There is so much to see and do in Sydney, it’s hard to know where to start and how to budget for it all. But you can still explore the city without breaking the bank because some of Sydney’s best experiences are priceless – literally! So here is a list of the 17 best free things to do in Sydney to keep you busy and you bank account happy.
This walk is one of Sydney’s most popular destinations. Starting at world-famous Bondi Beach, the walk takes you on a journey along the coast line. You will pass Tamarama and Bronte Beach where you can sit and people watch surfers below. If you’re really keen, you can continue on all the way to Clovelly.
The bridge walk on top of the Harbour Bridge has become a favourite activity for visitors near and far but it can be expensive. Instead, you can walk over the bridge on the pedestrian footpath where you can still enjoy million dollar views of the harbour, the city’s skyline and the Sydney Opera House.
As long as you have a pair of goggles you can plunge yourself into the crystal clear waters of Gordon’s bay and swim with the sealife. You can expect to see everything from schools of fish, starfish and and baby sharks.
Every Saturday morning the open warehouse at Carriageworks come to life with over 70 stallholders from across the state selling beautiful produce. Entry is free and there is always a number of stall handing out free taste testers to enjoy.
Freshwater is a small beach wedged between Manly and Curl Curl beaches in Sydney’s North. At the end of the beach nestled into the headland there is a 50meter fresh water pool which is open and free to the public and the perfect place to do some laps.
Although shopping isn’t free, window shopping certainly is. If you venture into the centre of the city you can peruse admire the stunning architecture of the Queen Victoria building which was built in 1898 which is now home to some of Australia’s finest boutiques.
Walking around the historic Rocks Precinct feels like you are stepping back in time. The area is is one of the first white settlements in Australia. Wandering through the cobblestone streets you will see old workers cottages and terrace houses, quaint little cafés and artist studios while being entertained by talented buskers. There is also a food market each Friday and a craft market each Saturday.
Centennial Park is Sydney’s version of New York’s Central Park; spanning over 189 hectares there is no shortage of things to do. It has places to sit under a tree and read a book, a running and cycling track, a whole program of events throughout the year and there is even horse riding.
Located on the famous Sydney shopping strip, Oxford Street, the Paddington Markets are free to enter and a beautiful showcase of some of the city’s most talented designers, jewellery makers and artists. There is over 150 stalls to look at and the markets take place every Saturday from 10am.
The Barangaroo Cutaway is one of the largest internal spaces in Australia. It’s as long as the Sydney Cricket Ground, as wide as an Olympic swimming pool, and as tall as a six-storey building. It is all hidden beneath the artificial hill at the Barangaroo Reserve.
The inner west is a hot spot for creatives and you can tell by the amazing street art that adorns many of its walls. You can take a self guided street art walk through the trendy suburbs of Sydney including St Peters, Enmore, and Newtown.
Entry into the museum is free and will allow you to visit many of their permanent collections. The stunning museum is in the heart of the city, situated in between the Harbour Bridge, The Rocks and the Opera House. You can also spend hours flicking through their huge selection of books in their store.
When the famous Australian artist Brett Whiteley passed away, his widow Wendy channelled her grief into creating a beautiful sanctuary in Lavender Bay. The park is now a relaxing reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the city where many native flora and fauna now call home.
The Lululemon store located on George Street in the city offers complimentary yoga classes each week. This is a great way to start the day before trekking around Sydney enjoying all the other free activities.
Year round Sydney hosts a number of incredible festivals, many of which offer free entry. These include the Sydney Festival, Mardi Gras, the Vivid light festival, Sculptures by the Sea and Good Food Month. Also, don’t forget the incredible fireworks display on New Year’s Eve on the harbour.
Vivid Festival – image from Destination NSW / WikiMedia