Reaching “Down Under”, the red continent Australia, became pleasantly easy and with the right tricks even an inexpensive trip. Especially Sydney, Australia’s largest city, with its famous Harbour and Opera House attracts visitors from all around the world. It is Australia’s most exciting and cosmopolitan city but also the most expensive one to live in. With a great mix of pristine beaches, fascinating sights and natural highlights, tourists just as locals just love Sydney.
To enjoy a budget friendly vacation in “the Harbour City” without sacrificing comfort and missing out on the great attractions, read our guide to visit Sydney on a budget.
Things to do:
Sydney has an incredible variety of attractions and sights to see and some of them will not even cost you a cent.
Experience Circular Quay. Along Sydney’s harbour, Circular Quay, you can soak in two of the city’s great icons, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. Walk around and enjoy the unique Sydney atmosphere without spending a cent and get entertained by didgeridoo players and other street performers.
Stroll the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Enjoy great views along the pedestrian pathway at the Sydney Harbour Bridge completely free and almost as spectacular as the popular and expensive Bridge climb.
Escape the big city hustle at the Royal Botanic Gardens. It is the best place to enjoy fantastic views over Sydney’s harbour, to have a picnic with your friends and to recharge your batteries in a green environment. And all that without paying any admission fee.
Surf at Bondi Beach. Sydney’s most iconic beach, Bondi beach, offers stunning coastline views in a laidback atmosphere. You can rent surfing or paddle boards for a small fee or take the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk with some of the best lookouts.
Take the ferry. Enjoy the most scenic route between Circular Quay and Manly with fantastic views over the Sydney Harbour. In Manly you visit its gorgeous beach as well as cool cafes. An inexpensive trip no one should miss.
Enjoy Indigenous art. The premier Art Gallery of New South Wales is free of charge and has plenty of things to discover.
Enjoy Sydney’s best attractions with the Sydney Attraction Combo Pass and save almost $400. Enjoy a visit at Sydney Tower Eye, Madame Tussauds, Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, Wild Life Sydney and Manly Sea life Sanctuary.
Cheap (free!) accommodation:
Most of the hotels in Sydney are quite expensive, especially if you don’t book in advance. If you want to stay close to all attractions it gets even more expensive. Hostels are a budget friendly option, but with bed bugs, partying backpackers and shared dorm rooms your stay can end up pretty unpleasant.
An excellent way to stay in Sydney but without the costs of hotels or rentals is to arrange home swap accommodation. By home swapping, you agree with another person or family (your home swap hosts) to swap homes for a set period of time (anything from a weekend break even up to a six-month swap). When home swapping there are no costs (other that the small fee to join a home swap site such as Home Base Holidays) therefore making swapping an incredibly budget friendly way to travel; in fact, by swapping homes you can cut the costs of your getaways by 80%. More than just the cost savings, a home swap is a fantastic way to get to truly get to know the city as you'll be staying in a real home - you'll get a sense of what it's like to live like a local and enjoying a truly authentic experience. You can also get tips and advice on what to see and do in Sydney from your home swap hosts - insider tips from real locals!
- Search home swap offers and find your ideal home swap accommodation in Sydney.
Most of the attractions in Sydney are in walking distance. You can join one of the free walking tours organised by “I’m free”, which take about three hours and are guided by informative and friendly staff. There is also a free shuttle bus number 555, which operates on a loop around the main CBD and takes in all the major sights. To enjoy unlimited use of public transport (train, bus and ferry) you can purchase a MyMulti DayPass for just a few Dollars.
In Sydney you can find inexpensive food in almost every pub or club. They offer delicious cheap burgers and sandwiches and usually have special deals every day. Try Paddy’s Markets for fresh fruits and vegetables and delicious takeaway food.
Interested in home exchanges in Sydney?
Fantastic home exchange offer - central and convenient, with a great view of the Harbour Bridge and Sydney skyline. Transport here is excellent. Neutral Bay village is a short walk away and has great cafes, restaurants, wine bars and supermarkets.
View this home swap in Sydney