How to get from Melbourne Airport to the City Centre

SkyBus Melbourne City Express at Southern Cross

Welcome to Melbourne! Your plane has finally touched down at the Melbourne Tullamarine Airport – now you need to get to the city centre!

With Melbourne’s main airport being located 22 kilometres away, and Melbourne’s Airport Rail not set to launch until 2029 at the earliest, there are three convenient ways… and one that’s cheap but a little bit more difficult.

Here are the three most convenient options to get from Melbourne Airport to where you want to go.

Pssst… flying low-cost with AirAsia, VietJet or Citilink? You might want to check out this post for the best ways to get from Melbourne Avalon Airport to the CBD. [Coming soon!]

The Best Ways to get from Melbourne Airport to the CBD

The Fastest: Taxi / Rideshare

Melbourne Airport is located approximately a 20-35minute drive from the city centre. In my experience, taxi/ride share fares range from $35-$60 though can be a little higher depending where in the CBD you are being dropped off.


There are taxi ranks located directly outside the arrivals area of each terminal, with the exception of Terminal 4. T4’s taxi rank is located on the Ground Floor of the T4 Car Park.

If you pre-book a taxi to pick you up from the airport, your taxi will be ready to collect you in the outdoor section of the Terminal Car Park at Terminals 1, 2 & 3.

​Please note the Terminal 4 taxi rank is currently closed to the public. Taxi pick up and drop off is currently available in Terminal 1, 2 & 3 lanes. ​

Ride share:

Rideshare is incredibly popular in Melbourne and there are three ride share operators:

  • Uber – they have the largest fleet but the highest prices.
  • Didi – the mid-size twin. They have a growing fleet of users and probably the second-best option to Uber.
  • Ola – the cheapest option but they don’t have a huge fleet of drivers in Melbourne yet. Ola also offers gives users the ability to earn Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer points with every airport ride.

The rideshare pick up area is located in front of the PARKROYAL Hotel, near the rental car offices, across the road from T1 Qantas, T2 International & T3 Virgin. There is another rideshare pick-up area on Level 2 inside the Terminal Car Park at Terminal 4.

Be sure you choose the correct pick-up location in-app.

The Best Value for Money: SkyBus

By far the best value for money is the regularly running SkyBus that connects to Southern Cross Train Station, where you will find both metropolitan train services, V-Line services (country/regional trains), and trams.

SkyBus runs express bus services every 15 minutes between Melbourne Airport and Melbourne CBD, operating between 4:30 am and midnight, 7 days a week at a flat rate of $15 one-way, or $28 return.

SkyBus also runs services to Southbank & Docklands, St Kilda, Peninsula, Eastern Suburbs, and Western Suburbs. These are currently disrupted due to COVID-19.

What makes the SkyBus the most valuable option is that they provide a free city hotel shuttle. SkyBus Link can safely transport you between Southern Cross Station and your destination in Melbourne’s city centre – at no additional charge. With 8 convenient stops around Melbourne’s city centre, you will be only a short distance from every hotel in the city!

Be sure to check the Skybus website as services to Melbourne’s Airports have been reduced due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Cheapest: Public Buses

This is a much slower, but cheaper option to get from the airport to downtown Melbourne, which will cost you $7 on weekdays and $3.50 on the weekends and takes around an hour.

Public Transport Victoria (PTV) operates 5 timetabled services from the Terminal 4 Ground Transport Hub (Below the Terminal car park at Terminal 4).

The fastest bus route into the Melbourne CBD is by catching the bus number 901 to Broadmeadows Station. The sign on the bus should say “Frankston”. At the Broadmeadows Station, switch to a train. It is also possible to catch the bus to Essendon, Moonee Ponds and Sunbury.

You will need a Myki card – Melbourne’s Public transport card – to get onto the bus. These are available inside the international terminal and, I think, at the Skybus counter.

Be sure to use the PTV Journey Planner as services to Melbourne’s Airports have been reduced due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

But how do I travel to Melbourne’s Suburbs and Regional Victoria?!

Read this post for how to get from Melbourne Airport to St Kilda and beyond! [Coming soon!]

Read this post for how to get from Melbourne Airport to Regional Victoria! [Coming soon!]

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    March 12, 2021 at 5:02 pm

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