10 Free Things to Do in Sydney
Sydney is the capital of New South Wales in Australia. You can find many iconic buildings such as the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge in postcards, calendars, books, magazines, on TV and in movies. Visiting Sydney is a must and it is should be part of your bucket list. For Malaysians, we are very fortunate as they are many airlines offer real good deals flying direct from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney. You can take the opportunity of it and visit Sydney at least once in your lifetime. Many people have the perception that Sydney is a very expensive place to visit and actually it is not the case. In fact, there are plenty of free things to do in the city you can explore. Based on our experiences and all our trips to Sydney, we listed down all the 10 Free Things To Do in Sydney you should know.
1.Free Walking Tours in Sydney
You know it’s not just any random free tour when it’s ranked #2 of 338 Tours on Tripadvisor, ahead of many other free and paid tours in Sydney. I’m Free Walking Tours offer daily tours around downtown Sydney where you get local insights on Sydney’s culture, events, art, restaurants and hidden bars. There is also the evening tour of The Rocks, Sydney’s oldest district and home to Australia’s early European settlement. Here, you can turn back time and walk into old colonial civilizations where you learn the history of its convict past, murders and muggings as you explore its cobbled lane ways, pubs and buildings.
2.Explore Sydney’s Coastal Walks
Sydney is blessed with long stretches of coastline and sparkling, beautiful waters. Unlike the usual sandy shores we are used to in Malaysia, the beaches in Sydney will take your breath away with its dramatic, rugged cliffs that look out into crashing waves of the vast Pacific Ocean.
The most famous beach of all is perhaps Bondi Beach. It’s a haven for local surfers, but there’s definitely much more to it. Take the iconic Bondi to Bronte coastal walk for amazing views of the landscape – where you will also walk past the Bondi Iceberg POOL, supposedly one of the world’s coolest ocean pool. Instagrammers will also love Bondi’s seawall of colourful graffiti.
Other gorgeous (and free) coastal walks include the Manly to Spit coastal walk near Manly Beach as well as the Gap at Watsons Bay.
3.Spot Humpback Whales During Migration Season
What’s even better than taking a stroll along breath taking coastal cliffs that offer fascinating views? Well, if you are in Sydney during the whale migration from late May to early November, you can even spot whales from the shore!
Bondi, Manly North Head and Watsons Bay are all top whale watching spots in Sydney where you can try to see these friendly giant from afar.
4.Visit Sydney’s Buzzing Markets
Sydney has plenty of interesting markets where you can explore and soak up its bustling atmosphere without paying a cent (if you can resist not buying anything of course). We would recommend checking out the award-winning Carriageworks Farmers Markets’ every Saturday morning, or The Rocks Markets in the weekend.
The famous Sydney Fish Market is also free for visitors to walk through, and is the largest working market of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
5.Get first-class views of the Sydney Harbour on a public ferry
Well, technically you will have to pay for your ferry ride (about A$6) – but this one is a local secret. Sydneysiders need to shuttle between different points along the harbour and will take the local ferry, a public transportation that is no-frills (unlike the more fancy cruises that tourists usually go for). Public transport or not, you still get unblocked views when you go past the Sydney Opera House and under the Sydney Harbour Bridge – just make sure you grab a window seat or head straight to the open deck at the top.
6.Take a break and chill at the Forest in the City at Royal Botanic Gardens
The beauty of Sydney is it is not a concrete jungle. There is the forest in the city at Royal Botanic Gardens. We love to walk around the Royal Botanic Gardens during winter, getting fresh air and checking out this beautiful hidden gem of Sydney.
For one of the best views of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Opera House, walk to the nearby Mrs Macquarie Chair that sits on the edge of the peninsula.
7.The theme park with a smile at Luna Park
This is probably one of the few theme parks in Australia which is free with the killer harbour view. However, the rides are priced at A$10 per ride but you get the free experience.
8.Crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge you have to pay but crossing the iconic bridge is free. You can do a big circuit walk from Darling Harbour to Circular Quay and cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge before walking back to Darling Harbour. With the different landscape of the city, you will enjoy this walk. The view from the Sydney Harbour Bridge is spectacular!
9.Discovering Sydney’s Suburbs
Some people say Sydney is very busy as there are many suburbs in the city. In our opinion, it is the hidden gems the locals won’t tell you. Stroll around Oxford Street in Paddington, King Street in Newtown or Crown Street in Surry Hills and you will find many unique boutiques to shop, cafes, patisseries, restaurants and dessert places.
Instagram hot spots include The Birdcages in Angel Place and the ‘I have a dream’ mural in Newtown which was the backdrop for Coldplay’s ‘A Sky Full of Stars’ MTV.
10.Experience the world’s largest festival of light, music & ideas
Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas, is also Australia’s biggest event. From 26 May to 17 June 2017, this magical event transforms Sydney into a colourful, bedazzling outdoor canvas. Simply stroll by the harbour at night to enjoy spectacular light installations, interactive art displays and projections on buildings, including the sails of the Sydney Opera House.
In reality there are more than 10 free things to do in Sydney but we hope this is good enough to convince you to have your next holiday or trip to Sydney. We love the city as it offers so much and yet there are plenty of free things to do. Thus, if you think Sydney is expensive, think again.