Must-Do Sydney Activities for Every Budget



Just arrived in Sydney? This harbour city has so much to offer, and we’ve put together a list of the top things you can’t leave Sydney without doing. Whether you’re hoping to spend as little as possible, are looking for something to splurge on or have no money at all, there are plenty of great things to do for every budget.

SPLURGE ON…

THE SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE CLIMB

 

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The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb is an incredible experience, but it’s expensive! Let’s be honest, though – it’s easily the coolest way to spend three hours in Sydney. Since launching in 1998, over three million people from around the globe have climbed to the top of the world’s largest steel arch bridge. If you commute over the bridge, it might just seem like a regular sight, but trust us – it’s a totally different experience when you’re climbing it. Whether you’re compelled by the view, the workout, the countless Instagram opportunities, or the friendly people you’ll meet on the climb, this is a must-do Sydney experience!

GOT A FEW DOLLARS?

TARONGA ZOO

 

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Keen to see the gorgeous giraffes against the backdrop of the Sydney CBD? Well, you can! A day trip to Taronga Zoo is a fantastic day out for everyone, and the ferry trip from Circular Quay is just as exciting. Spend your day visiting almost 4,000 animals, including native Australian and exotic species, and take your pick from the 20+ daily shows and zookeeper talks to choose from!

OPERA BAR

 

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Nestled between the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, Opera Bar is a great place to enjoy a drink overlooking some famous Sydney landmarks. Whether its breakfast, brunch, lunch, a pre-show dinner or just drinks, this spot is a real treat at any time of day – there aren’t many bars in Sydney offering up this sparkly harbour view! If you’re lucky enough, you’ll even see one of the huge cruise liners departing Sydney and gliding through the Harbour.

SYDNEY AQUARIUM

 

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No trip to Sydney is ever complete without visiting the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium! Home to more than 12,000 animals and 650 species, you’ll feel like you’re really under the sea. The Aquarium showcases all kinds of sea life, including tropical fish, sharks, turtles, dugongs, stingrays, platypuses and penguins. Be sure to take a look at the ‘Feeds and Talks’ timetable to make the most of your aquarium experience – you could meet the dugong named ‘Pig’, find out what animal is known as ‘the Labrador of the sea’, and watch the cuddly penguins splash around!

SYDNEY TOWER EYE AND OBSERVATION DECK

 

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If you’re looking for the highest and most magnificent view in the city, you must visit the 305-metre-tall Sydney Tower! Order one (or five) of the 55 gourmet, multi-cuisine dishes – there’s something for everyone when these kinds of stunning, panoramic views are involved. Keen to visit the Observation deck instead? The deck offers 360-degree views as far as 80 kilometres into the distance – including day and night viewing slots, state-of-the-art touchscreens that provide an interactive and informative element to the city’s famous landmarks, and binoculars to give you the most comprehensive view.

GOT $0?

WENDY’S SECRET GARDEN

 

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Whilst it’s not exactly a secret anymore, this garden is truly a hidden gem. It boasts majestic views of the sparkling harbour foreshore, framing the Sydney Harbour Bridge and CBD. You can also check out native and exotic plants, engraved stone tablets, wooden carvings, artworks from local artists, and plenty of winding paths. If you’re after a relaxing picnic location or a place to meditate or sit and read a book, this is where you should go. The best part? It’s entirely free!

BONDI BEACH

 

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This spot offers a fail-safe and free way to enjoy a more relaxing side of Sydney. Surf, swim and soak up the sunshine at Bondi Beach, take on the Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk for spectacular views, or spend the afternoon in one of the many fabulous cafes Bondi has to offer.

HIKE FROM BONDI TO COOGEE

 

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There’s something about the coastline from Bondi to Coogee that’s different to any other stretch. The breathtaking six-kilometre walking track is riddled with cliff faces, ocean baths, white sand and aqua-blue waters. There are a few magical spots between Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach – including Bronte Baths, Gordons Bay and North Coogee Mermaid Pool.

VISIT SYDNEY’S FREE MUSEUMS

 

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Sydney is home to some top-quality museums, some of which are actually free. Here are a few options for when you need some relief from the hot Sydney sun:

  1. Museum of Contemporary Art: Showcasing the newest and greatest Australian and international modern art, the MCA at Circular Quay is an absolute must. The impressive art deco building is dedicated to exhibiting, collecting and interpreting the work of today’s contemporary artists.
  2. Australian National Maritime Museum: Australia’s national centre for maritime collections, research, exhibitions and archaeology. Besides the free permanent galleries, the ANMM also hosts an ever-changing program of temporary exhibitions and a fleet of historic craft.
  3. Art Gallery of NSW: Sydney’s most important public gallery and one of the largest in Australia. The general exhibition space is free and displays a wide variety of Australian, European and Asian art.

YHA is the biggest budget accommodation network in Australia. With more than 70 hostels around the country, there is a YHA ready to welcome you wherever your wanderlust might lead.