond, Toorak, Malvern, Prahran and St. Kilda, where you will find cafes and restaurants from every continent around the world.

In need of getting some sun?
Bayside beaches – St Kilda is the most popular amongst backpackers. But there are plenty of other beaches nearby; if you like it a little less crowded try Brighton Beach. Surf beaches can be found outside of Melbourne towards either Mornington Peninsula or Torquay along the Great Ocean Road.

Tourist for the day?
Join the I’m Free Walking Tour. These tours are free of charge and run twice a day from Victoria State Library and last approximately 2.5-3 hours. You will be able to see the best of Melbourne: From laneways, street art to iconic landmarks.

Obsessed about Coffee?
Then you are in the right city, because Melbourne is obsessed with coffee. Walking through laneways is nearly impossible to miss the smell of freshly brewed coffee from a few meters away.
Our choices
Brother Baba Buda – Little Bourke Street
The Kettle Black – South Melbourne
Cup of Truth – Collingwood
A Minor Place – Fitzroy North
Lady Bower Café – Reservoir

Melbourne Points of Interest

  • Royal Botanic Gardens
  • National Gallery
  • State Library Victoria 
  • Shrine of Remembrance
  • Koorie Heritage Trust Cultural Centre (aboriginal culture)
  • Old Melbourne GAOL
  • St. Paul Cathedral
  • Hosier Lane (Street Art)
  • Flinders Street Station
  • Sky Deck at the Eureka Tower
  • The Block Arcade

melbourne on a budget

graffiti melbourne

  • Queen Victoria Market
  • Camberwell Market
  • Federation Square
  • City Circle Tram 
  • Rose Street Artists Market in Fitzroy
  • City back streets by bike
  • Sorrento Pier at Mornington Peninsula
  • St. Kilda
  • Brighton Beach
  • Philip Island for the “Penguin Sunset”

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Interesting facts about Melbourne

  • The car park for Queen Victoria Market is built on the site of Melbourne’s original cemetery
  • Before Melbourne was called Melbourne, it was named Batmania after John Batman, a colonist farmer from Tasmania who landed in Port Phillip Bay in May 1835
  • The world’s first feature film, the Story of the Ned Kelly Gang was filmed and made in Melbourne in 1906
  • The first ever set of traffic lights was installed in Melbourne
  • Melbourne was the capital city of Australia for 26 years between 1901 and 1927 before the capital shifted to Canberra

beach huts

Special Thanks:

We would to thank Telma’s Aunt and Cousin for their hospitality in Melbourne during our five weeks stay. Jennie and Jo for driving and spending time with us. Debra Swann and Melanie Wells from the Deaf Community.

Further reading: Lonely Planet Melbourne & Victoria (Travel Guide) is a complete and all-inclusive guide for those wanting to experience and explore Melbourne and Victoria. We strongly recommend reading this guide as it helped us planning our own trip. Happy Travels!

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Have you been to Melbourne? Where is your favourite city?

things to do in melbourne on a budget

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We are Thomas and Telma – the writers, photographers, videographers and founders of Blank Canvas Voyage.

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