It’s no secret that Sydney is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with it’s dazzling waterfronts, iconic landmarks, unique history and laidback charm. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the world’s most expensive cities – beauty does come with a price!
The good news is, we’re here to let you know that there’s plenty of FREE things to do in the Harbour City (as it’s also known) that will definitely give you a taste of the best things that Sydney has to offer!
#HHWT Tip: Sydney’s a walking city, so make sure you pack a pair of comfortable shoes!
1. Walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge
An international symbol of Australia, climbing the famous “Coathanger” might be on the top of your bucket list but the remarkable bridge climb experience would easily set you back between $158 – $353 (that’s roughly RM800!) 😱
Thankfully, there’s a much more wallet-friendly option! Take a 1.149km walk (approximately 30 minutes) across the bridge starting from The Rocks to Milsons Point. Not only will you be able to enjoy the same panoramic views as you would on the top of the bridge (just on a lower level), you’ll also be getting some exercise in! 😁
With the extra money you’ve saved up, you can hop on a train back from Milsons Point to Circular Quay station or you could always walk right back 😉
2. Take a jumping shot at the Sydney Opera House
How can you be in Sydney without taking a photo or two at the iconic Sydney Opera House? Taking a tour might cost you, but you can always go up close and touch the tiles of the sloping roofs and soak in the view of Circular Quay from the Opera House.
There’s also lots to see and do in the surrounding area of Circular Quay – you can even catch an Aboriginal didgeridoo busker!
Credit: James Kemlo
3. Put on your flip flops and do the Coastal Walk!
For those of you who love taking long walks (and even if you don’t, the spectacular views and the possibility of occasional whale sightings might change your mind!), the 6km long Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk brings you past stunning cliffs, rock pools and the beaches of Bondi, Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly, and Gordon’s Bay, ending up in Coogee (my favourite beach!). If your feet get tired, relax at one of the beautiful beaches along the way 😎
#HHWT Tip: Make sure to slap on lots of sunscreen and bring some drinks!
4. Hit the beaches 🏖
It’s a crime to be in Sydney and not head on to one of the beautiful beaches that the city is dotted with. Bondi might be the most popular and biggest beach with a nice little town to explore where you’ll be able to spot lots of surfers and the lifeguards that Bondi is known for, but my personal favourite is Coogee beach which is slightly quieter and has the gorgeous Giles baths, which is a natural rock pool on the foot of Coogee beach.
#HHWT Tip: For the ladies, there’s also the women’s only McIver’s baths on the other side of Coogee where you can take a dip in the seawater pool without worrying if there’s a man in sight!
5. Take in the sights of Darling Harbour
Just 10-minutes away from the CBD, Darling Harbour is a great place to just relax, people watch and to admire the boats docked in the harbour. There’s a great kids playground to keep your children entertained and lots of free entertainment every week – from fireworks to festivals there’s always something going on at Darling Harbour 🎆
6. Get cultured at an art gallery or learn something new at a museum
You can spend an entire day browsing in one of Australia’s leading art museums at the Art Gallery of NSW, try to understand the interesting contemporary art at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA), or learn a little bit about Sydney’s illustrious history at The Rocks Discovery Museum.
Incidentally, The Rocks, where the discovery museum and MCA are located, is also a great historical part of Sydney to walkabout and explore.
7. Browse the many weekend markets
Browsing the many markets that Sydney has is free – if you have the willpower to keep your wallet in your bag at all times that is! I’ve spent many weekends just wandering around the markets and taking lots of photos, not spending a cent 😁
There’s Paddington Markets which has lots of Australian made fashion and accessories, The Rocks Markets where you can score some great souvenirs, Glebe Markets for vintage finds, Bondi Markets if you’re already visiting the beach, Paddy’s Markets which sells just about everything under the sun from vegetables to clothes, and loads more!
8. Have fun at Sydney’s many festivals
The city certainly puts on some of the best free festivals and events anywhere in the world, and you should definitely coincide your trip to Sydney with one of them! Major festivals that you should definitely check out are the Sydney Festival (usually held in January), Vivid Sydney held between May to June, and Sculpture by the Sea in October to November.
If the fact that it’s free doesn’t entice you enough, check out this awesome video of Vivid Sydney:
#HHWT Tip: Check out what What’s On for the latest events in Sydney.
9. Take a free tour
10. Have a picnic at Hyde Park
Pack some lunch or tea and head on over to Hyde Park (not to be confused with the one in London!), Australia’s oldest park located right in the middle of the city. The little oasis is popular with office workers looking for a quick break 😊 There’s a beautiful fig tree lined road, several interesting monuments, fountains and statues to explore in the park too. During the summer months, Hyde Park holds free events, and during winter it’s transformed into a dazzling winter wonderland!
There’s lots to explore in Sydney for free (if it isn’t obvious by now, it’s one of my favourite cities in the world), so pack your flip flops, sunscreen and hat and have fun!