The article is written by Paige Murphy
Looking for something fun to do in Sydney? There is so much to see and do here! If you’re on a tight budget or feeling a bit broke (what student isn’t?!), then don’t stress – there are plenty of activities that won’t require a single cent from you. Here are our top ten fun activities to do for free in Sydney.
1. Catch some waves at Bondi Beach
It’s Australia’s most famous beach – this stop off is a must. The beach stretches from the North Bondi grassy knoll (a great spot for picnics) all the way around to Icebergs (aka the best spot to snap for your Instagram). Have a dip in the water but make sure you stay between the red and yellow flags – or you might end up on Bondi Rescue!
2. Do a coastal walk
One of the perks to living in Sydney is being right by the ocean. This means we have so many beautiful coastal walks you can do with stunning views. Our favourites are the Bondi to Coogee and the Spit to Manly. The Bondi to Coogee not only offers amazing views but if you don’t feel like walking the whole way or feel like a dip you can stop off at any of the beaches in between like Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly and Gordon’s Bay. The Spit to Manly is a much longer walk but well worth it, taking you along the coastline and through the national park. Just make sure you take some water and comfortable walking shoes with you!
3. Have a picnic in the Royal Botanical Gardens
Okay, so the picnic part might cost you extra (unfortunately, cheese isn’t free) but the location itself is free for you to visit. Make sure you check out the Rose Garden before picking a spot for your picnic down by the water. You’ll have the best views of the harbour and all the pretty flowers to stare at.
4. Walk across the Harbour Bridge (via the pedestrian route)
So walking over the actual bridge costs money but to walk across it via the pedestrian path is completely free. Get up close and personal with our most famous landmark and see some spectacular views of Sydney from it. Depending on which way you are walking, you can also stop by the Rocks on the city side or head to Luna Park for fun and games over in North Sydney.
5. Visit an art gallery
Sydney has some great art galleries that showcase a wide variety of local and international art – and the good news is, most exhibitions are free! Stop by the Art Gallery of NSW and see some of their free exhibitions that range from traditional Aboriginal art to Asian art. For bigger exhibitions like the Archibald prize, you will have to pay but they are well worth the visit. Head over to the Museum of Contemporary Art if you like cool installations, multimedia works and post-modern art. To see some really personal works by one Australia’s most well-known artists, Brett Whiteley, head to his gallery in Surry Hills. For more information, click here.
6. Stop by the markets
There are SO many great markets on the weekends in Sydney and they are all free… until you can’t resist buying something cool you have seen them! On Saturday’s you have Glebe and Paddington markets whilst Rozelle and Bondi run all weekend. You’ll be able to find everything from new and vintage clothing, accessories, furniture and homewares, food, art and other little trinkets or second-hand goods.
7. Go whale watching
I guess you have to be lucky with this one but the best spot to see them is up on Sydney’s Northern Beaches between May and November. Head up to Palm Beach to see them where you can also do the beautiful walk up to Barrenjoey Lighthouse, and visit where Home and Away is filmed (if you’re lucky you might even see some of it!).
8. See a classical music concert
If you like classical music, then you’ll love the free concerts put on at the Conservatorium of Music. See some of Sydney’s best musical talent perform in lunchtime and evening concerts. The Conservatorium is right by the Royal Botanical Gardens – so you can have your picnic before or after your visit. To see what is on at The Con, click here.
9. Check out some street art
Sydney’s Inner West is full cool, hip bars and cafes… and amazing street art! Take a walk through the streets of Newtown to see lanes filled with cool art. There are tours available if you would like to know more about the art, or you can have a look here and take yourself on a tour. No two artworks are the same!
10. Take a yoga class
Did someone say free yoga? Yes, we did. Lululemon stores hold free yoga classes in-store. Suitable for all levels, if you’re looking to practice but don’t want to (or can’t afford to) pay $20+ for a class, then this is for you. Have a look at their store locator to find your nearest store and when classes are held. Be sure to get there early if you don’t have your own mat as the classes are really popular!