We might come across as a little bit biased here, but Melbourne in summer is one of the best cities in the world to go backpacking in.

There’s just one problem: it’s also one of the world's most expensive!

Is your wallet wincing already? Don’t worry - there are plenty of ways for cash-strapped backpackers in Melbourne to see everything our city has to offer without breaking the bank.

Here are just a couple of them...

Hostel in Melbourne 

1. Eat on a budget

Who said you can’t find cheap eats and treats around Melbourne?

If you’re on a tight budget and looking to save some pennies when eating out, then you need to look for cheap eats around the city!

There’s a world of cuisine hidden in Melbourne - there are plenty of places around Melbourne that cater for travellers on a tight budget.

If you ask us however, the best way to trim down your food budget is to make it yourself!

Making your own food is always cheaper than eating out, even when the cost of ingredients is accounted for.

At Urban Central, our Melbourne hostel is kitted out with fully-stocked kitchen facilities for budget-conscious backpackers in Melbourne. We’ll even include the staples like rice, pasta and coffee for you!

If you’d like to go out, here are some budget-friendly cheap and cheerful eats in the city:

The Burger Project

Delicious beef, chicken, and mushroom burgers start from less than ten bucks!

Don Don Japanese Food

This Japanese restaurant is located on Little Lonsdale Street (just a few steps from Swanston Street) and is known for its quick service and tasty dishes.

Goz City

Travel to Turkey at this sleek spot, located in Little Collins Street, between King and William Streets.


2. Use public transport

Backpacking comes with a lot of walking. Unfortunately, there are some instances where your destination is just too far to walk!

As the world’s (now second) most livable city, it’s no surprise that Melbourne has a pretty robust public transport network.

In particular, Melbourne is unique among Australian cities for its extensive tram network. In fact, Melbourne’s tram system is the largest in the world.

With services every couple of minutes, our tram network is a great way to rest your feet while not only getting to your next destination, but seeing all the sights along the way, and enjoying a truly Melburnian experience.

And while you’re here, don’t forget to take advantage of the city’s Free Tram Zone!

Not only is this service free, but it also passes many of Melbourne’s tourist attractions, making it a great way to hop-on and hop-off at some great landmarks, restaurants, or shops.


3. Leg it

Unlike cities such as Los Angeles, Melbourne is highly-centralised, with most of the city’s attractions, music and arts centred around the CBD.

For backpackers in Melbourne, this means it’s completely possible to enjoy everything Melbourne has to offer entirely by foot.

This further reduces the amount of money you’ll need to spend on public transport - every dollar counts, right?!

If you want our advice, we recommend getting a good GPS app - Melbourne is criss-crossed with alleys and laneways.

Not only are many neat little cafes and quirky stores hidden throughout, but they also provide some handy shortcuts if you’re legging it.


4. Look for free attractions

One of the first things you plan when travelling anywhere is figuring out exactly what you want to see.

Unfortunately, in many cases this can cost a lot of money, both in entry fees and transport.

Luckily for you, Melbourne has always been rich in art and culture. Better yet, a lot of it is 100% free of charge!

No matter what you’re looking for, there’s a free or affordable option:

  • Shopping? Swing by the world-famous Queen Victoria Market for a bargain
  • Are you the artsy type? Many of the exhibits at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) are free
  • Fancy yourself as an explorer? Check out what hidden gems Melbourne’s laneways are hiding

Backpacking is very free-form - it’s all about the experience. And Melbourne has plenty of those, if you know where to look!


5. What’s the best way to save money when travelling?

The answer? Staying at a hostel in Melbourne!

Accommodation: easily the most expensive part of your travel plans.

Enter: hostels.

Not only are hostels cheaper than hotels and short-term rentals, but they’re also the perfect place to meet up with other backpackers travelling our great city who are also enjoying the authentic Melbourne experience.

With a variety of affordable accommodation options at attractive rates, we’ve got something for everyone whether you’re backpacking solo or in a group.

Book online now and get the most out of your travel itineraries this 2019 only at Urban Central!