Sydney is one of the best big cities we have visited so far. We are travelers who don’t like big cities because they are noisy and crowded with prices beyond our backpacker budget. However, Sydney is different.
Sydney offers a lot more than a typical big city. We came stressed, but by the time we left, we were in love. We would even consider living in Sydney. In this city, there is no need to drive for long hours to end up in beautiful and amazing nature. Everything is nearby. No more than a 15 min drive and you get wonderful beaches or breath taking walks. Sydney is located in the state of New South Wales and we camped during 10 days without paying anything. Check out our Camping experience in New South Wales.
Like any big city, you have millions of things to do and plenty of different activities. You can be next to the city center and feel like you’re completely outside the city, like in the jungle or in the country side.
People are cool and nice, nothing compared to any other big city. Their environment is certainly the reason.
We were lucky to visit Sydney and spend a few days with our backpacker friend, Aicha, who is settled here for few months. Thanks to her, we enjoyed the city even more.
A big thanks to Sami, Amine’s high school friend living in Sydney, who helped us discover one of the best spots to watch the sunset, known only by locals.
In this article, we wanted to share with you some tips to do free things or for cheap.
Walks with beautiful lookouts (free)
- Manly Walk: This walk starts at Spit Bridge and finishes at Manly Beach. It’s an easy walk around different bays and through Sydney Harbor National Park. After approximately 10km of walking you end up at Manly Beach where you can relax, sunbathe and swim. You can even take a picnic with you and do the same as all the Australians, enjoy life in beautiful settings.
- Fairfax Walk: This walk starts at Manly Beach and finishes at Fairfax lookout. We recommend this 2 hour walk before sunset, so you can enjoy sunset overlooking Sydney’s Bay. It is a beautiful spot to take great pictures. We had Apéro with Sami and Aicha who live in Sydney. This walk is a local secret as you reach the destination, It’s not crowded at all.
Free Walking tours with a guide in Sydney
- Sydney Sights Tour Walk: Starts at George street between St Andrews Cathedral and Town Hall and finishes near Circular Quay. It covers the Opera House, The Rocks, Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney Tower, Harbor Bridge, Sydney City, Circular Quay, and Martin Place. The tour takes 2.30 to 3 hours and starts everyday at 10:30am and 2:30pm (from George street). This walk covers approximately all the iconic sites that you need to see.
- The Rocks Walk: Starts at Circular Quay (West Side) everyday at 6pm and covers all of The Rocks district, which is the oldest district.This tour takes 1 1/2 hours (from Circular Quay).
Day activities in Sydney
- Royal Botanic Gardens: nice walk around flowers with a nice view of the bay and the Opera House. We loved it.
- The Rocks discovery museum
- Manly art Gallery
- Australian center for photography, for photographers or passion, this is the place to check out.
- Walk around the Darling Harbour
Cheap Activities in Sydney
Check out the website Groupon.com, it offers loads of cheap activities. We got the chance to do the Speed boat in the Bay 60% OFF.
Night activities in Sydney
- Hero of Waterloo: Free Live music from Friday to Sunday.
- Opera Bar: Free Live Music and DJ’s every evening
Beaches in Sydney
- Manly beach, after the Manly walk we chilled in the beach and enjoyed a Jazz Festival.
- Bondi Beach
- Ball Morale Beach: There is a walk which really cool around this bay, we did not have time to do it. But if we go back, its on our bucket list. Tip: From the end of Fairfax Walk, you can get an amazing view over Ball Morale beach.
Best spots to take pictures
Anywhere is a great spot for taking pictures. It depends if you prefer urban or natural landscapes. Anyways, they are all magical in their own way.
- Luna Park – beautiful view of the bridge and the Opera House
- Fairfax lookout – majestic view of the Bay (Our fav)
- From the ferry between Manly and Circle Quay – this provides a beautiful view from the bay over the Opera House, the Harbor Bridge and the Prime Minister’s house (30 min for $8 AUS one way or $15 round trip)
- CBD district – for building lovers, check out the CBD
- Milson Point – the lovers spot apparently <3
For Shopping in Sydney
- From Darling Harbour, head to the Padington Market or City Market (Chinatown market) to buy cheap souvenirs- Careful, it is closed on Tuesday
- CBD is also a good address to buy basic goods and luxury items.
Tip: A nice walk is possible between both addresses.
Where to Eat in Sydney
- Chinatown – is a great spot to eat a variety of things for cheap.
- Huggos – Best Australian Pizza with a nice view over the Manly Pier. At night, the music and vibe are great. Try the Mushroom Pizza. It’s my favorite.
- Moo Burger, Also a located in Manly with a nice view on the top floor. You get gourmet and delicious burgers with sweet potato fries.
Where to Grab a Drink in Sydney
- Opera Bar – Beautiful view over the Opera House and the Harbor Bridge.
- O Bar – This place is unique and there are few like it in the world. Grab a drink and enjoy a 360° view over Sydney as the bar rotates. Fab experience. (prices are alright for Australia)
- Blue Bar – Shangri-La Hotel – This chic bar is a nice spot to get a crazy view over the Opera House and the Harbor Bridge. (Expensive)
Hope that you will enjoy Sydney as much as we did.
If you have any further free or cheap things to do in Sydney, please let us know and we can update our article.
JerryPeps by AGBackpackers