2 Days in Melbourne Budget Itinerary
Melbourne is the cultural capital of Australia. It can often be difficult to decide what to do with yourself when you have limited time in a world-renowned city. Well, never fear, follow this 2 days in Melbourne budget itinerary to make the most of your short stay.
Spending two days in a city can often involve a lot of dashing around, attempting to squeeze in every attraction under the sun. Melbourne is a hub of cultural gems, amazing food and quirky art, so it may be difficult to know how to spend your two days in the city. Whether you’re just beginning or ending your east coast trip, Melbourne will surely be one of the highlights.
As a resident on a working holiday visa in the most liveable city in the world, I’ve compiled a ‘2 days in Melbourne budget itinerary’ so you won’t waste precious time and you’ll make the utmost of your brief visit.
Grab a Cheap on-the-go Breakfast
First things first, to start of the 2 days in Melbourne budget itinerary, breakfast. If there’s one thing Melbourne does well, it’s food. The cafe’s in Melbourne cater for those early risers. Whether you fancy something quick and cheap, or a more decadent delight, Melbourne’s early morning eateries have you covered.
A day of exploring must be started with a delicious breakfast, it’s the number one rule. You don’t need to break the bank in order to enjoy a breakfast which will set you up for the day. There’s plenty of places in Melbourne which fit the bill for a cheap bite to eat. Some of the cheap breakfast favourites include; a 7 AUD raisin bagel with mascarpone and jam from Manchester Press, a 3 AUD borek from The Borek Bakehouse or some fresh 3 AUD pastries from the stand on Elizabeth St, near Woolworths (apologies, I don’t know the name of the stand).
Spend the Morning Exploring Melbourne’s Famous Street Art
When you picture Melbourne, surely what comes to mind is the city’s quirky laneways, covered from the floor to the ceiling in all kinds of colourful street art. No sort of trip to Melbourne would be complete without spending a few hours wandering through Melbourne’s plentiful laneways. The city is littered with many areas which home their own unique masterpieces. However, if time isn’t on your hands, head to the following CBD laneways; Union Lane, Hosier Lane, ACDC Lane, Croft Alley, Sniders Lane and Blender Lane. That should be enough to keep you busy for the morning.
Head to the Market for Lunch
After a morning spent exploring Melbourne’s edgy laneways, I’m sure you will have worked up an appetite. This calls for one thing, lunch at one of Melbourne’s markets. There’s certainly no lack of choice when it comes to markets with tons of delicious food on offer. Try one of these markets:
- South Melbourne Market – Plenty of fresh delights on offer. If seafood is your thing, then you’re in luck. There are 1.50 AUD freshly shucked oysters to feast on. Is seafood not your thing? No problem, there’s plenty to choose from. Take your pick from fresh Vietnamese salads, home-made sweet treats, steaming dim sim and much more.
- Prahran Market – One of the locals favourite, but one of Melbourne’s lesser known markets. Head to Prahran market and sample some moreish falafel, traditional fish and chips or mouth-watering cheese toasties. If that doesn’t get your stomach rumbling, I don’t know what will.
- Queen Victoria Market – Melbourne’s largest and most famous market. Queen Victoria Market often hosts different food festivals at weekends, so if you’re lucky enough to catch one, you’re in luck. If not, don’t worry. The regular stalls will keep you struggling to make a decision on what to eat.
Venture to One of the Cities Museums/Galleries
As the cultural hub of Australia, Melbourne has museums and galleries spread far and wide across the city. With so many museums and galleries in Melbourne, it’s hard not to find at least one exhibition which will take your fancy. Try one of these:
- Melbourne Museum – A fascinating building, with equally fascinating displays and exhibitions. There’s no end to the surprises here. There’s even an IMAX cinema if you fancy a movie.
- National Gallery of Victoria – Australia’s oldest, largest and most visited museum. If the exhibitions here aren’t enough to tempt you in, the breathtaking stained glass roof surely will be.
- Australian Centre for Moving Image – A museum dedicated to; film, TV, video games, digital culture and art.
- Immigration Museum – Australia is a country built on immigration. Recount the real-life stories of people who immigrated to Victoria.
Spend the Evening Drinking and Eating for Cheap
To top the day off, head out to eat at one of Melbourne’s fine, yet cheap establishments. To keep the costs down head to Chinatown or North Richmond and sample some of Melbourne’s best authentic Asian food. Of course, no cheap meal would be complete if it wasn’t a BYO (bring your own). Grab a bottle of wine and tuck into some delicious Asian delicacies.
After your meal, why not wash it down with a drink or two at one of Melbourne’s coolest bars, Section 8. Another option is heading to Fitzroy and take in some of the best views of Melbourne’s skyline while sipping a cold beer at Naked for Satan.
Breakfast/Brunch at the Best Cafes in Melbourne
Brunch and Melbourne are two words which go together hand in hand. If I had all the cash in the world, I would spend the majority of it in Melbourne’s cafes. There’s certainly no lack of choice when it comes to testing out what Melbourne’s brunch scene has to offer.
As you guessed, food is one of the main themes of this trip. Trust me, you’ll understand why, when you’re sat tucking into your meal. As you might have guessed day 2 of the 2 days in Melbourne budget itinerary will begin with a nutritious brunch. Try one of these brunch places in Melbourne:
- Auction Rooms (North Melbourne)
- Archie’s All Day (Fitzroy)
- Sir Charles (Fitzroy)
- Grain Store (CBD)
- Top Paddock (Richmond)
Take a Pack Up Lunch to the Beach or One of the Cities Parks
After a hectic first day, it’s time to relax and take it all in on your second day. You don’t have to be rushing around from place to place to enjoy Melbourne. My recommendation for the rest of the day, make up a packed lunch at your hostel and head to one of the city’s beaches or one of the many parks. St Kilda, Brighton and South Melbourne beaches are all easily accessible via public transport. Some of Australia’s most beautiful parks are located around Melbourne’s CBD; Carlton Gardens, Fitzroy Gardens, Royal Botanic Gardens and Albert Park.
One of the main draws of Melbourne is their incredible public transport system. You can travel literally anywhere within the city via tram or train. If you can’t get somewhere via public transport, it perhaps isn’t worth going. My point being, jump on a train or a tram and make your way to a park or the beach.
Enjoy Sunset at St Kilda and See the Penguins
Who knew Melbourne would be home to a colony of the cutest, fluffiest penguins. I certainly had to look it up for myself when someone mentioned it to me. If you’ve spent the afternoon at St Kilda beach, why not loiter around and also enjoy the sunset over the ocean. Then catch a glimpse of the St Kilda penguins when they clamber out from the rocks at dusk. If you didn’t spend the afternoon in St Kilda, jump on a tram and you’ll be there soon enough. St Kilda is one of the more impressive spots for sunset and spotting these penguins is one of the best free activities you can do in Melbourne.
Relax, You’ve Earned it
The 2 days in Melbourne budget itinerary comes to a close. You’ve been rushed off your feet for two days exploring Melbourne and absorbing everything from street art to beaches. Why not put your feet up for the evening, cook some food in your hostel, maybe even get yourself a few beers from the bottle shop. After all, you deserve it!
2 Days in Melbourne Budget
Breakdown of the expenditures for the 2 days in Melbourne budget itinerary –
- Breakfast – 3-7 AUD
- Lunch at the Market – 6 AUD
- Museum Entrance Fee – 14 AUD
- Evening Meal + Bottle of Wine – 20 AUD
- Beer at a Bar – 10 AUD
- Public Transport – 8.10 AUD (max daily charge)
- Hostel Dorm Bed – 27 AUD
- Brunch – 20 AUD
- Pack Up Lunch & Food for Dinner – 15 AUD
- Public Transport – 8.10 AUD (max daily charge)
- Hostel Dorm Bed – 27 AUD
Total Spend for the 2 days in Melbourne budget itinerary- 158.20 AUD (79.10 AUD per day)
Where to Stay
It can be tough to know where to stay in Melbourne. There’s so many hotels/hostels and so many locations to choose from. I wouldn’t fret though. Stick to the inner suburbs, you don’t want to be more than a 20-minute tram ride from CBD. However, if you can get a place in CBD, even better. The links to the rest of the city from CBD are incredible. Virtually all the trams and all the trains run from the city, so you’re never too far away from wherever you want to explore. Here are my two recommended hostels –
- The Greenhouse Backpacker (CBD) – Excellent location in the heart of the city. Free breakfast, free internet and free activities with the hostel.
- United Backpackers Melbourne (CBD) – Perfect location. Modern and moderately priced hostel.
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Check out my other Melbourne posts to make the most of your trip –
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments section.
Have you found this ‘2 days in Melbourne budget itinerary’ helpful? Would you follow this itinerary in Melbourne? Have you been to Melbourne and followed a similar itinerary, or even something totally different?
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