Heading to Melbourne on a budget is easier than you probably think. It is no secret that visiting Melbourne and surrounding areas can get really spendy, but you don't have to travel with a huge budget to visit Melbourne. You can save money and still have the time of your life in this amazing part of the world. From street art to the City Circle Tram to affordable accommodations, there is no shortage of affordable things in the city that you can enjoy when you visit Melbourne.
Since you are going to be in Melbourne on a budget, you will need to be sure that you have your bags taken care of correctly. Worrying about the safety of your things is no fun. This is why you will need to head to a Bounce luggage storage location in Melbourne before you do anything else. Give us your bags to keep in secure storage so that you can travel around Melbourne on a budget and have a ton of fun. It can be much easier to save money on a vacation than you probably think, and you will find that keeping your bags out of the way can make every part of your vacation more fun and more affordable as well.
Cheap places to stay in Melbourne
Staying in the right part of Melbourne can impact your trip in a variety of positive ways. You might want to be closer to the Southbank area, or you might be more interested in places like the central business district to save a little money. Our guide to the best neighborhoods in Melbourne can help you to pick the perfect area of the city for your needs.
This charming Victorian building offers you access to hostel-style accommodations that start at just $60 a night. The lounge and bar are really welcoming and fun to hang out in, and the decor is hip and trendy. You are within walking distance from Queen Victoria Market here, as well as the National Gallery. There are also various other Melbourne museum attractions that you can access readily from this part of town.
Hostels are often the most affordable way to stay in this city. Being able to walk to attractions like Queen Victoria Market can also save you money when you choose this part of the city for your hotel accommodation.
The Nunnery Accommodation
Your stay at this cute boutique hotel will be as memorable as the name. This is a regular hotel that offers rooms for hostel prices. Rooms start at just $70 a night here, and you will be able to have private rooms for this price. This spot was actually the home of a convent originally, and some of the decor and the architecture have been preserved to honor this history. You can also choose to stay in mixed dorm rooms for the low rate of $50 a night.
East Melbourne is close to this cool little hotel, and you can walk to public transport with ease. You can also see street art in this neighborhood or choose to head to Queen Victoria Market. There is a free tram zone that services this part of the city, so you could grab a ride from your hotel to Batman Park, Queen Victoria Market, or various other places within Melbourne CBD.
Located near Melbourne Museum, this cool hostel with private rooms offers you access to all kinds of fun things to enjoy in Melbourne on a budget. You will be able to choose from dorm rooms or private rooms, and a night at this fun hotel will start at $79. There is a fitness room, a rooftop hot tub, and a shared kitchen here. You are also right by the free tram zone, so getting around the city will be very affordable with this spot as your home base.
City Circle Tram is not far from here either, and you can catch a ride on this tram line for 20 hours out of every day.
Cheap things to do in Melbourne
Not everything that there is to do in Melbourne is pricey. There are many things that you can do in Melbourne on a budget, some of which are more exciting than the expensive things that many people recommend.
Flinders Street Station
This really cool historic location has appeared in various films and was also a local spot for dances and community events all the way through the 80s. This is the oldest railway station in Australia, and you can still catch the train here to head out to adventures around the city or the Melbourne area. You can head over to Flinders Street Station, even if you don't have a train to catch, just to see the beautiful architecture and enjoy access to some of the more unique parts of the building. This is also a great jumping-off point for all the other things that you might want to do in the CBD.
Albert Park Lake
There are so many things to do at Albert Park Lake. You can easily spend a whole day here having fun. From walking around the lake itself to playing on the grounds to seeing the beautiful black swans that call the lake home, you will be enchanted with this attraction. You can also choose to rent a boat or a kayak, or even a paddleboard to have some fun in the sun.
Tours with various companies can also be booked, and you can easily paddleboard, kayak, or boat with a tour guide around the lake. Tours are about $100 a person, but rentals are much more affordable.
This square was built in 2001 to celebrate Australia and the centenary of the state itself. This is a modern building set in among Victorian buildings, but it is the perfect place to enjoy views of the Yarra River, as well as street art and street performers. There is free wif-fi here, as well as lots of places to sit and soak up the atmosphere and the sun. Many of Melbourne's markets are not far away either, so you can see both Federation Square and go shopping on the same trip into central Melbourne.
Cheap places to eat in Melbourne
Knowing where to eat and get cheap drinks can help save you a lot of money when you plan to explore Melbourne. The best street food in Melbourne is always a good place to start to save money. Street food is often some of the most delicious and unique food that you can enjoy when you choose to explore Melbourne, and you don't want to miss out on your chance to enjoy delightful food during your stay.
Located in Central Melbourne, this Turkish restaurant offers excellent meals for great prices. You can get a really filling meal here for about $10 a plate. The gözleme flatbreads and the soups are delicious here, but there is a full menu of dining options that you can enjoy. You might be planning to eat the free breakfast at your hotel, but this location also serves up coffee and pastries.
Jojo Little Kitchen
If you love noodle bowls and Chinese food, this is the place for you. Have a filling meal here for as little as $5 a plate! You will also be close to things like the state library and the various markets, so this can be a good place to drop in for a quick meal during a busy day. You can also get food to go from this delightful little shop.
If you love French cuisine or you are looking for crepes for breakfast, this bakery and restaurant is a solid choice. The menu here is full of tasty French cuisine, all of it affordable and made with love. You can get breakfast for $5 or so here, and the coffee is excellent as well. You can also enjoy savory crepes for lunch if you are in the mood for French cuisine in the middle of the day.
Cheap bars in Melbourne
There are pool tables and outdoor seating to enjoy here, and you can get beers and cocktails for $5 or less. Food and drink specials are offered on specific nights of the week, and there is sometimes live music as well. This is one of the best places to head for a night out during your trip to Melbourne on a budget, and you will love the chill vibe here at this local hangout.
Asian Beer Cafe
Not far from the Melbourne Museum, this cute little hole-in-the-wall offers you access to $3-$5 beers and cocktails as well as yummy and satisfying food. You will pull up a chair at a little table and have a great view of the street as you chat and sip on your drink. This is a charming location that offers so much that big or fancy bars cannot.
Located inside the Exford Hotel, this cute little hangout is a fun place to mingle, drink really cheap beer and cocktails, and have some bar snacks. There is often live music, and the crowd here will usually be other people in Melbourne on a budget. There is free wi-fi and friendly service to enjoy here as well.
Bonus budget tips for Melbourne
If you want to see some of the main sights in Melbourne, be sure that you head to the Melbourne Visitor Centre and hop onto the free Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle. This shuttle will take you around to all the best things to see and do in the city, and you can hop on and off as you wish since more than one tram runs during the day.
Visit the State Library
If you need to work while you are in Melbourne on a budget, the State Library is a great place to get your job done for free every day. There is free wifi, peace and quiet, and reference materials galore if you need them here. You can also usually find a comfortable table with a plug-in or two so that you can recharge and take care of things that you need to get done.
Free City Circle Tram
The Free City Circle Tram is another must-consider part of traveling on the cheap in this city. This tram operates between the central business district and the Docklands area. You can hop on this tram and be taken to shopping, the suburbs, and also most of the really cool tourist attractions that you might want to see. There are few cities that make getting to all the best parts of the city so easy, but Melbourne's various free trams and shuttles are perfect for this need.
The Yarra River is another really great place to visit if you have a tight budget, as there is so much to do that is free in this area. There are various parks along the river, as well as free art galleries and affordable shopping and food. Plus, this is a great place to just sit down and watch the world go by.
If the attractions that we have discussed are not enough to fill up your days in Melbourne, you will want to check out our guide to the best free things to do in Melbourne on a budget. There are lots of ways to save money and still be entertained during your trip, and this guide will make it simple to make the most of your time in Melbourne. This can be a great resource for those traveling with kids or those traveling in a large group.
From staying in the right hotels, to booking the right cheap flights, you can make a trip to Melbourne on a budget possible. Don't let a small budget deter you from seeing Melbourne.