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.

4 star
389 Pitt Street Sydney 2000 Australia

Perfectly located in the heart of Sydney CBD (Central Business District), Rydges World Square offers luxury accommodation with a flat-screen TV. Guests enjoy a fitness centre, a cocktail bar and a res...more

3 self rated
27-33 Wentworth Avenue Sydney 2010 Australia

Travelodge Sydney offers self-contained accommodation just 2 minutes’ walk from Hyde Park and trendy Oxford Street. The property features a fitness centre.All air-conditioned rooms have a kitchenette...more

4 star
75 Wentworth Avenue Sydney 2000 Australia

Featuring free WiFi, Veriu Central in Sydney CBD (Central Business District), is 600 metres from Central Railway Station and 5 minutes' walk from China Town. Guests can enjoy five unique food and beve...more

4 self rated
383 - 389 Bulwara Road Sydney 2007 Australia

Just 3 minutes’ walk from the Powerhouse Museum, Metro Aspire Hotel Sydney offers refurbished rooms with private balconies. It features a restaurant and bar, function rooms and a tour desk. Guests rec...more

3 self rated
17-23 Parramatta Road, Haberfield Sydney 2045 Australia

Offering free high-speed WiFi and free parking, the 3.5 star hotel Garden Lodge Sydney offers rooms with a balcony and a 40-inch LED TV. Just 7 km from Sydney's city centre. It is a 15-minute train r...more

3 star
201 William Street Sydney 2010 Australia

Located in the heart of Kings Cross, ibis budget Sydney East offers budget accommodation just 10 minutes’ walk from Hyde Park, Oxford Street and the Australian Museum. The famous Bondi Beach is a 15-m...more

3 self rated
12A Carabella Street, Kirribilli Sydney 2061 Australia

Featuring a large garden, Glenferrie Lodge provides comfortable accommodation with free Wi-Fi. Some rooms offer a balcony with water views. The lodge is located on Sydney Harbour.All rooms at feature...more

4 self rated
1188 Victoria Road Sydney 2114 Australia

The Select Inn Ryde is located on Victoria Road. Most rooms offer lovely views of the adjacent golf course from the floor-to-ceiling windows.The Select Inn Ryde is a 15 minutes' drive from Macquarie U...more


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