Melbourne is the capital of Victoria and is the financial centre of Australia and the entire Asia-Pacific Region. It has repeatedly been ranked as the world’s most livable city. It is situated on the natural bay of Port Phillip which offers up beautiful harbour views and sheltered beaches. Melbourne and the surrounding region an incredibly amazing holiday spot with endless possibilities. Even when it comes to free things to do in Melbourne, there are so many choices for everyone and anyone.

Melbourne City Montage

“Melbourne city montage” by Montage by HappyWaldo. – Own work by uploader created from licence-free images from Commons.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons. (From top left to bottom right) Melbourne city centre, Flinders Street Station, Shrine of Remembrance, Federation Square, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Royal Exhibition Building.

Melbourne Regional Map

“Greater Melbourne Map 4 – May 2008” by Diliff – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Getting Around in Melbourne

Melbourne Map

Melbourne Map Photo Credit: Google Maps

Melbourne Car Hire Map

Melbourne Car Hire Map Photo Credit: Budget.com.au

As you can see, hiring a car in Melbourne  is easy and convenient because there are so many choices of Budget rental locations throughout greater Melbourne and surrounds. Whether you are staying within the city streets or heading off into the countryside or mountains, we have the right vehicle for you. Be sure to tell your Budget agent your travel plans so that they can set you up with the right vehicle to keep you safe and moving along throughout your holiday plans. Depending on where you are coming from or want to go, you can hire a car in Geelong  or hire a car on Mornington Peninsula. You can also rent a car direct from the Melbourne Airport, which is very convenient if you are flying into Melbourne. Hurry and click through any of the links to get a quick and easy rate quote to reserve your car hire online.

Free Things to Do in Melbourne

Kangaroos - Anglesea

Kangaroos at the Angelsea Golf Course on the Great Ocean Road Photo Credit: VisitMelbourne.com

With Melbourne being such a large, metropolitan area, there are plenty of things your can find to do for free. It makes having a holiday on a budget here more than do-able. Some of the places in and near Melbourne that you can visit completely free of charge include the Royal Botanic Gardens, the NGV International, the Ian Potter Centre, visit the Queen Victoria Market, see the Gertrude Street Projection Festival, stroll along the River Yarra, listen to live music in The Esplande in St. Kilda, and catch an event at Federation Square. You can plan out your holiday while touring the city on the Free City Circle Tram. Read about some of the regional destinations we have already covered on the Budget Travel Tips Blog:

Touring Melbourne with Kids

Things to Do in Melbourne

Scenic Drive: Sydney to Melbourne (Part One)

Scenic Drive Sydney to Melbourne (Part Two)

Escape to the Yarra Valley and the Dandenong Ranges

Refresh and Relax on the Mornington Peninsula

5 Stops Along the Great Ocean Road

Top 10 Best Road Trips in Australia: The Great Ocean Road

Royal Botanic Gardens

Royal Botanic Gardens

 

Royal Botanic Gardens Photo Credit: VisitVictoria.com

 

Royal Botanic Gardens

Royal Botanic Gardens Photo Credit: VisitVictoria.com

 

Royal Botanic Gardens

Royal Botanic Gardens Photo Credit: VisitVictoria.com

 

The Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne really is a must see for anyone visiting Melbourne. You will be amazed that it is free to witness the beautiful views, tranquil lakes, and the diverse plant connection at the gardens. Almost 2 million visitors see these beautiful sights each year. In addition to the large array of plants, the gardens are a sanctuary for native wildlife including black swans, eels, bell birds, cockatoos and kookaburras. The native plant life found in the Royal Botanic Gardens includes a diverse selection of camellias, rainforest flora, roses succulents and cacti; plus Californian species, herbs, perennials, cycads and plants from Southern China. Some of the main attractions in the gardens include The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden, the Garden Explorer people mover, a visitor centre, the Terrace Tearooms, Jardin Tan, and the gift shop. Walking tours are available.

 

NGV International

 

NGV International

National Gallery of Victoria Photo Credit: VisitVictoria.com

 

National Gallery of Victoria

National Gallery of Victoria Photo Credit: VisitVictoria.com

National Gallery of Victoria

National Gallery of Victoria Photo Credit: VisitVictoria.com

 

NGV stands for the National Gallery of Victoria. There are two galleries to choose from, Both are just a short distance from each other and both have free entry to the permanent collections. At NGV International, you will find art from all over the world. On display are the National Gallery of Victoria’s collections of European, Asian, Oceanic, and American Art. The NGV features temporary exhibitions, Collection displays, talks, tours, programs for kids, films, late-night openings, and performances.

 

Gertrude Street Projection Festival

 

Gertrude Street Projection Festival

Gertrude Street Projection Festival Photo Credit: VisitVictoria.com

 

Gertrude Street Projection Festival

Gertrude Street Projection Festival Photo Credit: VisitVictoria.com

 

Gertrude Street Projection Festival

Gertrude Street Projection Festival Photo Credit: VisitVictoria.com

 

This is a unique festival that occurs up and down Gertrude Street each winter. After dark, artists from around the globe use projected media turn the street into an illuminated outdoor gallery. Attendees should investigate all the hidden places of Gertrude Street because you might find art projected onto surfaces in any nook and cranny of the street.

 

Federation Square

Federation Square

Federation Square Photo Credit: VisitVictoria.com

 

Federation Square

Federation Square Photo Credit: VisitVictoria.com

 

Federation Square is one of Melbourne’s major attractions. In fact, it is Melbourne’s most visited attraction; more than 10 million people visit Federation Square each year. Both locals and visitors have come to appreciate the free cultural attractions, world-class events, and concerts that are held here. Over 2,000 events are hosted here each year. In addition to this being a big meeting place for the city, there are plenty of restaurants, bars, and specialty stores.  The Ian Potter Centre is located here and so is the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI).

 

The Beach in St Kilda

 

Kitesurfing on St Kilda Beach

The Beach in St Kilda Photo Credit: Wikipedia

St Kilda

St Kilda Photo Credit: StKildaMelbourne.com

 

St Kilda is a beachside community just 6 km from Melbourne’s city centre. The safe and sandy beach is a big attraction, so is the beautiful panoramic view of Port Phillip and the boardwalk lined with palm trees. It really lets you know you are on holiday. Catch a fabulous sunset here, lounge on the beach or partake in the beach sports, boat charters, or dining and shopping opportunities.  St Kilda is also the home to theme park Luna Park. While some of the things listed might cost money, there is still plenty to do and see at the beaches of St Kilda that won’t cost you a thing.

 

Yarra River

 

Yarra River

Federation Square and the Yarra River Photo Credit: VisitMelbourne.com

 

Yarra River

Yarra River in Melbourne Photo Credit: VisitMelbourne.com

The Yarra River flows down into Melbourne from the Yarra Ranges and through the Yarra Valley before reaching Melbourne. The river is an important part of Victoria’s landscape and culture. The part of the river that flows through the city provides beautiful landscapes and is a great place to be at one with nature even in the big city. There are many different picturesque settings along the river and there are even picnic and barbecue facilities along the banks. It is also the setting of the famous Moomba festival, rowing regattas, the Melbourne Festival, and Dragon Boat Festivals. You could charter a boat on the river, but for no cost you can walk the trails or go biking up and down the paths and trails.