quinta-feira, 16 de junho de 2011

Mini-guide to visit Melbourne/Australia for free

Melbourne is known as an expensive city, and it may be if you don’t know the tips below:

1) Take the free city circle tram:
To go around the city, you can take a free city circle tram, and visit Federation Square, Carlton (Italian neighborhood), Harbour Esplanade, State Library of Victoria, Melbourne Aquarium, Old Melbourne Gaol (for crime and justice experience), Parliament House, the Immigration Museum, Etihad Statium, among others. You can take this tram as much as you want; stop by any sightseeing and then take it to the next one. Free city circle trams run every 12 minutes from 9am to 6pm (except Good Friday and Christmas) and it stops at Flinders Street, Harbour Esplanade, Docklands Drive, La Trobe Street, Victoria St, Nicholson St, and Spring Street.

2) Take the city tourist shuttle:
To reach other sightseeing such as Queen Victoria Market, Art Centre, Lygon St (where you will find lots of Italian restaurants and cafes), Fitzroy Gardens, China Town, Royal Botanic Gardens, among others, you can take the city tourist shuttle, which stops at Flinders St on the corner of Swanston St. And it is also free of charge.

3) Free events and information booth at Federation Square:
Before taking the city tourist shuttle you may visit a free exhibition at ACMI (Australian Centre for Moving Image) or get more tourist information at Federation Square where there is an information booth waiting for you.

4) Stop at Victorian Market:
After hanging around you may get hungry, so if you haven’t stopped at Victorian Market, it will be time, get some fruits and go back to your own tour.

5) Hungry and broke?
Stop at Swanston St. and La Trobe, go to an Asian restaurant, at Swanston Street, and have a big meal for less than AU$10, or find a vegetarian food for AU$7.50 (all you can eat) at 123 Swanston St, from Mon-Sat, 11:30 am to 3.30pm.

6) Go to State Library of Victoria to check emails:
After your lunch you may want to relax or check your emails. Then go to the State Library of Victoria, at the corner of Swanston St and La Trobe St, and find out a great location for those who need a place and internet for free. If you bring your computer, you can access internet as much as you want; if you don’t, you can get a computer for 15 minutes (and you can repeat it as long as none is waiting on the line). Printing is also possible, but you have to pay AU$0.15 per page. The Library also provides movies sessions and courses for free, check it out.

7) Garden State:
Victoria is known as a garden state. So, Melbourne is a town surrounded by parks. If you feel like losing yourself in a fabulous green area, go to Royal Botanic Gardens at Domain Road. Of course, it is free entry.

8) Bike & helmet:
If you want to spend some money, rent a city bicycle for AU$2.5 per day. But, please, don’t forget your helmet (or you will pay an expensive fine). You can get a cheap helmet at Seven Eleven for AU$5 and get AU$3 refund if you give it back.

9) Coffee, newspaper and festivals:
Go for a coffee at Degraves St near Flinders Station and check at the newspaper what are the free exhibitions, festivals, or shows on the week. For coffee lovers, Market Lane offers a range of grains and a coffee tasting (AU$12), at Parhran Market, at Commercial Road (tram n.72 will take you there) . For those who would like to see more of Melbourne underground, go to Brunswick Street, there are heaps of cafés and pubs. 

10) Souvenirs:
If you feel like buying souvenirs, you can go to traditional shops, at Swanston St, or to "op shop" (opportunity shop); there are some of them at Chapel St, where you will find all sorts of things for a little price.

11) Airport & Skybus:
And If you haven’t got at the Melbourne airport while reading this, please, save some money and take an A$15 bus (called Skybus) to reach downtown from the airport.

Enjoy your stay and g'day!
ps: attention! In Australia a hotel can be a bar and motel can be a hotel.

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