Getting lost in a city like Melbourne can be quite overwhelming. After all, it’s a huge city with a bevy of hotspots, from history to arts, music, and food places. But traveling in Melbourne doesn’t have to be expensive. If you know the best and cheapest ways to get around, you can easily enjoy this city without having to break the bank. Here are some travel hacks for you to explore Melbourne, Australia on a budget:
The best thing about Melbourne is that there are many public transportations available. There’s even a free ride too! Here are your options:
Myki card is Melbourne’s reloadable transportation card that you use to pay for trains, trams, and buses. Like any other transportation card, you’ll need to top it up to travel. For Android users, you can download mobile myki which is a digital myki card. It costs $6 for the full fare of international visitors 19 years old and above, and $3 for children ages 5 to 18 years old. Children under four years old travel free.
Myki Explorer pack
Myki Explorer card is specifically designed for tourists who want to visit metropolitan Melbourne’s notable tourist attractions. Get this for one-day unlimited travel via public transport, which also comes with a handy map, special offers, and souvenir wallet. It costs $15 for full fare including $9 myki money, while a concession and child pack costs $7.50 and includes $4.50 for travel.
You can buy a myki card at the Melbourne airport, PTV hubs, Melbourne Visitor Centre, and SKyBus terminals.
Buses are your next option to trams, with more routes covered than the latter. Melbourne has about 400 bus routes in the metro and more than 50 in regional towns, and more than 30 night routes. Buses have routes going to shopping centers, hospitals, sports venues, and attractions around Melbourne making them an ideal transportation option. If you’re coming from the airport, you can go to the city center via the SkyBus express service.
Trams are the second most-used mode of transportation in Melbourne. And if you’re traveling within the CBD, there’s a free tram zone that you can take advantage of. It stops at Victoria Street, Queen Victoria Market, Batman Park, and other street stops. You can also hop on and off at the City Circle Tram going around central Melbourne. All trams operate 20 hours a day, covering the suburbs and other Victorian cities too.
By metro train
Metro trains, simply called metro, run hourly in Melbourne. It’s available from 5 am to 12 am on weekdays, and 24 hours during weekends. It operates several lines connecting the city to other key destinations nearby. Compared to trams, trains take a longer journey which only means you can explore more of Melbourne by train.
By shared transfer
From the Melbourne airport, you could join shared transfers going to the city which is less costly than getting a private transfer! Each passenger can have 1 carry-on baggage and 1 checked luggage. Roundtrip transfers are also available.
Taking a cab to get around Melbourne can be quite expensive, but if you prefer convenience, you can easily get one in the metro and in other regions. To call a taxi, you can simply wait at a taxi cab rank or at the roadside. You can also book via phone or online using an app. Fare is metered and extra charges apply.
Cycle through the streets of Melbourne by renting a bike. Not only is it more environmentally friendly, but it’s also cheaper and a healthier option. City cruisers, e-bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes, and kids’ bikes are available for rent.
Luckily, free WiFi is available in Melbourne and Victoria. It’s available in CBD, train stations, malls, Queen Vic Market, public libraries, museums, and most restaurants and cafes around the metro. But if you prefer your own connection, you could either purchase a SIM card or rent a portable WiFi.
Surf the internet in Australia with this eSIM that comes with unlimited data. It’s also easy to use–just scan the QR code to set up the eSIM. The catch, though, is that your phone should be eSIM compatible for it to work.
If you’re traveling in groups, best to rent a portable WiFi to save money. You can enjoy unlimited LTE-speed data and use it simultaneously.
Fancy restaurants are great, but nothing beats satisfying cheap eats when hunger strikes. Try these local favorites when it comes to affordable grubs!
Eat out at Queen Victoria Market
Of course, you can’t skip the iconic QVM. Keep your eyes peeled for hidden gems that sell satisfying food which costs less than $15! From quick snacks like sandwiches, kebabs, donuts, and salads, you get a delicious and affordable meal for the day.
Shop fresh produce at Alphington Farmers Market
Open every Sunday, Alphington Farmers Market is where the locals go to source fresh produce. If you’re game to cook instead, you can get your dose of fruits, vegetables, eggs, organic products, bread, and condiments here. Plus, you can support local businesses too!
Discover Chinese food in Chinatown
Chinatown Melbourne sits along Little Bourke Street, where you can find plenty of restaurants and eateries whatever your budget is. From Cantonese-style dishes, dumplings, meat jerky, cakes and pastries, seafood, and street food, you’ll never go hungry when you go to Chinatown.
Go on a Foodie Discovery Walking Tour
What’s a better way to explore Melbourne’s culinary scene than by joining a foodie tour? Check out the best flavors of Australia from Chinese to Peruvian, Asian, and contemporary Australian dishes in this food tour at Melbourne’s best restaurants.
Tourist Tips for Getting Around
Maximize your stay in Melbourne by going on a budget but getting more experience from doing so. Here are some tips to get you by:
- Explore Melbourne’s free spots! Walk along Yarra River, take in beautiful street art, go on a picnic at its parks, or visit free art galleries. There’s just so much to do without having to spend on anything.
- If you’re fond of backpacking, choose hostels with shared dorms for accommodation. It’s affordable and ideal for solo travelers! Who knows, you may end up having a new travel buddy to explore Melbourne with.
- Going to the malls can get expensive, so head to thrift shops instead. Score stylish vintage finds from clothes to accessories, furniture, cookware, and knick-knacks without having to swipe your card. You can even haggle the price!
- Join tours. Self-guided tours are also okay, but joining a group tour is ideal because it saves you time, and gets you to see more places in one day, and bundled packages save you more money.
Looking for more interesting activities to do in Melbourne? Check our list of things to do in Australia, on KKDay.