Enjoying the best of Melbourne doesn’t have to cost the earth. Try our insider tips to wine, dine and enjoy more for less. And if you're driving in? Book ahead at key parking providers to get the best deal.
Feast on the best cheap eats
Looking for lunch deals? Soak up the Bangkok atmosphere at Soi 38. It’s a popular spot in the unlikely setting of a car park, where a lunchtime bowl of boat noodles with pork or beef costs just $10. The secret’s in the heavenly pork broth, and there’s a meat-free laksa for vegos. Dessert might be the $9.90 crepe brûlée sensation from Uncle Tetsu. Crack through the caramelised sugar crust to get to the creamy custard underneath that fills the crepe. Discover more cheap eats here.
Ice skate and mini golf for less than $20
Forget Zoom trivia, get the crew together for a day of IRL activities instead. For just $12pp you can while away an afternoon at Australia’s first 18-hole glow-in-the-dark mini golf course. Don’t forget to drop into what is possibly the world’s smallest bar for post-putt refreshments. Or give ice skating a go at O’Brien Icehouse. If you visit on Tuesdays, entry comes in under $20 including skate hire.
Find the last cheap movie night
Most cinemas have dropped cheap Tuesdays and discount tickets all together. But on Mondays thrifty film buffs can still head to the Kino Cinema, where tickets are $8.50 all day. Whether your passion is art-house films or the latest blockbuster, you’ll have plenty of change for a choc top.
Get a whole new wardrobe for $10
Score a brand new wardrobe for less than the price of a cocktail at laGuapa Outerwear's Spring Clothing Swap. Tickets are $10 and you'll need to bring a bag of your pre-loved clothes to trade in. Browse the racks for new treasures, while sipping a free drink, no less.
Bag theatre tickets from $10
If you've always dreamed of winning the lottery, here's your chance. Download the TodayTix app (available on the App Store and Google Play) to try your luck at nabbing discounted tickets. You'll find some of Melbourne's biggest theatre shows including Hamilton for a steal at just $10. Over at Arts House, what you pay for a performance is up to you. Catch limited run shows for just $20 a pop. Or if you can afford it, pay $35 to show a little extra support for the arts.
Score unlimited yoga classes
Unwind and stretch your way through two weeks of unlimited yoga at Yoga Corner. Available to new yogi students, the intro offer is just $55 for all the yoga you can squeeze into your schedule. After the two weeks, drop-in classes are $30. If you'd rather a free workout, get outside and join the free tai chi sessions on the deck in Docklands. The practice is made up of meditation and movements to workout both your body and mind.
Party at a $10 comedy and dance night
Wednesday nights are best spent with big belly laughs and a boogie at The Toff. Dance Party Revolution: A Comedy Night is a weekly mash up of DJ sets and Melbourne’s funniest stand-up, improv, sketch and cabaret acts. It's the ultimate mid-week mood booster and early birds pay just $10.
Grab the best happy hour deals
Time things right, and a chilled cocktail can be yours at a bargain price. Visit the tequila experts at Mejico on a Monday for $10 margarita madness all day. Prefer to mix things up? Venture down to The Moat for $14 cocktails every Wednesday to Saturday, between 4pm and 6pm. Try an espresso martini, a house-made lavender gin concoction and more. For a $10.50 Aperol spritz and a taste of Milano, swing into Brunetti on Lygon Street. Find even more happy hour deals here.
What's free every day
Explore an exhibition of iconic Australian music
If you’re musically inclined, the Australian Music Vault is a must. It’s a great overview of Melbourne’s backstage sounds and stories. Watch rare footage and see iconic objects like Kylie Minogue’s stage outfits and notebooks belonging to Nick Cave. The free exhibition is permanently on show at Arts Centre Melbourne.
Take a crash course in cinema
Get behind the camera at ACMI’s free exhibition, The Story of the Moving Image. From the birth of film to today’s digital wonders, there’s more than a century of movie history to explore. And you can get hands-on at this fun cinema showcase, with animation and sound effects to play with.
Go for a stroll in the gardens
Looking for a bit of serenity? Take a meander through Melbourne’s magnificent Royal Botanic Gardens. This 38-hectare urban oasis is home to over 8,500 plant species, a wide variety of wildlife and even a volcano. Pack a picnic then choose from one of the 11 picturesque lawns to enjoy spectacular views of the city.
More cheap and cheerful fun
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Where to find the best happy hour deals in Melbourne
Featuring cheap cocktails, food discounts, bottomless fun and more.
Last updated on Wed 5 Oct 2022
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Dikstein's Corner Bar
A cosy wine bar with great food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Late night bar and brasserie serving cocktails, wine and French comfort food.