Interested in Melbourne?
We'll send you updates with the latest deals, reviews and articles for Melbourne each week.
By far the easiest way to get around the city and suburbs within a radius of about 10 km from the central business district is to buy a zone 1 Metcard. The cost is not too high, currently $7.00 per day (first to last services) or $3.30 for up to almost three hours. You can get to almost every tourist destination in Melbourne and surrounding areas, using trams, trains and buses. Journeys extending from about 10 km of the central business district to the extremity of the public transport system are in Zone 2.
The free City Circle tram (route 35) is a big drawcard and runs every day except Christmas Day and Good Friday. The City Circle trams are the old (50-70 years) W class type painted in a distinctive colour scheme.
Full details at of all public transport and fares at www.metlinkmelbourne.com.au
Particularly good value is the Sunday Saver ticket for $3.20 that can be used on any public transport (except Skybus). The seniors' daily is good value, too, for holders of Australian seniors' cards: $3.50 for travel anywhere for one day.
The Melbourne public fare system is in transition from the current Metcard system to the Myki "smartcard" but visitors will probably find Metcard (although slightly more expensive) easier to understand.
Trams, a well-loved feature of the city, are very easy to use. Just hop on and off. Tickets can be purchased on board trams but the machines take coins only. It is much better to purchase tickets in advance from a convenience store (there are hundreds in Melbourne) or a staffed railway station. Make sure though, if you are far from the hotel that you leave in time to make it to the tram because those in the outer areas do stop running earlier: the last service back to the city arrives around midnight.
Fare evasion is a big problem in Melbourne but ticket inspectors (authorised officers) regularly patrol vehicles and stations. Trying to avoid paying a fare (as so many Melbourne residents like to do) isn't recommended for visitors. However, although the authorised officers have a job to do, often in difficult and trying circumstances, they will always assist a visitor who may be confused by Melbourne's public transport and its ticket system.
Melbourne IS a motorised suburban metropolis and most residents prefer to travel by car. Traffic congestion can be horrendous.