Sydney - the iconic, infamous Australian city that tends to be on every traveller's To Do List. The Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach are all popular attractions - but Sydney has a lot more on offer!
We put the staff at Base Sydney to the test - Is it possible to explore Sydney for less than $10 a day? Here's the verdict:
1. Sydney Ferrys
It is quite common for Sydney locals to commute to and from the city by Ferry. What does this mean? Daily Tickets are CHEAP and allow you to hop on and hop off between ferry terminals which are located at most iconic landmarks.
Our Tip? Head on down to Darling Harbour - just a 5 minute walk from BASE (or Town Hall Station) and purchase yourself an All Day Ferry Ticket. First stop? Circular Quay! Prepare to be blown away as you approach the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Next Stop? Head over to Manly Beach for the day! This is where Sydney's 'affluent' reside and is home to a great cafe and bar culture by the beach.
2. Free Sydney Sights Tour
Operating on a tip basis, Sydney Sights provide a free, daily walking tour of the city – introducing you to the city and its attractions and providing information on activities, how to get around by transport, the best shopping spots and of course, a little bit of history! Tours depart daily from St Andrews Cathedral on George St at 10:30am & 2:30pm. Just look for your guide in a bright green t – shirt!
Sydney Sights also offer walking tours to The Rocks – the site of Australia’s first European settlement. The tour will guide you through the pubs, laneways and the notorious dark side of Sydney’s history. Tours take 1.5 hours and depart at 6:00pm everyday from the west side of Circular Quay.
These tours are fantastic for your very first day in Sydney and a great way to get your bearings!
3. Sydney's inner suburbs by Train
Most of Sydney's "real" character can be found beyond the city centre itself. Buy a daily metro Train Pass and explore Sydney's alternative inner suburbs. You've probably heard of Sydney's alternative suburb Newtown right? The gay friendly, artistic, musical community that is home to some quirky shops, bars and live music is well wroth a visit. Surrey Hills is up and coming and Glebe is also definitely worth a visit (try and get there on the weekends to catch the Glebe Markets) - and if you get off at Central Station - do not miss a visit to Chinatown and Paddy's Markets. Oh and don't forget to check out King's Cross!
4. Free Fireworks at Darling Harbour
Darling Harbour is just a 5 minute walk from Base Backpackers or Town Hall Station. Offering plenty of photo opportunities, Darling Harbour boasts many outdoor cafes, cheap eats, bars and is a popular spot for buskers and street performers.Oh and if you walk to the wildlife centre - you will find real life Koalas in outdoor observatories!
Year round, Darling Harbour host an amazing firework spectacular every Saturday night at 9:00pm.
6. Free city circle bus
Don’t like walking? Bus 555 runs between Circular Quay, George St & Central Station. Buses operate between business hours.This is a great way to explore the City Centre! Do not miss the Royal Botanic Gardens, Hyde Park (there is usually festivals, markets or food stalls available at Hyde Park year round - ask Base Reception to see if there is anything going on when you arrive)! We also recommend stopping by the Opera Bar where you will find Live Music on weekends and buy yourself a well earned pint whilst overlooking the infamous Harbour Bridge!
6. Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk
This is actually one of our FAVOURITE Sydney sights! Buy a 2 hour train pass and head out to Bondi Beach. After an hour or two to check out the sights and bask in the sun (and tans), follow the path from Bondi Beach, along the coast and towards the right. This path will lead you through some amazing beach side suburbs and coastal trails before reaching Coogee Beach! You can then take a bus back to the city! Less than $10? Ohhhh yeah!
7. Bicentennial Park
No visit to Australia is complete without a BBQ picnic in the sunshine! Catch a ferry to Parramatta from Sydney CBD to gain some affordable views of the city and its surrounds. Once in Parramatta, you can take a bus to Sydney Olympic Park station where you will find many parks and lakes with BBQ and toilet facilities to choose from. You can also BYO Alcohol.
8. Sydney Observatory
This historic building (a tad eerie) can be found in the parklands at The Rocks and offers great views of the city. Take a free tour of the observatory and learn not only about southern hemisphere astrology, but also Sydney’s rich history.Great place to go for some amazing Instagram pics of sydney's sunset!
9. Cockatoo Island
Ok so this one is a little more than $10 but well worth it! Sydney Harbour’s largest island is accessible from the city for just $12 return. Explore the island’s rich convict history and relax!
10. Pylon Lookout
With photo opportunities galore, Pylon Lookout is one of Sydney’s best vantage points. The 200 steps to the top of the lookout will introduce you to the history of Sydney’s Harbour Bridge before offering spectacular views of Circular Quay
Oh and we forgot to mention that Base Backpackers Sydney offer daily FREE sight seeing activities! Book Base Sydney here, read our Guide for FREE things in Sydney here or read our Backpacking Guide to Australia here!