This Australian city is an attractive spot for backpackers, being a local, national and international tourist destination. From this came the idea of writing an article about the best hostels in Melbourne.
Melbourne is the capital of Victoria and the second-largest city in Australia, with a population of about five million people. It offers many attractions, from historic buildings and museums to galleries and gardens, sports events, and nightlife.
Melbourne has attracted backpackers from all over the world because it has a lot to offer. From the cultural sophistication of its cafes and restaurants to the iconic sporting events it hosts every year, Melbourne has something for everyone. This is reflected in its architecture, which ranges from grand Victorian buildings to modern skyscrapers.
The city is also known for its vibrant music scene. It has been described as “Australia’s rock ‘n’ roll capital”, with a thriving live music scene that features both local and international acts. Backpackers can also enjoy food, fashion, and fun in its famous laneways – narrow alleyways that wind through the CBD (Central Business District) and are full of cafes that Melbourne locals enjoy.
In this article, I’ll tell you about the three best hostels in Melbourne, but I’ll also give you a few tips on how to make the most of your time in this city that is considered one of the most liveable cities on earth.
How Long to Stay in Melbourne
How long do you need to visit Melbourne? I would say at least 4 days. This time should be enough to visit all the main tourist attractions in relative tranquility while enjoying a good meal or shopping here and there.
While it’s true that Melbourne can be done in a weekend, if you want to see more than the city center and have time to explore the nearby Yarra Valley wine region, Port Phillip Bay beaches, or the Great Ocean Road, then you will need more time.
What to Do in Melbourne
If you only have 3 days, then try to fit these top tourist attractions into your Melbourne itinerary:
Catch a tram: Melbourne’s trams are free in the CBD and Docklands. Hop on and off and enjoy a look around at the sights such as Federation Square and Queen Victoria Market.
Visit Melbourne’s Arcades and Laneways: Melbourne’s oldest arcade, the magnificent Royal Arcade, is well worth a visit, as are Flinders and Degraves Lanes. Do you want to be certain you visit all of the hotspots? Sightseeing walking tours of the lanes and alleyways are offered by a number of firms. From the maze of backstreets, cozy cafés beckon. It’s a popular Melbourne habit to get a coffee, take up a chair, and people-watch for a while.
See Flinders Street Station: This is the hub of Melbourne. The station is a beautiful building that was built in 1910 and blends many different architectural styles including Italian Renaissance and art deco.
After visiting all that, you may continue your journey by heading, for example, to Thailand. If this is the case, you should read our Bangkok backpacker’s guide.
Why Melbourne Is Better Than Sydney
Melbourne is much more dynamic than Sydney, it has more of a European feel than any other Australian city, and it is known for its excellent restaurants and cafés, Victorian architecture, extensive trams network, street art, cultural heritage, nightlife, and its many festivals.
But when we compare the two largest Australian cities, what Makes Melbourne better than Sydney?
1) Melbourne is Australia’s undisputed cultural capital. Sydney may have the Opera House, but Melbourne has its own unique architectural style, heritage architecture, and street art.
2) It features more Victorian-era architecture than Sydney, which has fewer historical buildings.
3) There are more public transportation options to get around Melbourne than in Sydney.
4) The costs are lower in Melbourne than in Sydney
5) Melbourne has great events all year round. From the Spring Racing Carnival to the world-famous Australian Open Tennis Tournament, you can always find something exciting going on, no matter what time of year you’re visiting.
6)Melbourne’s climate is milder. The city doesn’t get as hot in summer as Sydney.
Where to Stay in Melbourne
The Best Hostels in Melbourne for Solo Travellers
Queen Victoria Hostel
Queen Victoria Hostel is located in downtown Melbourne, 1.3 kilometers from the State Library of Victoria and 1.5 km from the Melbourne City Conference Centre. It features a bar and a communal lounge, as well as free WiFi. The property is well-positioned in the North Melbourne region, 2.2 kilometers from Marvel Stadium and 2.3 kilometers from St Paul’s Cathedral. Guests will have access to a communal kitchen as well as luggage storage.
Every room has a shared bathroom with a shower, and some rooms also have a kitchenette with a microwave.
Melbourne Museum, Princess Theatre, and Block Arcade Melbourne are all popular places to visit near the hostel. Essendon Fields Airport is 12 kilometers away from Queen Victoria Hostel.
Selina Central Melbourne
Selina Melbourne is located on Flinders Street, overlooking the Yarra River, in the heart of Melbourne’s core business area. There are lots of locations to visit around, whether you’re searching for fashionable stores, bohemian cafés, or exciting pubs. The Rod Laver Arena and the world-class Crown Casino are both by 5-minute tram trip from Selina, as are St Paul’s Cathedral and Federation Square.
Do you want to go to the beach? Barkly Backpackers is about a 5-minute walk away from the nearest beach. Do you want to spend a day in the city? You can get there in 20 minutes if you take the tram. Within a five-minute walk of the hostel are three big supermarkets. Do you enjoy cooking? They’ve got an oven! They also provide complimentary breakfast!
Free tea and coffee are available all day, every day. They offer FREE washing powder on hand to make your clothes smell clean and fresh. Even better, they provide FREE unlimited WiFi to all of their visitors! Watch a movie, phone home, and make plans for your next vacation. Their kitchen and living spaces are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Flinders Backpackers: Budget-Friendly and Fun
For those looking to save money without compromising on fun, Flinders Backpackers is an excellent choice.
This cheap hostel is known for its free pancake breakfast and free walking tours, adding value to your stay and providing opportunities to explore Melbourne without breaking the bank. The dorm rooms are comfortable and well-maintained, providing a cozy retreat after a day of sightseeing.
The common room is a great place to meet other travelers, share stories, and plan your next adventure. Its location near Flinders Street Station makes it a convenient base for exploring Melbourne, with many of the city’s top attractions just a short walk or tram ride away.
Melbourne City Backpackers: A Home Away From Home
The Melbourne City Backpackers offers a homely environment for solo travelers and groups alike. With a variety of dorm rooms and private rooms, it caters to all types of travelers, whether you’re looking for a shared experience or a bit of privacy.
The rooms are clean and comfortable, providing a home away from home in the heart of the city. The free breakfast and free Wi-Fi are added bonuses, helping you start your day right and stay connected during your travels.
The hostel is located near Southern Cross Station, making it a convenient base for your Melbourne adventures. The friendly staff are always on hand to provide tips and recommendations, ensuring you make the most of your stay.
Other Tips For Backpackers Travelling to Melbourne and Looking for a Hostel
1. Understanding Your Needs: Choosing the Right Hostel
When planning your trip to Melbourne, it’s crucial to understand your needs and preferences to choose the right hostel. Are you a solo traveler looking for a fun hostel environment to meet new friends? Or are you a group of friends seeking a private room for more privacy?
Perhaps you’re a budget traveler looking for the cheapest hostels with basic amenities. Melbourne offers a wide range of hostels, from party hostels like the Base St Kilda to more relaxed and quiet options like the Melbourne Central YHA Hostel. It’s also worth considering the hostel’s location. If you want to be in the heart of the action, choose a hostel in the Melbourne CBD or close to the Flinders Street Station. If you prefer a more laid-back vibe, consider hostels in suburbs like St Kilda or Brunswick.
2. Amenities and Services: What to Look For
When choosing a hostel, pay attention to the amenities and services it offers. Most Melbourne hostels offer free Wi-Fi, laundry facilities, and communal areas like a lounge or a kitchen.
Some hostels go the extra mile by offering free breakfast, on-site bars, and even movie nights. If you’re traveling during Australia’s summer, make sure the hostel has air conditioning. For those who value privacy, look for hostels offering private bathrooms. If you’re planning to stay in Melbourne for a while, consider hostels that offer long-term stays and paid opportunities for working holiday visa holders.
3. Exploring Melbourne: Location is Key
Melbourne is a vibrant city with lots to explore, so the location of your hostel is key. If you want to be in the heart of the city, consider staying in a hostel in the Melbourne CBD.
This area is home to many attractions, including the National Gallery of Victoria, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and the Bourke Street Mall. It’s also within the free tram zone, making it easy to explore the city. If you prefer a beach vibe, consider staying in St Kilda, a suburb known for its vibrant nightlife and proximity to the beach. For a more bohemian vibe, consider Brunswick, known for its music venues and eclectic shops.
4. Making the Most of Your Stay: Engage in Hostel Activities
One of the best ways to make the most of your hostel stay is to engage in hostel activities. Many hostels in Melbourne offer fun free events like BBQ nights, pub crawls, and movie nights.
These events are a great way to meet other travelers and make new friends. Some hostels also offer free walking tours, which are a great way to explore Melbourne and learn about its history and culture. If you’re a digital nomad, look for hostels that offer work mode facilities, allowing you to combine work and travel.
5. Booking Your Hostel: Tips for a Smooth Experience
When booking your hostel, it’s important to read guest reviews and check the hostel’s policies. Look for hostels with flexible check-in times, especially if you’re arriving in Melbourne early in the morning or late at night.
It’s also worth checking if the hostel offers luggage storage if you plan to explore the city after check-out. Remember, Melbourne is a popular destination, so it’s advisable to book your hostel in advance, especially during peak travel seasons. Happy travels!
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Levi Borba is the founder of the Expatriate Consultancy, creator of the channel Small Business Hacks and the channel The Expat, and a best-selling author. Some of the links in the article may be affiliate links, which means the author receives a commission on any purchases made by readers.