Melbourne Free Walking Tour
Learn about the history and events that made Melbourne into the cultural capital of Australia as you weave your way through the laneways, arcades, and main Melbourne attractions.
Do I need to pre-book?
To please our insurance providers, we require bookings from everyone. If you don’t arrive with a booking, we will ask you to register before joining a tour.
Don’t worry if you change your mind — you can always rebook for another day.
• Understand the implications of the massive 1800’s Gold Rush here and some historic buildings and arcades erected in that period
• Learn about how Melbourne became one of the most multicultural cities in the world
• Uncover unique and hidden laneways and street art
• Learn about the food, music, theatre, and bars that make us one of the best cities in the world!
Melbourne Free Walking Tour Overview
On our Melbourne free walking tour, you will spend a few hours exploring the CBD, seeing historical buildings, learning about history, marveling at street art in laneways, browsing through arcades, and exploring Chinatown. Our guides weave together a comprehensive picture about Melbourne throughout history until today, and all the things that make it the ‘most liveable city in the world.’
Try a famous Melbourne coffee within the first hour, and in true Aussie fashion, end the tour at a pub. But this isn’t just any old pub – it’s the oldest and most historic pub in Melbourne, where the tour ends over a delicious Aussie pub meal with the opportunity for further recommendations for the rest of your time here in Melbourne.
This Melbourne free walking tour runs on a ‘Pay-What-You-Feel’ model. Love your guide? Give them a killer tip! Don’t love your guide? No worries — you’ll never be pressured to tip.
Melbourne Free Walking Tour Full Description
After meeting your guide (look for the blue umbrella!) and group at the Gordon Reserve, get together for an introduction before beginning a journey through the history and culture of Melbourne. Start the Melbourne free walking tour by learning about the Victorian Gold Rush and marveling at historic buildings around our start point, then get going into the city to gain a deeper understanding of what we consider the most amazing city in the world.
The exact itinerary will be determined by your guide, but you can expect to see and learn about a selection of the following:Continue Reading...
Gold Rush Architecture + History: Stand in awe of some historic buildings that were constructed during the Victorian Gold Rush – one of the largest in history. This time set Melbourne’s foundations for a bustling and multi-cultural city.
Melbourne Laneways + Street Art: Perhaps one of the things Melbourne is most famous for, the small alleyways or ‘laneways’ running through the city are filled with amazing street art, hidden bars, delicious restaurants, and authentic cafes.
Melbourne Arcades: Browse through some of the oldest arcades in Australia – but not the kind with games! Revel at some high-ceilinged, beautifully designed historic arcades which house quirky shops and restaurants.
Chinatown: Walk through one of the oldest Chinatowns in the world, and make note to come back for some dumplings!
Melbourne Coffee: Stop to try an authentic Melbourne coffee on your tour! Your guide will tell you all about Australian coffee culture, then you can decide if you’d like to try a classic Aussie ‘flat white,’ ‘long black,’ or more!
Old Melbourne Gaol: This is how they used to spell ‘jail,’ believe it or not! Wrap up your tour at the site of the execution of Australia’s most famous bush ranger, Ned Kelly.
Upon the conclusion of the Melbourne free walking tour at the Old Melbourne Gaol, you are invited to pay what you think the tour has been worth.
Popularised in Europe, the “Free Walking Tour” makes city tours accessible to anyone, regardless of schedule or budget. Our guides work hard to deliver the best tour imaginable. If you think your guide has accomplished this, you are welcome to bring a bit of cash to tip them at the end of the tour, or they can also accept credit card payments.
Laneways + Street Art
What To Bring on Your Melbourne Free Walking Tour
• Your Camera: If you’d like to take photos and make memories all over our amazing city – which we highly recommend!
• Water: It’s a good idea to bring a water bottle with you on the tour, especially on warmer days. There is a fountain to refill your bottle at the start point, and others along the way.
• Comfortable Shoes: We will walk about 3km, so make sure you wear comfortable clothing and shoes in preparation to be on your feet for a few hours.
• Cash or Credit: As mentioned above, this is a pay-what-you-feel tour. You are invited to tip your guide at the end of the tour.
• Sun Protection: The Australian sun is strong. We recommend putting on sunscreen and bringing sunglasses and a hat to stay protected and comfortable.
Your tour begins at Gordon Reserve (74-108 Spring St). This is a park with a fountain located between the Parliament and Old Treasury Buildings.
Melbourne Free Walking Tour Reviews
“I highly recommend this city walk with Mark who makes the whole experience of discovering the Melbourne city entertaining and insightful.”Freda G.
“Kelly was a fun, knowledgeable and entertaining guide! She brought Melbourne to life! No one will be disappointed with her as their leader!!”Roam01745069577
“Max our tour guide created good context for outsiders looking in to Melbourne. He has a cool way of sharing the history and culture of Melbourne through his spellbounding ways.”Sigrid S.
“It was a really good tour with lot of information about Melbourne, the history, the sights and more. Really interesting and not to long. I enjoyed the tour through Melbourne.”Passenger36616108385
Our Melbourne free walking tour will run each day, at 11am and 3pm, rain or shine! We’re pretty good at making our way through the city under shelter, but make sure to still bring an umbrella and weather-appropriate clothing.
You can expect the tour to last 2-3 hours from your start time. Make sure to leave time to join us for a meal at the end, too!
We encourage you to find a day that you can attend the whole tour from start to finish. We have created the Melbourne free walking tour as a comprehensive Melbourne experience, and we want you to be able to experience all of it.
We will remain at the start point for 5-10 minutes after the tour’s starting time to provide an introduction. If you’ll be later than that, we would advise you to join the next tour – 11am and 3pm daily.
Popularised in Europe, the “Free Walking Tour” model makes city tours accessible to anyone, regardless of schedule or budget. Rather than having you pay a lump sum up front for a tour, these tours are free for you to join and simply operate on a pay-what-you-think-it’s-worth basis.
Our guides work hard to deliver the best tour imaginable. If you love your guide and learn a lot, we invite you to bring a bit of cash to tip them at the end of the tour.
Your walking tour will weave through Melbourne’s CBD, or Central Business District (downtown). You can expect to see historic Victorian buildings, street art-covered or restaurant-filled laneways, old shopping arcades, Bourke Street mall, Chinatown, and the Old Melbourne Gaol.
You will stop for a famous Melbourne coffee, learn about different museums, gain an understanding of the history that shaped Melbourne, and have the chance to try an Aussie pub meal.
We end at a pub for a few reasons:
• The food is phenomenal – you can try classic Australian pub food
• It’s the oldest and most historic pub in Melbourne
• It’s warm and cozy in the winter/air conditioned in the summer
• We get together at and have a meal over some final Melbourne recommendations
And most importantly, we will mark out on a map the route we walked and any points of interest mentioned, and talk through the rest of the city and surrounding suburbs with more attractions, restaurants and bars to visit.
We want to have a chance to sit down with everyone and make sure they feel confident about the rest of their time in Melbourne and choose the perfect activities for their interests/time. This is when you’ll get one-on-one time with your guide and personalised recommendations from a local.
Expect to walk about 3km during the tour.
Other Melbourne Tours
Uncover Hidden Laneway Bars
Visit Melbourne’s legendary laneway bars with a guide who will show you all the tips and tricks for finding the best drinks in town.
Urban Wilderness Tour
Hop on a boat in the Royal Botanic Garden, go wildlife spotting, and conduct citizen science for on the Yarra River.