Sydney, Australia can be an expensive destination to visit, but there are ways to save money and still experience the cosmopolitan city that Sydney is. Here are a few of my favorite tips to help take the sting out of a sometimes expensive destination.
Take a free walking tour
There are free walking tours offered that show you around the highlights of the city during a three hour tour. You will pass by St Mary's Cathedral, the General Post Office, the Sydney Opera House and much more.
Tip: You get together at the meeting point and look for someone in a T-shirt saying “I'm free”. Of course they appreciate a tip at the end, but it's completely up to you as to what you think is reasonable. There's no need to book in advance. For the hours and meeting point, check here.
Look for alternatives
Instead of spending a lot of money on the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb (although you really should try it at least once in your life), climb the Pylon Lookout at a fraction of the price you would pay for the Climb. Or walk across the bridge for free!
Instead of going up the Sydney Tower to have a view over the city, consider having a drink at the 360 Bar and Dining at the Sydney Tower which offers a 360-degree view over the skyline of Sydney. Or go to the O Bar and Dining at Australia Square. Both these places offer great views over the city while enjoying a drink or meal. (Do keep in mind you might have to make reservations and they do ask that you order a certain minimum.)
There are lots of sights to visit that offer free entrance. For example the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Mint, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Customs House, to name just a few.
Finding a nice place to eat when abroad can be tricky, but Sydney offers a wide range of international cuisine. You can splurge on some very good restaurants or you can look out for more budget friendly options like having a delicious treat at Bourke Street Bakery in Surry Hills. Or try the tasty tacos at El Loco.
There is a free bus every 10-15 minutes, number 555, in both directions on a loop from Central Station to Circular Quay. Monday till Friday from 9 am to 3.30 pm. On the weekend it runs from 9.30 am till 6 pm. (And a late evening run until 9 pm on Thursdays)
Fun in the sun
Want some beach time? Take a ferry to Manly Beach, which will also give you the opportunity to see the skyline of Sydney from the water. If you take the ferry back into the city around sunset, you will an affordable sunset cruise into the harbor overlooking the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
Have you been to Sydney? What are your best tips?