Sydney on a shoestring

Sydney is absolutely spectacular and with its natural beauty, tourist hotspots and exciting events there is no way that you won’t enjoy yourself. But whilst Sydney is one of the most liveable cities, it also ranks high as one of the world’s most expensive cities to visit. cheap hotel sydney




But can Sydney still shine on a shoestring? Too right it can. With a little bit of planning many of the attractions can be seen for free or for very little outlay. Opt to photograph the 1850’s tall ship, challenge your chess strategies or admire the beautiful views and you won’t have to outlay anything but your time.  cheap hotel Sydney




Most trips to Sydney would include a visit to Circular Quay to see the top two attractions, the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Whilst a tour of the Opera House will set you back from $37 and a Harbour bridge climb starts at $158. For those on a budget you can still see the exterior up close, for nothing. Relax and spend some time people watching or sit and soak up the million dollar views and enjoy the atmosphere, being entertained by buskers. An alternative and less touristy way to experience The Coathanger is to take the pedestrian pathway for a stroll across for nix. Here you will have a great vantage point to photograph the world’s most recognisable architectural masterpiece. The nearby Royal Botanic Gardens and the outstanding views over the harbour are a great place to visit at dusk and best of all, there is no admission fee. cheap hotel Sydney



Another place without an admission fee is Luna Park. This adorable Coney Island style fun park has killer harbour views and is easy to find from the Milson’s Point ferry stop.  cheap hotel Sydney




Arguably the best way to see most cities is from the water, and Sydney is no exception. But some of the options can be pricey. If you want to explore Sydney Harbour tour prices start at $39.00 However the ferries that transport locals to and from work each day offers the best scenic route for minimal cost if you purchase an Opal card. A trip between Circular Quay and Manly is highly recommended and on a Sunday can cost as little as $2.50 for unlimited travel. Or you may prefer to feel the wind in your hair and enjoy the view from Circular Quay past the opera house, Fort Denison and some of the exclusive properties to Watson’s Bay where you can watch the sun set over the city skyline. cheap hotel Sydney




Tip: We left our ferry ride to Taronga Zoo a little late and arrived just prior to closing, so got free entry and were able to ride the Cable Car offering great Sydney views for free returning us down to the water’s edge for the next ferry.




You’ll likely find yourself at the iconic Bondi Beach during your time in Sydney. Grab yourself an award winning pie from Harry’s Café de Wheel and enjoy a beach view worth a million bucks. From here you can enjoy some exercise with a decent walk along one of the most spectacular coastlines. Choose the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk, one of nature’s most beautiful areas or the less energetic but equally serene Bondi to Bronte walk. And the cost? Zero, zip, nada, plus a few calories.

 Tip: Plan your visit late spring to see Sculptures by the Sea, a free art event cheap hotel Sydney




Don’t like walking? Sydney has a bus service in city centre that runs in a loop between Circular Quay, George Street and Central Station, via the Town Hall which operates during business hours. The number 555 City Circle Bus is the perfect way to see all the urban landmarks as you can hop on and off any time on the green buses along the free service route. cheap hotel Sydney



You can catch the free shuttle to Paddy’s Markets where you can spend a few hours exploring the huge market or have a meal at the Food Court upstairs. You choose the stall, select from the picture menus and sit down and enjoy some authentic Chinese or Singaporean hawker style cuisine with plenty of vendors offering cheap sushi or dumplings.




Tip: Pub grub, from a juicy burger or fish and chips is easy to find for around $10 in many places, especially on Tightarse Tuesday. cheap hotel Sydney

Darling Harbour is an amazing place, jam packed with cafes, restaurants, nightlife and buskers. Not only does Cockle Bay Wharf host regular fireworks, from May to June the yearly spectacular free event Vivid is held. Vivid is a festival of light and music that brings the city to life. More than 800,000 people attend the giant light projections on the Opera House, Harbour bridge and several buildings in surrounding areas. cheap hotel Sydney




So where will you be staying during your trip? For most travellers accommodation is the biggest expense and a little bit of planning goes a long way to find a cheap Sydney hotel. By booking a low priced hotel you will now have a little extra spending money to treat yourself to a fine dining experience. Who wouldn’t love a long leisurely lunch in one of Sydney’s long standing French restaurants? The Little Snail in Pyrmont offers a 3 course lunch for $39.00 which will leave you with a lasting memory, not only satisfying your tastebuds, but also your budget. cheap hotel Sydney


Have you visited Sydney? What would you want included if your were on a tight budget?


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4 Responses

  1. Awesome tips Lyn! I always look for a ferry boat to get out on the water for a reasonable price. Nice to know it’s waiting for me in Sydney. #wkendtravelinspiration
    Jim ~ ReflectionsEnroute recently posted…Tombstone, Arizona from Gunfights to Gas Stations – It’s A Real Blast!My Profile

  2. Well done Lyn. Sydney can certainly be done on a shoestring. It is a very beautiful city, and one with a lot to see and to do

  3. Lara Dunning says:

    I haven’t made it down under yet, but plan to one of these years. Thanks for highlighting the things you can do for free or at low cost. #WeekendWanderlust

  4. jill says:

    My daughter visited Sydney in April and used quite a few of your tips to make her trip budget friendly. She did have one splurge though – she had to climb the bridge! But she said it was oh, so worth it!

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