Sydney On a Budget

It's no secret Sydney consistently ranks as one of the most expensive cities in the world to visit. The GOOD news is that it’s not impossible to visit Sydney on a budget. In fact, there are many free things to do in Sydney including getting up close and personal with Sydney’s most famous icons and stunning coastal landmarks. Below are 11 ways to experience the best Sydney has to offer without leaving you heavily out of pocket.

  1. I'm Free Walking Tour

    Free Sydney Walking Tours

    Why not start your visit to Sydney on a free walking tour with a local guide? The guys from I’m Free Walking Tours walk every day at 10.30am and 2.30pm. Their 3 hour tours will show you the sights and give you your bearings so you can then go it alone.

  2. Walk Across the Sydney Harbour Bridge

    Climb the Harbour Bridge for free

    You can pay $200+ to climb the Harbour Bridge (recommended) but a far cheaper option is to simply walk across for FREE. You get the same panoramic views, just on a lower level. Starting from The Rocks District there’s a sign along George Street directing you towards a flight of stairs. Once you're on the bridge follow the pedestrian walkway to the other side. Either return on foot or catch the train back to the city from Milsons Point station. Alternatively, jump on a train at Wynyard Station in the city and get off at Milsons Point station on the North side and walk back to The Rocks District. Another budget option is to visit the Pylon Lookout for just $11 and get fantastic views plus 3 levels of exhibits and learn about the history of the Bridge.

  3. Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk

    Stunning views along the bay

    The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk is a 6km walk featuring stunning views of cliffs, bays and rock pools and passes the beaches of Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly and Gordon’s Bay. Stop along the way for a swim, or stop at a cafe for a drink and bite to eat. To get to Bondi, jump on a train at Central Station and depart at Bondi Junction. From there take a bus to Bondi Beach.

  4. The Royal Botanic Gardens

    Enjoy a picnic with a view!

    Taking a walk in the Royal Botanic Gardens is a relaxing and free way to enjoy one of Sydney’s top spots - the harbour and city views are superb. Be sure to check out Mrs Macquarie’s Chair which has one of the best vantage points looking back over the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Why not pack a picnic lunch, a blanket and a bottle of wine. There's also a free self-guided walking tour option.

  5. Walk the CBD and Harbour Front

    A short 30 minute stroll

    The Sydney CBD and Harbour front area is very walkable. From Central Station walk to Circular Quay along either George or Pitt Streets and feel the beat of the city during a short 30 minute stroll. Once at Circular Quay, wander and take photographs of Sydney’s famous landmarks - The Harbour Bridge, Opera House, and enter the Royal Botanic Gardens.

  6. Catch the Free Shuttle Bus

    Running every 10 minutes

    Don’t want to walk? Take the free CBD shuttle (route 555) which runs every 10 minutes on a loop from Central Station to Circular Quay via Elizabeth and George Streets.

  7. Enjoy a Beach Day

    Sydney boasts many picturesque beaches.

    Sydney’s beaches are famous and free to enjoy (besides the parking fees). On the Northern Beaches Manly is the most accessible and famous, whilst the Eastern Suburbs boasts Bronte, Coogee and you must visit Bondi at least once.

  8. Visit Government House

    Free admission Friday - Sunday

    Government House is the most sophisticated example of a Gothic Revival building in NSW. Located in the Domain and overlooking the Royal Botanic Gardens, the House has free admission and is open Friday–Sunday from 10.30am-3.00pm with viewing by guided tour only.

  9. Explore Inner-City Neighbourhoods

    Find hidden treasures amongst Sydney.

    Surry Hills - One of Sydney’s most artistically-vibrant neighbourhoods with old terrace homes, cafes, restaurants, wine bars and pubs. Wander Crown Street, Bourke street and Cleveland streets. Paddington - Fashionable and famous for boutique shopping. Also known for art galleries, cafes, restaurants and rows of pretty Victorian terraces. The Rocks District - Oldest section of the oldest city in Australia. There’s a story around every corner, and The Rocks possesses wonderful heritage buildings to admire and cobblestone lanes to explore. Check out the free Rocks Discovery Museum.

  10. St Mary’s Cathedral

    English-style Gothic church

    Next to Hyde Park, St. Mary’s Cathedral is an English-style Gothic church and a symbol of the spiritual origins of the city. On Sundays at noon, visitors can partake in free guided tours of the cathedral and crypt.

  11. Art Gallery of NSW

    Modern and contemporary art museum

    The Art Gallery of NSW is free to enter and one of Australia’s leading art museums with collections of Australian, Aboriginal, European, Asian and contemporary art. The modern and contemporary works are displayed in expansive, light-filled spaces, offering stunning views of Sydney and the harbour.

  12. Almost Free ...

    Not quite free, but still affordable!

    Catch the Ferry to Manly - The $15 return trip from Circular Quay to Manly is one of the best ways to experience Sydney Harbour as you cruise by the City Skyline, Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Botanic Gardens. Time your return to capture the sunset on the way back.


    Sydney Tower - For $18 go to the top of Sydney Tower, the city’s tallest free-standing structure standing at 309 m above the CBD. It has an observation deck with awesome views of the skyline.

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