Where Aussies often get misclassified as raucous bogans, Melbournites hold their own. More refined in their cultural uptake, sipping cold brew and tweaking their carefully manicured moustache. Look that’s a mass generalisation, but really the culture is better in good ol’ Melbs. So perhaps you’ve walked the graffiti painted alleys before or you’re a bored local; either way here’s our guide to seeing the city with little financial outlay. Treat yourself to a whole lot of culture for what’s left of your pay check, no scrounging necessary.
Customise Your Denim
A trip to Dejour Jeans is unlike your usual shopping trip. Personalised service, customised fit and an op shop feel make the store feel like a blue wash wonderland. It’s an unassuming shop front in Brunswick, but once inside you’ll be unstoppable in sharing their craft with your mates. For roughly $60 your new favourite jeans are custom altered to fit you, making for the perfect fit just for you.
Show Off Your Wisdom
If your pop culture knowledge had you powering through Trivial Pursuit as a youngling it’s time to show off that prowess at the bar. Head to trivia at The Local Taphouse on a Sunday evening and you could walk out with the $100 prize. The perfect curtain call to your weekend with mates.
If you’re after fast, cheap and absolutely delicious food, Japanese takeout is the way to go. For less then a tenner you’ll be devouring a bento box filled with all the essentials, fresh fish, rice and mouth watering sauces. Get yourself to Don Tojo, it’s literally a warehouse turned kitchen. The food is sublime and the music brings some chill vibes to the eating experiences.
For a city where art is celebrated with fervour, you’d expect nothing less than a stellar lineup of free galleries. No matter your artistic preference there’s a free exhibition for you. Start at the mainstays, NGV and State Library of Victoria, for the grandeur and architectural prowess then make your way onto the more niche options. Known for celebrating local up and comers a stop at the Centre for Contemporary Photography and Sutton Gallery is well worth the trip.
Catch An Indie Flick
With a number of foreign film festivals rambling through town at any given time, Melbourne is the spot to channel your inner film student. Analyse the cinematography and composition or just gorge yourself on popcorn, totally up to you. Our pick of indie spots is The Astor Theatre, showing a mix of new releases and cult classics all in the wondrous art deco building.
Hit The Books
Offering a stellar roster of events, The Wheeler Centre is for writers and readers alike. Celebrate the literary arts and revel with other book worms over plots and platitudes. Expanding your mind one discussion at a time.
Step To New Heights
1000 steps is not an exaggeration. The Dandenong Ranges is a hiking trail worthy of it’s ginormous numerical name. Lace up and head bush for a stellar workout amongst the greenery.
Fill Your Basket
Rose St Market plays host to all things handmade, a wonderful smorgasbord of DIY wonders. Make a stop at the artisan market and pick up unique bits and bobs a plenty. If you’re all about one-offs and single run stunners then this is the stop for you.
Fire, Fire, Fire
Warm up this winter with an array of fire breathing performers, dancers, drummers and musicians. The Docklands Firelight Festival takes the traditions of a winter solstice and combines this with a modern celebration of arts, music, food, fire and fun. Impressive fire displays will take place each night of the festival. So take to the streets for this free event, embrace the crowds and be prepared for some grand spectacles.
Image source: Weekend Notes, Trivago, Visit Melbourne, Wheeler Centre, Astor Theatre Blog, Broadsheet, Robin Fox, Hummingbird Away, Onya Magazine, Flickr, Tourism Australia, City of Melbourne.