Post Last Modified – January 13, 2021
A Guide To Visiting Melbourne On A Budget – Australia
Melbourne is an exciting place to visit and there are great ways of Visiting Melbourne On A Budget. Having been named as the worlds most livable city by The Economist for seven consecutive years, it gives tourists a lot to look forward to. With its world-class museums, restaurants and shopping centers, youre probably expecting hefty expenses.
Although premier enjoyment definitely requires plenty of money, this guest writer will tell you some ways to enjoy Melbournes vibrant culture while on a strict budget.
Best Time To Visit Melbourne
Melbourne generally, is an enjoyable destination throughout the year. But the weather here can be unpredictable. So to make the most of your travel, its important to pick the perfect timing.
The ideal time will vary, depending on the activities youre interested in taking part in when visiting.
- Summer (December to March)
During this season, the weather is hot but typically pleasant, perfect for sightseeing. Popular events like the Australian Grand Prix, Australian Grand Slam Open, and Boxing Day Test Cricket match are scheduled during this period.
Because this time of year is the peak season for tourists, expect merchandise and services to be at their most expensive.
Due to the cold weather, this is the off-season for tourists. Visiting during this time will definitely secure you much cheaper airfares and best hotel rates.
It snows in the hills at the city outskirts, making the nights chilly. Skiing is one activity you can try during this period. There are ski fields three to five hours away from the urban areas. If physical activity is not your thing, you can explore dining and art centers indoors, great this time of year!
- Autumn (March to May) and Spring (September to November)
Pleasant weather is enjoyed during autumn and spring. Come during these months if you want to enjoy Melbourne without the influx of tourists.
Autumn is the time for food and fashion festivals, while spring is great for spending time outdoors. Both these seasons provide an opportune time to walk, ride a bicycle, and enjoy picnics and barbeques in any of the wonderful city parks.
Where To Stay In Melbourne On A Budget
There are affordable hostels to be found in Melbourne. I suggest you book your accommodation ahead of time to get their discounted rates. But do expect that Melbourne is definitely not a cheap city to stay in, if left until arriving.
For dorm options, check out Home at the Mansion, United Backpackers and Space Hotel. Also, have a look at my detailed post here on; How to Book A Room With Airbnb and Save Money. This a great option for budget travelers and definitely worth checking out! We have used Airbnb on many occasions traveling around the world, with excellent results.
Free Activities In Melbourne Galore
Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Melbourne_laneway_with_graffiti.jpg
There are about 230 different lane ways to see in the city. A visit to Melbourne is incomplete without basking in the creativity of street arts and architecture that each lane way features.
You can also do some great window-shopping at the same time!
Hang Out At St. Kilda Beach
Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Quiet_before_midday_-_St_Kilda_Beach_and_Pier_.jpg
If you’re a beach lover, there are a lot of activities that happen at St. Kilda Beach. If you like spontaneous music festivals and pop-up markets, its the place to go to. Before the night activities set in, you can walk along the shore or wait for the evenings beautiful sunset.
A great place to enjoy a beach day!
Ride The Trams
Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/tram-city-urban-transport-966460/
Its free to ride the trams within Melbournes central business district. Be sure to look out for signs to know which stops are within the free-tram zone.
An excellent way to see the downtown area and get around for free!
Enjoy A Picnic At The Royal Botanical Gardens
Thousands of flowers, trees, and shrubs span across this 86-acre garden. It houses plants from across Australia and the world. You can have free guided walks or self-guided audio tours available from the visitors center. Its an ideal place for a picnic.
To save money, buy your picnic food from the local supermarket! The Instagram photo above is an outstanding eco-friendly bike tour we enjoyed on our recent visit to Melbourne in 2020. We stopped at The Royal Botanical Gardens, and they were beautiful!
Visit The Local Museums & Galleries
Melbourne indeed encourages appreciation for the arts. You can observe Melbourne arts and culture for free in numerous locations such as; the State Library of Victoria, Federation Square, NGV International and the Old Treasury Building.
Eat For Under Fifteen Australian Dollars
The city center is full of amazing restaurants and bars. However, they tend to be expensive. There are many great places to dine outside the main central district for excellent and much cheaper food choices.
Below, are just a few examples of some great budget eateries in the city!
Lygon Street Head to this street if youre craving for hearty Italian cuisine.
Brunswick Street Dubbed as hipsters paradise, it hosts specialty cafs. Its a great place to find a vegetarian or vegan menu. University students come here to eat, so there are lots of affordable eateries found here!
Lucky Coq It has a rooftop lounge where you can enjoy affordable pizza, a beer, and dance the night away as well.
Colonel Tans Located on Chapel Street, its a fusion Thai restaurant that boasts nice ambiance.
Messina Locals says that it has the best ice cream in Melbourne. Try their daily special flavor when you come.
Chapel Street Kebabs End an activity-filled day with deliciously greasy snacks. Its a Melbourne tradition youd gladly try.
Melbourne is a place where in every turn, a hidden gem looms, a masterpiece unfolds and an adventure awaits. Satisfy your curiosity and make the most of your stay. Dont let your limited budget stop you from enjoying what the city has to offer!
I’ve also listed the Official Tourism Victoria – Melbourne link below to their website for your convenience. The link will take you to their page on Melbourne. It’s filled with excellent information on everything this amazing City and region has to offer.
Visit Victoria – Melbourne Australia
About The Guest Contributing Author: Cal Bailey runs Mountain Leon – a travel blog he started after two years of backpacking around the world. If you want to learn more about life on the road or his blogging, check out his latest blog posts.
I am happy to present this collaborative post on Visiting Melbourne On A Budget, in the hopes of offering some helpful travel inspiration and information to you.
Update February 2020:
My wife and I were fortunate enough to return to Australia, stopping over in Melbourne for 5 nights on our way back home to Canada from a vacation in Thailand. A beautiful city with so much to see and do! We stayed in an Airbnb Condo Rental Unit with a grocery store right across the street. This made for a very affordable stay.
Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash
Need to store your luggage for a bit? Then be sure to check out mindmybag, they provide convenient and secure luggage storage in Melbourne and all around Australia & New Zealand. They have locations all around the main cities and popular tourist designations.
Safe and Healthy Travels!
Did You Know
“The Highest Temperature Recorded In Melbourne, Australia Was 46.4 Degrees Celsius Back In 2009.”
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