Melbourne Airport Transfers – Transport from Melbourne Airport to City

After dozens of visits to Melbourne, I have put together this list of Melbourne airport transfers to help you get into the city using the best option for you.

I don’t know about you, but arriving in a new city or country is always confusing to me. Invariably I am tired from the flight, dealing with different rules, perhaps a different language, and I often just don’t know where I am going.

Without the proper research, I have often ended up using expensive or time-consuming transport options to get to my accommodation and found out later I could have done it better.

Here are the best ways to get from Melbourne Airport to the city centre when you arrive here.

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Melbourne Airport Transfers

First, a little about Melbourne Airport. In this post I am primarily talking about Tullamarine Airport. This is the main International and Domestic airport in Melbourne. It will have airport code MEL.

Do check your paperwork though, because some of the domestic low-cost carriers fly into Avalon Airport (AVV) instead.

Before Covid, Avalon was also host to international flights, with Air Asia flying into there. While there aren’t any international flights as I write, they may return.

Melbourne domestic airport and international airport are all combined into four terminals located side by side and each terminal is easily accessed from the others by foot.

All four terminals use the same road access too. That means that no matter which terminal you land in, the instructions below will be the same.

The Easiest Option from Melbourne Airport – Skybus

Almost every person you ask will recommend SkyBus Melbourne Airport as the preferred option to get to the city. That is because it is so easy.

It runs 24 hours a day and the wait is usually not more than 10-15 minutes (In the early hours of the morning the timetable says 30 minutes, but I’ve not caught it at this time).

There are three stops where the bus can be caught at Melbourne Airport, outside of T1, T3 & T4, and you will not be able to miss the bright red signage as you walk outside.

The buses have luggage racks, wifi and take about 30 minutes to arrive at Southern Cross station.

There you can connect to trains and trams all over the city.

The Skybus costs $23.90AUD ($15.60USD/€14.40) one way if purchased online in advance, but you can buy tickets at the kiosks at each of the bus stops at the airport as well as at Southern Cross Station.

A return ticket is $40AUD ($26.10USD/€24.10).

The Door to Door Option – Taxi

The Melbourne Airport Taxi Service is the best option if you are staying outside of the CBD, have two or three people, or perhaps have more luggage than you want to take on a bus.

The taxi ranks are clearly signed inside the terminals as well as just outside the doors.

There is a queue system, but it normally moves fairly quickly and there will not be much of a wait except at very busy times.

It will cost approximately $60-$70AUD to get from Melbourne Airport to the city by taxi. There is an airport fee and a Tollway fee, but they will both be rolled into the fare, not added on top.

Taxis are metered and no negotiation is required. There will be extra charges at night and for larger cars.

Booking is not required and will incur an extra fee if you choose to book in advance. For more information about taxi fares and fees, click here.

The Door to Door But-I-Don’t-Want-a-Taxi Option – Uber

Australia has Uber, and at Melbourne Airport they can be found right outside the terminal. You will need a code to pick up your ride. You will get this from the app when you book your ride.

Fares into the CBD using UberX start from about $55AUD.

The Budget Option from Melbourne Airport – Public Transport

A direct public transport link to Melbourne Airport has been under discussion for as long as I can remember, but there is not yet one in place.

Even so, it is still possible to get into the city centre using local transport.

It is a little more complex and will take a bit over an hour, but at most, it will cost $10AUD – the Myki daily fare limit – but more likely it will be $5AUD.

As you leave the terminals, turn right and make your way towards the bus zone near T4. This can be a bit of a walk if you are coming from Qantas domestic, but remember the aim here is to save a few dollars.

Take the bus as far as the Broadmeadows Station, this will take about 15 minutes.

Most buses have signs saying the names of the upcoming stops, but if not, ask the driver or use Google Maps to find where to get off.  

The bus will stop right outside the train station, making the transfer to a city train easy. Look for trains going to Southern Cross or Flinders Street Stations.

Click here to use the Victorian Public Transport trip planner for details of this trip and any others in Melbourne.

To catch public transport in Melbourne, you will need a Myki card. It is not possible to pay using cash.

The best place to buy your Myki card is from the Skybus ticket kiosks at Melbourne Airport on arrival.

There is a special Myki Explorer card available for visitors for $15AUD, which includes $9AUD of travel, enough to cover your first full day no matter how many rides you take (as the daily limit is $8.60AUD).

You will also receive a bunch of discounts to popular Melbourne tourist attractions too.

More credit can be easily added to the Myki Explorer card. I find it convenient to do it at any 7-Eleven, but there are other options too, so as online or via the app.

You can also find standard Myki ticket vending machines in T2, T3 and T4, which you can purchase and top up with whatever amount you choose.

There is no difference between the two cards except that one comes preloaded with some credit.

The Luxury Option – Private Transfers

Do you prefer to walk through arrivals, see a sign with your name on it, and then sink back into luxury leather seats as you are whisked to your hotel? Then this option is for you!

This completely stress-free option can be booked well in advance.

The Group Option – Shuttle Bus

If travelling with a group it is possible to book seats in advance on a small, door-to-door shuttle bus for around the price of the Skybus.

This alleviates the need to move a whole group from one bus to another at Southern Cross Station.

The Flexible Option – Renting a Car

All of the major car rental companies – and a few smaller ones – have offices in the various arrivals areas of Melbourne Airport.

If you are planning to continue your holiday with a car, renting as you arrive is a good option.

Melbourne can be a very busy airport, so I suggest booking your car in advance to be sure you get what you want.

Click through to to compare the rates of all the big names in one place.

Transfers from Avalon Airport

Getting from Avalon Airport to Melbourne city has many of the same options as from Tullamarine. Skybus is the most convenient option and costs $25AUD for a one-way ticket and takes approximately 50 minutes.

Again, buy tickets in advance or at the Skybus stop at the airport. A taxi will be more than $100AUD. One option that is not currently available is public transport.

I hope you have been able to find your perfect Melbourne Airport Transfers and have a smooth trip into the CBD.

Stuck in the Airport? Click here to purchase entry to the Plaza Premium Lounge


Looking for things to do now that you are in Melbourne?
Click here to check out my list of the best free things to do during your visit.

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