This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, we may earn a small commission (for which we are very grateful). We only recommend products we would use ourselves and all opinions expressed here are our own.
When we travel we’re always very budget conscious. It’s become quite an addiction to find free and fun things to do everywhere we go. Every penny saved is welcome. We’ve collected a list of free and fun things to do in Melbourne to help you get the most out of your visit to Melbourne.
Melbourne is the capital of Victoria. It has a population of 4.9 million people. In between the modern buildings you will find many authentic buildings. Its location makes it easy to get that city feel but also enjoy stunning coastal views. It’s easy to escape for a day trip to Phillip Island or plan a road trip to The Great Ocean Road.
Public transport is easily accessible, which is always an added benefit for a city trip. If you’re too tired to walk back, just hop on a bus or train.
35 City Circle (Free Tourist Tram)
Tram 35 is the only tram line that still runs with an authentic original tram. You can hop on and off along the route and save your feet. There is no fee to hop on or off. It operates in both clockwise and anti-clockwise directions.
On the tram, there are announcements about every stop and what you could see or do. That way you know if it’s worth getting out at that point. It can be quite busy on the tram, but at the right times, it is nice to listen to all the background information.
When visiting Melbourne you can’t miss Federation Square. It’s a public square right in the city center and this is where St. Paul’s Cathedral & Hosier Lane are located as well. A great place to have lunch and enjoy the sun (if you’re lucky).
Federation Square (also known as Fed Square) is a venue for arts, culture, and public events. A key part of the plaza design is its large and fixed public television screen, which has been used to broadcast major sporting events.
Discover retail shopping and dine at the best restaurants and bars in Melbourne including Chocolate Buddha, Taxi Kitchen, and Beer Deluxe.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
St. Pauls’s Cathedral was built in 1885 on the site where St. Paul’s Parish Church stood from 1852 to 1885. The cathedral was designed by the English Gothic Revival architect William Butterfield and completed in 1891, except for the spires which were built to a different design from 1926 to 1932. It is one of Melbourne’s major architectural landmarks.
The inside of the cathedral is beautifully decorated, everywhere you look you see decorations, marble, stained glass, and statues. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to take photos, but you can virtually walk around the cathedral yourself: St. Paul’s Cathedral – Melbourne.
If you’re a fan of street art Melbourne won’t disappoint you. One of the most famous spots to enjoy street art is Hosier Lane. You see all the different styles mixed up and that gives a very nice effect. Every corner you turn is a surprise. It’s great that space is being made for initiatives like this.
Take a detour round into Rutledge Lane and explore the work lining the walls, windows, and wheelie bins of this sister ‘gallery’. Or visit some of the lesser-known graffiti lanes: Union lane, Rutledge Lane, Caledonian Lane, ACDC Lane, or Cocker Alley
The Block Arcade is a historic shopping arcade in the central business district of Melbourne. Constructed between 1891 and 1893, it is considered one of the late Victorian era’s finest shopping arcades and ranks among Melbourne’s most popular tourist attractions.
The arcade is a truly unique and iconic location and is home to a wide range of renowned retailers including – Haigh’s Chocolates, Art Of Dr. Seuss, Basement Discs, Sol Alpaca, Bell & Ross, and Camper Shoes.
But even if you’re not into shopping or don’t have the budget for these stores it’s still fun to wander through the Block Arcade. This is one of these free and fun things to do in Melbourne that allow you to spend as much or as little as you would like.
The Royal Arcade was proudly the first arcade in Melbourne and is the longest-standing arcade in Australia. It connects Bourke Street Mall to Little Collins Street, with a side offshoot to Elizabeth Street.
The most striking feature of the arcade is the magnificent Gaunt’s Clock which is flanked on either side by two giant statues of the mythical figures of Gog and Magog.
It’s nice to see that these kinds of buildings are preserved and still have a function. This is again a great spot for window shopping and enjoying all the architectural details that make this arcade so special.
💻📄 Check out our Free Travel Resources They will help you plan your upcoming trip with less stress and more fun!
State Library of Victoria
If you’re like me this will be one of the highlights of Melbourne. Even if you’re not a vivid reader or totally avoid libraries altogether, this is still a must-visit! The State Library of Victoria is an architectural highlight. Unlike anything, we’ve seen so far.
It was established in 1854 as the Melbourne Public Library, making it Australia’s oldest public library and one of the first free libraries in the world. It is also Australia’s busiest library. The library’s collection consists of over four million items, which in addition to books include manuscripts, paintings, maps, photographs, and newspapers.
Several Reading Rooms are accessible to the public. If you head all the way to the 5th floor you have the best view over the whole library. Usually, the 3rd and 4th floors are dedicated to exhibitions. You could even attend a workshop or take a free or paid tour.
What are your favorite fun and free things to do in Melbourne?
Well, there you have it, 7 fun and free things to do in Melbourne. We absolutely had a blast wandering the streets and just discovering new things everywhere. Melbourne is a city that has a lot to offer. You could easily spend a day or two discovering everything.
This list is not complete, there are a lot more fun and free things to do in Melbourne. Please share your favorites in the comments below and let us know what we need to visit next time we’re in Melbourne. Let’s enjoy as many fun and free things as we can so we can travel long-term and budget-friendly.
My favorite was the library by far, but just discovering what’s possible without spending any money is so worth it. And if you’re done in Melbourne, don’t forget to visit Phillip Island or the Great Ocean Road!
Want to learn how to travel long-term?
Setting up a budget, figuring out where to go and finding ways to stay on the road as long as possible. Sounds like something you would like to do as well? Leave your details and we'll tell you all about it!