See & Do,  Travel Guides & Tips

How to travel Sydney on a budget

We don’t need to go on and on about how beautiful Sydney is, or tell you how you need to add Australia to your list of adventures— because that’s clearly a given. If you don’t have the means to travel luxuriously, it’s completely okay! You can have just as much fun traveling on a budget. It all comes down to how you plan your finances for the trip and what you think is worth splurging on. In today’s blog, we have a break-down of everything from air transport to things to do in the city. Read ahead if you’d like to know our take on budget-traveling in Sydney! 

Air transport 

The flight you take will probably be the biggest chunk of your traveling budget — and we’re sure you’re aware of the rule of thumb: The earlier you book your flights, the better. It’s good to have a timeframe and a season to visit planned ahead of time. Keep a lookout for Sale Season — Black Friday Sale, 11.11, 12.12, or other seasonal and festive deals. 



Aside from your flight, your accommodation is another thing that will take up a chunk of your budget, so it’s on you to find the pot of gold among all the cheap and reasonable options. But fret not, we’re here to help! If a beachside hostel suits your vibe, check out Mad Monkey Hostel Coogee Beach. It’s also close to Bondi Beach — the star of Sydney.


Wake Up! Sydney Hostel is also one of the most popular hostels nestled in the heart of Sydney, giving you ultimate convenience. 

Note: Do keep in mind that the cost per night varies depending on the season. 

Getting around 

Some people say that getting lost in a foreign city adds to the adventure, but others say it’s just unnecessary anxiety. So we’re coming in between to lay out your transport options. 

Best case scenario

You have a friend who has a car that can take you around. 

Opal card (public transport) 


What is it and where do I get one? 

Opal is the electronic ticketing system that’s used in Sydney. It’s available for purchase at most of the supermarkets or convenience stores. 

What’s the price of an Opal card? 

All you have to do is pay and top up (you can do so online, through the Opal app, or at a Top Up station) for the rides that you take. Train and bus rides cost between 2 to 4 AUD, plus you can also use it when you go on a ferry, which can cost up to 8 AUD. 

Worst case scenario

You explore nearby places by foot. As for us, we’re not a huge fan of intensive cardio. 


Things to do 

Here comes the best part, all the exciting things you can do. For free. Or for an affordable price. 

Free things to do:


The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Maritime Museum, and The Art Gallery of New South Wales offers free entry for visitors.


Sydney Greeters are volunteers who can take you on a tour throughout the city. I’m Free Tours of Sydney also gives you free tours around the city.


The Government House conducts tours every half an hour for 45 minutes on weekends.


The Sydney Opera House is free too if you’re not seeing a show.

If your trip to Sydney is in line with the Sydney Festival, Mardi Gras, Biennale of Sydney, or New Year’s Eve Fireworks — they’re all free to go too! 


Walk around the Royal Botanic Gardens for photos with lush greenery! 


Affordable things to do: 


Hike the Blue Mountains. On Sundays, it costs no more than 3 AUD. 


Check out The Olympic Pool for only 8.50 AUD the whole day. It has some cool views to flaunt! 

  • Rent surfboards, snorkeling gear for around 15 AUD. 
  • Go trampoline jumping at Skyzone Alexandria for no more than 20 AUD. 
  • Join a drop-in Yoga class at Pocket City Farms for 15 AUD.
  • Catch a comedy show for only 10 AUD at Comedy Lounge.
  • Go stand-up paddle boarding at Manly beach’s Manly Kayak Centre for 10 AUD an hour. 

Places to eat 

Stressing over your bank balance won’t get you dinner at a pish-posh restaurant, so don’t let that come between you and your appetite! This city isn’t the cheapest but its variety of restaurants and cuisines will surely impress you. 



Bills – Bondi 

You have to have brunch in Australia, that’s just the way you should roll. It’s said that Bills serve the best corn fritters in the city. Guess there’s only one way to find out. 



Tamaleria and Mexican Deli

Known for fresh tortillas, steamed hot pockets of white corn flour with chicken and sharp tomatillo salsa. 



Ho Jiak Haymarket

Indulge in classic Malaysian dishes like Nasi Lemak, Laksa, and more. 



Spice I Am

Slurp hot Tom Yum soup in cold weather, mmm. 



Banh Cuon Ba Oanh 

Silky rice noodle rolls — a traditional Vietnamese breakfast, and it’s never too late to try. 


That’s all for now, folks. We hope the suggestions are helpful! Now that you’ve read up till here, you may open a spreadsheet to plan your trip to Sydney. 


Time to go wild on a Sydney adventure! Check out our Flights, Hotels and Xperience deals to inspire your trip.

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