25 things to do for under $25 in Melbourne

Strapped for cash? We can’t help you pay your rent, but we can tell you where to get your kicks on the cheap

Photograph: Supplied

1. Lord over the city from the 88th floor of the Eureka Skydeck (“I can see my house from here!”) - $15.50-$20.

2. Cut loose to indie tunes at Mr McClelland’s Finishing School every second Friday at Bella Union Bar - $10.

3.Freak yourself out on a tour through the Old Melbourne Gaol, where Ned Kelly was executed - $20-$25.

4. Catch a free (or very cheap) gig in one of the many music venues of the inner north; we suggest the Tote, the Evelyn, Bar Open or the Night Cat.

5. Eat oysters for $2 a pop with a $10 glass of Italian prosecco overlooking the Yarra at Arbory Bar and Eatery.


6. Go to town on dumplings by the plateful at Shanghai Village Dumpling in Chinatown, with dollars to spare for beer.

7. Feast on curry and pay however you feel at Lentil as Anything in the beautiful Abbotsford Convent (be generous: it’s a non-profit going back to vulnerable community members!).

8. LOL until your face hurts at The Big Hoo-Haa – Melbourne’s longest-running and most talent-packed improv comedy show at the Butterfly Club every Friday night - $20-$25. 

9. Become the coffee expert you’ve always wanted to be at Proud Mary’s free Saturday morning cupping (coffee tasting) sessions. 

10. Hit St Kilda Beach on a sunny day, but not until you’ve stocked up on $15 fish and chips from Mammy’s Boy across the road and a treat from one of the many old-school cake shops on Acland Street.


11. Rub shoulders with artists at Loop’s regular independent film screenings. Many of the sessions are free, which leaves you more cash for a cocktail or two.

12. Fill up on $3 tacos and $5 Tecate tinnies every Tuesday night at the live music-loving Reverence Hotel.

13. Wind through the fern-filled trails of the Sherbrooke Forest at the foot of the Dandenong Ranges, then explore the cute tea shops and boutiques in the nearby village of Olinda.

14. Hand over your tupperware to the folk at Moroccan Soup Bar and they’ll fill it up with soul-warming vegetarian dishes. Then, enjoy your banquet across the road at Edinburgh Gardens.

15. Head 30 minutes out of the city and discover Heide Museum of Modern Art, a centre of Australian modernism and contemporary Australian art - $14-$18.


16. Pat all the good doggos at Collingwood’s Doghouse – Melbourne’s first café catering to pups and their humans (dogachino, anyone?).

17. Hop on a ferry from Southgate to Williamstown and explore the suburb’s historic waterfront and Castlemaine warship - $18. 

18. Belt out your best rendition of ‘My Heart Will Go On’ in a private room at Kbox Karaoke. The price of your room includes drinks (which are essential). - Approx. $21 per person.

19. Pick up a new skill at one of Laneway Learning's many cheap classes in centres across Melbourne, which range from anything from learning the moves to ‘Smooth Criminal’ to craft and cooking. 

20. See the city on two wheels with Melbourne Bike Share. Pick up a blue bike and hit the Yarra Trail – the daily hire cost is a cool $3.


21. Break out those jazz hands at the Body Electric Dance Studios; a casual dance school where everyone is welcome (as long as they’re obsessed with glitter) - $16 per class.

22. Get up offa that thing and dance ‘till you feel better at Soul-A-Go-Go, PBS Radio’s monthly soul and funk night at Bella Union in Carlton - $10-$15.

23. Challenge your mates to pinball, Mortal Kombat and Daytona USA at the Fitzroy video game bar, Pixel Alley.

24. Fill up on $1 pieces of Japanese Fried Chicken while you put your hands in the air at the free hip-hop open mic night at Horse Bazaar every Wednesday night.

25. Invite your brightest mates to Mind Out Trivia at the B.East every Tuesday, where each week’s theme is chosen by the previous weeks’ losing team - free.


Melbourne's best cheap eats