In the vibrant city of Melbourne, you don’t have to worry if you’re short on the dollies this spring.
From foodie events to outdoor markets, art to artisan beer, there are plenty of ways to maximise your hard-earned bucks and still have fun if you know where to look.
To help you along, we’ve rounded up eight amazing (and cheap) things to do in Melbourne, just for you.
1. Visit Welcome to Thornbury
Melbourne’s first food truck park gives you access to the city’s best street food in one place.
Open daily from 5pm Monday to Thursday and 12pm Friday to Sunday, Welcome to Thornbury hosts a rotating calendar of Melbourne’s favourite four-wheeled friends.
Tight budgets are welcome, even encouraged. And with up to six food trucks every night, you’ll be richly spoilt for choice.
2. Soak up sun at the Rose St. Artists’ Market
Forget mindless shopping this spring, Fitzroy’s Rose St. Artists’ Market runs every weekend from 11am to 5pm.
Featuring unique arts and crafts from the best local designers, if your light wallet confines you to window shopping there’s no better spot to explore.
Art, fashion, jewellery, homewares and homemade treats are some of the offerings available every weekend.
3. Queen Victoria Market’s Stir Frydays
You don’t need to blow your weekend budget eating out on a Friday night.
Take your favourite friend out to Queen Victoria Market’s Stir Frydays, running every Friday night on Therry Street from the 9th of October.
Featuring Melbourne’s best food trucks and carts inspired from the Orient, you can have your takeaway Asian food at reasonable prices in classy Melburnian style.
4. Skip the gym membership and go for a bike ride
Why whittle away your day in a musty gym when you could be outside on a bike soaking up fresh air and coastal views?
There are plenty of amazing bike trails around Melbourne including the Capital City Bike trail and Hobson’s Bay Coastal trail.
But our pick is definitely the Half Moon Bay trail. Beginner-friendly at a reasonable 13km, spend the day riding past picturesque beaches and stunning blue sea.
Check out a list of bicycle and walking route maps from Vic Roads.
5. Slow down, grab some fresh produce and get your cook on
Running on the fourth Saturday of every month, Abbotsford’s Slow Food Farmers’ Market is one of Melbourne’s favourite events.
Boasting local produce grown without gases and GMOs, the Slow Food Farmers’ Market prides itself on fresh, quality ingredients.
Pick yourself up pantry staples like eggs, handmade cheese, pasta, bread, honey and seeds. Entry is a gold coin donation.
6. Picnic the afternoon away at Como Historic House
Open everyday and free to enter, pack yourself a lunch feast and a picnic rug for a day out with your favourite girls or guys at Como Historic House.
Perched in South Yarra, Como Historic House brings a tiny bit of country to Melbourne’s metropolitan mecca. Set up somewhere grassy for a sunny afternoon and watch the world go by.
7. Art hop around Melbourne
Melbourne is chock-a-block full of free public art and galleries, so if you haven’t made the most of them it’s time to lock some culture into your diary.
From street art (Hosier and Rutledge Lane, Union Lane, Centre Place) to the NGV’s Ian Potter Centre, there’s something that will pique the interest of even the most artistically challenged.
Visit the City of Melbourne website for a full list of Melbourne’s free public art and galleries.
8. Do all the happy hours
When you’re broke, there’s no room for weekday hangover shame.
For big savings, embrace cheap and rowdy weeknights and save mundane tasks for the weekend when everything is full price.
Some of Melbourne’s best happy hours in the CBD include $10 cocktails at Campari House (Monday to Wednesday, 4 to 7pm), half price draught beers and house wines at Bar Vue (weeknights, 5 to 6.30pm) and $7 pints or wine de jour at DuNord (weeknights, 5 to 7pm).
As you can see, no matter what your budget or preferences, there’s something for everyone in Melbourne this spring. So get out there and have fun!
Main image: Christopher Chan, Flickr