Best things in life are free: Cheap ways to explore Melbourne


For those who don’t know me, one of my mottos in life is “the best things in life are free”. I don’t think anyone will disagree with me on that one, especially when being an adult and paying for life is expensive!


So if you’re going to Melbourne on an adventure, or live in the area – and pay ridiculous rent prices, I’ve put together a little guide on some cheap things to do in Melbourne!

National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) – CBD 

If you like art, or just learning something new, the NGV is great! They always have free exhibitions and always something interesting to look at.


Recently the Triennial exhibition landed in Melbourne and it was amazing! They are always good for interactive art too!


White Night – CBD 

Hosting throughout Melbourne for one weekend in February, White Night is the best way to see Melbourne without any road traffic from 7pm to 7am! Walk the streets, go inside many building and experience the local art and culture of Melbourne!


It is a lot of fun, restaurants open later than usual, bands play in the streets and art is projected onto buildings!


Hot tip – go later in the night, take a jacket and comfortable shoes, or go out to a club and party on in the street, same same right?


Beach – from Sandringham to Altona 

Melbourne isn’t really known for their beaches, unlike our rivals in Sydney, but I actually really like Melbourne beaches for their good atmosphere, the calm water and some even have city views! Plus, you don’t much cheaper than on the beach.


Take you’re own food or fork out a few dollars for an ice cream or some fish and chips!


My favourite?

  1. St Kilda – probably everyone’s favourite
  2. South Melbourne – beautiful and close to the city
  3. Brighton Beach – beach boxes and beautiful sunset viewsimg_3292
  4. Elwood – spent Australia Day here, so so fun
  5. Altona – west of Melbourne, great walking path and distance city view
  6. Black Rock – a really different beach with a ship wreak offshoreimg_3024
  7. Williamstown – a great bike and walking track and nice cafes surrounding, plus the beautiful botanic gardens close by


Look I like them all, as you can see! But they are just perfect spots for day picnics and even night picnics on a hot summer night. In March this year I even saw a woman walking her pig on a Saturday night at Elwood – yep that’s free entertainment!


So tell me, what is your favourite beach?

Albert Park – South Melbourne 

An iconic part of Melbourne but the funny thing is, I only recently just went here! It is beautiful, with great city views – you know I do love a city view.


Enjoy a lap or two of the park, it is a great way to catch up with friends! Even take your own food and watch the boats sail around the lake.

Merri Creek – Brunswick/Fitzroy 

Merri Creek is a great track that goes from Coburg, all the way into the city. Along my journey a few weekends ago, I came across a lot of interesting things, including CERES, Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies, which is a sustainability centre and a lot of street art under the bridges.


The track goes all the way to Fitzroy where you can treat yourself to a coffee and a cheap lunch as a reward! This is what I did at the BOXX CAFE and it was amazing food, had a cute view of the city, great coffee plus the service was fantastic! All up I spent under $20 and had a great day out exploring the area.


Picnic – any amazing park in Melbs 

Looking for a cheap weekend but want to feel like you’ve done something? Go on a picnic and hang out at the amazing parks Melbourne has to offer!


A few of my favourites are:

  1. Botanic Gardens – Melbourne
  2. Anderson’s Park – Hawthorn Eastimg_0899
  3. Edinborough Gardens – Fitzroyimg_3118-1.jpg
  4. Cherry Lake – Altona
  5. Princes Park – Carlton
  6. Williamstown Botanic Gardens – Williamstownimg_0273
  7. Stubley Park – Kew

Let me know some of your favourite parks in Melbourne!

Chinatown – CBD

Want to go for dinner but don’t want to spend a lot of money? Chinatown is a great cheap dinner and they even have BYO. For some dumplings, rice and a few sides you can pay around $15-20 per person and the food is amazing!


If you have had enough wine, you might even want to head to a karaoke bar after dinner. As long as you don’t buy any more drinks, that is a cheap night! But the more drinks part might be too hard to control.

Markets – also anywhere 

Melbourne has a great range of markets from summer and winter markets to different food festivals, there is always one on! Share food with a friend and save money that way!


My favourite markets?


  1. Night Noodle Market – Birrawung Marr
  2. Summer Night Market – Queen Vic
  3. South Melbourne Night Market – South Melbourneimg_1391
  4. Winter Night Market – Queen Vic
  5. St Kilda Esplanade market


There is always something going on, whether it is food, shopping or live music, they are a great night out. Especially midweek!


Live Music 

Music is massive in Melbourne, you can find bandrooms is many areas of Melbourne and depending on the gig, some tickets are pretty cheap!


In the last year, I’ve been lucky enough to see The Living End, Michael Dunstan and Dead Ray for under $50 – two only being under $20.


The Corner Hotel, The Croxton, Wesley Ann and Gasometer are just some of the many other bandrooms in Melbourne! If you want to see someone new just pick anyone and go along!


Sporting Events 

Another great aspect of Melbourne, sport! It is massive, but doesn’t have to cost the earth to go! Some websites, like last minute tix, offer great deals on sporting games!


This year alone I have been to the AFL, general admission, the cricket, State of Origin and the NRL for tickets no more than $30!


We definitely live in the sporting capital.




3 thoughts on “Best things in life are free: Cheap ways to explore Melbourne

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