The most liveable city in the world. That’s some statement, but Melbourne currently holds that title and has been the reigning champion for six consecutive years. Yes, ‘liveable’ is down to perception, but the people have spoken and Melbourne is the title holder. It’s no wonder that there’s so much to do and see in Melbourne. Australia is notoriously expensive, but you don’t have to dig deep into them pockets to make the most of your time in Melbourne.
Below is 10 of the best free things you can do in Melbourne…
Join In at a Free Festival
Melbourne is often known as the cultural capital of Australia. When you see the amount of free festivals and events which are held in the city each year, you will understand why. Some of the top annual free festivals/events include; St Kilda Festival, White Nigh & Melbourne Festival (not all activities are free). There’s all kinds of festival fun in Melbourne. There’s food festivals, international festivals, dance festivals, music festivals, art festivals, need I go on?
View the Street Art
Head down the many narrow laneways in Melbourne’s CBD. Along these laneways is where you’ll find all kinds of wacky or realistic, but always creative artwork. Exploring the laneways for the day will leave you in awe of Melbourne’s street art scene. It’s not just the CBD which is home to the city’s famous artwork. There’ tons of spots in the surrounding suburbs. Take for instance; Artist’s Lane in Windsor. It’s not called Artist’s Lane for no reason.
Take in Views of the City
Being from the north of England, I’m not really used to city skylines with towering buildings. Melbourne has a skyline to rival all of its Australian counterparts. The buildings in the CBD tower above the rest of the surrounding suburbs. There’s plenty of roof tops throughout the city where you can get a view from within the urban jungle. However, my recommendation would be to head to the Shrine of Remembrance, located around a 15 minute walk from the city. Here you will get the best views of the city, all for a total cost of $0.
Saunter Around the Markets
In the majority of neighbourhoods around the city, you will be sure to find an interesting market. Whether they’re selling fresh produce, arts & crafts, international items or gourmet dishes, you will be sure to find something for everyone. The most famous and touristy market is Queen Victoria Market, located in the north of the CBD. Other markets include; Prahan Market, South Melbourne Market, The Arts Centre Sunday Market, Fed Square Book Market and many, many more.
Soak Up the Sun on the Beach
Melbourne may not be as well know for its beaches as its neighbour, Sydney. However, there are some beautiful beaches in the surrounding areas of the city. Two easily accessible beaches via public transport are; St Kilda and Brighton. St Kilda is a suburb just south of the city. Home to plenty of trendy restaurants, bars and shops, as well as the beach. Brighton beach, a bit further south than St Kilda, is famous for its multi coloured beach huts. Search Brighton beach on social media and you’ll see exactly what I mean.
Have a Picnic on the Park
Grab yourself a few sandwiches, some sausage rolls and maybe even a few beers to go with it, then head down to one of Melbourne’s beautiful green filled spaces. The parks around the city are some of the most beautiful and charming in Australia. South of the city you will find the exotic Royal Botanic Gardens. East of the city is the Historic Fitzroy Gardens, famous for its rows of English Elm trees which line the pathways. North of the city is Carlton Gardens, home to the extraordinary Royal Exhibition Building. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding where to have the picnic.
Read a Book at the State Library
The Victoria State Library is located in the CBD. It’s a magnificent building. If you don’t like reading, I’d still recommend the trip here just to see the main reading room, it’s like a scene out of Harry Potter. If you are a fan of reading, well, you’re in the right place. There’s certainly no lack of choice when it comes to books at this library. Grab yourself a book and lose yourself in it, while sat in the main reading room.
Go In Search of Melbourne Famous Architectural Highlights
There’s some outstanding buildings scattered around Melbourne. Whether they are towering above the city like the famous Eureka tower, or hidden within the city like Block Court Arcade on Collins St. You will be sure to find plenty of fill your day. Some of the architectural gems in Melbourne include; Eureka Tower, The Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne GPO, the cities Arcades, Flinders St Station, Federation Sq, ANZ’s Gotham style headquarters and many more.
Stroll Along Yarra River
Day or night, Yarra River is a peaceful and unique area of the city. The calm river splits Melbourne into north and south. The tranquil river waters are surrounded by the city’s skyscrapers either side. The scenery of the river and the city entangles for the perfect photo opportunity. At night when the sun is down and the city is illuminated, the bright city lights reflect off the river water. At the day the surrounding areas are alive with people, there’s even a bar in the middle of the river.
See Penguins in St Kilda
Who would of thought it, penguins in Melbourne. Well, down at St Kilda pier, there are a colony of the fluffiest, cutest little fur balls that you could lay your eyes on. Every night at sunset, you can head down the pier and view the penguins going about their daily business. Please don’t be that person that has the flash on their camera when taking a picture. It’s not too fun for the penguins.
10 of the Best Free Things you can do in Melbourne was written by guest blogger Nathan Dugal who owns the The TRVL Blog, he is on an indefinite trip around the world and he will show you how to travel for cheaper & smarter too. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
Read Next: How to Make a Travel Budget