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Sydney is one of the most amazing cities in the world, but it can also be one of the most expensive.

From a morning cup of coffee to a bunk in a hostel, the cost of visiting Sydney often catches travelers off guard, and might be a little bit higher than you were expecting.

However, you don’t have to let a trip to Sydney break the bank! Here are our top tips and tricks for saving money while visiting this incredible city.

Pro Tip: If you’d prefer to experience Sydney with an awesome group of new friends why not join an Intro Travel group tour that will show you the best of Sydney for a low price.

Budget Travel Hacks: 9 Ways to Save Money While Visiting Sydney

Walk Everywhere

Budget travel Syndey Australia

Taking an Uber or public transport in the city can drain your hard-earned cash faster than you think. If something is in a walkable distance, walk it.

The city is absolutely beautiful, and you never know what exciting things you’ll discover on foot, plus it might well be a faster way to travel than getting stuck in city traffic!

In terms of a route for a self guided walking tour, start at the Harbor bridge at Circular Quay. Stroll through the historic Rocks District towards the Opera House, walk through Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens, enter Sydney’s city centre, and finish your day in Darling Harbor.

Save Long Trips for Sunday

Public transportation can get pricey and busy during the week, but on Sundays all travel is capped at just $2.70 no matter where you visit! That’s on all trains, buses, ferries and light rail.

If you have a long trip planned, why not wait to do it on a Sunday? Consider checking out the stunning Blue Mountains or the beachside town of Port Stephens, both just a couple of hours out of the city.

There are tons of cool activities in Port Stephens, such as sand boarding huge dunes, that make for a perfect one day get-away from the city.

Take Advantage of the Beaches

Sydney is home to some of the most famous and stunning beaches in the world, and the best part is that they’re free!

Enjoy the beauty Bondi Beach has to offer by laying out to tan, going for a swim, or even playing some beach volleyball. Though do keep in mind that Bondi is jam packed with tourists at the best of times, and Sydney has many other fabulous beaches with far fewer crowds.

The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk is a great way to take in some of the most breathtaking views that Sydney has to offer. There are endless restaurants & cafes along the way to stop and get a snack in, and you’ll knock out your workout for the day while having a blast.

Make sure to stop in and do some snorkeling in some of the hidden coves along the way. Access to the coast is free for everyone.

Take the Ferry

If you still want more time on the sand, check out Manly Beach for a change of scenery.

You can take the ferry over for just $7 and see some jaw-dropping views of the opera house and the harbour bridge on the way.

It rivals the views of a harbour cruise but is a much more affordable option.


Hostel bed RF

Even if it’s something out of your comfort zone, you should absolutely consider staying in a hostel over a hotel room.

Hostels are by far the cheapest way to stay in Sydney, and the most fun! It’s a great way to make some new friends to discover the city with, since you’ll be living with like-minded travellers during your stay.

Australian hostels are typically of a high standard in terms of cleanliness and safety. Things to keep in mind when booking a hostel are whether or not towels and linens are provided. In many of the nicer hostels, they are. In lesser hostels, they are not.

Also make sure you choose a hostel that is near your desired sightseeing attractions, as it will cut down on your transport costs if you’re centrally located and can walk everywhere.

Visit the Opera House

Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House is the most iconic point in Sydney, and it is totally free to see.

You can wander around the steps and take some fabulous pictures while you’re at it! It is also a great spot to catch a beautiful view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the distance.

In terms of getting great shots of the Opera House itself (photography is a hobby that is totally free), Kirribilli is on the outskirts of the Sydney CBD, and offers great views of the Opera House at anytime of the day or night.

The best time to head here is for sunrise and sunset. If you pack a wide-angle lens you can get both the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House into the frame.

Pro Tip: Kirribilli is easily accessible via public transport; there is a train station closeby, or you can catch a water taxi or ferry and get off at Jeffery St Wharf. 

Walk the Bridge, Don’t Climb It

Sydney Habor Bridge at Sunset

Now that you’ve seen the bridge from afar, you’ll be itching to experience this towering marvel.

Instead of paying hundreds of dollars to climb it, take a stroll across the Harbour Bridge on a sunny day. You’ll see identical views for a fraction of the price!

Less than halfway across the bridge you will reach Pylon Lookout. A highly underrated attraction, spend $13 and climb to the observation area 87 meters above sea level. Here you will find the best views of Sydney.

This is a great, cheaper alternative to the Harbour Bridge Climb.

Research Nightclubs Prior To Going

Blogging Sydney Blog Computer Laptop

Some clubs and bars in Sydney may have a pricey cover charge for entry, while drinks can be even more expensive!

The secret to enjoying a night out and seeing some of Sydney’s coolest clubs without worrying about your bank balance is simple! Make a plan before heading out.

Every club offers free or cheaper entry during certain times, and many of them offer discounted drink specials as well. You don’t have to go broke to experience Sydney nightlife if you do your research!

Consider Doing a Group Tour

If all this sounds great, but the planning part of it is keeping you from going, then consider doing a group tour instead.

Intro Travel has phenomenal group tours that help you experience all the best parts of Sydney and do all the planning for you.  All you have to do is sign up and make memories that will last a lifetime.


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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.



  1. Walking everywhere is such a smart way to save chedda and to stay in shape Meg. We only laid over by the airport in Sydney – twice – but found just walking around the area saved us scratch and helped us to grab a bite to eat from different areas. I imagine how fun it’d be to walk around the down town area.


    • Absolutely Ryan, and I find when you’re really interested in the scenery you don’t even mentally clock the exercise 😀 Definitely if you have the chance to visit Sydney again on a longer layover, the downtown area is a lot of fun to walk around 🙂

    • You’re welcome, hope it helps!

  2. Looks majestic

    • Majestic is a good way to describe Sydney!

  3. I love Sydney. One of my favorite cities… Beautiful and so friendly 🙂

    • So glad you had a fabulous time! One of our favorites too 🙂

  4. I’ve been in Sydney three days already. I could have used this advice four or five days ago!

    • Better late than never right 😀 Hope you’re having a fabulous time!

    • I just left and am en route to Alice Springs and the Outback. Had a wonderful time in Sydney! So much I didn’t get a chance to do!

    • Always good leaving on a high note like that though because means you’ll return at some stage for a second trip 😀

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