FREE is the favourite word for travellers on a budget, and as of quite recently trams within the Melbourne CBD have been made free to travel on. Free zones are clearly marked with bright green signs and tram drivers notify passengers when they are reaching the outskirts of the free zone.
You can tour the city 'Hop on, Hop off' for $5
If you're a fan of the 'Hop on, Hop off' style of touring then there is now a visitor shuttle bus which can take you around the city to all of the major sites. The shuttle bus is different to the major site seeing buses that you get in most cities around the world. The buses are smaller, run every half an hour and there is limited commentary- but its a cheap alternative for those on a budget. More information here
Try the coffee
The coffee in Melbourne is in my opinion some of the best in the world. I recommend trying it for yourself when you visit. Some of the best are Market Lane Coffee and the Switchboard Cafe. Melbournians are proud of their coffee, and it's one of the things I love most about the city.
Melbourne caters for all kind of shopping budgets. The main streets such as Collins and Bourke include big name Australian brands such as Myer, as well as international brands. Melbourne's lane ways offer a more independent and unique shopping experience, and the DFO outlets at South Wharf and Docklands offer big brand bargains.
Melbournians love getting outside and are some of the fittest city dwellers I've ever met. I recommend taking a walk (or run) along the Yarra River. The loop I like starts in Federation Square. Cross the bridge to the other side of the river and then follow the path to your left along the water, turn right when you see signs for the Botanical Gardens and the Sidney Myer Music Bowl and then continue along through the Botanical Gardens. Once out the other side of the gardens, cross the Morell Bridge and head left back along the Yarra River past the Rod Laver Arena and AAMI Park back to Federation Square.
Take the Skybus
The easiest way to get from the Airport to the city centre is the Skybus. The bus picks up from the main airport terminal and takes you to the Spencer Street Station Bus Terminal. From there, they offer a free courtesy shuttle to your hotel or hostel provided it is in the city centre. Adult return tickets on the Skybus is $36.
Get great views
Get great views of the Melbourne skyline by visiting the Shrine of Remembrance near the Botanic Gardens. Entry to the Shrine is free, and if you take the stairs to the top, you can get some great views of Melbourne.