Swipe right without swiping your debit card and check out our fave free date ideas. Think romantic picnics, interactive exhibits and sea shanty singalongs. Plus some ideas for the perfect (and cheap) Valentine's Day.

Plan a sunset picnic by Princes Bridge

There’s not a more romantic date idea than watching the sun go down over the city skyline. Roll out your picnic rug and bring along your date's favourite snacks. We’ve got the perfect spot, right next to Melbourne’s iconic princess bridge. Pick up gourmet supplies from Melbourne's best local delis and general stores. Explore more picnic spots around the city.

Wander hand-in-hand through a gallery

Add a bit of culture to your Valentine's Day and meander through Melbourne's free exhibitions. Check out NGV Triennial and experience this multi-level art extravaganza. It features moody neon-lit projections, photo-worthy sculptures, interactive exhibits and more. For the music lovers, visit Melbourne's Australian Music Vault. Compare music taste with your date and make sure you're on the same page before sharing the AUX cord. Check out more free museums and art galleries.

A woman is in a gallery looking at a neon-lit projection of flowers
NGV Triennial

Catch a free movie

Movie dates are always a safe bet, so why not catch one for free. The Library Cinema plays contemporary, classic and documentary films on the big screen. Grab some popcorn, sit back and relax. Open every Monday from 3pm to 5pm. For an romantic outdoor movie date, head to Fed Square and enjoy love-themed flicks throughout February. Our pick? The adorable La La Land screening on Valentines Day.

Take a romantic stroll through The Conservatory

Smell the roses and take a romantic walk through The Conservatory. Housing magnificent indoor floral displays that change five times each year. The indoor garden is perfect for Melbourne’s four-seasons-in-one-day weather.

Wide shot of inside conservatory with hanging plants, flowers and arched windows.
The Conservatory

Singalong at sea shanties

Break the ice with a sea shanty singalong at The Mission to Seafarers Victoria. It’s not your average karaoke night, but instead a singalong of folk songs. Join in the chorus or be the star of the show. Open every Thursday from 7pm to 10pm.

Tour the best secret gardens

Stroll through Melbourne's urban forests and secluded nooks in these city-side parks. These secret gardens will impress anyone. They also make for beautiful pictures, snap a selfie together in the Royal Botanic Gardens. Use the free walking map to help you find your way.

Wide shot of a girl in the Botanic gardens on a walking bridge looking up at trees.
Royal Botanic Gardens

Have a rom-com level meet-cute at the State Library

If you want a classic rom-com first date experience, try this word-nerd friendly idea. Find a cute book in the State Library that sums up your date, then exchange them beneath the majestic domed ceiling. Pull up a chair and flip the pages to see if they’ve read you right. If the weather permits, rent your books and take them out on the library lawn.

Make movie magic in a nostalgic cinema exhibit

Take a journey through the past, present and future at ACMI. The Story of the Moving Image is the perfect date if you love unique and interactive art. Think ancient shadow puppets, original cameras, iconic costumes, movie sets and contemporary art. Catch an Aussie classic, we’re talking good old Blue Heelers, Full Frontal, All Saints and Heartbreak High.

Man and a woman playing game in low lit exhibit with neon lights.
The Story of the Moving Image

Visit a tranquil pop-up pavilion

Unwind with your favourite person and visit an impressive installation at MPavilion. Tucked away in Queen Victoria Gardens, you'll find this modern structure designed by a famous Japanese architect. Take a seat and soak up the chilled out vibes. Or sign up for one of the free talks, workshops or performances. Think DJ sets, craft sessions and a special live music performance on Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day Events

Summer Night Market
Until

Summer Night Market

Unforgettable balmy moments as the Summer Night Market returns to Queen Vic Market!

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