15 Things to Do in Sydney on a Budget (2023)

Are you looking for inexpensive things to do in Sydney CBD?

Sydney, Australia’s vibrant and iconic metropolis, is a city that offers a plethora of activities and experiences to suit every budget.

While it’s often considered an expensive destination, there are plenty of wallet-friendly adventures awaiting budget-conscious travelers.

In this guide, we’ll unveil 15 exciting and affordable things to do in Sydney on a budget, with in-depth insights and valuable tips for each.

things to do in sydney cbd

Luggage storage in Sydney with Stasher

Before we dive into our list, it’s worth mentioning that if you’re looking for safe places to store your luggage in Sydney, Stasher offers affordable and fully-insured luggage storage in the city.

If you ever need to temporarily store your luggage in Sydney, check out one of our many locations around the city.

Let’s now have a look at what you can do in Sydney on a budget.

#1. Discover the Coastal Beauty: Coastal Walks

The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk is a breathtaking 6 km (3.7 miles) trail offering some of Sydney’s most picturesque coastal views.

To make the most of your experience, start early in the morning or go in the late afternoon to avoid the midday heat. Don’t forget to bring your swimwear; there are numerous opportunities for a refreshing dip along the way, including at Bondi Icebergs Pool and Bronte Baths.

#2. Cultural Immersion: Art Galleries & Museums

The Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Australian Museum often feature free exhibitions and events.

Plan your visit around these to get a taste of Sydney’s culture without the cost. On weekdays, many museums offer free admission during the last hour of operation, so time your visit accordingly.

#3. Explore the Iconic: Sydney Opera House

While a show at the Sydney Opera House may be pricey, taking a guided tour offers a more affordable way to soak in the magic.

These tours provide insights into the architectural marvel and its history. Book your tour in advance online to secure a spot and potentially save a few dollars.

#4. Green Oasis: Royal Botanic Garden

The Royal Botanic Garden is not just a garden; it’s a botanical wonderland. Don’t miss the Calyx, a futuristic horticultural space, often hosting free exhibitions and events.

Bring your lunch, as picnicking in the garden is a great way to enjoy the beautiful surroundings without extra expenses.

#5. Local Markets: Bondi Beach & The Rocks

The Bondi Beach and The Rocks Markets are treasure troves for unique, handcrafted items. If you’re visiting, make it a mission to stroll through these markets, even if you’re not planning to shop.

The vibrant atmosphere, street performances, and delicious aromas make it an experience to remember.

#6. Free Beach Days: Bondi and Manly

Sydney’s iconic beaches offer free entertainment, from watching surfers conquer the waves to people-watching.

Bring your own snacks and drinks to save money, as beachfront eateries can be pricey. Additionally, free beachside showers are available at both Bondi and Manly to rinse off the saltwater.

#7. Free Festivals: Vivid Sydney

Vivid Sydney, a spectacular light, music, and ideas festival, is a free annual event, but knowing where to find the best displays is key. Circular Quay and Darling Harbour are popular spots. Arrive early to secure a good viewing position, and don’t forget your camera to capture the dazzling displays.

#8. Coastal Adventure: Manly to Spit Bridge Hike

The Manly to Spit Bridge Hike is an immersive experience in Sydney’s natural beauty. To make the most of it, go on a clear day and pack comfortable shoes, water, and a camera. This trail is relatively challenging, so ensure you’re prepared for a 4-hour adventure.

#9. Hidden Gems: Wendy’s Secret Garden

Wendy’s Secret Garden, in Lavender Bay, is a hidden paradise in the city. Bring a book, a picnic, or a sketchbook and lose yourself in the tranquil beauty. T

he garden is also fantastic for bird-watching, so keep your eyes peeled for the local birdlife.

#10. Darling Harbor Fireworks

Saturday nights in Darling Harbour offer a brilliant fireworks display. Arrive early to secure a good spot, and consider bringing a picnic or takeout to enjoy while watching the show. It’s an excellent way to end the day with a bit of magic.

#11. Picnic at Observatory Hill Park

Observatory Hill Park offers a peaceful retreat right in the heart of the city. For a memorable picnic, bring a blanket, a selection of local cheeses, and a bottle of wine.

As the sun sets over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, you’ll experience a quintessential Sydney moment.

#12. Sydney’s Street Art Scene

Newtown and Enmore are the hubs of Sydney’s street art scene. For a more in-depth experience, consider joining a street art walking tour.

These tours provide historical context and insights into the artists’ stories, making it a fascinating journey through Sydney’s vibrant underground art culture.

#13. Ferry Rides

Sydney’s ferry system offers one of the most affordable ways to enjoy the city’s stunning waterfront.

To make the most of this, take the ferry to Manly or Watsons Bay, where you’ll experience panoramic views of the iconic Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, and the city skyline.

#14. Stroll Through The Rocks

The Rocks is an area steeped in history. To truly appreciate it, pick up a free self-guided walking tour map at the visitor center.

This will lead you through cobbled streets, historical sites, and tales of Sydney’s early days as a British colony.

#15. Enjoy the Sunsets: Bradley’s Head

For a breathtaking sunset experience, bring a blanket, some snacks, and a camera to Bradley’s Head. The view is unparalleled, and as the sun dips below the horizon, it casts a magical, golden hue over the Sydney Harbour.


Sydney may have a reputation for being expensive, but as you’ve just discovered, there are plenty of fantastic things to do in this stunning city without emptying your wallet.

These in-depth insights and valuable tips will help you make the most of your budget while exploring Sydney’s coastal beauty, cultural gems, and hidden treasures.

So, pack your bags and explore the dazzling beauty of Sydney without breaking the bank.

More Sydney CBD Budget Tips

  • Every Sunday, travelers can buy an Opal Card pass which grants all-day access to Sydney’s many transportation systems for just AUD $2.60.
  • Visitors planning to spend a bit more time in the city can buy a Sydney Museum Pass, which provides discounts for local attractions.
  • For more information about events and things to do in Sydney CBD, check out Lonely Planet or Time Out for current local listings.