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Friends playing putt-putt at Holey Moley Golf Club.
Photograph: Supplied

25 things to do for under $25 in Melbourne

Strapped for cash? We can’t help you pay your rent, but we can tell you where to get your kicks on the cheap

Rose Johnstone
Adena Maier
Written by
Rose Johnstone
Adena Maier

1. Visit Lune to try its monthly specials. Past offerings have included Honey Joy croissants and Iced VoVo cruffins – yum. 

2. LOL until your face hurts at Spleen Bar which hosts free live comedy every Monday night. Entry is $10.

3. Catch a free (or very cheap) gig at one of the many music venues of the inner north; we suggest the Tote, the Evelyn, Bar Open or the Night Cat.

4. Eat oysters for $2 a pop with a $15 glass of bubbles at Hemingway's Wine Room every Tuessday to Thursday from 5.30-6.30pm. Bonus: we've rounded up heaps of other tasty and cheap oyster happy hours in the city. 


4. Go to town on dumplings by the plateful at Shanghai Street on Little Bourke St, with dollars to spare for beer. 

5. Feast on an all-you-can-eat meat-free lunch or dinner for less than $10 at Crossways. If you're a concession cardholder, it costs a measly $7.50. 

6.  Try your hand at free karaoke at Jankara Karaoke on Russell Street. Instead of your typical karaoke bar where there are private rooms, Jankara opts for an open floor policy. If this sounds nerve-wracking, don't worry: there's plenty of alcohol to help calm your nerves.

7.  Visit the Queen Victoria Night Market and enjoy a cosy winter night of filling your belly with snacks from local food trucks. Entry is free, so you can spend your hard-earned dollars on food instead! 

8. Head to the NGV and check out some of the free exhibitions. The permanent collection is always free to explore, and the new Architecture Commission has just been announced: '(This is) Air' is a giant, fully breathing balloon opening in the NGV Garden later this year. 

9. Head to Werribee and explore the Werribee Park Gardens and Victoria State Rose Garden for free. If you'd like to explore the historic mansion, tickets are just $11.30 per person. 

10. Hit St Kilda Beach on a sunny day, but not until you’ve stocked up on some flake and chips from Pink Flake for less than $14 and a treat from one of the many old-school cake shops on Acland Street.

11. Play with cute farm animals at the Collingwood Children's Farm for $17 per person. You can take part in activities like feeding the chooks and milking the cows, or you can just explore on your own and spend some time cuddling the goats or guinea pigs.

12. The Fitzroy institution formerly known as Bimbo has reopened as Kewpie, but it's still slinging $5 pizzas from Wednesday to Sunday.

13. Check out the new Chelsea Australian Garden, which is home to more than 15,000 plants, including the endangered Wollemi Pine. Then explore the cute tea shops and boutiques in the nearby village of Olinda. 

14. Grab some falafel, baklava and salads from Just FalafsThen, enjoy your banquet across the road at Edinburgh Gardens.

15. Head 30 minutes out of the city and discover the Heide Museum of Modern Art, a centre of contemporary Australian art. Entry is from $17-$22.


16. Pat all the good doggos at Chez Misty – a St Kilda café catering to pups and their humans (dogachino, anyone?).

17. Hop on a ferry from Docklands to Portarlington and explore the quaint, seaside town on the Bellarine Peninsula. Tickets are between $17.50 and $18.50 each way.

18. Try formerly Michelin-starred food at Hawker Chan. The restaurant is an offshoot of Singapore's famed street stall, and people queue for their $10 serve of soya chicken and noodles.

19. Pick up a new skill at one of Laneway Learning's many cheap classes in centres across Melbourne, which range from learning the moves to ‘Smooth Criminal’ to craft and cooking. Classes start from $9.

20. See the city on two wheels with Melbourne Bike Share. Pick up a blue bike and hit the Yarra Trail – joining costs just $10.


21. Relive your childhood with a visit to Scienceworks. Learn about black holes, coral reefs and artificial intelligence through guided tours, changing exhibitions and special activities. Entry is $15.

22. Fill your belly with cheap ramen from Shujinko on Russell Street. The best part? It's open all day, every day and is the perfect place for a feed when it's too late to get a decent meal elsewhere. From $19.50.

23. Watch a movie the old-fashioned way: at a drive-in movie theatre like the Coburg Drive-In. For $41.60, you can bring a car with up to five of your mates – that's just $8.32 per person. 

24. Play nine holes of putt-putt at Holey Moley Golf Club for $18-$20 per person. 

25. Take a free tour of the 1850s-built State Library of Victoria and explore everything from the famous dome to the permanent exhibitions. 

Don't want to spend a cent? These are the best free things to do in Melbourne. For a budget feed, check out the best cheap eats in Melbourne.

More free things to do in Melbourne

  • Things to do

Guess what? Not everything in Melbourne costs a bunch of money. There are heaps of things to do in this fine city that you can do for free. Yep, free. Zilch. Nada. Zero dollars. We’ve found the best free comedy show, free art galleries and activities, so you can have a super fun time in Melbourne without spending a cent.  

Melbourne's best cheap eats


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