Melbourne, Australia offers a number of free attractions. Here's a sampling of things to do that shouldn't cost any money but call ahead to make sure nothing's changed before you head out with empty pockets. You might also want to spend in some of the delightful shops.
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The City Circle Tram is more a way to travel to a number of central Melbourne's sightseeing attractions for free. It provides a "hop-on-hop-off" service to places like Federation Square, Old Treasury Building, Parliament House and Princess Theatre. You'll be treated to a running commentary, too, as you pass or stop at places of historical, cultural or architectural significance. The tram is joined by the Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle, a free hop-on-hop-off shuttle bus service on another Melbourne city circuit.
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Flinders St Station is a major landmark in central Melbourne and it's also a popular place to meet. With its Victorian architecture and striking, large clock faces and built in the late 19th century, it's said to be the busiest suburban railway station in the southern hemisphere. Its striking architecture maintains the city's link with the past even as it sits cheek by jowl with the contrasting 21st century Federation Square.
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Federation Square sits across the street from Flinders St Station, right along the route of the free Melbourne City Circle Tram. Both Flinders St Station and Federation Square have distinctive—if contrasting—architectural styles. Browse through the shops and galleries, particularly at Federation Square.
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The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia
The Ian Potter Centre is home to the National Gallery of Victoria's Australian art collection, said to be the largest in the world. Admission to the permanent collection is free, but fees may apply to special exhibitions. The Ian Potter Centre is located in Federation Square.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Australian Centre for the Moving Image
Visit the Australian Centre for the Moving Image while you're at Federation Square. It offers a Screen Gallery and a large collection of exhibits pertaining to Australian screen-based art, including film, video, television, interactive installations and computer animation. Admission is free.
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National Gallery of Victoria
Located on St Kilda Rd, the National Gallery of Victoria contains Victoria's extensive international collections, showcasing the works of some of the biggest names in international art. The Australian collection is located in Federation Square at The Ian Potter Centre. General entry is free, although fees may apply to special visiting exhibitions.
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Royal Botanic Gardens offer 35 hectares (86 acres) of extensively landscaped grounds featuring thousands of plants from across Australia and around the world. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through a variegated landscape of plants, shrubs, and trees. Free guided walks or self-guided audio walks are available.
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Queen Victoria Market
The southern hemisphere's largest open-air market, the Queen Victoria Market offers fresh farm produce and a variety of merchandise. It's a modern Arabian Nights bazaar and a historic Melbourne landmark dating back more than 120 years.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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