20 Things To Do In Melbourne Under $20

Whether you’re pinching pennies until payday or trying to travel on the cheap, there’s plenty to see and do in Melbourne without having to break the bank.

Explore the constantly shifting graffiti in Hosier Lane. Photo by Justin Meneguzzi.

    1. Admire the city’s unique graffiti artwork (FREE)

Find an appreciation for street art by strolling through Melbourne’s alleyways and taking in the graffiti covered walls. The best locations to visit include Hosier and Rutledge Lanes opposite Federation Square, Union Lane off Little Bourke and Degraves Street just to get you started.

    2. Watch a double feature at the Astor Cinema ($16)

Grab some fellow movie buffs and experience vintage cinema at its finest at the refurbished iconic Astor Cinema in Windsor. Check the schedule and catch a classic double feature for $16.

    3. Take a dance class at The Space in Prahran ($17)

Get your dancing shoes on and take a casual class at The Space just off Chapel Street. There are a range of styles to choose from including ballet, Broadway jazz, 80’s FIT and Latin hip hop just to name a few. Classes are $17 for a one-off class with musicality and coordination being completely optional.

    4. Have a Japanese picnic in the Botanic Gardens ($18)

Visit Ichi Ichi Ku on Park Street in South Yarra and pick up some deliciously fresh sushi rolls for $18 and then make your away across the road to the picturesque Botanical Gardens to have yourself a cross-cultural picnic.

    5. Visit the National Gallery of Victoria (FREE – $20)

Get cultural and spend an afternoon getting lost among the artwork at NGV. Exhibition prices can range depending on what’s showing, but keep your eyes peeled for a number of free exhibitions if you’re feeling especially thrifty.

Catch the Fairy Penguin parade in St Kilda.

    6. Visit the Penguins in St Kilda (FREE)

Save time on the drive down to Phillip Island and view the Fairy Penguins at St Kilda beach. The penguins are present all year around, so make your way down to the beach just after sunset to make sure you see the little waddling balls of cuteness.

    7. Join a Melbourne walking tour (FREE)

Tag along to a free walking tour around the city; they begin every day from 10.30am – 2.30pm starting from the State Library. There is no need to book, just show up and look for the person in the bright green shirt. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, you’re bound to learn something new about the city.

    8. Dance the night away at The Night Cat in Brunswick (FREE)

With a circulation of reggae, African, Latin and jazz live music always on offer, the Night Cat is the perfect place to boogie the night away to some live music. Entry is free and the venue is open until 3am, so grab some dancing buddies and be prepared to dance the night away.

    9. Take a life drawing class the at Abbotsford Convent ($20)

Improve on those stick figure drawings and take a life drawing class every Sunday at the Abbotsford Convent. Classes run from 1.15pm until 3.30pm and cost $20. Booking ahead and general artistic skills are not necessary.

    10. Pay your respects at the Shrine of Remembrance (FREE)

Take a walk down St Kilda Road to visit the Shrine and its beautiful surrounding gardens. The Shrine is open every day from 10.00am – 5.00pm with free admission (donations are welcomed).

Explore the Queen Victoria Market on the weekend or during the night market series.

    11. Visit the Queen Victoria Market (FREE – $5.50)

Experience a sensory overload as you wander the various halls of the Queen Vic Market. No visit to the market is complete without a bag of freshly made hot jam doughnuts. The American Doughnut Kitchen sells a bag of 5 doughnuts for $5.50 – BARGAIN!

    12. Walk or run around The Tan (FREE)

Put on your best active wear ensemble and join those enthusiastic morning joggers as you hit The Tan. The 3.8km track is the perfect way to start the morning; just remember to walk/run clockwise or people might be judging you.

    13. Hire a city bike and explore the city ($7)

Melbourne blue city bikes can be found all over the city and are the perfect way to get around on two wheels. You can sign up on casual subscription for $3 for 24 hour access, and helmets can purchased from a selection for IGAs, 7-Elevens and vending machines for $5.

    14. Catch some live music at some of Melbourne’s best dive bars (FREE – $10)

Take advantage of Melbourne’s killer live music scene and visit bars such as Cherry Bar, Yah Yahs, The Toff, Old Bar and Ding Dong Lounge to catch some killer tunes from up and coming artists. Entry usually ranges from free to around $10 depending on whose playing.

    15. Take a yoga class at Yoga in Daily Life in Richmond ($5-18)

Centre yourself and relieve life’s stresses by attending a yoga class at Yoga in Daily Life. Community classes are only $5 with alternative 60-minute classes at $14 and 90-minute classes for $18. All skill levels are welcome however it’s cash only for single class payments – so don’t get caught out!

Try some barefoot bowls at the St Kilda Bowls Club. Photo from St Kilda Bowls Club.

    16. Book a barefoot bowls session at the St Kilda Bowls Club ($20pp)

Get competitive and unleash your inner retiree. You can book a 2 hour session for up to 8 mates at the St Kilda Bowls Club. Make sure to make a booking in advance and to turn up 15 minutes before your booking time to learn the basics of the great game.

    17. Visit the Victoria State Library (FREE)

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life and wander the rooms of the State Library. The Library always has a range of talks, workshops, films, exhibitions and tours happening, so make sure you stop on by and see what’s happening.

    18. Attend a guided tour of the MCG with 3 other mates ($13.75pp)

Delve into Melbourne’s rich sporting history by taking a guided tour of the hallowed turf that is the MCG. The tour includes visits to the MCC Long Room, the players’ change rooms and a walk on the pitch itself. This is a definite must for any sports fanatic.

    19. Visit the Eureka Skydeck ($20)

Conquer that fear of heights and view Melbourne from a different perspective from the 88th floor of the Eureka building. Tickets are $20 for adults and can pre-purchased online or at the venue.

    20. Get involved in pub trivia and mid-week pub deals around the city (FREE – $15)

Round up a bunch of your smartest friends and head to your local pub for trivia night. Funky Bunch always put on a good night (their gig guide can be accessed here) If you’re lucky, there will also be pub specials on like the Grosvenor Hotel in St Kilda ($15 parmas) or the Sporting Globe in Richmond ($15 burgers).

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