Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a pocket full of pennys in order to have a good time in Sydney, Australia. In fact, Sydney is rife with enjoyable activities that will cost you absolutely nothing at all. Check out this list to discover all the fun and free things to do in Sydney.
1. Royal National Park
Located in Sydney’s south, the Royal National Park is a place widely known for adventure and outdoor recreation. Take a day trip here and pick from barbeques, fishing, bushwalking, birdwatching, whale watching and more. For a true Royal National Park experience, ensure that Wedding Cake Rock, the Figure 8 Pools and Wattamolla Beach top your visit list.
2. Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk
Embark on one of Sydney’s most classic coastal trails, the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk (or its equal alternative, Coogee to Bondi). Soak up the sun and sea with this 6 km stretch of stunning coastal views and pass by the best in beaches on the eastern coastline. Bring along your swimmers for a spontaneous dip into cool blue waters along the way, or a home-packed picnic to enjoy along the sandy shores or scenic cliff top spot.
3. Art Gallery of NSW
Be inspired as you peruse the incredible works of both modern and contemporary art, hanging on the walls at the Art Gallery of NSW. Pop into the gallery and discover art from across the world with an insightful guided tour. There are also a range of ongoing free and creative events, from fun artmarking tours for children aged 3-5, to special talks by pronounced members of the art community.
4. Luna Park
Did you know entry into Sydney’s most famous theme park is totally free? Simply save those dollars for your ferry ride over and bring along your camera for some totally insta-worthy shots of the iconic Luna Park face. You will however, need to spare some extra cash if you want to join in all the fun and action. Check out their annual passes or twilight saver deals (from after 6pm) if you want to ride on a budget.
5. Museum of Contemporary Art
Admire some more incredible masterpieces at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The museum boasts an incredible collection of over 4,000 works by Australian artists since 1989, as well as a significant representation of work by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. Residing in West Circular Quay, a walk over to the MCA will also subject you to the remarkable views of two other of the city’s icons, the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
6. Powerhouse Museum
Creative and curious minds alike should take to the Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo for an opportunity to learn more about the world of applied arts and sciences, including innovations across technology, science, engineering and design. You will need to become a Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences member to enjoy free entry to their 12 permanent exhibitions, which also includes free entry to the Museums Discovery Centre and discounted entry for the Sydney Observatory - both a worthwhile trip as well.
7. Centennial Park
Centennial Parklands is the city’s largest park, located in the beautiful suburban side of Sydney (but still relatively close to the city centre, as well as many of Sydney’s famous beaches). This park is a popular place for picnics, walking the dog or riding your bike. If you’re interested in learning more about the park’s unique plant and wildlife, join a tour led by Parklands Rangers, or enjoy a self-guided tour on your own.
8. Royal Botanic Gardens
The Royal Botanic Gardens is a picture-perfect spot for a family-fun outing, romantic picnic date, or even a casual stroll spent in solitude. As Australia’s oldest living scientific institution, the RGB is also a place of learning and discovery, as well as offering unique Aboriginal Heritage Experiences. You will also find many other gems located in this magical area, such as Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, the Conservatorium of Music and the Domain.
9. North Head Sanctuary
Get ready to be left breathless by the spectacular harbour views located from the top of North Head Sanctuary. Pick from a number of walks and self-guided tours and keep your eyes peeled for the beautifully diverse range of wildlife and flora surrounding you. History buffs should also check out the military remains here.
10. Vivid Sydney
Marked as one of the biggest festival’s of its kind, the annual Vivid Sydney festival is one not to be missed. As part of its Lights program, the entire city of Sydney is quite literally lit up by spectacular light installations sprawled across popular precincts such as The Rocks, Royal Botanic Gardens, Darling Harbour and more. If you do happen to have a few dollars to spare, there are also a number of reasonably priced music & idea-based events over the three week festival. If there’s anything on this list to check out, it’s this one!
Check out these photos of Vivid Sydney.
More Tips on Free Things To Do in Sydney
- Free City Walking Tour. Departs daily at 10:30AM & 2:30PM from Sydney Town Hall. No need to book, just show up and you'll get to see the Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Circular Quay, Sydney Tower, The Rocks, St Marys Cathedral, Pitt St Mall & more
- Free 555 Bus. Feeling Lazy? There is a free 555 shuttle bus that will take you throughout the city centre from Central Station, Circular Quay, George St & Elizabeth St
- Markets: Every weekend you can find funky little markets in the city’s suburbs: Glebe Market, The Rocks Market & Paddington Market are our favourites.
- Free Wi-Fi Hot Spots: Circular Quay, Public Libraries & McDonalds Restaurants
Heading to Sydney?
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Author: Destination NSW is the lead government agency for the New South Wales (NSW) tourism and major events sectors. Our vision is to make Sydney and NSW one of the world’s most successful tourism and events destinations. Plan your trip and find attractions, events and more at Visit NSW and Sydney.com.