50 Things To Do In Melbourne When You Can’t Afford A Holiday

By Millie Lester
19th Apr 2017

If you’re broke and you know it clap your hands, *CLAP* *CLAP*. But that’s ok because we’ve pulled together a whopping list of 50 things you can do in Melbourne this [should be] cold season that won’t have you eating Cruskits for three months afterwards.

  1. Can’t afford a vacation, how about a staycation?? Notel Melbourne (quite possibly the most Melbourne thing in Melbourne) isn’t a traditional hotel but rather six chrome Airstream trailers on a roof and they’re the perfect winter non-getaway. 
  2. Keep it simple (yet ~classy~) and catch a flick at Jam Factory’s Village Gold Class before wrapping up the evening with some fine (yet affordable) dining at Abacus Bar & Kitchen down the road. 
  3. Kill two birds with one stone and get your history serve at the Melbourne Museum before getting your wine and cheese dose with a packed picnic lunch in the Carlton Gardens (sprinklers come on at 9pm. You’re welcome). 
  4. Book yourself in for an evening of rooftop glamping at St. Jerome’s
  5. Take yourself on a lil’ cultural getaway to the National Gallery of Victoria which has FLOORS of FREE exhibitions, then reward yourself for spending so little with a ritzy meal at Arbory Bar & Eatery on the Yarra.  
  6. Can’t afford a holiday? Put yourself through hell instead and conquer the 1000 Steps walk in the Dandenong Ranges. Make use of the free public barbecues and pack a picnic lunch because nothing cures a calorie deficit like seven sausages and some Coles deli slaw.
  7. Head out to Abbotsford on a crisp Saturday morning and hit up the Slow Food Melbourne Farmers Market to stockpile on homemade tomato relishes, and then tuck into brekkie next door at the Convent Bakery.  
  8. Combine bowling, arcade games, quality food (BURGS) and cocktails for the best night of your life at Kingpin Crown
  9. Burn work on a Monday and go to a $6 new release flick at Nova Cinema on Lygon Street, follow it up with a feed from D.O.C Pizza and a double scoop waffle cone from Pidapipo.  
  10. Hit the Capital City Trail on your poor man’s motorcycle and stop off for a well-earned cawfee and brunch at Carlton North’s Green Park Dining.  
  11. Because two movies are never enough, head on over to the old-style Astor Theatre in St Kilda for a back-to-back movie session, and then wrap up the day with a word class wine and cheese session at Milk The Cow, just a fifteen minute walk away.
  12. If you’re on of those unfortunate souls whose lease doesn’t permit pets, then book a date at Melbourne’s premier Cat Cafe for sixty minutes of fur hugs and soy lattes. 
  13. Spend a day channelling your inner animal at the Melbourne Zoo
  14. And if that’s not enough, drown yourself in aquatic wildlife at the Melbourne Aquarium
  15. If you’re climbing the walls at home looking for things to do, try the walls at the Hardrock indoor climbing experience in the CBD. 
  16. Get drunk and lost cheerful and adventurous at TRAPT Bar & Escape Rooms in the CBD. 
  17. If you aren’t a Hawthorn supporter, catch a footy match (and twelve hot jam donuts) at the MCG, bring every single jacket you own. 
  18. Give your head a holiday and treat yo’self to a haircut for under $50!! 
  19. Become highly trained in an extremely specific and very niche skill that you probably didn’t know existed until you visited the ‘classes’ section on the Laneway Learning website. This dedicated little space in the CBD is the best place to invest in a better you (i.e. learn how to make soy candles and balloon artistry). 
  20. Do your friends and family (and tum) a favour by learning how to make pasta, beer and even salami at The Craft & Co
  21. Pop over to Parkville for a ‘coffee cupping’ session at VERY popular student cafe Seven Seeds and learn how to separate a specialty coffee from a Nescafe Blend 43.  
  22. Splash a wee bit of cash on tickets to a world class and completely worthwhile musical. Both Aladdin and the Book Of Mormon are on stage at the mo (and are goddamn amazing). 
  23. Have a glass of the good stuff at Melbourne’s first and only people-powered urban winery, Noisy Ritual
  24. Splash out on some red velvet pancakes at Hawthorn’s Axil Coffee Roasters, the Instagram basically takes itself. 
  25. Treat your frems and wet your whistle at one of Melbourne’s newest bar’s, House of Correction, whose theme and decor derives from its history of containing human skeletons. Noooice. 
  26. Fast for three days and then push your body to the limit with this city’s biggest eating challenge—tasting Melbourne’s best Nutella everything
  27. Take a self-guided (and very cheap) tour of Melbourne’s best street art
  28. Grab a feed at Brunswick Street’s newest local, the Fitzroy Social, and then head down the road for a cocktail with a side of breathtaking views at Naked In The Sky.  
  29. When we say three movies is enough, we mean four. Book a date night (or a m8 night) at the Village Cinemas Coburg Drive-In
  30. Treat yo’self to a novel from one of the best independent bookshops in the world (they won an international award and everything) at Readings in Carlton. There’s shelves upon shelves to peruse and they’ve open late so you can sneak out and leave the kids at home when they’re asleep (don’t do that). 
  31. Test your vocals with an evening of karaoke at Rice Queen in Fitzroy. 
  32. Throw caution to the wind (your wallet to the dogs) and FINALLY try a ritzy twelve-course degustation at Lûmé (a meal for two prolly costs as much as a trip to Bali but whateva). 
  33. Head to the European Bier Cafe of a Thursday evening and enjoy some gags on their regular open mic comedy nights. Treat yourself to one or twelve espresso martinis and you could be up there too. 
  34. Book yourself in for a complete relaxation overhaul at the Japanese Bath House in the CBD. 
  35. Literally eat the best pizza in the word at 400 Gradi (their margherita won gold at the World Pizza Championships in Italy in 2014). 
  36. Head to The Lui Bar on Collins Street for the best views and cocktails in town. 
  37. Put your friends’ Instagrams profiles to shame with a hot air balloon ride at sunrise
  38. Take your cash to one of the bazillion festivals that are always happening in Melbourne (comedy, meat & music, oyster).
  39. Try Melbourne’s OG frosé at Mr Miyagi on Chapel Street (and throw in a salmon nori taco because you’re not an idiot). 
  40. Put your mind at ease and your body on some stranger’s (licensed professional’s) massage table at the Chuan Day Spa
  41. Take your pick of over 300 rare bottles of whisky at The Elysian in Fitzroy, because three isn’t already hard enough. 
  42. Run (brisk walk) a lap of the tan and then refuel with a posh lunch at The Botanical in your new Lorna Jane three-quarter tights. 
  43. Embrace winter’s wrath and hit the ice at the O’Brien Group Arena
  44. Pick a warm day for a picnic in the gardens of the Werribee Park and Mansion
  45. Grab a bite to eat and a cocktail at Botherambo and then catch a gig at the Corner Hotel.
  46. Literally push your body to the brink of death with a HIT session at Progression Fitness in Cremorne and then limp over to Pillar of Salt for some eggs benny.
  47. Spend way too much on a hot chocolate at Long Story Short, but Instagram the hell out of the science beaker and wooden board it comes on. 
  48. Take a group of friends, $20 and a bottle of Jacob’s Creek Trilogy to Chinatown and leave tipsy, socialised and full of deep fried prawn dumplings.
  49. Go to an 80’s, Rick & Morty, Green Day and Dug The Pug themed party at Supersmall Club in South Yarra. 
  50. Stay in bed, eat Pringles from the tube and binge watch all of these TV shows.

Image credit: Channel 4

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