10 of Melbourne’s Most Unmissable Free Activities to Do This Summer

Melbourne’s generosity knows no bounds when it comes to offering enriching experiences without dipping into your wallet. With a thriving cultural scene, stunning natural landscapes, and a flourishing artistic community, this city is an open invitation to immerse yourself in its wealth of complimentary offerings.

Join us on a tour of the best free things to do in Melbourne.

free things to do melbourne
Photo: Visit Victoria

Christmas In the City

Every year, Melbourne puts up its Christmas lights, and the best part is that it’s all free to see. Explore Collins Street to Docklands and all the way to Kensington. Keep an eye out for giant reindeer, nutcrackers, and of course the Christmas star on Evan Walker Bridge. During the festive season, Melbourne is one big open-air Christmas light decoration, lighting up buildings, train stations, streets, and so much more.

free things to do melbourne
Photo: Newtecnic

Federation Square

Kick off your Melbourne adventure at Federation Square, the city’s cultural heart. This iconic public space hosts a multitude of free events and exhibitions year-round. Check out the ever-changing lineup of art installations, live music performances, and outdoor film screenings.

free things to do melbourne
Photo: Architecture AU

Royal Botanic Gardens

Escape the urban buzz in the silent oasis of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Meander through lush landscapes, discover indigenous flora and enjoy a relaxing picnic. Don’t forget to visit the Fern Gully and Guilfoyle’s Volcano, both hidden gems within the gardens.

free things to do melbourne
Photo: Javen/Shutterstock

Street Art in Hosier Lane

Melbourne is renowned for its street art, and Hosier Lane is the epicentre of this creative explosion. Explore this ever-evolving outdoor gallery where artists from around the world showcase their talent. Every visit unveils a new masterpiece on these vibrant walls.

free things to do melbourne
Photo: Visit Melbourne

State Library of Victoria

Step into the majestic State Library of Victoria, not just for its incredible collection but also for its stunning architecture. Wander through the La Trobe Reading Room and marvel at the dome’s grandeur. You can even catch free exhibitions and events here.

free things to do melbourne
Photo: Adam Gibson


ACMI costs money, but the free exhibition, The Story of Moving Image, is well free. Get behind the camera and discover the evolution of the big screen from its birth to today’s digital age. There are interactive sections where you can get hands-on across animation and sound. There are even a few Instagrammable spots you don’t want to miss.

free things to do melbourne
Photo: NGV

National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)

Art lovers, rejoice! The NGV boasts an extensive collection, including works by Australian and international artists. While some exhibitions require admission, the gallery offers a significant selection of free displays and rotating exhibitions.

free things to do melbourne
Photo: Tinelm Wunderland

Brighton Beach

Visit Brighton Beach to witness one of Melbourne’s most iconic sights—the colourful bathing boxes lining the shore. Take a relaxing walk along the beach and snap some photos of these charming little huts.

free things to do melbourne

Yarra River Walk

Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the winding Yarra River. You can cross several bridges and enjoy views of the city skyline. The Yarra’s walking and biking paths provide a serene escape from urban life without wandering too far from home.

free things to do melbourne

Queen Victoria Market

Stroll through the bustling Queen Victoria Market, a beloved Melbourne institution. It’s a fantastic place to soak in the city’s multicultural flavours. You can sample fresh produce and artisanal treats and even catch free live performances on certain days.

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