Sydney is a city people save up to see, and spend years waiting for the opportunity. With great culture and beautiful scenery, it’s no wonder why Sydney is so popular. However, it’s also a large city that can be daunting to visit if you haven’t planned on how to save for the trip or how to budget for the expense that Sydney can bring.
No matter how long you’re staying, however, you can enjoy a wonderful time in Sydney on a budget by enjoying these fun, inexpensive attractions and activities!
Sydney Opera House
Of course, no visit to Sydney is worth the flight unless you get your own photo of the beautiful Sydney Opera House. What many don’t know, however, is that you don’t actually need tickets to an event in order to enjoy the scenery.
Quick often, especially during the week, the administration offices of the Opera House remain open, which allows photographers and tourists to come, take pictures, and walk around about the grounds for absolutely free! Make sure to try on a Monday or Tuesday morning, when the grounds are especially empty!
Some may think that the only way to see the Sydney Harbour Bridge up close and personal is to do the infamous Bridge Climb which is a once in lifetime experience with some stunning views… but it can leave a dent in your wallets! It’s not widely known to tourists that it’s actually possible to get on the harbour bridge and walk the pedestrian track from one side to the other. To access the pedestrian walkway from the southern side is via Cumberland Street, the Rocks. You’ll be able to walk safely on the walkway and be able to take some stunning photos of Circular Quay and the Sydney Opera House.
The Rocks area is the perfect place to have a stroll, located just at the foot of the Southern end of the Harbour Bridge, and with plenty of heritage listed buildings. You’ll get some of the best views in Sydney, and have a chance to learn a bit about the history of the area as well.
If you want to learn more of the history, the Rocks Discovery Museum is free to enter. If you’re lucky to visit on the weekend, you’ll also be able to access the Rock infamous markets which are free to enter, in the open air, and placed with the Harbour Bridge backdrop!
Art Gallery Of New South Wales
Located just a short 15 minute walk away from the Royal Botanical Gardens is one of Australia’s largest galleries, the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The architecture of the gallery will be enough to entice you to enter, but the inside hosts a permanent collection that is free to view. Some special exhibitions will carry a small cost for entry, but in general it’s a great spot to visit if you’re looking to visit Sydney on a budget.
If you’re feeling creative, the gallery offers free “Drop in and Draw” sessions on the first Saturday of every month with materials all provided. To get a better understanding of what you’re seeing the gallery also offers a range of free public tours led by trained volunteers.
The Museum of Contemporary Art
Another great location for travelers to Sydney who are on a budget is the Museum of Contemporary Art, which is easily accessible from the Rocks on George Street. It’s absolutely worth a visit, and the MCA is dedicated to exhibiting, collecting, and interpreting contemporary art. The MCA has mostly free exhibits, though some cost a few dollars, but remain great for travelers on a budget.
The museum also offers up free tours and talks that take you around different exhibitions. Tours will run daily, however time and exhibitions vary, so be sure to check beforehand.
Royal Botanical Gardens
The Royal Botanical Gardens is a nature oasis in the heart of Sydney, and located just a short walk from the Opera House. This is truly the perfect place to grab lunch either from the cafe or restaurant, or better yet come prepared and pack a picnic! If you’re looking to get a t better understanding of what the botanical gardens are, there are free guided walks around the grounds with no bookings essential. The botanical gardens are perfect for those who want to enjoy a peaceful and relaxed day.
Bondi To Coogee Walk
You can’t come to Sydney and not visit the infamous Bondi Beach! Definitely make your way up to Bondi Icebergs to really take in the blues of the ocean, and the yellow sands of Bondi! Don’t just stop there though; why not try out the Bondi to Coogee Walk! This stunning walk takes you through Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly beaches to get to Coogee beach. The walk follows the natural coastline, and will take you about two hours. The famous Sculptures by the Sea, sees sculptors showcasing their work alongside the walk.
Royal National Park
The Royal National Park is one of the oldest parks in the road, and is located a short drive from Sydney. It’s only $12 AUD for entry into the park, which actually goes to the park facilities and amenities. In the park, there are numerous things to do including barbecue, fishing, and bird and whale watching.
If you have kids, you definitely want to visit Darling Harbour. A great entertainment area for the young, the area includes the Wildlife Zoo, Sealife Aquarium, and madame Tussauds, among others. However, these can be fairly expensive, so make sure to set aside additional budget for some of those attractions. The best thing about the park area, however, is that it is completely free, which allows for some additional budget to entertian the kiddos!
If you’ve missed the chance to visit Vivid in Sydney, don’t fret because Luminous at Darling Quarter illuminates every night at numerous times. If you’re looking for cheap eats, Chinatown is only a short walk away from Darling Quarter and features a night market on Fridays on Dixon Street, Chinatown. The stalls feature street foods with everything from Dragon Beard Candy to Japanese takoyaki. One of the biggest crowd pleasers is the ‘Emperor Custard Puffs’ at $5 for 18 puffs.