Budget your trip to Melbourne
If planning a trip to Melbourne, you will certainly be asking “What does it cost to visit Melbourne?” Ian grew up in Melbourne and we frequently visit to catch up with family and friends, as well as attending cultural and sporting events, such as the Australian Open. So we are sharing our tips to help you to budget your trip to Melbourne. All prices are in Australian Dollars.
What does it cost to visit Melbourne?
It is possible to visit Melbourne on a reasonable budget, with a little “insider knowledge” on the best places to go.
When visiting Melbourne, we always choose to stay in or around the city centre, where you are within easy walking distance or a short tram ride from the major attractions . You can certainly find much cheaper accommodation further out, but we find the convenience is worth the additional cost.
Below we have outlined the cost of some of the places we stay when we visit Melbourne. These are not paid endorsements, but provided to give you an indication of cost when planning your Melbourne budget.
- Mercure Spring Street
- $135 per night for two
- $165 breakfast included
- Mercure Welcome Melbourne
- $129 per night for two
- $155 breakfast included
- Ibis Little Bourke Street
- $135 per night for two
- Holiday Inn Melbourne airport
- $ 160 per night
There are also a large range of serviced apartments and holiday lets, where you can save money by self catering.
Many larger hotel chains offer “Kids stay Free” options which can add great value to your stay. If driving to Melbourne, parking is limited and expensive. Looking for a hotel which offers parking at an additional fee is the cheapest option.
Cost of Food and drink in Melbourne
Asking “how much does food cost” is like asking “how long is a piece of string?” It will depend upon your tastes and budgets. In Melbourne you can enjoy a range of exciting culinary experiences, or simply the diverse range of ethnic food available. Your choices will greatly impact upon your budget.
When we travel to Melbourne, we enjoy a mix of counter meals and “pub food”, a few meals at a mid-priced restaurants and take advantage of the cheaper food options.
Below I have outlined some of the typical costs of a meal at a bar or cafe in the Melbourne central area, as well as indicative prices of a meal at a more upmarket restaurant. I have also included some grocery prices to give you an indication for self-catering.
You can certainly spend significantly more than this and meals would be much cheaper in suburban Melbourne.
- Counter meal at a pub or club for two people $60
- Cafe Breakfast for two $25
- Coffee and cake at a cafe $20
- Meat pie from a bakery $5
- Take away coffee $3-$4
- Meal in Lygon Street, Carlton
- Entree $16, Main $25-35
- Pizza in Lygon Street $22
- Meal at Docklands
- Asian Restaurant $25 for two
- upmarket Docklands Restaurant $150 for two
- Pizza in Docklands $70 for two
- Meal in Chinatown
- Dumplings or dim sims $12 per person
- main course $23
- Glass of wine at a restaurant $8
- Bottle of wine at a restaurant $30
- Schooner of beer at a restaurant $8
- Schooner of beer at a pub or club $5
- Glass of wine at a pub or club $5
- Bottle of wine at a pub or club $25
- Bottle of wine from a bottle shop $7 to $15
- Six pack of beer from a bottle shop $15
- Loaf of bread at supermarket $2
- Litre of milk at a supermarket $2
- Kilo of sausages at a supermarket $10
- Kilo of lamb chops at a supermarket $15
Melbourne has an extensive bus, rail, tram and light rail network. The Myki card provides pre-paid travel on Melbourne’s trains, trams and buses. The costs will depend upon how many trips you take. As an indication full fare across two zones will cost $4.30 per trip.
If you are planning to stay within the city centre, a free hop-on-hop off tram operates through the CBD. Look for the maroon and yellow trams which operate every 12 minutes. It takes 48 minutes to do a full loop of the city.
Getting from the airport
Some larger hotels offer a free shuttle service to Tullamarine airport and the Melbourne SkyBus provides a shuttle service to various locations from $18 per person.
If you are planning to venture out of Melbourne to the regional areas, Discovery Pass provides unlimited travel on regional rail and coach links across NSW, Victoria Queensland and Canberra. Fares start at $232 per person for 14 days.
Cost of Melbourne Attractions
The cost of entry to some of the more popular Melbourne attractions include:
- Melbourne Zoo $37 adults, children free during weekends and school holidays
- Chinese Museum, Chinatown Adults $10, children $8.50
- Melbourne Star tickets from $10
- National Sports Museum and MCG tour $33 adults, $16 children
- Eureka Tower From $15
- Old Melbourne Gaol $28 adults, $15 children
However, some of the best attractions in Melbourne are absolutely free. These include:
- Wandering through Docklands
- Shrine of Remembrance
- Royal Exhibition Building
- Carlton Gardens
- Melbourne Museum
- National Gallery of Victoria
- Immigration museum
- Parliament House
- St Kilda Beach
- Brighton Beach
- Fitzroy Gardens
- Cooks Cottage $7
- Fairy tree and Tudor Village free
- Treasury Gardens
- Queen Victoria Markets
- Lygon Street, Carlton
- Hop on Hop off tram
- St Paul’s Cathedral
- Federation Square
- Bourke Street Mall
- Royal Botanic Gardens
The Melbourne unlimited attractions pass provides entry into 30 of Melbourne’s most popular attractions. Depending upon your plans, this could save on entry to some of the attractions.
The above list is by no means exhaustive, but we hope it will give you some useful information to start budgeting your trip to Melbourne.
This post does contain some affiliate links for products or services which you may find useful. We earn a small commission on sales at no additional cost to our readers.