Sydney for Free

Best budget bets in Sydney

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Sydney might be one of the world’s most expensive cities, but if you know where to go, there’s plenty to see and do that won’t cost a cent.

The harbourside suburb of The Rocks – the birthplace of Sydney, and by association, Australia – is one large outdoor museum and a walk around its historic streets is a stroll back in time. Put all that living history in context with a visit to The Rocks Discovery Museum and Sydney Observatory.

You can climb to the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge for a few hundred dollars, or see pretty much the same view for free on the pedestrian walkway: once you’ve crossed the harbour Luna Park amusement park is free to enter: rides cost extra, but the view across the water back toward the city is priceless.

Back on the south side of the bridge the area around Circular Quay is jammed-packed with freebies, like the Museum of Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of NSW, the Royal Botanic Gardens and the State Library of NSW, which always has an excellent range of free exhibitions on show.

Head east down Oxford Street to Paddington for more free galleries – the Australian Centre for Photography is a standout – and the wonderful subterranean reservoir garden.

Or wander a little further south to Surry Hills to the Brett Whitely Studio museum, although be warned, the warren of neighbouring streets have some of the best, albeit most eclectic, range of shopping and eating options in the city, which, depending on your willpower, may or may not be harmful to your wallet.

More Sydney Itineraries

Sydney in 3 Days … A first-timers guide to Australia’s Harbour City
Sydney’s Grand Pacific Drive … THE best one-day Sydney road trip

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