Sydney is an expensive city. Trust me, try living here. But when you look beyond the touristy facade there are a lot of free things to do in Sydney. When you’re travelling as a young traveller, family or backpacker you need to search for things that don’t cost an arm and a leg to do but still give you a great experience to talk about when you get home. So here’s my list (from a local) of the best free things to do in Sydney.
Darling Harbour to Circular Quay Walk
The city has just invested a huge amount of money revamping the point that juts out into the harbour between the touristy spots of Darling Harbour and Circular Quay. In between the two they have developed a spectacular new park called Barangaroo. The park allows you to walk the entire waterfront between the two harbour areas and takes in amazing views of the city, the Harbour Bridge and the ocean on the way.
Take a picnic blanket and relax in the sun with the rest of the locals as you take in one of the best views of the city. In terms of free things to do in Sydney it has one of the best views.
Bondi to Coogee Walk
The cliff top walk between Bondi and Coogee is iconic in Sydney. The walk will take somewhere between an hour or two depending on your fitness level/how many times to stop to take in the view. I was fairly sceptical about this being a touristy thing to do until I actually headed there. Now it’s where I take every friend who visits Sydney.
Stop by Tamarama or Clovelly on the way for a coffee or to relax on the beach. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon soaking in the beach vibe of Sydney hence the reason it has made the list of best free things to do in Sydney.
To get to Bondi you’ll need to take a bus, some genius decided that the train would terminate at Bondi Junction which is short of the beach itself (and not walking distance short). You can find buses here.
Well it’s not technically free as you’ll need to purchase a ticket for the ferry (which does give you a free transfer). The ferry system is the best way to see Sydney. When it comes to taking the ferry in Sydney there aren’t really any boring places to disembark. Every suburb has it’s own little cafes and places to hangout.
Ferry hopping is a great way to see the parts of the city that you wouldn’t normally see. Cremorne, Manly and Rose Bay are three suburbs that I’d recommend in terms of free things to do in Sydney.
Check out the ferry timetable here.
Prymont and Glebe
Prymont and Glebe are two trendy little suburbs bordering the CBD of Sydney. Prymont is home to the Star Casino which is worth having a look at by itself. As long as you don’t have a gambling problem it should be a great free thing to do in Sydney. Prymont is full of cafes and offices of start up companies. It has a very young vibe about it and is definitely worth a walk around. Sitting between Prymont and Glebe are the Fish Markets. The markets themselves are not especially amazing but the food is fantastic. Although it doesn’t match the free things to do in Sydney criteria if you can spare a few extra dollars for fresh seafood I’d highly recommend it. If you happen to be visiting during a public holiday avoid at all costs due to the massive influx of people.
A ten minute walk from the fish markets is the suburb of Glebe. A mishmash of tiny town houses, cafes and waterfront walks Glebe is a favourite with locals for their weekend hangout. It takes in a great view of the city too.
The best way to get to Pyrmont and Glebe is via the city light rail, you can find a guide to the light rail here.
If you have other great free things to do in Sydney comment below, we’d love to hear. Interested in showing travellers your local city? Become a guide today.