Worldwide icon-chevron-right South Pacific icon-chevron-right Australia icon-chevron-right Melbourne icon-chevron-right The best free events happening in Melbourne

The best free events happening in Melbourne

Getting something for free is the best feeling ever. So we’ve got you covered with a list of free events in Melbourne

St Kilda Festival
Photograph: Supplied
By Saakshi Gupta |

We don't have to tell you that most of the things to do in Melbourne aren't cheap, but you'd be surprised by to know that there's a wide range of free things to do in Melbourne – including world-class events. 

Melbourne offers a host of events that cost a grand total of zero. We’ve put together this list of free annual events so you'll have something exciting marked for every month of the year. And don’t fret if you miss an event – you can always attend it the next year.

Recommended: Full guide to the best free things to do in Melbourne right now.

The best free events in Melbourne

A group of people at the Midsumma Carnival
Photograph: Alexander Legaree

FEBRUARY: Midsumma Festival

Midsumma Festival is an LGBTQIA+ cultural festival which offers a long list of events, both paid and free. Among the free events is the fun and fabulous Pride March. The festival has something for everyone with a mass, talks and discussions, and plenty of parties that can be attended for no cost.

St Kilda Festival
Photograph: Supplied

FEBRUARY: St Kilda Festival

Get ready to sway and dance to the tunes of amazing Aussie artists against the beautiful backdrop of St Kilda Beach. St Kilda Festival is a free annual event that has been bringing together the best of homegrown musical talent since 1980 and takes place on the second Sunday of February.

Sidney Myer Music Bowl Free Concert Series
Photograph: Supplied

FEBRUARY: Sidney Myer Free Concerts

An annual tradition, this free concert series at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl usually starts a week into February and lines up three performances with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. You can pack a picnic and savour the summer evenings with some delightful free music.

2018 Christmas Festival
Photograph: Dean Walliss
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

DECEMBER: Christmas in Melbourne

Melbourne is decked out in December to celebrate Christmas and the end of the year. You can go around to see some beautiful Christmas lights and decorations, enjoy some live entertainment at Federation Square, snap a photo with Santa or have a peek at the always-spectacular Myer Christmas windows.

More things to do in Melbourne

Pouring drinks at Bar Liberty
Photograph: Graham Denholm
Bars, Cocktail bars

The 50 best bars in Melbourne right now

Here is Melbourne viewed through the bottom of a glass: from its world-beating cocktail lounges to its down-and-divey saloons. These bars represent the pinnacle of Melbourne drinking.

Princes Bridge. Melbourne
Photograph: Robert Blackburn
Things to do

The best free things to do in Melbourne

Guess what? Not everything in Melbourne costs a bunch of money. From art shows to coffee tastings, there are a bunch of things to do in this fine city that you can do for free – here are our favourites.

On stage at Blackie Blackie Brown Malthouse
Photograph: Phoebe Powell
Theatre, Musicals

Melbourne theatre and musicals in September

Spring means a flourishing of independent, international and local mainstage theatre in Melbourne – so get ready: this month it's Melbourne Fringe, next month it's Melbourne Festival, and in the meantime there is more dance, musicals and theatre than you can shake a stick at.

Great Otway National Park
Photograph: Robert Blackburn
Travel, Short getaways

The best day trips from Melbourne

If you're looking for a break from the inner-city grid, there's no better cure than a day trip from Melbourne. The state of Victoria is full of friendly neighbourhood towns, whether you're in the mood for a winery tour, a road trip or a national park to explore.

People browsing through clothing at a market stall
Photograph: Supplied
Shopping, Markets

The best markets in Melbourne

Borrow your nanna's tartan shopping trolley and venture out to one of Melbourne's best markets for farm-fresh produce, designer homewares, vintage fashions and tasty street food.

Seafood bowl at Uni Boom Boom
Photograph: Parker Blain

The best new restaurants in Melbourne right now

If you love food and live in Melbourne, your 'must-try' list of new restaurants, cafés and bars probably takes up your phone's entire storage capacity by now. Luckily, we've put together a curated list of the newest, hottest and coolest restaurants our critics are raving about. 

Show more