The Best of Sydney Without Spending a Cent

It is easy to spend a fortune in Australia’s most famous city. Fine dining restaurants, swanky bars, luxury hotels and designer shops are dotted all over Sydney but it is possible to have a fantastic time and soak up the best the city has to offer without spending your entire travelling budget. Discount Sydney hotels can be found at the click of a mouse, and what could be better than a cheap but delicious fish and chip meal eaten whilst looking over the harbour towards the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House? Furthermore, most of the best things to do and see in Sydney are completely free!

Sydney Harbour
It costs absolutely nothing to view Sydney’s most iconic landmarks. Walk across the ‘coathanger’ bridge and gaze up at the white sails of the Opera House for that “wow, I’m really in Sydney” feeling. Visit during the day to see it all clearly but make sure you come back at dusk to see the sky redden, sharpening the distinctive silhouette of the Opera House and time a walk along the bridge to watch the lights of the city start to twinkle in the growing dark. There are many hotels near the Opera House, making accommodation options easy.

Bondi Beach
For a taste of true Aussie life, you’ve got to hit the beach and Bondi is famous world-over for its ever-ready surf lifesavers, bronzed bodies lying on the sand and surfers hitting the waves. Grab a towel and your bathers and enjoy a blissfully relaxing day on Australia’s iconic beach or, if you fancy being a little more active, hike the 6km along the cliffs to Coogee Beach.

Sydney Harbour National Park

Many still find it incredible, but certainly admirable, that such a large swathe of prime real estate in the city has been left as bushland. Sydney Harbour National Park incorporates parts of the inner harbour and several small islands and offers many coastal walks with fantastic views. Possibly the best is the Manly to Spit Bridge Scenic Walkway, a 10km track that weeps from  Manly to Dobroyd Head and over the Spit Bridge, rewarding hikers with Aboriginal rock art and spectacular views of the entrance to Sydney Harbour. Staying in a hotel in Manly also provides an more relaxed accommodation option, away from the madding crowds of the city yet close enough to visit all the attractions.

Parks & Gardens
Sydney has a plethora of lush, leafy parks and gardens, best of which is  the Royal Botanic Gardens, first laid out in 1816 and a short walk around the water’s edge from the Sydney Opera House. The gardens contain over a million specimens and are well worth a wander. Close by is Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, a historic site overlooking the harbour that is a perfect spot for a picnic or a rest under a shady tree away from the sun. For a bit of culture, the nearby Art Gallery of New South Wales has a free permanent exhibition, including works by indigenous artists.

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