Top 15 amazing free things to do in Melbourne
Melbourne is the most liveable city in the world and the funkiest city in Australia. From its great architecture to its robust art scene with hip music and cafes, Melbourne is often considered the cultural capital of Australia. There are also many free attractions and activities to see and do without hurting your hip pocket. Check out my top 15 amazing free things to do in Melbourne that will help you enjoy the city without opening your wallet.
Take a ride on the city circle tram
The trams are an integral part of Melbourne’s cityscape. This free City Circle Tram allows travelers and Melbournians to travel throughout the city. So you can hop on and enjoy the ride and hop off if you want to stop for more sightseeing. The tram also has pre-recorded commentary for free in English. So you can listen to an overview of the historic landmarks and their importance to Melbourne city. The city circle tram is a great opportunity to explore the city for free.
Visit the famous National Gallery of Victoria
The National Gallery of Victoria is the largest, oldest and most popular art museum in Australia. It is the home to a permanent collection of more than 73000 artworks. It is also housed on two sites; the Ian Potter in Federation Square and NGV International on St Kilda Road. Here you can view masters like Picasso, Rembrandt, Cezanne. Even some celebrated Australian pieces like Tom Roberts ‘Shearing the Rams’. You can visit the museum for free. Although a small fee may apply to special visiting exhibitions.
Explore the State Library of Victoria
If you’re searching for something cool to do in Melbourne with a cultural-twist, then you must head to the State-Library-of-Victoria. This is the oldest public library in Australia. You can come and take a look at their exhibitions and events. The library also hosts all kinds of films, talks, guided tours, workshops and much more. Browsing the state library is free. This is the best place to view the amazing collections and discover Victoria’s history.
Walk around the Royal Botanic Garden
The Royal Botanic Gardens is the oldest and a scientific institution in Australia. It is the home to an outstanding collection of 10000 plants from all over the world, both exotic and native. So you can come and view these collections of plants. You can also view a variety of wildlife like Flying Foxes, Water Dragons, and Possums. The garden has a 3.8km walking track so you can walk around as you view the garden. Visiting the garden is free and open every day from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. This is a great place to view the local life.
Pay Your Respects At The Shrine Of Remembrance
The Shrine of Remembrance is among Melbourne’s most significant and meaningful landmarks. The Shrine honors the sacrifice and service of Australian people who served in armed combat. Come and explore the memorial at your own pace. Or join a guided-tour through several rooms and exhibition spaces. You can view over 800 artworks and historical artefacts featured in this gallery. The Shrine is free and opens every day from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. So you can come by and pay your respects as you view the displays illustrating the experience of Australians at war during the world war I.
Watch free public discussions at the Wheeler Centre
The Wheeler Centre is a world-first center for writing, books, and ideas. It is the home for passionate, smart and entertaining public talks on every topic. It is a hub for Victoria writers and it often focuses on exploring Australia’s literary scene. So you can come and engage in programs and listen to guest speakers. You will listen to free discussions on different themes. From ghoulish to funny to poignant to political. Check the schedule to find out what’s in that interests you. Also, come by every Thursday during lunchtime and catch free Soapbox/Lunchbox series. These series provide a platform for curious minds to share ideas and stories. The Wheeler Centre is the best and interesting place to spend your time while in Melbourne.
Discover the Aviation History in the RAAF Museum
The RAAF Museum is the oldest active military base in the world. Here you will find good information and displays on all Australia’s conflicts and wars. Even today the help with rescues and bushfires. Wander through the exhibits at your own pace with interactive displays. The museum also has flying demonstrations so you can book a flight in a Tiger Moth. Exploring the museum is free from Tuesdays to Sundays from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. The museum doesn’t work on Mondays. I would also recommend that you bring your photo ID. This is an ideal spot to spend your day.
Explore free exhibitions at the ACMI Screen Worlds
The ACMI’S Screen Worlds is a permanent free exhibition that tells the evolving of the moving image. This interactive exhibition features props, objects, and memorabilia. It includes the original clock from the play school, Cate Blanchett’s Oscar-Award. Even the costumes were worn by Dame Edna, Kylie Minogue, and Heath Ledger. Here you can listen to Cate Blanchett’s talk about her career. Watch how Peter Jackson transformed computer-animation into the Lord of Rings battle. View clips from some of the very first films ever made. Sample some movies featuring the character of Ned Kelly. It is also an ideal spot for kids because there are computer video games they can enjoy. You can explore the ACMI Screen worlds for free and enjoy every moment of your visit.
Relax on the Beach at St Kilda
St Kilda is an ideal spot to escape all the hustle-and-bustle from the city. You can come and relax on the sandy-shores surrounded by several great restaurants and bars. Stroll down the shoreline for some penguin-spotting. Watch as the cruise ships drift in and out. You can also indulge in fun activities like swimming, sailing. water-skiing, kite-surfing, playing Rollerblade and volleyball.
Enjoy free live music at the Cherry Bar
If you’re looking for some free live music in Melbourne, then you must head to the Cherry Bar. The Cherry Bar, founded in 1999, is the best rock’n’roll bar in the world. It has become a popular destination for locals, interstate and international bands. There is also the rear Jennifer Bar if you want a private party. So you can come and listen to free live music as you party all night.
Soak-up the atmosphere at the Queen Victoria Market
Queen Victoria Market is a favorite shopping destination in Melbourne. Here you can wander through the heritage sheds for an authentic local experience. Uncover varieties of jewelry, clothing souvenirs and soak up the atmosphere. Take a 90min ultimate foodie tour and eat the best food the market has to offer. Check out the Market on Sundays as you will also more relaxed atmosphere. Also, the Queen Street is closed to make way for a large out-door Cafe and other activities.
Visit the stupendous Australian Centre for Contemporary Art
If you love contemporary-art in all forms and challenging artwork, then you must head to ACCA. It is also the leading contemporary art gallery in Australia. It provides an exciting, free and essential cultural experience in Melbourne. Here you can view exciting and unusual exhibitions for free. The art gallery provides guided tours so can enjoy free public tours, talks, and workshops. Visiting the art gallery is free every day from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
View the colorful Hosier Lane Street art
Hosier Lane is a pedestrian laneways on the southern edge of the central-city grid. It is also a much-celebrated landmark, mostly because of its Urban art. So if you’re an art lover, you can walk the popular bluestone laneway and admire the street art. Pick out everything from paste-ups, to murals, stencils, and installations. Also, take in the dizzying array of shapes, characters, and colors. You can stroll through the Hosier lane for free as you view this Urban art.
Explore the interesting Federation Square
The Federation Square is among the most famous cultural precincts in all Melbourne. It is a hub for tourism, wine, food, arts and synonymous with amazing venues like NGV and ACMI. It is even a local meeting place offering numerous simple ways for the public to get active. Whether day or night, there is always something happening at Fed square. Here you will find craft lessons and activities that will nourish your body, mind, and spirit. You can also indulge in fun activities like yoga, Tai Chi, morning and lunchtime meditation.
Discover more about indigenous culture at the Koorie Heritage Trust
The Koorie Heritage Trust is an authentic and immersive Aboriginal center. Here you will get an insightful introduction to what Melbourne once looked like before the British colonized it. Visiting the Koorie Heritage Trust is free and open every day.