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A Backpackers Guide to Melbourne

Melbourne is Australia’s most liveable city, but you may think that with it’s over-priced coffee and decadent foodie scene it is not too suited to backpackers, but I’m here to prove you wrong. You as a backpacker can do Melbourne on a budget and still go out and enjoy yourself, you’ve just got to have the insider knowledge…

View of the city from St.Kilda

Top Things to See & Do in Melbourne:

  • Melbourne has a tonne of museums and art galleries and a lot of them are free to enter, check them out here.
  • Wander around Hosier Lane and take in the amazing street art.
  • Cruise down the Yarra River, find out the routes and times here.
  • Head to St.Kilda Beach and chill out or check out Luna Park.
  • Take a walk through Carlton Gardens.
  • Go to Brighton Beach for the day and get your picture with the cute bathing boxes.
  • The Eureka Skydeck – for unrivalled views over the city head to the Skydeck which is also the tallest building in Australia. It’s $20 for a ticket which you can book here.
  • Visit The Queen Victoria Markets – An open-aired market where you can buy lots of fresh fruit, veg and hot food.


Hosier Lane Street Art

Getting Around:

To use any of the public transport in Melbourne and surrounding areas you will need a Myki card, which you top-up with money to pay for trains, trams, buses etc. You can buy Myki cards from convenience stores and also from designated machines found at train stations. You should also download the public transport Victoria (PTV) app for your phone so you can get updates on tram times and plan routes, it is very handy and takes (some) of the confusion out of figuring out how to get from A to B.

Top Tip: Trams operating in the CBD don’t cost you a penny so you don’t have to touch on your Myki card! Other Trams can be free, if you don’t touch on your Myki but beware of the Myki patrol people checking your card as they will fine you if you haven’t touched on your card.


Luna Park, St.Kilda

Best Cheap Eats & Drinks:

If I had a dollar for every pretentious hipster cafe in Melbourne serving up $8 coffees I would be a rich woman, luckily there are also an abundance of cheap eateries in Melbourne.. for a fantastic list of all the best places look here, but these are some of our favourites.

  • Universal – situated on Lygon Street in Carlton – Melbourne’s ‘little Italy’ – Universal is serving up chicken parma’s the size of your head for only $14, you need to try it, its kind of a big deal!
  • Asian Beer Cafe – One of the cheaper places in town to grab a beer or any drink for that matter. You can get a jug of beer for as little as $8 on Happy hour and the food is cheap too.

Splashing Out:

  • Riverland Bar – Situated right on the Yarra River, you can indulge in a variety of cocktails (definitely get the Frosé) and watch the world go by.
  • Naked for Satan – This is one of the most popular places for a drink, located in the trendy Fitzroy area, Naked for Satan has a rooftop seating area so you can sip your drink and enjoy the view. PS if you go on a Sunday evening after 6pm you can get any dish on the menu for $9.
  • Tipo 00 – This is one of Melbourne’s most highly rated Italian restaurants and I can confirm the pasta is delicious and worth the extra coin.


Riverland Bar


Where to Stay:

  • Urban Central – As it says in the name, its really central, in fact theres a tram stop right outside the door and its pretty cheap too.
  • Home at The Mansion –  A really fun and quirky hostel situated in a grand heritage building – you can book here.
  • Airbnb – You can find some really reasonably priced apartments to stay in plus you can get money off your first stay using this code.

See all of our hostel tips here.


Where to Next:

Melbourne is a gateway to a whole host of other fantastic destinations. For instance the Great Ocean Road is only a short drive away… one of the most amazing road trips in the world! You can also get very cheap flights to Tasmania (or a ferry) and it won’t take you long to get there. Phillip Island is a very popular place to spot wild penguins and is only a short drive and boat trip away from the city.

Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes


Have fun in Melbourne!!!


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