The Best Cheap Things to do in Melbourne

Travelling on a budget? If you’re looking for cheap things to do in Melbourne, we've got you sorted. From galleries and museums to cheap eats, start planning your next Melbourne adventure.

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You don’t have to spend your entire savings to have a brilliant time in Melbourne. Make today memorable by exploring our comprehensive list of inexpensive and free things to do in Melbourne.

Cheap Eats in Melbourne

Whether you're grabbing a quick bite at Fed Square or you want some street food to enjoy as you stroll along St Kilda Pier, Melbourne has some of the best cheap eats you'll find.

Slurp a Traditional Bowl of Noodles 

Ever dreamed about eating your weight in noodles? Soi 38 is the answer to your prayers. Located deep within a car park (literally), you’ll experience authentic Bangkok style noodle bowls filled with tons of flavour. Luckily each mound of noodles, veggies and your choice of meat will only set you back a tenner. Open Monday to Saturday, the ambiance of this hidden gem will suck you in without breaking the bank.  Don’t miss out on the best cheap eats Melbourne has on offer. 

Devour Dumplings in Chinatown
If you’re searching for cheap places to eat in Melbourne, dumplings are always a failsafe option. Again, in true Melbourne style, ShanDong Mama is sitting pretty, tucked away in an arcade alley. Don’t go past the pork and cabbage dumplings which are made fresh daily and filled with pork mince, cabbage, ginger, spring onion and dried fish. With a variety of dumpling options on the menu, you can understand why ShanDong Mama sits atop the list.

Daily Pub Night Deals 
A few beers and dinner at the pub is practically an Australian institution. With plenty of pubs decorating the streets of Melbourne, you'll be spoilt for choice. Whether you opt for a classic pub feed at the Duke of Wellington or a more experimental bite to eat at Lamaro's Hotel, there's always something delicious in Melbourne.

Cheap Drinks in Melbourne

In a cosmopolitan city like Melbourne, there's always a trendy cocktail bar just around the corner awaiting discovery.


Visit Melbourne's Rooftop Bars 
The Eureka Skydeck isn’t the only place to get killer views of Melbourne. Get up close and personal with the skyline of Melbourne at some of the most epic rooftop bars.


Sip on chilled spirits or enjoy a beer seven floors up from bustling Swanston Street at The Rooftop Bar. For cheap cocktails, you can’t look past Palmz Rooftop Bar at The Carlton. North of the city, Naked for Satan floats in the sky with spectacular city views and offers some great specials


Lakeside Picnic in the Royal Botanic Gardens 
With 38-hectres of beautiful greenery and scenic nature to choose from, the perfect picnic spot awaits. Pick up your favourite bottle of bubbly for an intimate evening in the garden.


Keen to explore some more post-picnic? The garden offers a free guided tour to explore the garden heritage and plant diversity. This is a great opportunity for those on a budget to explore and learn on the go.

Cheap Things To Do in Melbourne

Hop on the city circle tram, it's time to start exploring the fantastic cheap or free things Melbourne has to offer.


Visit a Melbourne Museum or Go Gallery Hopping
Art enthusiasts will feel completely in their element while bouncing from one gallery to the next. View an extensive collection of artists from across the globe without opening your wallet.

Make your first stop the unmatched National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) —free entry makes this one of the best free things to do in Melbourne. For indigenous and non-indigenous Australian art from the colonial period until now, walk a few blocks to the Ian Potter Centre, also with free entry.


Bookworms can take a trip to the State Library of Victoria, full of historical artefacts and more books than you could read in a lifetime.


Fancy another free museum? Head over to the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI). With a focus on film, TV, video games and digital culture, modern art enthusiasts will feel completely in their element. If you're looking for cheap family things to do in Melbourne, ACMI will delight and inspire any youngster who loves games and digital content.

Hunt for Melbourne Street Art 
There's more art in Melbourne than you'll find in a Melbourne museum or gallery. Every nook, cranny and alley is a canvas when it comes to the lanes of the Melbourne CBD. The entire city becomes an art scavenger hunt—one of the most fun, cheap things to do in Melbourne.

Although Hosier Lane is a bucket list item in the street art scene, your graffiti journey shouldn’t stop there. For meter high murals to intricate stencil work, hit up Union Lane, Finlay Avenue and Cocker Alley. Look hard enough and you might catch a glimpse of Melbourne’s best. Look out for the innocent young girl from renowned artist Be Free or Ha-Ha, most predominately recognised for exploring pop culture on the walls of the city.

If you've spent your days in galleries and museums and want to keep indulging in art after closing time, street art is a great way to scratch that itch, and one of the best cheap things to do in Melbourne at night.

Pedal it out on a Bicycle
For just $3 per day, you can visit all the CBD hotspots including the Yarra River, Flinders Station and Southbank while cruising on two wheels. With unlimited 30 minute rides between stations plus free helmets, Melbourne Bike Share is a great way to explore the unique suburbs of the city. Opt for this healthy, convenient and inexpensive way to tour marvelous Melbourne.  If you're in the hunt for cheap romantic things to do in Melbourne, what could be better than a romantic bike ride through the city?

Browse the stalls of the Queen Victoria Market
Shopping may not seem like a cheap or free Melbourne activity but browsing what's on offer at the Queen Victoria Market is a great way to take in the culture of the city, and maybe even grab a memento or two at a reasonable price. One of the major attractions of the city centre, the markets are absolutely free to visit, and even host live music and free events throughout the year. Visit the Queen Street Plaza for great street food (and maybe some free samples) and live entertainment every Sunday.

Find Cheap Melbourne Accommodation

With plenty of affordable ways to spend your days in Melbourne, the finishing touch is the perfect accommodation to suit your needs and your budget. Browse our Melbourne accommodation options and start planning your holiday.

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