Melbourne, the capital city of the state of Victoria in Australia… is a vibrant place with lots of eateries, shopping, landmarks, and areas to soak up its beauty.
And, there’s always something to do in Melbourne, even in the cold Winters. So, if you’re wanting to save some money on your travels, yet still want to see what Melbourne has to offer…
Then, in this blog post I’ll run through 7 free things to do in Melbourne. And, these activities will be around the main city area of Melbourne.
1. Visit Melbourne’s Most Famous Market
So, while Melbourne has many different markets to visit, the most iconic is the Queen Victoria Market… known as the Vic Market to locals.
And, at this open air market, there are rows and rows of stalls selling all sorts of goods… from fresh fruit and vegetables, souvenirs, clothes, through to homewares. So, you could spend hours here walking through the aisles.
Yet, a must visit at the Vic Market is the delicatessen section. And, you can easily reach it via the Elizabeth Street or Therry Street entrances.
So, here is where Max and I usually spend most of our time… when visiting the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne.
And here, many stall owners lure you in by getting you to taste their goods for free. From truffle cheeses, to artisan breads, and local wines… there’s something for everyone.
2. Stroll Around Melbourne’s Laneways
Now, having been to Venice, there’s a labyrinth of laneways that you could get lost in. Yet, Melbourne also has its fair share of laneways, but they are different. And, easier to navigate around.
So, you could spend an entire day or more, weaving your way around Melbourne to see these laneways.
And, these laneways have plenty to see for everyone. From Hardware Lane for foodies and bar hoppers, to Hosier Lane for street art lovers… through to Degreaves Street or Centre Place for shopping and food.
And, for the lovers of music… there’s AC/DC Lane as a tribute to the legendary Australian rock band.
3. Relax in One of Melbourne’s Parks and Gardens
There are many beautiful and tranquil places to relax in Melbourne. And, if you’re going to rest, then you may as well do it with lush greenery around you. As well as with pretty flowers, vibrant colours, water features and more.
And, one of the most popular is the Melbourne Royal Botanical Gardens.
So, the main entrance is via Birdwood Avenue. And, these gardens are free to get in and roam around. Plus, you can get free guided walks if that takes your fancy.
So, the Melbourne Botanical Gardens span about 38 hectares. And here, there are over 50,000 plants from Australia, as well as all globally.
And, if you’re feeling energetic, you can join the locals by walking or jogging around the Tan. So, this track is about 3.87km and mainly flat. Thus, making it pleasant for those with even mobility issues.
Now, while Melbourne is a young city in comparison to many other places around the world… it does have some beautiful architecture.
So, next on our list of 7 free things to do in Melbourne city, it combines shopping and architecture.
4. Go Window Shopping and Admire the Amazing Architecture
Now, Melbourne has heaps of places to shop. Yet, as this blog post is about free things to do in Melbourne… then you can always do some window shopping. And, the best part is, some of the shops are in amazing buildings.
So, an example is the H&M Store in Melbourne’s Old General Post Office. And, when you go inside, take a look at how exquisite it is.
Plus, to see more stunning architecture just down the road… head on over to Royal Arcade at 355 Bourke Street. So, this gorgeous arcade, which was open in 1870 is heritage listed. Plus, it’s the oldest surviving arcade in Australia.
And, while it houses many boutique shops you can check out… you’ll marvel at the gorgeous architectural design.
Plus, make sure you seek out the mythical statues of Gog and Magog. So, they stand on either side of an historic clock, which chimes every hour.
And, with that, “Ding! Ding!” Onto our next on our list of free things to do in Melbourne City…
5. Wander Along the Yarra River and Southbank Precinct
For a bustling atmosphere from day until night… make your way to the Southbank Precinct along the Yarra River. So, this is a busy spot for locals and tourists. And here, there are lots of photo opportunities.
Plus, you can sit on the banks of the Yarra… people watching, or seeing the myriad of boats putter up and down the river. So, it’s lovely to watch the world go by.
Yet, if you’re at Southbank outside the Crown Casino Complex at night time… you may get to see a blazing display!
So, there are 8 towers where huge flames are blown out from. And, for unsuspecting visitors it can give them a fright!
Thus, subject to weather and other conditions, you can see the flame show every hour:
– From 1st December at 9:00pm
– Then, from 1st March at 8:00pm
– From 1st April at 6:00pm
– And, from 1st October at 8:00pm
Then, the final fireball shows are at midnight on Sundays to Thursdays… And, 1:00am Friday to Saturday, as well as the night before a public holiday. So, are you all fired up to see it? LOL!
6. Immerse Yourself in Art and Culture
So, while you’re in the Southbank vicinity during the day, head on over to the ACCA… Australia Centre for Contemporary Art at 111 Sturt Street.
So here, you can enter this award-winning architectural building for free. Plus, there are exhibitions and educational programs… bringing the world of contemporary art in one place.
Plus, there are free public tours that run on Sunday’s at 3pm during exhibition periods.
Now, if you’re at Federation Square, check out the Ian Potter Centre. So here, it houses a variety of non-Indigenous art, through to modern Australian art. And, it’s the only gallery in the world that has the most Australian art.
So, there are over 20 galleries showcasing over 20,000 artworks including… prints, drawings, photography, textiles, decorative arts, and heaps more.
And, the great thing is, entrance to the permanent exhibitions are for free.
Then, one of the most popular for art lovers in Melbourne is… the National Gallery of Victoria on 180 St Kilda Road. And, the collection includes about 75,000 works of art.
So, while there are many paid exhibitions throughout the year… you can see the permanent collections for free.
And, last but not least on our list of 7 free things to do in Melbourne city… to get around there is free transport!
7. Take a Ride on the Number 35 Free Tram
Now, when you’re in the Melbourne Central Business District, you may see vehicles like these…
So, these old trams were built specifically for tourists to get around Melbourne CBD for free. And, while you’re on the tram, take a seat and absorb the sights of Melbourne. Plus, there’s also commentary on board to point out the sights to you.
And, there’s normally brochures on the tram as well as a tram conductor. Thus, if you need more information, there’s help at hand.
Now, there are more free trams in Melbourne. And, you can check out our other blog post for more info HERE.
So, that was 7 free things to do in Melbourne city, that will help make your dollars go further.
From admiring modern Australian art, to sitting in quaint laneways filled with cafes and bars… through to relaxing in picturesque parks, and viewing fireball shows on the Yarra River.
There’s plenty of free things for everyone to see and do in marvellous Melbourne. So, plan your trip to Victoria’s capital city and ENJOY!
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