Free Things To Do In Melbourne For Students

On a Student Visa in Melbourne? Wondering what you can do in this Melbourne city. Here are a few ideas…

Melbourne, being the amazing city that is! It is not surprising that it is ranked as one of the top five liveable cities in the world. When it comes to studies and student life, Melbourne is the top city in Australia. No wonder the population of international students is on the rise every intake or semester we see more students for higher education here. People are drawn towards the city’s higher education options, variety of universities that they have to offer and lifestyle. Why wouldn’t it be the top city for student life in Australia? It has so much to offer. Even if you have no money in your pocket, you can have a great time in this city. As a student, when you don’t have much dollars in your pocket and on a budget, but want to get to know this beautiful city (we have all been in that situation), you can still enjoy what this city has to offer to students. We, as an education and migration consultant, not only want you to give the best advice on your visas and migration decisions but also want you to get the best experience while abroad. So, let’s dig into the free things to do in Melbourne on a budget.

1. Colourful Beach Houses

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Brighton beach is one of the most iconic and photographed places of Melbourne. Not far from the city, you can plan a picnic at the beach, or just hang out at the beach here. Getting here is easy, just get the Sandringham line from Flinders Street Station and get off at Middle Brighton station. It is a 15 minutes’ walk to the beach houses from the station. Along the walk, you can find some cute cafes and local shops.

These 82 brightly coloured beach houses with a backdrop of the city skyline are a treat to the eyes and going to level up your Instagram pictures. From the most popular Australian Flag to boxing Kangaroos to Life’s a Beach, each house has a different colour and most of them have cool art on them. This is one of the iconic places you don’t want to miss.

2. The young, wild and free St. Kilda Beach

St. Kilda beach is one of the most happening beaches in Melbourne. You will see mostly the young population rocking up to the beach here. When the weather is nice, the beach is super packed. Even if you are not a beach person, and don’t like the water, it’s a nice place to wander off.

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The best time to go there is one or two hours before sunset so you can enjoy the beach while it’s sunny, see the magnificent sun setting in the ocean. After the sunset, go up to St. Kilda Pier and see the Penguins coming out of the rocks and swim in the ocean. The best time to see them is half an hour after the sunset.

3. Graffiti Art Hunt

People come from all over the world to see Melbourne’s finest graffiti art. Going on a graffiti art hunt is a great way to explore the city and get to know the lanes and surroundings of Melbourne. Here are some of the places where you can find cool art;

  • Hosier Lane, just opposite to Federation Square
  • AC/DC Lane, just a few minutes’ walk from Flinders Lane and Russell Street Intersection
  • Duckboard Place, the next lane to AC/DC Lane
  • DeGrave’s Street
  • Sniders Lane, this is where the famous Kim Kardashian and Kendall Jenner Mural is.
  • Drewery Lane
  • Presgrave Place, and
  • Croft Alley

4. Enjoy the nature in the city
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Work and study can get overwhelming sometimes and you just need to chill without any distractions, or sometimes you need to pack a picnic and enjoy the greenery and surroundings with your friends, whatever it is, there are so many gardens in and around the city which can be perfect for a day of relaxing and catching-ups. Royal Botanical Gardens, Carlton Gardens, Flagstaff Gardens, Princes Park, Royal Park Nature Playground are the natural parks which are close to the CBD which are easily accessible by public transport.

5. Be fit like the locals

You will see people running at any time of day or night in Melbourne. The people here take advantage of the beautiful tracks for getting active. There’s the popular tan track around Royal Botanical Gardens which is about 3.87 kms which is very popular among the locals and tourists for just walking or running.

Like the tan track, there is Albert Park Lake track which circles around the beautiful Albert Park lake. One loop is 4.7 kilometres, which is perfect if you are training for your 5k run. Another track is along the Maribyrnong River.

Similarly, other popular but a bit hard and longer one is Merri Creek Trail which stretches 7.86 kms from Fitzroy North to Coburg, and Dandenong Ranges National Park’s 1000 steps.

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6. Circle the city in a vintage and cool Tram

City Circle Tram is one of best ways to see the major attractions in Melbourne, especially if you are new in the city. There is an audio commentary inside the Tram which gives all the information about the attractions such as the Parliament House, Docklands, Federation Square, Princess Theatre and so on.

There are free information booklets and maps of the city of Melbourne in each of the trams. The information on the schedules are on this link.

7. Sidney Myer Music Bowl

Just 13 minutes’ walk from Federation Square, you cannot miss Sidney Myer Music Bowl, an outdoor performance venue which is popular for free summer concerts thrown by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. The entry is based on first come first in and best dressed basis. So, wear your best clothes, pack a picnic, gather some friends and enjoy the music in an awesome venue.

8. Beaches

Who doesn’t love the beach? Everyone does especially in Melbourne when they have so many beautiful beaches to choose from. Aside from St. Kilda and Brighton Beach, there are so many beautiful beaches that are easily accessible by public transport. Sandringham Beach, which is just 40 minutes from Flinders Street Station, Frankston Beach takes an hour from the city, Altona beach, which is around 48 minutes from the city, Williamstown Beach is 31 minutes from city. When you don’t want to spend money and are looking for someplace new, these beaches are a great place to start.

9. Laugh Out Loud

If you love stand-up comedy and comedy in general you will love this. Melbourne hosts Melbourne International Comedy Festival every year for three and a half weeks from 25th March to 19th April. For most of the shows, if you are interested, you will need to buy the tickets. But The (Very) Big Laugh Out which happens on Federation Square is totally free. It is a 90 minutes show which showcases the best of the comedy scenes all for free. Grab your friends, laugh out loud in this one.

10. Guided Tours

There are free guided tours of the Abbotsford Convent Social History Tour and Parliament Building, if you are interested in finding out the history of Melbourne, and how the parliament works, or if you just want to see the architecture of the buildings inside you should definitely try one of these tours. It is free, and you can easily pass the time here.

You can get inside the iconic Old Treasury Building as well for free, but it isn’t a guided tour, you have to self-guide your way inside.

11. Take advantage of the free libraries

City of Melbourne’s other great thing is that it has libraries which are free to use for the public. You will need to make a card with these libraries, and you are good to go. The State Library of Victoria is a student’s favourite because it is easily accessible as it is in the heart of the city. Other ones include Melbourne city library, located in Flinders Lane offers free internet and so many free resources for you to use from. Then there’s Baillieu Library, inside University of Melbourne, and the Melbourne Athenaeum Library which is in Collins Street. Whether you want to study, or relax, or escape the scorching heat, you can hit these libraries.

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12. Window Shopping has never looked so good

Listed on the Victorian Heritage Register, Royal/ Block Arcade is one of the oldest surviving arcades in Australia. The arcade has lots of boutique fashion stores, gift shops, jewellery designers and chocolateries. You can access the arcade from Bourke street which connects Bourke Street Mall to Little Collins street.

You will admire the 19th century architecture the minute you step into the arcade. The detailed architecture from top to bottom is a treat for your eyes, window shopping will never look this good.

13. Free Outdoor Entertainment

Night-time is one of the incredible times in Melbourne, especially when there’s some festival happening or its the weekend. You can find performers in and around the city; dancers, musicians, magicians, artists and other entertainers. Federation square, in the heart of the city, hosts free live shows, live events often. Don’t worry if you are low on budget, gather some good friends, and enjoy the courtesy of Melbourne.

14. Hang out at the “Meeting Place”

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Known as the meeting place of Melbourne, Federation Square is always busy with people either waiting for the train across the street, or waiting for a friend, or just hanging out for fun. There is always something happening in Federation Square, from farmers market, to live concerts, to free films on the big screen.

Federation Square transforms itself to reflect what’s on in Australia or Melbourne now. At Christmas time, the square is filled with lights, a Christmas tree and a light show. For Australian Open or any big games, they show live games on the big screen, for the Melbourne Fashion Festival, they host a free fashion show for the public and so on. If you are ever bored, and don’t want to spend money you should try Federation Square.

15. Festival Capital

From Greek Festival to Melbourne Japanese Summer festival to Chinese New Year festival, to White Night to Melbourne Music Festival, there are often things happening in and around Melbourne. Visit What’s on Melbourne to see what events and festivals are happening and put it on the calendar so you don’t miss out.

Hopefully one of these fifteen ideas are going to make a cut on your next day off or next time you are bored or next time you want to do something that won’t cost a lot. Be sure to share those experience with us as well that how this information on

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Visit us at: Suite 3 – Level 2, 470 Collins Street,
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 3000

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