10 Things to do in Sydney for Free

mazebackpackers - 10 Things to do in Sydney for Free

Planning a trip to Sydney? Backpackers and tourists can often get deterred from visiting the capital of New South Wales and one of Australia’s largest cities as they have heard several tales about a high cost of living and expensive excursions. However, Sydney is full of surprises with plenty of things to do that won’t cost a single cent. From music and art, botany and sea creatures, strolls and sightseeing to markets and gigs, there is so much to see and do in Sydney without needing any cash.

If you’re intending on travelling or backpacking to Sydney on a budget, check out our list of the top 10 free things to do in one of the world’s most fascinating cities.

1. Visit an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

Situated on the beautiful water’s edge of Circular Quay in Sydney, the Museum of Contemporary Art features more than 4,000 works of art in their permanent exhibitions which is free to enter. The museum is a must-visit for anyone intending on taking a trip to Sydney, with a fascinating array of creations to admire including paintings, photography, sculptures and creative installations. What’s more – they also have a rooftop cafe where you can enjoy a drink and a bite to eat with one of the best views of Sydney!

2.  See the Sydney Opera House

Potentially the most famous landmark in the city, the Sydney Opera House has an incredibly unique design that simply has to be explored. It’s free to roam around the building and the views alone are definitely worth a visit. Don’t fret about the 180+ steps up to the top – it’s worth the trek for sure!

3. Stroll through the Royal Botanical Gardens

Even if you don’t have an interest in flowers and botany, a walk through the Royal Botanical Gardens is an essential addition to your to-do list for your next trip to Sydney. Open all year, exploring the beauty of the gardens is completely free of charge. Located on Sydney Harbour, you can fit in an exploration of the gardens while on your way to or from the nearby Sydney Opera House. There are free guided walks within the gardens on every day of the week, plus a range of events that are updated monthly. Keep an eye on their website for what’s on.

4. Take a visit to Luna Park

mazebackpackers - 10 Things to do in Sydney for Free(2)

While you need to pay to actually go on the rides at the world famous Luna Park, entry is completely free. If you’re in the area of the Harbour Bridge, it’s certainly worth popping in to see the iconic rides in person. If nothing else, you’ll get a laugh at people’s reactions as they experience the motions of the fearsome rides. One of the best times to visit is at night, as the famous Luna Park face lights up Sydney harbour.

5. Enjoy perfect photo opportunities on Sydney Harbour Bridge

Another of Sydney’s most famous landmarks is the Harbour Bridge. Tourists have free access to take a walk from one side of the bridge to other; a 1km walk offering some of the most stunning views of the city you’ll find. Though you may find yourself a little windswept, the photo opportunities are incredible.

6. Do some whale watching

Go to the North Head lookout at Sydney Harbour National Park (Manly) and enjoy a panoramic view of the Sydney skyline and harbour. Not only can you enjoy outstanding views of the Sydney, but you’ll be in prime position to do some whale watching. Tourists have been known to often spot a whale or two from North Head. The best time of year for spotting whales is between August and December – you might even be lucky enough to see mothers with their newborn calves as they swim south.

7. Experience the Chinatown Friday Night Market

At the heart of Sydney’s diverse cultural community is Chinatown. The markets on Friday nights are a particularly amazing sight to take in. Located in the south of Sydney’s central business district, Chinatown comes alive on Friday nights with stalls upon stalls of traditional Chinese and Thai cuisine, as well as clothes, jewellery and other trinkets. Even if you don’t intend on buying anything, you just have to experience the atmosphere.

8. Walk along Sydney’s most famous beaches

Looking for the quickest way to take in Sydney’s most famous beaches? Take the Bondi to Coogee Walk and within just 3 hours, you’ll not only get in a great bout of exercise but enjoy expanding views of Bondi, Tamarama, Bronte, Coogee and Maroubra beaches as well as Waverley Cemetery and the surfer’s paradise that is MacKenzie’s Point.

9. Catch a free gig

Every night in Sydney opens up a new opportunity to catch an awesome free gig – from music and comedy, to contemporary dance and poetry, such is the culture in Sydney that there is generally always an opportunity for a free cultural or live music experience. The Brag has a great online guide of what’s on in terms of music, and What’s On Sydney should have you covered for everything else.

10.  Hit The Rocks

The Rocks is filled with historical attractions and is a very popular tourist precinct. You could easily spend a couple of hours wandering through the cobblestone streets and discovering the secrets of Sydney’s past. Pay a visit to some of Sydney’s oldest surviving pubs including The Australian Heritage Hotel and the Glenmore. What’s more, the Rocks hosts markets every Saturday and Sunday in which you’ll find artisan goods, food and eclectic market treasures.