New to Melbourne? You are not alone! Whether you are a student or an OFW, these places will give you a taste of the most cultured city in Australia without breaking the bank.
1. Flinders Station
If the Opera House is Sydney’s icon, Flinders Station is probably Melbourne’s. Flinders is Australia’s oldest train station, dating back to 1854, and is one of the major railway stations in the city. When locals say “meet me under the clocks”, it means to meet in the front of Flinders because its front has thirteen clocks showing the departure times of each suburban train line.
2. Federation Square
Right next to Flinders Station, you’ll find Federation Square. The façade of this iconic building is clad in geometrical shapes and is home to the National Gallery of Victoria Australia (NGVA), NGV Kids, Melbourne’s only Ice Bar, and more.
3. National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)
After strolling around the outdoor areas of Federation Square, you can head over to the main National Gallery of Victoria, which is a block away if you want to see more art. Most exhibitions are free. Previous exhibitions held were KAWS, Terracotta Warriors & Cai Guo-Qiang, and Yayoi Kusama.
Pro tip: For special exhibitions students receive a discount. Simply show your student ID to get a concession ticket.
4. Visit the iconic laneways
If museums aren’t your thing, some of Melbourne’s most iconic laneways are also found in Federation Square—Hosier and AC/DC lane. These laneways are filled with larger-than-life graffiti street art. Specialty shops and restaurants can also be found between these laneways, so be sure to pop in to check out one or two.
5. The City Circle Tram
Also known as the Tourist Tram, this W-class heritage tram was built in the 1920s. Both the exteriors and interiors have been restored to what they looked like then. The tram starts from the Waterfront city and runs the 35 line, which has the Melbourne Aquarium, Flinders Street, and the Parliament as some of its stops.
The best part about this tram is that it’s free. However, the tram is smaller than the other models, so it can get crowded inside.
6. Brighton Bathing Boxes
A bit further east from the city, but still accessible by public transport, Brighton Beach is one of the most iconic spots in Melbourne. In fact, you’ve probably seen the colourful houses on postcards or Instagram.
These bathing houses were originally built for residents of Brighton so that they could use the space to change and place their belongings while they enjoyed the sun, sand, and sea. A bathing box measures around 2.4 x 2 meters and is considered to be premium property. In 2019, a box was sold for around $340,000 (that’s about PHP 11.7 Million)!
Entrance to the beach is completely free and there are changing rooms and public toilets available.
7. Queen Victoria Market (QVM)
Better known as QVM, this market boasts a variety of fresh produce such as fruits, vegetables, poultry, meat, and deli food. A portion is also dedicated to bargain apparel and items perfect for pasalubong. This market is probably the closest thing you’ll get to a Divisoria in Melbourne.
Pro Tip: for ultimate bargain deals, visit the market anytime from 2:30 to 3:30 PM, as most vendors slash their prices before closing.
8. St. Kilda Beach and Luna Park
Lined with bars and restaurants, St. Kilda Beach is a good place to hang out if you just want to enjoy the warm weather with friends.
Luna Park is also situated near the beach if you want to take a quick snap of its infamous clown mouth entrance, or if you want to ride the oldest operational wooden rollercoaster.