Most of your funds will go towards accommodation, so choosing a low-cost hostel is the smartest choice. Keep in mind that prices can rise over the weekend. For only $37 a night, you can stay in a four-star mixed or gender-separate dorm at Greenhouse Backpacker. Conveniently located in Flinders Lane, Greenhouse Backpacker has a rooftop terrace, self-catering kitchen, and BBQ facilities. Rates include a complimentary daily breakfast and free Wi-Fi. A two-night stay at Greenhouse Backpacker will cost a mere $74, compared to over $200 per night for a typical hotel room in Melbourne.
228 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC Australia +61 3 9639 6400
Staying in Melbourne might be expensive, but enjoying the city doesn’t have to be. In fact, there are plenty of free attractions to visit, including Screen Works at ACMI, Shrine of Remembrance, National Gallery of Victoria, The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Royal Botanic Gardens and Queen Victoria Market. You can also treat yourself by visiting ticketed attractions including Melbourne Museum ($15), MCG tour ($25) and Eureka Skydeck ($20).
Melbourne is serviced by tram, train and bus networks, all of which require passengers to touch on with a pre-purchased Myki card. International and interstate visitors can purchase the Myki Explorer pack for $15 full fare.
A cost-effective alternative is the free City Circle Tram. Introduced in 1994, the service travels the perimeter of the city along La Trobe Street, Flinders Street, Spring Street, Nicholson and Victoria Street. The tram ride also includes audio commentary that points out some of Melbourne’s most famous landmarks. There is also a Free Tram Zone within the CBD, in which commuters and tourists can travel for free, without a Myki card.
Travelling on a budget shouldn’t mean denying yourself a good meal. When you need to refuel, your first choice should be the vegetarian, ‘pay as you feel’ restaurant Lentil as Anything, which has four locations around Melbourne. Another cheap and yummy option is Huxtaburger, which serves up some of the best burgers in Melbourne. Just outside the city, on Brunswick Street, you can get $4 pizzas at Bimbo Deluxe; at nearby Naked for Satan you’ll find a selection of $9 tapas Monday to Friday, 12 pm to 4 pm, and Sunday nights from 5pm.
Drinks don’t always come cheap, but you’ll be surprised by the deals you can find if you know where to look. For cheap beer and cocktails, visit Asian Beer Café at Melbourne Central during happy hour. Not too far away, at Father’s Office, you’ll find a wide range of drink specials for under $10 throughout the week. Centrally located at Federation Square, Transport Bars offers $3 pots and $5 house wine on Friday between 5 pm-7 pm. Meanwhile, at Black Rabbit, Island Somewhere and The Mill House you’ll find drink specials for less than $8. Father’s Office and The Mill House also have yummy food specials.