Thursday, May 22, 2014

5 things to do in Sydney for free

Sydney is one of the most expensive cities in the world. It costs about 500 Australian dollars (AU$) perhaps more (About 30,000 Indian Rupees) for a traveler to see important attractions of Sydney over a week’s time.I am talking about only entrance ticket. Forget about accommodation and other costs.
Just to give you an idea of how expensive it is – There is something called bridge climb. Climbing  harbor bridge for 3-3.5 hrs. Isn’t it interesting ? Of course it is. It offers amazing view   from the top of harbor bridge and it is exceptionally beautiful. However, how much does it cost ? Sky high price for the climb starts from 198Au$ and  goes up to  348Au$ depending on the slot you choose-day or night. Do you want to walk inside the Opera house – it costs 35$ ..and it goes on..

Well, I didn’t consider it as worth spending. Rather I would buy a return ticket to some other country :-)
How  to experience Sydney by not digging a hole in your pocket ? Here are 5 free things to do in Sydney

1. I am free Walking tours 

I knew, walking tours are pretty common in all the major cities. Started searching for one in Sydney.  I found couple of walking tours. However, I am free caught my eyes as they don’t fix a price for this tour. No booking! No reservations! It’s for free. They work on tips basis. As they claim ‘ Whether it is rain, hail or storm I am free tour walks everyday’. I joined them for 2 tours. Ross, my guide was brilliant. They are passionate about their city Sydney and they want to share it with  others.  

I am free  guide 
I  recommend to take their tours to get to know Sydney which even some of the locals wouldn’t have known. Day tour will take us from Town hall, CBD, Cathedral, some of the museums, Opera and Harbor bridge. They show us all we could see in 3 hrs. It is then up to us if we want to explore more about the place.Evening walk will take us to the old Sydney's small lanes which once has seen all possible crimes.
Is it Difficult to walk ?
Not at all. Anybody can do. It is not that all 3 hrs you will be walking. There are plenty of places that you have to stop and listen to stories in between. It is a good relaxing walk.

2. Museums

There  are a good number of museums with free entry. Art Gallery of NSW, Museum of Australian currency notes, Macquarie the governor exhibition, Museum of contemporary arts, The rocks discovery museum, Sydney observatory, Government house,  Manly art gallery and Australian centre for photography are few places where we can just walk in. Isn’t it a big basket for free ?
Timings – Most of these museums  will be open between 10 am to 5 pm from Monday to Friday.

3. Royal Botanic Garden

This beautiful Botanic garden is at a walkable distance from Circular quay. Circular quay is  hub for  Ferry, bus and train station of Sydney. This garden  is open from  7 am to 5 pm. I would recommend it for early morning jogging. Green manicured garden overlooking blue ocean is a must see. Best part of the garden is view of Opera and Harbor bridge. This will show Opera and Harbor bridge from the other side of the circular quay. Free walking tour of the garden is also available.

Botanical garden

4. Customs house

Located in the heart of the city, customs house is Sydney’s one of the best heritage building. It houses lot of events, exhibitions ,shows and premier restaurants. Are you a  book worm ? They have a good library reading room overlooking circular quay. It is open till midnight. One of the best feature of the Customs house is city model. 1:500 scale city model embedded in glass will give bird view of entire CBD of Sydney.

City model embedded in glass giving bird's view from top of the glass

4. Circular quay walk

Walk along this ever bustling area is a must for any visitor to Sydney. We get to see Opera on one side and harbor bridge on the other side.

Harbor bridge from circular quay

There are array of restaurants on both the sides. Quenching the thirst with beer in Opera bar is Australians one of the favourite pasttime I heard. We can even take a walk along The Rocks, Sydney's oldest area filled with history all around.
Opera from circular quay

Most of the places mentioned be can be reached by walk from Circular quay or can take bus. Bus # 555 is free. It plies between Circular Quay and Central station

I am sure this info is good enough for you to dig more into details. Hope this will help you to plan your next travel to Sydney. I am open to share any more information that I know.

Have you already been to Sydney before ? Are there any more places to be added to this list ? Pls share...


  1. I love going to Royal Botanic Garden. Beautiful place to relax and do some photography.
    Twinkle Eyed Traveller

  2. Completely agree Rajalakshmi. Beautiful place to go anyday

  3. So glad I found this. I am planning to visit Sydney with some friends but they cant seem to get past the vision of sun and beaches! I love looking for free things in big cities! Also found this which helped me get here:

  4. yes that too cities like Sydney where everything is expensive, these free things are great stuff to do... Pls visit Sydney contemporary art center if you like modern art.

  5. Beautiful place to relax.There are many things to do in sydney.There are plenty of places that you have to stop and listen to stories in between. It is a good relaxing walk.

    1. Yes Ammy. I loved all my walks in Sydney. There is something or the other in all the corners. I love Sydney