Sydney might be touted as one of the world’s most expensive cities, but there’s a surprising amount of things you can do for free in Australia’s cultural capital. Whether you’re a backpacker on a budget, a local with nothing to do for the day or just wandering through Sydney, there’s a whole plethora of options for you if you don’t want to spend a dime but still want to have a good time. Sydney is definitely one of the most liveable cities in the world, but you don’t need money to enjoy its diverse neighbourhoods or abundant natural beauty whether they be forests or beaches. And if the weather is right, your options open up even more with famous walks and climbs available to just about everyone. Here are some of the possibilities:
1. Royal National Park
Catch a train, drive your car, take a bus, hitch-hike if need be but get yourself to this gorgeous national park ASAP. Just past the western and southern suburbs of Sydney lies this vast, intricate web of trails that are surrounded by lush, green forests. Every one of the abundant number of trails is free of charge, allowing one the absolute luxury to spend an entire day here without spending any money. The trails take you through waterfalls, an abundance of flora and fauna that are unique to this land, mesmerising you to the point that money won’t even enter your mind as you get lost in the tranquility of this natural blissful haven.
2. Sydney's eclectic neighbourhoods will keep you guessing
A trip to Sydney isn’t complete without a walk through its eclectic neighbourhoods. Start in Chinatown, walk through the winding streets that zig-zag their way towards central and broadway, stopping to gawk at the odds and ends in the shops. People-watch for hours as people hawk their items, hustle and bustle about and encounter other travellers just like you who seem just as lost. Make your way away from the city-centre towards eccentric Newtown where the inner-west begins - most travellers’ favourite part of the city. Don’t be surprised as you walk down King St that shop vendors call out to you and give you free samples of coffee, ice-cream and chocolate. Before you know it, you find yourself in the sleepy but happening neighbourhoods of Enmore and Marrickville. More residential than Newtown, look closer at these two neighbourhoods and you’ll find hidden shops and bars, coffee shops that look like homes, streets lined with pop-up exhibitions and galleries. Immerse yourself in the Sydney life and walk around.
3. Relax on a Sydney beach
Is there anything better than a Sydney beach on a hot day? From the ideal weather to the soft, sandy beaches to the refreshing, cool water, there’s nothing like a beach day in Sydney. And apart from that necessary bottle of water, you won’t need to spend a dime here. All beaches in Sydney are free to the public and can be accessed quite easily using public transport. Whether you’re going to the world-famous Bondi beach, snorkelling in Gordon’s Bay or high atop on the rocks of Tamarama, there’s a multitude of options for you beach-wise.
4. Do the Bondi to Coogee beach walk
If you get tired of the beach, find it overcrowded or just feel like enjoying the weather while being active, the Bondi beach to Coogee beach walk is for you. Stretching several kilometres, this beautiful walk is paved the entire way. It winds through rocky terrains, sandy surfaces, through intimate beaches and public over-crowded waters. Recommended tip: do this walk with a camera in hand because the scenic views on offer on a good day are captivating.
5. Unforgettable views from the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Towering high above the city, dwarfing even the Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is world-famous for its architectural achievements. The bridge joins the city of Sydney with its sprawling northern suburbs. One can walk, cycle or drive across the bridge, or have a picnic underneath its metallic steel towers to while away a day. It’s highly recommended to do the bridge walk once during your time in Sydney as it allows you an unforgettable view of Sydney’s skyline, including The Opera House. You don’t even need to spend money on it, unless you’re the daring type to walk on top of the bridge. Otherwise, take the pedestrian walkway and be awestruck by the views of the Opera House, Darling Harbour and the adjacent bays to the bridge.
It doesn’t cost a bomb to enjoy Sydney
Most travellers arrive in Sydney thinking they’ll have to shell out a lot of money to enjoy what the city has to offer. But, the city has you as its first priority with these multitude of options available even if you don’t want to spend any money. So, don’t fret even if you’re waiting on that next paycheque, there’s still a lot to do in Sydney!
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.