Art & Design

20 Things to Do In Melbourne On A Budget

By Clare Acheson
15th Aug 2016


Do you ever get the impression that literally everyone has their grown up stuff together but you? A house, a holiday, even a pretty pooch; why does no one speak about their secret saving behaviour and how do people budget when there’s so much do (read: eat)?

Let’s be real, none of us are going to be able to put a deposit on a house, or save for that trip of a lifetime if we all keep paying hand over fist for the little luxuries in life. So, because we are as addicted to our social lives as you are, we—with the help of Bankwest's nifty budgeting tool and savings calculator (trust us, having someone do the sums for you helps!)—have put a list together of all the awesome things to eat, see and do in Brisbane; even if you’re on a super strict budget.

Here are 20 killer things to do in Melbourne on the cheap!

#1: Tuck into a slice of mouth-watering $4 pizzas at The Penny Black, served every Monday. Mmmmm, pizza...

#2: Challenge a mate to a $2 game of pool at one of the city’s many pool table bars. Our faves are Less Than Zero in South Yarra, and The Beaufort in Carlton.

#3: Try to catch ‘em all at Melbourne’s best Pokemon hot-spots. It’s free, and you’re bound to make a friend or two while chasing after that Charizard!

#4: Head to ACMI, the Australian Centre for Moving Image, and check out some of the free exhibitions, as well as film showings for as little as $10 per showing.

#5: Enjoy a $7 mojito or Thai-inspired ice tea at northside eatery Son In Law, where you can also get delicious crispy prawn betel leaf bites for a mere $8.

#6: Take yourself on a walking tour of Melbourne, with the Inside Street Art: Melbourne book as your guide. How many artworks can you tick off in a day?

#7: Battle some intergalactic enemies and weirdly stylish street gangs at Forgotten Worlds video game bar, where you can play retro arcade games from as little as 20¢ a game.

#8: Have a rooftop drink at Naked In the Sky, Fitzroy, for some incredible city-wide views, minus the extortionate price tag.

#9: Enjoy one of the best bowls of curry laksa in the city for only $10.80 in Laksa King, Flemington. The perfect bargain warmer!

#10: Ding ding ding! It’s cocktail o’clock at Glamp camping bar in Melbourne CBD all night on Thursdays, and until 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays, when you can get top-shelf cocktails for only $10. You know what to do…

#11: Get in touch with nature at Abbotsford Children’s Farm where you can pet guinea pigs, milk cows, and be truly baffled about how bees work (seriously, those hives? HOW DO THEY DO IT?!) for only $10 as an adult, and $5 as a kid. A bargain for a guinea pig selfie, if you ask me.

#12: Wrap your mouth around a heap of $1 potato cakes every Monday at Fish & Chippery by The Atlantic, on the Crown Riverwalk. Seriously luxe potato cakes for a pocket-friendly price. 

#13: Get your fill of $1 chicken wings and two-for-one cocktails at St Kilda institution Pablo Honey, where you’ll find all of the above as well as two for $10 Tecate tinnies from 4pm until 7pm, Monday through to Friday.

#14: If you feel like some time in the sun but can’t quite cough up the flight price to Miami, get to the city’s beautiful open-air pools. You’ll find awesome swimming spots in Brighton, Carlton, Fitzroy, Brunswick and Prahran. Pack your sunnies!

#15: Beg, borrow or steal (no, don’t actually steal) some walking shoes and head to Melbourne's best hiking trails for some time with nature. 

#16: If the bike trails are a little tame for your liking, why not check out Victoria’s best mountain biking trails? Many of them are free—you’ll find a full round-up of track and downhill hot-spots here. 

#17: Savour the epic rainbow lattes at Too Many Chiefs in Brighton for under $5—a pittance for the Insta love you’ll no doubt receive. 

#18: Have your mind blown by the totally OTT pizzas at A25 Pizzeria, which are only $13 on Mondays at the South Yarra restaurant. Squid ink, hotdog and matcha pizza are all on this incredible menu, so arrive hungry!

#19: Dance your money woes away at No Lights No Lycra, the dance class in the dark (yep, you just boogie without anyone watching for 60 minutes), which takes place all over the city. At only $7 a session, it’s a fantastic way to boost your serotonin levels on a budget.

#20: Take yourself to Temple Brewing Co, where you can get a free tour of the brewery provided you call ahead and ask nicely (plus a taste or two of their latest beers, if you're lucky!). There’s also a Tiramistout dessert on the menu that’s worth shelling out 12 of your precious dollars for. Yum.

Editor's note: This article is proudly sponsored by Bankwest and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

Image credit: Son In Law by Cath Grey for The Urban List

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