Walks 101's

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.

5/5 Stars Based on 2300+ Reviews

Departs Daily
Start Time: 11am & 3pm
Starting Point: See Below
Languages: English & Spanish

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.

Quick Look

  • Experience parts of Melbourne you wouldn’t otherwise find
  • 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
  • Try a real Melbourne Coffee + learn why we are the coffee capital of the world, and an authentic Aussie pub meal
  • 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 ‘em 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 schedule depends on the day and the guide, but you can expect to see and learn about a selection of the following:

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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.

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Highlights

Laneways + Street Art

Historic Arcades

Melbourne Coffee

What To Bring on Your Melbourne Free Walking Tour

  • Weather-Appropriate Clothing: Melbourne is known for having four seasons in one day, please come prepared. Make sure to check the weather for the whole day (trust us on this).
  • Your Camera: If you’d like to take photos and make memories all over our amazing city – which we highly recommend!
  • Water – It would be a good idea to bring a water bottle with you on the tour, especially on warmer days.
  • Comfortable Shoes/Clothing: It’s called a walking tour for a reason! Make sure you wear comfortable clothing and shoes, in preparation to be on your feet for a few hours.
  • Cash: As mentioned above, this is a pay-what-you-feel based tour. You are invited to tip your guide at the end of the tour in cash.
  • Sun Protection: Our Australian sun is VERY strong, and walking around the city for 2-3 hours will definitely expose you to some sun. We recommend putting on sunscreen and bringing sunglasses and a hat to stay protected and comfortable.

Starting Point

Your tour begins at Gordon Reserve (74-108 Spring St) – this is a park with a fountain and is located between the Parliament and Old Treasury Buildings.

Melbourne Free Walking Tour Reviews

FAQs

What if it rains? Hails? Thunderstorms?

Although all three of these things are not entirely out of the question in this city, 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, if we do say so ourselves. But, make sure to still bring an umbrella and weather-appropriate clothing.

How Long is the Tour?

You can expect the tour to last 2-3 hours from your start time. Make sure to leave a bit of time for a meal at the end, too!

Can I leave early?

We would appreciate if you can 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. You wouldn’t leave a movie theater before the end, would you?! 😉

What if I am late?

We recommend arriving a few minutes early so you don’t miss any of the introduction. We will remain at the start point for 5-10 minutes after the tour’s starting time. If you’ll be later than that, we would advise you to join the next tour – 11am and 3pm daily.

How does the free tour model work?

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.

What will I see on 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.

Why do we end at a pub? What is it like?

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 give out free tour maps at the end to each person, go over the route we walked on tour and any points of interest mentioned, and go through the rest of the city and surrounding suburbs filling them up with recommendations.

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.

How much walking will there be?

Expect to walk about 3km during the tour.

Can I bring my school group/office/etc?

We recommend that you book a private tour for your organisation if there are more than 10 people. We can tailor 3-hour private tours to your specific needs and interests. Reserve your tour here!

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