Last updated on April 2 2020
Free things to do in Melbourne
There is no denying that Melbourne, Australia, is a great city. Many would argue it’s the best city in Australia. Equally, many people would argue that the weather is its greatest downside, preferring to spend their time up in the more moderate climate like Queensland, where I hail from.
However we argue the toss, Melbourne makes a fantastic holiday destination, with so much to see, do and experience. It’s perfect for a weekend break or a short stay, but Melbourne is also perfectly placed to stay for at least a week.
What’s even better, is that there is so much to do in the city for free. Here’s my list of free things to do in Melbourne on a free tram.
Melbourne free tram zone
This is the best part. Melbourne is an easy city to walk around, although the blocks are huge. So, it’s great to know you can jump on a tram when your tired legs need a break. You can catch a tram anywhere, anytime for free, as long as it’s in the green free tram zone noted below. This covers the entire Melbourne CBD. It doesn’t get much better than that. There is also free wifi in most of the city area.
There are many hidden laneways and alleys in Melbourne, all boasting something different. Here’s where you can find my favourite Melbourne laneways.
Melbourne Royal Exhibition Building
The Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens, sits on the edge of the CBD. Dating back to 1880, it was built for an international exhibition. It also became the first building in Australia to be granted a World Heritage listing. Today it is part of the Museum of Victoria and is the venue for many fantastic events.
Melbourne is home to several beautiful gardens, ensuring the cityscape is not just a concrete jungle.
Carlton Gardens, Treasury Gardens and the Royal Botanic Gardens are the premier green areas in the city.
There’s always plenty going on at “Fed Square”. From art and food events to outdoor buskers, markets and spots to relax. There’s also a great selection of cafes and restaurants, and a huge tourist information office to help you with your plans.
Here are the latest events at Federation Square.
Melbourne’s Historical buildings
Melbourne is an old city, and some of the best examples of architecture can be found in the city. Take the time to wander around. Be sure to keep your eyes up, and you’ll be rewarded with Gothic buildings and art deco facades.
- The former Melbourne General Post Office – Bourke St Mall
- Princess Theatre – Spring St
- Regent Theatre – Collins St
- Melbourne Town Hall -Cnr Swanston and Collins St
- Parliament House – Spring St
Flinders St Station
This is the hub of all train transport for metropolitan Melbourne and is the busiest station in Australia. It is also the most beautiful station building in Australia. Built in the early 1900s, it is an icon of this city, with it’s easily recognised colour, dome, clocks and tower.
City tour on the City Circle Tram
Before all the trams were made free in the city, the City Circle Tram was the best way to get around. Following a huge circle, in both directions around the perimeter of the CBD, it’s a great way to get your bearings.
A pre-recorded tourist guide is played on board, noting some of the important places around town. You can hop on and off wherever you like, but if you stay onboard, the whole trip will take just under an hour.
I’ve stayed in many hotels in the CBD, but on this occasion, I decided to stay just outside at the Melbourne Parkview Hotel. It was a great hotel and more affordable than being in the city, with excellent access to the tram.
With such a great (and affordable) public transport system, using the tram with my Myki card was super easy.
And, as if these things aren’t enough, why not check out this great article from Wyld Family Travel. 5 things not to miss in Melbourne offers up even more awesome things to keep you occupied and on the go in this great city.