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Top 10 Free Melbourne Attractions


There are a number of free attractions available in Melbourne, Victoria. Here's a selection of Melbourne attractions which shouldn't cost any money.

City Circle Tram

Cable car along a road, City Circle Tram, Harbor Esplanade, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Panoramic Images/Panoramic Images/Getty Images
More a means to travel free to a number of central Melbourne's sightseeing attractions, the City Circle Tram provides a "hop on, hop off" service to such places as Federation Square, Old Treasury Building, Parliament House and Princess Theatre. There's a running commentary, too, as you pass, or stop at, a place of historical, cultural or architectural significance. The free City Circle Tram has now been joined by the Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle, a free hop on, hop off shuttle bus service on another Melbourne city circuit.

Flinders St Station

Flinders St Station
Flinders St Station © Tourism Victoria
Flinders St Station is a major landmark in central Melbourne and is also a popular place to meet. With Victorian architecture and striking, large clock faces, Melbourne's Flinders Street Station was built in the late 19th century. It is said to the busiest suburban railway station in the southern hemisphere. Its striking Victorian architecture maintains the city's link with the past even as it sits cheek by jowl with the contrasting 21st century Federation Square.

Federation Square

Federation Square
Federation Square © Tourism Victoria
Right along the route of the free Melbourne City Circle Tram lies Federation Square across the street from Flinders St Station. Both Flinders St Station and Federation Square have distinctive, if contrasting, architectural styles. Particularly at Federation Square, browse through the shops and galleries, which lead us to the Ian Potter Centre.

The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia

Ian Potter Centre
Ian Potter Centre © Tourism Victoria
This is the home of the National Gallery of Victoria's Australian art collection, which is said to be the largest in the world. Admission to the permanent collection is free but fees may apply to special exhibitions. Located in Federation Square.

Australian Centre for the Moving Image

Australian Centre for the Moving Image
Australian Centre for the Moving Image, courtesy ACMI
While at Federation Square, visit the Australian Centre for the Moving Image with its Screen Gallery and large collection of exhibits pertaining to Australian screen-based art, including film, video, television, interactive installations, and computer animation. Entry to the Screen Gallery, open Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm and Saturday, Sunday and public holidays from 10am to 6pm, is free.

National Gallery of Victoria

NGV International
NGV International © Tourism Victoria
Located on St Kilda Rd in its newly renovated building, the National Gallery of Victoria (which has its Australian collection in Federation Square at The Ian Potter Centre) contains Victoria's extensive international collections with the works of some of the biggest names in international art. Entry to the National Gallery of Victoria is free, although fees may apply to special, particularly visiting, exhibitions.

Royal Botanic Gardens

Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne © Tourism Victoria
Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne contain extensively landscaped gardens covering 35 hectares (86 acres) and feature thousands of plants from across Australia and around the world. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through a variegated landscape of plants, shrubs and trees. Free guided walks or self-guided audio walks are available. Open daily from 7.30am to 6pm April to October and until 7.30pm Movember to March.

Queen Victoria Market

Queen Victoria Market ... fresh farm produce, souvenirs, other merchant items
Victoria Market © Tourism Victoria
The southern hemisphere's largest open-air market, the Queen Victoria Market offers fresh farm produce and a variety of merchandise which turns it into a modern Arabian Nights bazaar. An historic Melbourne landmark and a Melbourne institution dating back more than 120 years.

Crown Casino Complex

Crown Casino Complex
Crown Casino Complex © Tourism Victoria
Well, you could lose money at the casino, but the Crown Casino complex is an interesting collection of shops, galleries, restaurants and cafes. Take the riverside walk on Southbank Promenade with the Yarra on your left and outdoor cafes on your right.

Melbourne Beaches

St Kilda Beach close to city centre
St Kilda Beach © Tourism Victoria
People tend to forget that Melbourne isn't only a city with a river running through it. South of the city centre lie a number of Melbourne beaches along the arc of Phillip Bay, such as St Kilda Beach and Brighton Beach, easily accessible by tram from the heart of the city.
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