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MELBOURNE travel guide with budget schedule

Our first day in Melbourne was a series of unfortunate events.

We spent our first two hours wandering aimlessly along its practically empty streets. I was expected to rely on data roaming on my first day, but for some reason, my service company chose to cut my line despite having paid my bill in full even before my trip. It would have been easy finding a pocket wifi or SIM card but our plane landed in the early morning, at 3am, and none of the shops at the airport or the city were open. I connected to the airport wifi for a minute to load Google maps and search for some info and chose to head out to my hotel.

Without access to the internet, we took the bus and successfully reached the city only to end up boarding the wrong tram, taking us farther from my hotel. LOL. We tried hailing a cab, but there weren’t that numerous passing by and none of them would stop. With luggage in tow, we chose to just walk to the taxi queue that we found earlier, eight blocks away. The cold, cold mid-autumn wind was sweeping Melbourne’s broad streets. When we finally arrived at the hotel, the receptionist greeted us with a warm, warm welcome. I knew it would be too early for check-in, but she smilingly shared that there was already an available room and that we could check in if we so preferred. “It’s your lucky day,” she said. She had no idea.

When I finally hit the bed to rest, I was right away reminded of the first years of The poor Traveler. We built this blog to file our misadventures and share suggestions to our readers so they could learn from our mistakes. This trip is one of our many unforgettable because we made a lot of mistakes along the way. So here’s our Melbourne travel Guide, and here’s hoping you’ll learn from it.

Hva er dekket i denne guiden?

Top budget hotels in Melbourne
Top Melbourne Apartments for Rent
Top Melbourne Hostels & Dormitories
Search for much more Melbourne Hotels!


HOW TO get around MELBOURNEBy Public TransportationFREE Tram Zone
How Does the myki Card Work?

By Uber or Taxi
By Sightseeing Bus

THINGS TO do in MELBOURNEGreat ocean Road
Melbourne City Tour
Queen Victoria Market
Melbourne star observation Wheel
Eureka Skydeck
Phillip Island
Werribee open range Zoo
Brighton Beach
St. Kilda
Other Melbourne Attractions

FREQUENTLY ASKED questions about MELBOURNEIs Melbourne safe?
Do we need a visa to check out Melbourne?
Are immigration and Customs in Melbourne strict?
When is the best time to check out Melbourne?
What type of power plug / socket is used in Melbourne?
Is Melbourne expensive? What are the typical costs of common items?
What is the tipping customized in Melbourne?
What is the escalator etiquette in Melbourne?
Where is the best place to exchange money in Melbourne?
What is better: Sydney or Melbourne?

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Melbourne is located along the southern edge of Australia. It is cradled in the sheltered Port Phillip Bay, which opens up to Bass Strait, separating the mainland from the island of Tasmania.

Way before Europeans arrived, Australian Aborigines have occupied the area for thousands of years. In the 19th century, totally free settlers from Tasmania (called Van Diemen’s Land at the time) moved to this corner of the Australian continent. other groups of settlers followed. Back then, the area was part of the British colony of new South Wales. On 30 August 1835, the city was founded, named after the Prime minister of Britain at the time, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne. The next decades saw a gold rush fueling the fast development and population growth of the city.

Today, Melbourne is the capital of the Australian state of Victoria. next only to Sydney, it is Australia’s second largest city, home to around 5 million residents, and one of the most went to by travelers, with its main airport welcoming over 35 million passengers in 2016-17.

Here are some helpful bits about Melbourne.

Location: Melbourne is part of Victoria, Australia. It’s on the southern hemisphere, so they delight in summer in December-February and winter season in June-August. Coordinates: 37°48′49″S 144°57′47″E.

Time Zone: UTC+10. Australian Eastern conventional Time (AEST). Melbourne is ahead of the Philippines, Singapore or Malaysia by 2 hours, and ahead of Japan by 1 hour. Daylight saving time is in effect in summer: AEDT (UTC+11).

Language: English is spoken by the majority. but Mandarin, Greek, Italian and Vietnamese are spoken by a significant fraction of the population.

Currency: Australian dollar (AUD). AUD1 is roughly PHP36, USD0.7, SGD 0.95, EUR0.62, (as of July 2019). If you have Maestro, Cirrus, Visa, MasterCard Debit cards, you can withdraw from ATMs. Or before your flight, go to your local bank and purchase AUDs.

Modes of Payment: cash and credit report cards are both typically accepted but the city is moving in the cashless direction.


If you look at the map of Melbourne, you’ll find that it is split into two by the Yarra River. The city is even more divided into several districts, but travelers can focus on five areas, which I’ll talk about below.

Central company district (CBD), located north of Yarra River. In numerous cities around the world, the financial district is separated from its old town. In Melbourne, the CBD is also its historical core, which makes it the most optimal place to stay for tourists. It is well-connected to numerous other parts of the city and surrounding suburbs.

Docklands, also north of Yarra River but west of the CBD. think of it as Melbourne’s marina. There isn’t much activity here on a regular day, but attractions include the marvel Stadium, the Melbourne star observation Wheel, and some shopping centers.

Southbank, which stands on the southern banks of the river, thus the name (duh). This is the city’s home entertainment center with a theater complex and the Crown Casino area.

Inner North, the area in the immediate north of the CBD. Its map is shaded by a number of gardens and parks, but the most popular traveler spot is the Melbourne Zoo.

St. Kilda, south of the city center. It has emerged as the city’s backpacking district; thanks to its dynamic nightlife, available bay beach, and a multitude of cost effective hostels and restaurants. Attractions include Luna Park and the Sunday art market.


Which is the best area? Well, it depends on a lot of things.

If I’m traveling with family or friends, I’ll certainly choose the CBD. everything else is also easily available from here. but if I’m traveling alone, I’ll probably consider St. Kilda. There are also direct buses from the airport to both areas.

If you choose to stay in CBD, pick a hotel or hostel near a train station, so you don’t need to walk long distances or rely on the tram too much if you decide to see attractions outside the city. In particular, consider the areas close to the following:


Southern cross Station

Both are in a good location: bursting with low-cost lodging, dining, and shopping options. but I believe that southern cross station is much more ideal. I stayed near central because I cluelessly assumed that it is the city’s main station. It turned out that southern cross station is the real heart of the city because many train arteries pass through this area especially if you plan on seeing the suburbs and attractions outside the city like Werribee. In fact, I typically find myself making a transfer at southern cross when I’m coming from Central.

Several bus lines also start or terminate at southern Cross. numerous organized trips also have their meet-up points somewhere around the area. So yep, it’s southern cross for me.

The many common accommodations in Melbourne are hotels. all of them are expensive, especially if you’re used to Southeast Asian rates. but cost of living in general is pretty high. There are budget hotels available in the CBD. another slightly much more cost effective option is booking an house or a room in a residential building or area. Hostels are also available.

Below are the top-rated properties on Agoda, as scored by customers.

Topp budsjetthoteller i Melbourne

ibis Melbourne Central. check rates & Availability! ✅

Brady hotels central Melbourne. check rates & Availability! ✅

Rendezvous hotel Melbourne. check rates & Availability! ✅

The Jazz corner Hotel. check rates & Availability! ✅

Topp Melbourne leiligheter til leie

AML house (Agoda)

The escape in southern cross Station. check rates & Availability! ✅

AML Apartment. check rates & Availability! ✅

Nest-Apartments Sea view Apartments. check rates & Availability! ✅

Topp Melbourne Hostels & Dormitories

For budget travelers and backpackers, staying at a hostel is a terrific idea. Not only do you save some bucks, you also get to meet other travelers. You can find hostels near southern cross station (Melbourne central YHA) or other parts of CBD that offer beds for as low as A$30 per night.

Most hostels also have an open kitchen where you can cook your own meals. You get to save a lot on food this way.

United Backpackers. check rates & Availability! ✅

Melbourne central YHA. check rates & Availability! ✅

Space Hotel. check rates & Availability! ✅

Europa Melbourne. check rates & Availability! ✅

Nomads Melbourne Backpackers. check rates & Availability! ✅

Søk etter mye mer Melbourne -hoteller!


As one of Australia’s many popular destinations, Melbourne is connected by air to various cities around the world and over 30 other destinations in Australia. It is served by two airports:

Melbourne airport (MEL), also known as Tullamarine airport because it’s located in the suburb of Tullamarine, north of the city center. As the bigger airport, it is used by much more airlines including Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific.

Avalon airport (AVV), located in Avalon in Geelong City, 50 km southwest of Melbourne. It’s used mainly by JetStar and AirAsia.

If you’re coming from Manila, the easiest and many convenient flights are provided by Philippine Airlines. PAL, the country’s four-star flag-carrier, uses a 309-seater Airbus A330-300. They use the Melbourne Tullamarine Airport. travel time is only around 8 hours.

Regular fares can go as low as USD233 one-way, which can still go lower when there’s a promo. All bookings come with totally free 25kg baggage allowance and a hot meal, a snack, and complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

All seats are equipped with personal TV screen featuring an outstanding collection of films and series, and in-seat USB power supply! I binge-watched episodes of young Sheldon onboard! Ha ha. It’s also myPAL wi-fi enabled!


The easiest way to travel between the airport and the city center is by taking the SkyBus, which runs for 24 hours (varying frequencies throughout the day). The journey lasts 30-45 minutes, depending on traffic.

Image courtesy of Klook
After emerging from the immigration and Customs inspection area, head to the exit to your right. right away outside, you’ll fine the SkyBus stop. You’ll know you’re at the best place when you see the electronic ticket kiosks and a ticket booth.

You can book a SkyBus ticket through the electronic machines here. note that these machines don’t accept cash, only credit report cards. Fare: AUD 19.75, one-way; AUD 38, roundtrip. All buses are equipped with totally free wifi.

You can also book online. You can score a small discount if you book with Klook ahead of time.

✅ get discounted TICKETS HERE!

There is also a less expensive option: taking the public bus. but it takes a lot longer! If you’re interested, you can read about it here: MELBOURNE airport TO CITY CENTER!

Avalon flyplass til Melbourne sentrum

Avalon airport (AVV) is located in the city of Geelong, roughly an hour away from Melbourne CBD. just like at Melbourne Airport, you can catch the SkyBus to the city center. However, it is NOT available 24 hours.

First trip: 9am

Last trip: 12 midnight

The bus passes through Werribee before reaching Melbourne. It terminates at southern cross Station.

Fare: A$24 one-way, A$46 round-trip.

Travel time: 1 hour.

You can book at the airport when you arrive but you can also book online in advancement for a small discount.

✅ get discounted TICKETS HERE!

Southern Cross Station til hotellet ditt

Whether they’re coming from Melbourne airport or Avalon Airport, all SkyBus units bound for Melbourne CBD terminates at southern cross Station. If your hotel is nearby, you can just walk from the station. This is just one of the reasons why the southern cross area is the best place to stay in the city. just use Google Map to navigate.

If your hotel is located in other parts of the CBD, you have plenty of options too. If you’re arriving between 6:30am and 7:30pm, you can avail of the complimentary transfer from southern cross station to a stop near your hotel. This is FREE-OF-CHARGE for those who took the SkyBus. It operates 7 days a week, 06:30 to 19:30. You can find the stop closest to your hotel here.

If your hotel is closer to central Station, you can also travel by tram (free), train (fare: A$4.40), taxi (fare: around A$10.6), or Uber (around A$8.6) to central area.


If traveling within CBD, I choose walking. Melbourne is a very pretty city, with a distinct European vibe that other Australian cities don’t possess. You’ll also stumble upon delightful surprises like artful graffiti and food kiosks.

By Public Transportation

There are plenty of options to get around including trams, trains and buses. but how do you know which is the best

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