Sydney Budget Holiday Guide
Do have champagne taste...but like to travel on a beer budget? While Sydney is renowned as one of the most expensive cities in the world, with a little right brain thinking – and a few miserly insider tips - there are plenty of ways to enjoy the Emerald city for free or on a whiff of an oily rag.
Day 1: Lap up the sights, sounds and scents of inner Sydney:
- Backdropped by one of the world most envied views, chill out on the grass around Circular Quay while busking human statues, musos, acrobats and a host of sideshow indescribables provide hours of entertainment for nothing more than a few greatly appreciated silver coins.
- Stroll around the Opera House and through the lush cool, green Botanic Gardens to see the Fernery, Succulent Garden and a variety of bird, jogger and tai chi life on your way to…
- Hyde Park, for a cheap picnic lunch from the Pitt St food court. Then watch serious little men ponder over ridiculously big chess pieces, or catch a few rays by the fountain.
- Fuel up for a night of pub crawling around Surry Hills with a mouth-watering $9 laksa—chock full of chicken, shallots and rich coconut broth - at much revered Sam Satay.
Day 2: Up for a day of cultural and artistic exploits? Feast on some tasty Sydney brain food for free (or a gold coin bequest):
- Expand your mind wandering the State Library of NSW’s boggling array of exhibitions, displays and events.
- Enjoy the sweet sounds of the next big things in classical music during lunchtime concerts at the Conservatorium of Music, Sydney University.
- Pop into the brilliantly fun and eclectic Museum of Contemporary Art down at Circular Quay where you can explore the galleries, exhibits, and jump on a free guided tour.
- Dine like a city high flyer without disembowelling your wallet at the stylish Martin Place Bar. Great nosh for less than $20 any night plus special food, beer and cocktail nights if you’re there during the week.
Day 3: After two nights out on the town, it’s time to hit the refresh button with some Sydney beach bumming and bargain shopping:
- And the winner is... Homebush Bay Olympic Park where you can walk trails, slice off the driving range, splash in the pool, fly like a fox and more. And you can easily get there from the city by train, bus, car, ferry or carrier pigeon.
- Do lunch at DFO Homebush and then ransack the outlet stores of 90 big brand names in fashion, shoes, jewellery (and stuff that won’t fit in your suitcase) at up to 70% off.
- Take the train and bus to Bondi Beach then meander along on a 2.5 hour coastal walk to Coogee for some amazing views, perhaps stopping in Gordons Bay for some snorkelling.
- Devour schnitzel, salad or steak at Five O’s on Coogee Beach. $5 including view.
Recommended Sydney Budget Hotels:
- Get a PM’s Harbour view without the price tag or the job stress at the Glenferrie Lodge in Kirribilli—an Australian National Trust Building built in 1898.
- At the Ibis Sydney World Square, near Central Station you’re right in the heart of Sydney, staying in recently refurbished rooms and even have access to a mini-gym.
See the list below for more Sydney Budget Hotels.
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