For most visitors to Melbourne, public transport is the first port of call. How does Melbourne’s public transport system hold up, and which method is best for you and your travel plans?

Planning a trip to a new city takes a lot of hard work. From accommodation and flights to tickets, activities, and what to pack, it’s almost a journey in itself!

Melbourne public transport - train and tram

If your travel plan sees you bouncing all over the place, it’s a very good idea to research your options before you arrive.

Fortunately, Melbourne offers a whole host of different transport options for residents and visitors who want to get around without a car - and today, Urban Central wants to share with you some great tips to help you make the most of Melbourne’s public transport!


Using Melbourne’s trams

If you need to cover distance, Melbourne’s train network is undoubtedly the easiest way to get around.

While we locals sometimes moan about our rail network, it can’t be denied that it works. With over 90% punctuality, our train network is a reliable way of getting around Melbourne, particularly the suburbs.

And over 900km worth of track and bus services departing from every station, it’s possible to reach every corner of Melbourne on a budget. If your trip sees you making multiple journeys a day and hopping on and off trains, our train network is great value for money.

Melbourne’s rail network

One thing train users should be aware of is that Melbourne’s rail network is kind of shaped like a star or octopus, with the CBD as its centre and lines stretching out from there.

If you’re plan involves destinations that are on different lines, you might need to head to the city (or at least, towards it) to interchange at a major station.

When planning a day trip or activity, look at whether you’ll need to interchange to reach your destination. Consider whether it’s easier to transfer lines at a station, or to instead take a bus between lines.

When you stay at Urban Central, taking a train is simple.

Located mere minutes away from Southern Cross Station, getting to and from your home-away-from-home is easy. (Or, if you’d rather skip the 10-minute walk to the station, you can tram it, instead! More below.)


Take a trip on an iconic Melbourne tram

Melbourne loves its trams.

In fact, so does most of the world - Melbourne’s tram network is the largest on earth, with 250 kms  worth of track servicing 1700 stops across Melbourne and its suburbs!

Melbourne’s trams are so iconic that we even opened the 2006 Commonwealth Games with one! Our trams are bona fide tourist attractions - if you’re interested in a unique dinner setting, why not make a booking with Melbourne's unique tram restaurant? (Please note though that this dining experience is often booked out months in advance!)

If your itinerary sees you spending most of your time making short trips between locations in the city and surrounding suburbs, trams are hands-down the best option for you.

Trams service every corner of the CBD - name a location, and it’s possible to get there by tram.

And best of all, tram travel within the CBD is completely free! It’s entirely possible to travel around the city centre without paying a single cent.

Quick tram trips from Urban Central

  • Visit the iconic Luna Park and St Kilda Beach - #96 tram towards St Kilda Beach
  • Head to the Queen Vic market - #58 tram towards West Coburg
  • Visit Federation Square - #12 tram towards Victoria Gardens

    Melbourne public transport - tram



Melbourne’s buses

While buses might not be as fast the rail network or as iconic as Melbourne’s trams, they’re also a good option for getting around Melbourne.

Trains and trams run on a network that looks like a star.

While it’s great for reaching the further-away parts of the city it also means there are fewer options if you need to get between or across rail lines.

If that sounds like your situation, buses are a great way for getting from place to place.

There are over 300 bus routes around Melbourne. And with bus stops at every train station, it’s easy to use buses to plug the gaps between train journeys. Or you could take the bus by itself - some of the busier bus routes have services as frequently as every three minutes!

Like any bus system, Melbourne’s buses have to contend with traffic. Best to keep this in mind when you’re planning a trip!


To use Melbourne’s public transport, you will need to purchase a myki ticket and load some money onto it. Simply touch on and off when you use public transport and the lowest fare will automatically be deducted from your card.

Where to top up:

  • Online
  • All 7/11 stores
  • Ticket windows at premium stations
  • myki machines at all train stations
  • On buses
  • Anywhere you see the myki flag displayed!


On yer bike! Cycle around Melbourne

Public transport isn’t the only way to get around Melbourne - why not try a bike ride?

Melbourne Bike Sharing (MBS) scheme

Melbourne offers a convenient bike-sharing program for locals and visitors alike.

If you need to get from point A to point B quickly, the Melbourne Bike Sharing (MBS) scheme is a fantastic way to get around… and it’s a great way to keep up your fitness when you’re travelling!

The MBS is a great choice for short trips in and around Melbourne. With docks all over the CBD and inner suburbs, finding a bike is easy.

It’s also cheap - a day pass with the MBS will set you back a measly $3 for unlimited 30-minute rides all day long. And if you plan on using the bikes all week long, a 7-day pass comes in at only $8.

You can use this handy map to pick out where your nearest bike station is and how many bikes are currently available to rent.


On top of the Melbourne Bike Share, Singaporean company oBike has also recently expanded to Melbourne.

  • Download the oBike app
  • Reserve any oBike in Melbourne
  • Find it using the GPS tracker
  • “Unlock” the bike using the unique reservation code sent to your phone!

And once you’re done with it, all you need to do is park it at any public bike parking area - the train station, shopping centre, it doesn’t matter!

Just “lock” the bike again using the app and you’ll be charged for $2 for every 30 minutes you were riding.

How’s that for convenience?

When you stay at Urban Central, you receive complementary oBike access - perfect for adventurers and self-styled urban explorers.

oBikes at Urban Central 

Book your Melbourne accommodation today!

Stay at Urban Central - hostel in Melbourne’s Southbank

Our other piece of advice: stay at a place with plenty of transport options!

When you stay at Urban Central, you don’t just get a comfortable, affordable room to sleep in - you also make it easy to get around without a car.

Choosing the right accommodation in Melbourne is about more than finding a place to sleep at night - it’s also about finding a place that lets you go where you want to!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 1800 631 288 or contact us here. Our reception desk is staffed 24/7 so we’re always ready for a chat!

If you’re ready to book your room, you can do so online!