Melbourne Travel Guide
Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia and the capital of the Victoria state. With excellent restaurants and bars, it is an extremely popular foodie destination. Known as more of the hipster place in Australia this is evident throughout the city vibes and the culture. There are numerous activities, art exhibits and live music.
The Yara River runs through the CBD making it an iconic site as well as the always photographed train station. Melbourne has so many things to keep you entertained, from the nightlife, the bustling city, the beaches and activities galore.
There is a great backpacking scene in Melbourne. As Australia offers a working holiday visa many travellers make their way here to work hard and explore a new city. You will have no problem finding friends, amazing sites and a place to rest your head.
The local currency is the Australian Dollar (AUD).
Check out the current exchange rates here.
COST PER DAY
If you are thinking of backpacking Melbourne, expect to spend approximately $80 per day for one person. Some days you may spend more, some less, but it should even out.
Being the third driest capital city in Australia Melbourne can get quite warm during the summer months (December-February), with temperatures above 35 degrees and 40 degrees. You will need some sunscreen, a hat and a bottle of water to keep you hydrated.
Winters in Melbourne can be quite cool with temperatures around 14 degrees. It will not snow in Melbourne, but Mount Dandenong usually gets a light dusting at least once during the season. Bring a good jacket to keep warm and something to throw over you in case it rains.
Autumn and Spring will be very mixed weather where you will likely experience all four seasons in one day. Some days will be rainy with others being quite warm. Be prepared for quite a bit of wind if you are visiting in Spring as well as some rain.
Sleeping on a budget
There is such an established backpacking scene in Melbourne which is perfect for the budget traveller with hostels galore. You should have no issues finding yourself a bed for the night.
Travelling alone? Try out a hostel and expect to spend between $20 -$30 a night for a bed in a dorm.
Travelling with multiple people? Consider staying in a basic hotel with prices beginning at around $80 AUD. When these are split between enough people it can often end up cheaper than staying in a hostel.
Want more options? Try looking at Air BnB, there are loads of options!
Tip: If you are wanting to stay in a hotel, but not spend too much money, sign up for the Group On Australia site and check out what is going. This is what I did and managed to get half price stays!
Melbourne has one of the best public transport systems I have ever seen. You will be able to travel within the city with ease.
Getting to and from the Airport
If you are arriving in Melbourne from Melbourne Airport and need to make your way into the city, take the SkyBus. A one-way ticket will cost $18 and it will take you to Southern Cross Station where you can either take a train or tram further out or make your way to your accommodation.
Getting around Melbourne
If you are wanting to use the public transport within Melbourne, make sure you grab yourself a MyKi card for $4 (many places sell them including the train station and seven elevens). Load the card up with some money and be on your way. The tram system within Melbourne is absolutely wonderful and you can download the tramTRACKER app and have a live schedule on tram arrivals and any updates.
Within the CBD there is also a free tram with will take you a small distance around the area. It is much quicker than walking and helps when it’s a hot day.
Food & Drink
The food scene in Melbourne is perfect for any eater, with so many different restaurants and
cafes specialising in certain cuisines, you won’t be going hungry. If you are after a cheap meal find a pizza parlour, café or noodle bar for meals under $9. For a sit down restaurant a single meal will cost about $13 excluding a drink. If you have access to a kitchen it might be cheaper to buy food and cook there than eating out, though you would be missing out on a culinary experience. Otherwise for the non-health conscience, a fast food meal will set you back about $9.
I highly recommend checking out the night food markets. The Queen Victoria Night Market is held on Wednesday evenings between 5pm-10pm.
Tipping service staff is not expected in Australia, though if you have good service the gesture would be appreciated.
Make sure you visit. . .
Hosier Lane isn’t just your typical Lane in Melbourne, it is full of awesome graffiti and a really amazing part of the city. The colours mixed with the brick and city landscape really bring life into the concrete jungle. The cartoon like artwork is constantly changing and the blue cobblestones really add another dynamic. There are also plenty other free things to do in Melbourne, perfect for backpackers!
Royal Botanic Gardens
Not to be missed is the Royal Botanic Gardens which stretch out 86 acres. It is the perfect way to relax, get in touch with nature and explore the thousands of flowers, trees and shrubs. If you are getting over the busy city this is perfect. Head to the main visitors centre for self-guided audio tours or free guided walks.
Located along the Yara River is the Melbourne Aquarium, hidden away alongside the towering apartments and buildings. Inside you will find all sorts of underwater creatures! There’s even a penguin enclosure, a massive crocodile and a 3D movie.
Take the tram out to St Kilda for a more laid back lifestyle. There are so many amazing cafes and restaurants here, it is foodie heaven. Venture down to the beach to watch the sunset against the wharf, there is even a penguin parade as the little penguins make their way home for the night. Check out Luna Park for some excitement or why not give skydiving a go!
Queen Victoria Markets
The Queen Victoria Markets are located in Melbourne CBD and sell everything you could ever want. There are so many vendors with touristy souvenirs and other knick-knacks. Explore the food hall as well and enjoy all the free samples, the delicious snacks are absolutely amazing! To get here you can take the free city tram. It is also the largest open air market in the southern hemisphere!
The tram will stop right outside Melbourne Zoo, making getting there and back so incredibly easy. It is honestly the best way to spend a day, with excellent facilities, interactive learning opportunities and special feeding times. Melbourne Zoo is seriously the best zoo I have ever been to. If you go make sure you check out the lemur enclosure for some lemur selfie opportunities!
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