Staying for

How to Explore Sydney on a Budget

We all have heard people say that Sydney is expensive, but did you know that you can explore the city without breaking the bank? In this guide, we’ll take you through some exciting free and low-cost activities, including the best place to stay with the best value.

1. Explore the Royal Botanic Garden

Located right in the heart of Sydney, this world-class garden has views of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge - the two most iconic landmarks in Australia. With no admission fee, it offers a peaceful and serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. It’s a perfect spot to take a relaxing stroll and surround yourself in nature. 

2. Check out Sydney's iconic beaches & do the Bondi - Coogee walk

Sydney’s world-famous beaches are definitely not to be missed while you’re in the city. From Bondi Beach, Coogee Beach and Manly Beach, you won’t need to take out your wallet to spend the day here. Soak up the sun, swim in the crystal-clear waters or simply enjoy the laid-back beach culture, there are so many things you can do. 

While you’re here, another must-do free activity in Sydney is the famous Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk. Not only do you get to see Sydney’s best beaches and stunning coastline, you get to explore cliffside paths, serene coves and rock pools. Don’t forget to bring your camera for this as you’ll have plenty of photo opportunities throughout the walk.

3. Take a ferry to Taronga Zoo 

Get a taste of both wildlife and Sydney’s harbour by taking a budget-friendly ride from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo. The ferry ride itself costs $8.50 per person one way, and entry to Taronga Zoo costs $51 per person, $45.90 if you buy online. However, you can get a package where both ferry & zoo entry are included for $69.

4. Try authentic Asian food at Spice Alley

Located in the Chippendale neighbourhood, this vibrant and popular dining destination is perfect for those who are looking to try some of the best Asian cuisine in Sydney. Spice Alley features hawker-style food stalls and small eateries which are friendly for budget travellers. From Thai, Malaysian, Vietnamese and Chinese dishes, you’ll be guaranteed to have a unique and dynamic dining experience!

5. Check out The Rocks Markets

Every weekend, The Rocks Markets come alive in the historical neighbourhood of Sydney, The Rocks. If you want to discover unique local crafts, arts and products, this market is for you. Live music performances will be available for you to enjoy while you immerse yourself in the area’s rich history. Unless you’re buying items here, this market is pretty much cost-free!

While you’re in the area, might as well check out George Street Food Gallery. Perfect for those who want to grab a quick lunch while visiting the markets, or you can also try some of the delicious cocktails at one of the bars.

6. Explore Newtown

Explore the vibrant neighbourhood of Newtown, known for its eclectic street art and unique shops. It's a budget-friendly way to immerse yourself in Sydney's urban culture. Check out art stores, vintage shops, theatres, live music, restaurants and bars, this boho urban area has everything for everyone.

7. Visit White Rabbit Gallery

The White Rabbit Gallery is a contemporary art gallery that focuses on Chinese contemporary art. The gallery was founded by Judith Neilson and is located in Chippendale. Free of any admission, this is definitely a must do while you’re in Sydney! Discover cutting-edge and thought-provoking works by Chinese artists, both established and emerging.


Aside from all of the above, Vulcan Hotel provides guests with free walking tours in the city. Simply ask the receptionist to see if there are any available, and you’ll get to explore the best of Sydney for free and guided by a local! 

If you’re looking for places to stay, Vulcan Hotel Ultimo would be the Ultimo choice for you. It’s a boutique hotel in Sydney perfect for any types of travellers - solo, couple or small groups. They have the best Sydney accommodation deals to help you save even more. 

In the end, you can definitely explore Sydney on a budget. So, pack your bags, head to town and make the most of your budget-friendly adventure!

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