Where to Crash
There are three things to consider when seeking out a good crash site: 1) is the hostel in stumbling distance from the pub? 2) Is it near public transport? 3) Is it cheap? Most hostels offer discounted weekly rates, so ask when you check in.
Flinders Station Hotel Backpacker – 35 Elizabeth St; Ph 03 9620 5100
A fantastic location in the midst of the cafÙ and shopping district, just a few minutes walk from Southbank. This hostel has its own bar as well as $5 meals Mondays to Fridays, free breakfast and one hour free internet on arrival. It’s only a short walk from Flinders St station. www.flindersbackpackers.com.au
Backpackers United Melbourne 250 Flinders St Ph: 03 9654 2616
Melbourne’s newest backpackers, Opposite Flinders Station, a fantastic location ! This place is modern, sparkling clean, has fantastic staff, top notch security and the best pillows in town! Great value for money and an awesome vibe, all right in the heart of Melbourne. www.unitedbackpackers.com.au
Discovery Melbourne - 167 Franklin St, City; 1800 645 200
This sociable hostel has a rooftop garden an in-house cinema and a vibrant bar
with pool, live bands, and karaoke. It is close to the Queen Victoria Market. Near
Elizabeth St trams 19, 57 and 59. www.discoverymelbourne.com
Melbourne Central YHA - 562 Flinders St ; Ph 03 9621 2523
This hostel has an energetic buzz, it has fantastic roof top views and is located around the corner from Southern Cross Station. Facilities include compact kitchens and lounges, electronic door locks, flat screen TVs and a YHA Connect internet cafe with WiFi. www.yha.com.au
The Space Hotel – 380 Russell St; Ph 1800 670 611
This flashpackers hostel is located on the corner of McKenzie and Russell sts, opposite the Old Melbourne Gaol. It has iPod-docking stations, secure lockers, private reading lights, a gym, a swim spa and outstanding rooftop views of Melbourne. www.spacehotel.com.au
Urban Central Backpackers – 334 City Rd; Ph 1800 631 288
Bright, white and multi-storied, this bustling hostel is the place to meet fellow travellers. It has a free meal every Monday night and won the 2009 Golden Backpack award for the best Hostel in Victoria. www.urbancentral.com.au.
Nomads Industry - 196-198 A’Beckett St, City Ph 03 9328 4383
This five-storey hostel is located near to the Queen Victoria Market. It features a
rooftop sundeck, girls only princess wing ,and a free drink on arrival.
All Nations Backpackers – 2 Spencer St; Ph 1800 739 989
Just a three-minute walk from Southern Cross Station (on the corner of Flinders St), you’ll receive a free beer or wine on arrival to this hostel. They also dish out free breakfast. www.nomadshostels.com
Melbourne Connection Travellers Hostel - 205 King Street Ph 03) 9642 4464
Located within a five- to 10-minute walk from Queen Victoria Market, on the left hand corner of Little Bourke and King sts. There’s free luggage storage, tea and coffee as well as clean bed linen when you check in. www.melbourneconnection.com
King St Backpackers - 197-199 King St, City Ph 1800 671 115
Situated just 200 metres from Southern Cross Station, guests enjoy a free daily breakfast, free Internet access and free pasta on Wednesday evenings.
Melbourne International Backpackers – 450 Elizabeth St; Ph 1800 557 891
A lively place with trivia nights on Thursdays as well as Comed-oke, a mixture of comedy and karaoke. www.mibp.com.au
Elizabeth Hostel – Level 1 - 490 Elizabeth St; Ph 1800 611 897
This hostel is opposite the Queen Victoria market. www.elizabethhostel.com.au
Greenhouse Backpackers – 6/228 Flinders Lane; Ph 1800 249 207
This hostel is located in the heart of Melbourne and has free unlimited WIFI for 24 hours as well as daily breakfast, a rooftop terrace with cityviews. It’s only a short walk from Flinders Street station.. www.friendlygroup.com.au
Exford Hotel – 199 Russell St; Ph 03 9663 2697
Built in 1854, this historic pub offers a variety of dormitory-style rooms as well as twins and doubles. The hotel boasts two levels of bars that serve a wide range of local and imported beers. www.exfordhotel.com.au
Home @ The Mansion – 80 Victoria Pde; Ph 03 9663 4212
This is a small and personal hostel set in a heritage building and located near the city centre. There’s a big garden, WiFi and Internet access, complimentary theme nights (wine and cheese nights, for example) and a BBQ area. www.homemansion.com.au
St Kilda Beach House – 109 Barkly St; Ph 1800 551 271
The pub incorporated into this hostel serves cheap meals on weeknights; on Wednesdays it’s Parma Clock. It has a rooftop garden and is a five-minute walk from the beach. www.stkildabeachhouse.com
On Safari: Catch tram 96 and get off at McDonalds in Acland Street. Walk down Fawkner Street; they’re on the corner of Fawkner and Barkly sts.
Base – 17 Carlisle St; Ph 1800 242 273
The bright red facade of this hostel is hard to miss and reflects the liveliness of this place. It’s near Acland and Fitzroy sts and is a short walk to St Kilda beach. There’s a girls only luxury sanctuary floor. Don’t miss Thursday nights at the Red Eye Bar. www.stayatbase.com
On Safari: Catch trams 16 or 79.
Coffee Palace - 24 Grey St, St Kilda; Ph 1800 654098
Located conveniently near the tram stop and around the corner from all the action in St Kilda, this hostel is run by young local people and has a great vibe, roof top BBQs, table tennis and $3 beers. www.coffeepalacebackpackers.com.au
On Safari: Near tram routes 16 and 96.
Ritz Backpackers – 169b Fitzroy St; Ph 1800 670 364
This hostel has a traditional English pub downstairs where the famous Neighbours Trivia night is held every Monday (hosted by yours truly). Free hot pancake breakfasts daily, free wine and cheese nights, free bike hire, BBQ nights and free Wi-fi in every room. www.ritzbackpackers.com
On Safari: Catch tram 16 from Swanston St and get off at stop 132.
Habitat HQ - 333 St Kilda Road, St Kilda, Melbourne (between Inkerman & Carlisle Street). Freecall to book 1800 202 500
This place was winner of the Best Backpacker in Victoria in 2010. It has dorms and private motel style rooms with en-suites & TV’s. Free Wi-Fi or one hour Internet and free breakfast daily, free use of guitars and daily activities. www.habitathq.com.au.
On Safari: Catch a direct tram from Swanston St to the doorstep on trams 3, or 67. Get off at stop 34.
Home Travellers Motel – 32 Carlisle St; Ph 1800 008 718
With regular Sunday night BBQs and free wine and cheese nights every Wednesday, you may be too full to play table tennis or darts. The hostel is just across from Barkly St on the left. www.hometravellersmotel.com.au
On Safari: From Southern Cross Station on Spencer St, catch tram 96 and get off at the McDonalds stop.
Oslo Hotel - 38 Grey St, St Kilda Ph 1800 501 752
This hostel is centrally located in St Kilda, close to Fitzroy St and Acland St.
On Safari: Catch tram 16 or 79 to Fitzroy Street and get of at Grey Street.
22 Travellers accommodations, 22 Chapel Street, Windsor Ph 03 9533 6855
This hostel is located in the groovy Windsor end of Chapel Street with loads of bars restaurants and cafÙs; it’s only five minutes walk from St Kilda. They offer free breakfast with a bottomless cup of coffee, 24-hour access, lockers, free linen, luggage and mail holding services. www.csbackpackers.com.au
On Safari: Catch the Sandringham train from the city; Windsor train station is less than 10 minutes from the CBD.
Pint on Punt Hotel – 42 Punt Rd; Ph 1800 835 000
Guest privileges include discounted beer and cheap main meals in the hotel bistro. There’s karaoke on Wednesday nights and pub bands during other times. www.pintonpunt.com.au
On Safari: Catch tram 96 from Southern Cross Station, getting off at Fitzroy St. Walk to the end and cross over at the traffic lights. Turn left and walk for 200 metres
Back of Chapel Backpackers – 50 Green St; Ph 03 9521 5338
This hostel has a recently opened bar that serves cheap pizzas and foccacias with a glass of wine or beer. Relax in the leafy courtyard and keep warm with free pie and chips nights in winter. www.backofchapel.com
On Safari: Catch tram 6 from Swanston St and get off at corner of High and Chapel Sts. Turn right into Chapel St and a one-minute walk will get you to Green St.
The College Lawn – 36 Greville St; Ph 03 9810 0074
This hostel is near Chapel St and has its own bottleshop and two courtyards. www.collegelawnhotel.com.au
On Safari: Catch tram 78 or 79 along Chapel St (from North Richmond) and get off at the Greville St intersection. Or else catch a Sandringham-bound train from Flinders St Station and get off at Prahran. Greville St is right next to it.
The Nunnery - 116 Nicholson St, Fitzroy Ph 1800 032 635
With stained glass windows and religious art everywhere, you could be forgiven if you thought you were staying in a church. Situated near Brunswick and Lygon sts.
On Safari: On tram route 96, opposite Melbourne Museum.
Market Hotel – 115 Cecil St; Ph 03 9690 2220
Situated just opposite the South Melbourne Market, this hostel offers cheap accommodation with live music and pool comps. www.bevandmicks.com.au
On Safari: Catch tram 112 from the city.
Central Melbourne Accommodation – 21 Bromham Pl; Ph 0413 845 070
Being close to major hospitals, this hostel is ideal for nurses looking for work in Melbourne. They encourage long-term stays. www.centralaccommodation.net
On Safari: Catch tram 70 and get off at stop 18. Walk past McDonalds on Highett St and turn left. The first street on the right is Bromham Place.
Miami Hotel – 13 Hawke St; Ph 1800 132 333
If you’re in the need for a bit of romance or simply need a break from crowded dorm rooms, then these guys offer reasonably priced double rooms. They have off-street parking, Internet kiosks, Foxtel in all en-suite rooms and they also have backpacker accommodation. www.themiami.com.au
On Safari: Catch tram 50 or 57 from corner of Franklin and Elizabeth sts.
McMahons Hotel 575 Spencer St. West Melbourne; Ph 03 9328 2423
An inexpensive place to crash with free BBQs, pool comps, DVD nights and trivia nights. www.bevandmicks.com.au
On Safari: Catch tram 75.
The Spencer Backpackers – 475 Spencer St; Ph 03 9329 7755
This centrally located hostel has a rooftop garden. www.spencerbackpackers.com.au
On Safari: It’s a 10-minute walk north up Spencer St (from Southern Cross Station) until you come to the Hotel Spencer Building. The entrance is on Rosslyn Street.
Melbourne Metro YHA - 78 Howard St, North Melbourne Ph (03) 9329 8599
This hostel won the 2009 Victorian Tourism Award for Best Backpacker Accommodation. It has a rooftop lounge and BBQ with panoramic views of the city.
Home of the weekly Safari Pete travel show, this hostel is uncluttered and you won’t feel like a chicken in a cage. www.yha.com.au
On Safari: Nearest tram route is 55 (Peel St).
Victoria Hotel 312 Victoria St. North Melbourne Ph 03 9329 7156
This hostel is near the Queen Vic Market and has cheap rates and a pub downstairs with joker poker, theme nights, cheap Internet and live music. www.bevandmicks.com.au
On Safari: Opposite the Queen Vic Market
Bozo Backpackers – 361 Queensbury St; Ph 03 9329 9816
Located just a two-minute walk away from Queen Victoria Market, this hostel is well placed and you can use their bikes for free. www.bozobackpacker.com
On Safari: Catch trams 19, 57 or 59 from Elizabeth St and get off at Victoria St.
Lord’s Lodge - 204 Punt Rd, South Yarra; Ph 03 9510 5658
This 135-year-old mansion is small and cosy and has an outdoor area covered by a sprawling fig tree. Free wireless Internet, weekly BBQs and free croquet. www.lordslodge.com.au
On Safari: Take trams 3, 5, 6, 16 or 64 and get off at stop 26. Walk one block up Moubray St. Alternatively, catch a train along the Sandringham line; it’s a five-minute walk up Greville St.
This is a good way to meet locals and is more for people who are planning to stick around for longer. Bunking up with Aussies will unlock more of the city’s secrets; after all, local knowledge is best! Check out melbourne.gumtree.com.au for a list of share houses, or else the Readings bookshop window on Lygon St, Carlton. The Friends of the Earth cafe window on Smith St, Collingwood, also has extensive listings of houses for rent.
Most of Melbourne’s libraries offer free Internet access, but to take advantage of this you need to become a member. If you’re in Melbourne for a while then it may be worth joining. Simply take in a letter with your name and address on it. For more fly-by-night travellers there are a host of Internet cafôs in the city – mainly on Elizabeth St. For a list of ever changing free Wi-Fi locations, log onto www.onlymelbourne.com.au and search under Wi-Fi Hotspots
The Astor - Cnr Chapel St & Dandenong Rd, St Kilda; (03) 9510 1414.
This grand, old art-deco theatre presents double features from re-releases of old Hollywood classics to the latest blockbusters. www.astor-theatre.com
Cinema Nova - 380 Lygon St, Carlton; (03) 9357 5331
Screens foreign and independent films, documentaries and art-house flicks.
Hoyts - Cnr Swanston & Latrobe St and Melbourne Central Shopping Centre; 1300 357 357
For all your Hollywood needs. This cinema offers different viewing experiences that include the Halfpipe where you can enjoy the latest blockbusters from the comfort of a deluxe beanbag. There’s also discounted films on Tight-ass Tuesday. www.hoyts.com.au
IMAX Theatre - Melbourne Museum, Rathdowne Street, Carlton Gardens; (03) 9663 5454
An interactive 3D film experience. Be sure to take your goggles off mid-movie and look at how silly fellow movie-goers look. www.imaxmelbourne.com.au
Westgarth Palace - 89 High St, Northcote
A funky art-deco restored cinema that plays mostly mainstream films. Other Palace Cinemas can be found in St. Kilda, South Yarra, Brighton and the city, and play largely art-house or foreign films. Check website for details. www.palacecinemas.com.au
Moonlight Cinema - Botanical Gardens
Pull up a beanbag, crack open a beer, unpack the picnic and enjoy a classic, current or cult flick on a giant inflatable screen under the stars. Runs from November to March. www.moonlight.com.au
Rooftop - Level 6 252 Swanston St (Above Cookie) Ph (03) 9663 3596
Enjoy old film favourites and underground cult films in a deckchair with the city skyline as backdrop. You can enjoy drinks from the licensed rooftop bar and food from the Yakitori grill. Runs from November to March. www.rooftopcinema.com.au
The Sun Theatre – 8 Ballarat St Yarraville Ph (03) 9362 0999
This small and quirky theatre shows a great mix of movies, from independent and foreign films to big-budget blockbusters. Right in the middle of Yarraville’s trendy cafe village, this restored building has a fantastic vibe and is well worth the journey. Catch the Werribee or Williamstown train and hop off at Yarraville station. www.suntheatre.com.au.