Free Things To Do In Melbourne
Melbourne is known for its vibrant cultural scene and bustling urban life. There are many exciting attractions to explore in the city, some free! Whether you’re looking to entertain yourself with something new or enjoy some fresh air, there are plenty of opportunities to do so without spending any money.
Overview of Melbourne
Melbourne is known for its vibrant culture, stunning architecture, and lively atmosphere that captures the essence of modern urban life. The city has a rich history dates back to the British colonization era in Australia, which has given rise to impressive architecture and significant landmarks that make the city iconic.
Walking tours of Melbourne are the perfect way to soak up the city’s history and culture. The city center, or CBD, is the heart of Melbourne, and visitors can take a stroll along the elegant Spring Street to view some of the city’s most iconic buildings. These include Parliament House and the Old Treasury Building, which dates back to 1858 and now houses exhibition spaces detailing the history of Melbourne’s gold rush.
Visitors can also stop at the Royal Exhibition Building, which was opened in 1880 and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. This building is home to the Melbourne Museum, which houses an extensive collection of exhibits detailing the city’s and country’s history and culture.
Melbourne is also famous for its street art scene, and Hosier Lane and AC/DC Lane are two must-visit locations for art enthusiasts. In these streets, you can see some of the most incredible and detailed murals, which showcase the city’s creativity and artistic expression.
Other free attractions in Melbourne include the City Circle Tram, which takes you around the city’s best landmarks and attractions, including Flinders Street Station and Luna Park. Also, experience flamboyant street performing in the bustling Queen Victoria Market, where you can taste fresh produce from local vendors or shop for handmade crafts.
In summary, with its diversity, history, and culture, Melbourne is undoubtedly one of the most livable cities in the world. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a local, Melbourne always has something new to discover.
Hosier Lane is one of the most vibrant and Instagram-worthy attractions in Melbourne. Its colorful walls, painted with fantastic art pieces, make it stand out among other laneways in the city. The lane’s walls are adorned with a mix of graffiti, stencil art, and installations featuring an array of subjects like pop culture and political pieces. You’ll find well-known Melbourne street artists’ artworks, such as Adnate, Rone, and Melbourne-born artist Deb Harnpan.
The constantly changing artwork transforms Hosier Lane into a living gallery, with a fresh canvas for talented street artists to express themselves. It is a free outdoor art exhibition that most locals and tourists love exploring. Throughout the year, the Melbourne street art scene holds regular events, making Hosier Lane a vital hub for street-art culture.
If you want the best experience of Hosier Lane, it’s better to explore it without a plan. Walking freely from one end to another, taking in the art leisurely, is recommended. As you stroll through the alleyways, take pride in the unique and eclectic mix of artwork, including the pieces that are layered on each other. You may find your new favorite street-art masterpiece with this freedom to explore.
Hosier Lane is a refreshing reminder of how street art can transform urban spaces and make them exciting and dynamic. This iconic attraction has attracted worldwide recognition, making it a must-visit location in Melbourne for anyone who enjoys street art or visual art in general. It is one of the destinations that makes Melbourne one of the most liveable cities in the world.
Acland Street is one of the most iconic and vibrant streets in Melbourne. Located in the beachside suburb of St Kilda, Acland Street is famous for its eclectic mix of boutique shops, bakeries, cafes, restaurants, bars, theatres, and live music venues. It is a bustling street, always buzzing with energy, making it a perfect destination for locals and tourists.
One of the most popular attractions on Acland Street is the famous Acland Street cake shops. These shops are known for their mouth-watering cakes, pastries, and desserts, all freshly made on the premises. The cakes are so popular that people from all over Melbourne come to Acland Street to indulge. Some of the most famous cake shops on Acland Street include Monarch Cakes, Europa Cake Shop, and the famous Brunetti.
Apart from the cake shops, Acland Street is also home to many boutique shops that sell unique products. These shops offer various products ranging from clothing, jewelry, and accessories to toys, books, and homewares. The products sold in these shops are all locally made so that you can support local artists and artisans.
Acland Street is also known for its vibrant nightlife. It is home to many bars and live music venues where you can enjoy a great night out with friends. Some of the most popular bars on Acland Street include the Dogs Bar, Republica, and the Vineyard. These bars offer a wide range of drinks and food, live music, and a friendly atmosphere.
City Circle Tram
One of the best and most convenient ways to explore Melbourne’s vibrant city center is by hopping onto the free City Circle Tram. This iconic tram service, which has been operating since 1994, is a unique and convenient way to discover many of Melbourne’s top sights and attractions, all without spending a penny on transportation.
The City Circle Tram is a vintage-style tram that operates in a circular loop around Melbourne’s central business district. The service runs clockwise and anticlockwise directions, with trams arriving at designated, stops every 12 minutes from 10 am until 6 pm, seven days a week. The trams are unmistakable, with their burgundy and yellow livery, and are a famous sight among tourists and locals.
Exiting at any designated stop, visitors can explore all the sights and attractions at their own pace. The tram passes by many of Melbourne’s top attractions, including the historic Flinders Street Station, bustling Federation Square, the famous Queen Victoria Market, and the picturesque Docklands precinct.
But it’s more than just the attractions that are worth seeing. The City Circle Tram winds its way through Melbourne’s most iconic streets, such as Swanston Street, Collins Street, and Bourke Street, all brimming with shops, art galleries, cafes, and restaurants.
What sets the City Circle Tram apart from other tram services is that it is entirely free. Visitors don’t need to pay a single penny to hop on board and explore the city. The service is also wheelchair accessible, making it a popular option for visitors of all ages and abilities.
Melbourne Town Hall Tours
If you’re looking for an unforgettable free experience in Melbourne, the Melbourne Town Hall tour should be on your list. Located in the heart of the city on Swanston Street, this grand building has a long history dating back to its construction in the 1860s.
The tours occur regularly throughout the week, giving visitors a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at one of Melbourne’s most iconic buildings. Led by knowledgeable guides, you’ll learn about the rich heritage of Melbourne Town Hall and its stunning architecture and intricate details.
During the tour, you’ll get to explore some of the most remarkable spaces in the building, including the Main Hall, which boasts impressive chandeliers and a fully restored pipe organ. The tour also takes you through the Council Chamber, where you can see where the elected officials of Melbourne make essential decisions.
But what sets the Melbourne Town Hall tour apart is how it immerses visitors in the city’s history. Every inch of the building is steeped in Melbourne lore, from the portraits of the city’s mayors on the walls to the ornate stained-glass windows.
For those who are interested in architecture, the tour is a must-see. The building’s majestic exterior is a stunning example of the Renaissance Revival style, and it’s worth stopping to appreciate even before you step inside.
Queen Victoria Market
Located in the heart of Melbourne’s central business district, the Queen Victoria Market is a popular destination for visitors and locals alike. This historic market has been a bustling hub of activity for over a century and is the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere.
With more than 600 stalls, the Queen Victoria Market has something for everyone. From fresh produce to handmade crafts, shoppers can find various goods here. The market is known for its vibrant atmosphere and excellent selection of local and international foods. Many of the vendors at the market offer free samples, so it’s a great place to try new foods and flavors.
In addition to shopping, the Queen Victoria Market offers a range of activities and events throughout the year. Foodies will want to check out the market’s cooking classes, taught by some of Melbourne’s top chefs. There are also regular events like live music performances, cultural festivals, and even a night market where visitors can shop and dine under the stars.
One of the highlights of any visit to the Queen Victoria Market is the historic sheds. These are the market’s original buildings, constructed in the late 19th century. Today, they are home to various shops and stalls selling everything from fresh seafood to vintage clothing.
Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia
you’re looking for an informative and engaging cultural experience in Melbourne that won’t cost you a penny, look at the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. This contemporary art museum in Federation Square is home to some of Australia’s most iconic artworks and artists.
The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia is the perfect destination for those looking to learn more about the rich artistic traditions of Australia. With a collection from the colonial period to the present day, the center extensively surveys the country’s artistic history. The museum features works from some of Australia’s most renowned artists, from Tom Roberts and Arthur Streeton to Sidney Nolan and Brett Whiteley.
The museum’s permanent collection is displayed across several galleries, showcasing various mediums, including painting, sculpture, and photography. Visitors can explore the collection’s themes, which include Indigenous art, landscape and environment, and contemporary art. One of the most impressive parts of the group is its focus on the stories of Australian women artists.
In addition to the museum’s permanent collection, the Ian Potter Centre hosts a range of temporary exhibitions highlighting aspects of Australian art history. Previous shows have explored topics such as the role of photography in shaping the nation’s imagery and the impact of colonialism on Indigenous art.
Not only does the museum offer engaging exhibitions, but it also provides educational programming for all ages. The Ian Potter Centre offers guided tours, talks and lectures, and interactive workshops for school children.
Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
Visitors to Melbourne can take a relaxing and beautiful break from the hustle and bustle of the city by strolling through the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria. Situated just south of the Yarra River, these gardens span 94 acres and boast an impressive collection of over 8,500 plant species.
One of the most striking sights of the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria is the Ornamental Lake, which is home to several species of waterbirds and is surrounded by picturesque lawns and gardens. Visitors can take a paddleboat ride to enjoy the view from the water, relax on the grass, and enjoy a picnic lunch while taking pictures.
The gardens include various landscapes, from the arid Australian Garden to the lush tropical Rainforest Walk. Visitors can walk through the stunning Rose Garden, which boasts over 5,000 roses in bloom during peak season or explore the intricate fern gully.
For those interested in learning more about the region’s flora, the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria also offers guided tours throughout the year. These tours are led by knowledgeable guides who provide insight into the history and significance of the gardens’ collections and the plants’ cultural and medicinal uses.
In addition to the natural beauty of the gardens themselves, the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria also houses several impressive buildings and structures, including the historic Observatory Gate and the modern Plant Craft Cottage. Visitors can also explore the gift shop, which features a range of locally made goods and souvenirs.
State Library Victoria
If you’re looking for a free, educational, and fascinating experience in Melbourne, look no further than the State Library Victoria. Located in the heart of the city center, this state-of-the-art library has something for everyone, from history buffs to literature lovers.
The library has an impressive collection of over two million books, journals, and other resources, including some of the world’s rarest and most treasured documents. Visitors can explore the library’s collection through various exhibitions, tours, and events. One of the most popular exhibitions is the Changing Face of Victoria, which showcases the state’s rich history and cultural diversity through various photographs, artwork, and artifacts.
One of the highlights of the State Library Victoria is the La Trobe Reading Room, one of Melbourne’s most beautiful and iconic spaces. With its soaring dome ceiling, towering bookshelves, and grand wooden desks, it’s easy to feel inspired and transported to a bygone era of reading and learning. Visitors can also explore the library’s extensive collection of newspapers and magazines dating back hundreds of years.
The State Library Victoria is more than just a place to read and study – it’s also a hub for cultural events and activities. Visitors can attend lectures, workshops, and performances and participate in creative writing programs, book clubs, and more. The library also has several cafes and restaurants, including Mr. Tulk, which offers a delicious and affordable menu featuring locally-sourced ingredients.
Walking alongside the Yarra River is a pleasant experience.
The Yarra River winds its way through the heart of Melbourne tour , and taking a stroll along its banks is a must-do activity for any visitor to the city. The river stretches for over 240 kilometers, flowing from the Yarra Ranges before emptying into Port Phillip Bay, and has played a significant role in Melbourne’s history and development.
From the Yarra Promenade, visitors can walk along the river’s Edge and enjoy stunning views of the city skyline and the river. The promenade is dotted with cafes, restaurants, and bars, making it the perfect spot for a leisurely lunch or refreshing drink.
Walking, you’ll come across several parks and gardens, including Birrarung Marr and Alexandra Gardens. These picturesque green spaces provide a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of the city and offer plenty of opportunities to relax with a book or take in the views.
The Yarra River is also home to several landmarks and attractions, such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Art lovers will appreciate the many sculptures and artworks that line the river’s Edge, including the famous “Vault” sculpture by artist Ron Robertson-Swann.
For a more adventurous experience, visitors can rent bikes or rollerblades and ride along the Yarra Bike Trail, which runs parallel to the river. The trail takes you through some of Melbourne’s most scenic neighborhoods, such as Southbank and South Yarra, and offers stunning views of the river and the city skyline.
Tour Melbourne's Spectacular Churches
Melbourne tour is home to some of Australia’s most spectacular and historically significant churches. Many of these churches date back to the 19th century and are a testament to the city’s rich religious and cultural heritage. Whether you’re a history buff or appreciate beautiful architecture, a tour of Melbourne’s churches is an absolute must.
One of the most iconic churches in Melbourne is St. Paul’s Cathedral, located on Swanston Street in the heart of the city. St. Paul’s was built in the neo-Gothic style in 1891 and features stunning stained glass windows, intricate carvings, and an impressive tower that offers panoramic city views. The cathedral is open to visitors daily and hosts regular services and events.
Another must-visit church is St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which is situated in East Melbourne tour. This striking cathedral is the largest church building in Australia and was first inaugurated in 1939. The cathedral boasts a beautiful interior with intricate carvings, sculptures, and a stunning stained glass window. Visitors can join guided church tours or attend one of the daily masses.
Visiting the St. Francis’ Church in the CBD is a must for those interested in the history of Melbourne’s Catholic community. The church was built in 1841 and is the oldest Catholic church in Melbourne. The classic Georgian-style church features a beautiful facade and is renowned for its rich history and stunning architecture.
Finally, Melbourne’s oldest Anglican Church, Holy Trinity, is nested in the city center and presents Neo-gothic, Victorian-era architecture. Established in 1836, it’s steeped in history and features an impressive intricate altar and stained glass windows.
A tour of Melbourne’s churches is a must-do for anyone interested in the city’s rich history and heritage. Whether seeking spiritual nourishment or simply appreciating beautiful architecture and art, Melbourne’s churches are sure to impress.
St Kilda Penguins
One of the most unique and exciting free things to do in Melbourne is to visit the St Kilda Penguins. These little penguins, also known as fairy penguins, are the smallest in the world and can be found in the St Kilda area of Melbourne tour.
After sunset, these adorable birds waddle up the beach and nestle in the rocks and dunes of St Kilda Pier, making this the perfect spot to catch a glimpse of them. You can view the penguins from a designated viewing platform or take a free guided tour with one of the St. Kilda Little Penguin Project’s volunteers.
It’s important to remember that these penguins are wild animals. While they are used to human presence, it’s crucial to maintain a safe distance and adhere to guidelines to ensure we do not disrupt their natural habitat.
The St Kilda Penguins are a true wonder of nature and a must-visit in Melbourne. Plan your visit in the evening, and enjoy the sunset before witnessing these fascinating creatures emerge from the ocean and make their way to their nests. You’ll always remember this unique and unforgettable experience!
Federation Square is a popular location in Melbourne’s heart, filled with exciting activities, stunning architecture, and fascinating history. This area is a versatile space that is an excellent destination for locals and tourists alike.
One of the most noticeable features of Federation Square is its unique architecture. The design of the square is distinctive, and the combination of sharp angles, bold shapes, and glass and steel materials make it an architectural wonder. The square’s main buildings are home to the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). You can explore art exhibitions and interactive installations or attend various cultural events and films at these iconic institutions.
The outdoor areas of Federation Square have a lot to offer as well. There are several cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy delicious food and drinks while enjoying the city’s bustling atmosphere. The area comes to life during the summer with many exciting outdoor activities. You can attend open-air concerts, street performers, and festivals like the Melbourne International Jazz Festival.
Federation Square is also an excellent place to learn about Melbourne’s history and culture. The area hosts numerous free cultural events and installations, such as the Koorie Heritage Trust Cultural Centre, which showcases Aboriginal culture and history. Additionally, the square has guided tours that take visitors to various historical landmarks throughout the city, highlighting Melbourne’s rich history.
If you’re interested in shopping, visiting Federation Square is a must-do. The area is filled with unique boutiques and shops that offer exceptional shopping experiences. The square is known for its pop-up shops, craft markets, and specialty stores, selling everything from handmade crafts to gourmet coffee, souvenirs, and much more.
Lastly, Federation Square is a great place to unwind and relax. The square’s landscaped gardens offer picturesque views and are perfect for peaceful strolls, picnics, or simply soaking up the fresh air. You can relax on one of the many benches, enjoy the sculpture park and public artworks, or watch the sunset over the Yarra River while you take in the breathtaking panoramic views.
The Merri Creek Labyrinth is accessible for walking.
One of Melbourne’s hidden gems is the Merri Creek Labyrinth in the city’s heart. This tranquil space allows visitors to reconnect with nature and find inner peace.
The labyrinth is a circular maze-like structure meant to be walked, not solved. It is a place for quiet contemplation and reflection, and many people find that walking the labyrinth can be a meditative experience. The path is marked by rocks and stones that wind through the maze, leading you to the center and back out again.
The Merri Creek Labyrinth is open to the public and free to visit. It is surrounded by beautiful trees, flowers, and other plants that add to the peaceful atmosphere. Whether you are looking for a place to clear your mind or enjoy some time in nature, the labyrinth is well worth a visit.
Furthermore, the labyrinth is conveniently located near other attractions in the area. After walking the maze, visitors can explore nearby parks like CERES Community Environment Park or stroll along Merri Creek. The site is also home to many delicious restaurants and cafes, offering visitors a chance to grab a bite to eat and refuel after their walk.
Brighton Beach is the place to be if you’re looking for a spot to soak up some sun and enjoy the scenic views of Melbourne. This iconic beach is just a short drive from the city center, making it a convenient and accessible destination for visitors and locals alike. It is an excellent spot for swimming and sunbathing and home to one of Melbourne’s most recognizable landmarks – the Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes.
These colorful, well-maintained bathing boxes line the beachfront, offering a unique photo opportunity and a glimpse into Melbourne’s beach culture. Initially built for Victorian-era bathers to change in privacy, the bathing boxes have become an iconic city symbol, attracting visitors worldwide.
Aside from the bathing boxes, Brighton Beach is also known for its calm waters, which make it an excellent spot for families with young children to enjoy the water safely. Plenty of amenities are available to visitors, including showers, toilets, and kiosks selling snacks and drinks.
For those feeling more adventurous, there are also opportunities for water sports like stand-up paddleboarding and kiteboarding. Visitors can rent equipment and take lessons from local operators or watch the action from the shore.
Brighton Beach is also easily accessible via public transport, with several tram and bus services running. And if you’re up for some exercise, there is a scenic coastal walk from Brighton Beach to St. Kilda, another popular Melbourne beach destination.
One of Melbourne’s most popular free attractions is the Skydeck at the Eureka Tower. Located in the city’s heart, the Eureka Tower is 297 meters tall and offers breathtaking panoramic views of Melbourne and beyond.
At the Skydeck, visitors can step into the glass-bottomed “Edge” and feel like they’re floating above the city, with nothing but a clear view of the ground below. But even if you need to be brave enough for the Edge, the Skydeck offers incredible 360-degree views of Melbourne from its indoor and outdoor observation decks.
As you admire the views, you can also learn about the history and culture of Melbourne with interactive displays and exhibits. One popular exhibit is “The Terrace,” which showcases iconic landmarks and attractions around the city.
And the best part? Admission to the Skydeck is free for children under four years old, making it a fantastic family-friendly activity. And even for adults, the experience is well worth the visit.
Experience Melbourne in a new way and make memories that will last a lifetime by taking a trip to the Skydeck at the Eureka Tower for a unique aerial view. It’s a free attraction that’s to be noticed.
- Hosier Lane: Explore the ever-changing street art and murals by renowned artists like Adnate and Rone.
- Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia: Dive into Australia’s rich art history with collections ranging from colonial to contemporary art.
- Walking Tours: Discover Melbourne’s historic landmarks, like Parliament House and the Old Treasury Building, through self-guided walking tours.
- Melbourne Town Hall Tours: Take a guided tour of this iconic building to learn about its history and architecture.
- Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria: Enjoy the lush landscapes and diverse plant species.
- Strolling alongside the Yarra River: Experience the beauty of Melbourne from the scenic riverbanks.
- Brighton Beach: Visit the famous Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes and enjoy the beach.
- Federation Square: Attend free cultural events, explore the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, or just enjoy the unique architecture.
- Queen Victoria Market: Immerse yourself in the local culture with food tastings and live events.
- St Kilda Penguins: Witness the charming fairy penguins at St Kilda Beach after sunset.
- City Circle Tram: Ride the historic tram around Melbourne’s key landmarks.
- The Merri Creek Labyrinth: Engage in a meditative walk in this tranquil, natural setting.
- Melbourne Skydeck: For children under four, enjoy breathtaking views of the city from the Eureka Tower’s observation deck.