Melbourne Free Walking Tour
- 5/5 Stars Based on 400+ Reviews
The Free Tour, which operates on a pay-what-you-feel basis, is the Melbourne walk that made us famous
Friendly local guide
Pay What You Feel
Melbourne’s Top-Rated Tour
- Risk-free tour — don’t like it, don’t pay
- Frequent availability
- Rated #1 on TripAdvisor
- No boring history — we cover culture, coffee, and how to make the most of Melbourne
- End your tour at a quintessential Australian pub for a drink and further tips from your guide
Free Melbourne Walking Tour Summary
Want to try a walking tour, but not sure if it’s worth the money? The Melbourne “Free Walking Tour” is for you. Designed as a best-in-class tour, we only take money voluntarily given after the tour has been experienced. Love your guide? Loved it? Give your guide a killer tip! Didn’t enjoy it? No worries, you won’t be pressured to tip.
To compensate for the risk involved in operating this way, your group size will be a bit larger — around 30 people — but our guides are trained to make you feel safe and looked after throughout the tour.
Explore the rich history of Melbourne, through its lavish buildings, intricate laneways and diverse architecture. Take in the ever-changing street art and learn of it’s unique community that keeps the city’s streets so vibrant.
Our guide will entertain you with stories of Melbourne’s humble beginnings to the Gold Rush era that changed everything. Explore Chinatown and discover Melbourne’s multicultural edge. Hear us brag about Melbourne Coffee and then deliver the goods, as we stop by one of Melbourne’s best cafés so you can experience it for yourself! Finish up like a fair dinkum Aussie – at a pub of course! Our guide will join you for a drink and help you with any questions or advice on places to visit while you’re in Melbourne.
If you loved your tour, you’ll be invited to pay by cash or card whatever you thought the tour was worth.
Melbourne Free Tour Full Description
Our experienced local guide for the Melbourne Free Walking Tour will be there to greet you at Gordon Reserve. The perfect place to start amongst eye-catching buildings. Together with a group they will give a brief introduction before kicking off the tour by learning about the beginnings of Melbourne – how the modern city came to be, the indigenous culture present for many thousands of years before. Learn of the population booms of Melbourne – how it came to be so big, and the immigrants who have shaped the city.
The exact schedule depends on the day and the guide, but they will you can expect to see and learn about a selection of the following:
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!
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.
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 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.
Friendly, Experienced Guide
Like-minded, curious participants
Name your price
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.
What To Bring on Your Melbourne Free Tour
- Weather-Appropriate Clothing: Melbourne is known for having four seasons in one day, please come prepared
- 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.
- Sun Protection: We recommend putting on sunscreen and bringing sunglasses and a hat to stay protected and comfortable.
Melbourne Free 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
Melbourne Free Tour FAQs
3 hours from your start time. Make sure to leave time to join us for a meal at the end, too!
Our Melbourne free walking tour will run 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.
If you think our tour is awful, then by all means, please leave at your leisure.
We do ask that if you join you commit to 3 hours though. Let’s be fully transparent about this — we only operate as a business when guests reach the end point and pay what they think the tour is worth.
We offer frequent departures, so if you have a doctor’s appointment, job interview or flight to catch that interrupts the tour, we ask that you try to come to another departure.
Popularised in Europe, the “Free Walking Tour” concept 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.
The trade-off is that we only run the tour at set times and aim to have group sizes of 20-30.
Our guides work hard to deliver the best tour imaginable. If you love your guide, we invite you to tip them at the end of the tour.
View All FAQs
Because we don’t charge for this tour, it’s a fine art we’ve crafted at forecasting the number of people. We’re usually pretty good at it, with group sizes typically being 20-30. Sometimes it’s more, sometimes it’s less.
If you want a small group, we invite you to check out our Complete Melbourne Tour.
This tour was built for independent guests such as solo travellers, couples and families.
If you’re a group organiser (like a teacher, office party planner, or language school) we ask that you book a private tour for your organisation. Reserve your tour here!
We find organised groups are disruptive to our standard tour, and we will turn away any organised groups that arrive without previously speaking to us.
Expect to walk about 3km during the tour.
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.
Enough reading, come join a tour and see what all the fuss is about...
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