Sydney

Six Things to Do in Sydney That Don’t Cost a Cent

Free things to do every day of the year.

Hermitage Foreshore Walk, Vaucluse
Photo: Destination NSW

Living in Sydney is no cheap feat, but it also happens to be an outdoors city, making it a playground for surfers, hikers, and anyone who enjoys nature. The city is also home to several museums, and if you know the right time to go, you can get in for free. 

After all, the best things in life are free, so here are six things you can do in Sydney without breaking the budget.

win tickets to see client liaison perform

Attend a gig in a fridge

Usually, attending a music festival or performance would cost a pretty penny, but this exclusive gig in a fridge is completely free. As you might imagine, there’s a catch, which is you have to win a ticket, but we will tell you how. BWS is hosting a Client Liaison gig inside a literal cool room. Think music festival, except on a smaller scale. It’s also the world’s second-ever music performance in a big fridge (after Melbourne, of course). To enter, you will need to create a BWS account. Once you’ve done that, click this link and pop in your details. Good luck!

best beaches sydney
Photo: Destination NSW

Beaches

There are more than 100 beaches lining the coast, from Bondi to The Entrance on the Central Coast. Even if you don’t want to drive two hours to Toukley, you can soak up the sun on Bondi Beach, or snorkel at a secret beach such as Milk Beach in Vaucluse, or Chinamans Beach in Mosman. Ride the waves at Sydney’s top surf beaches, including Cronulla, Manly, Palm Beach, Curl Curl, and Narrabeen.

national parks sydney
Photo: Destination NSW

National Parks

Get lost in a leafy lush parkland that is less than an hour drive from the city centre. The Royal National Park is a majestic playground boasting beaches, lookouts, rivers and wildlife. Head to the Blue Mountains to chase waterfalls, find quaint mountain towns, and jaw-dropping views. A few other national parks include Bouddi National Park on the Central Coast, Sydney Harbour National Park, a great option for views of the city and waterways, and Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

sydney walking trails
Photo: Destination NSW

Walking Trails

Whether you want to go on a quick walk by the beach or a five-hour hike up a mountain, there are plenty of walking trails. Awe at the million-dollar mansions on the Hermitage Foreshore Walk, or lace up your walking shoes for a four hike from Manly to Spit. Bradleys Head Chowder Bay starts with a view of the Harbour Bridge and ends at a secret beach. The Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk is always a showstopper, with a view at the top, and Bondi to Coogee winds around the coast, offering ocean views the entire way around. 

museums sydney
Photo: Destination NSW

Museums and Attractions

Gawk at a Monet, or enjoy a bit of culture at the Museum Of Contemporary Art Australia and the Art Gallery of NSW, which offer free entry. You can also get into the Powerhouse Museum for free, as well as some parts of the Australian National Maritime Museum. If you want to climb aboard a ship, you need to buy a ticket. You can visit Cockatoo Island for the cost of a ferry ticket, and you can enter the grounds of the Sydney Observatory to view the museum for free. 

Sydney markets
Photo: @carriageworksfarmersmarket

Markets

Visiting a market is free, but we take no responsibility for how much you spend at the market. Still, perusing through your local market is always a great way to see what’s out there, to find the best pastries and sourdough, and maybe something unique to add to your homewares. The Rocks Markets boasts stalls by talented artists selling fashion, jewellery, textiles, art, and more. On Saturdays, hit the Glebe Markets, Balmain Markets, or Rozelle Collectors markets to find some treasures. Manly also has markets by the beach which are worth a browse. If you’re a foodie, the Sydney Fish Market is a must-do and Carriageworks Farmers Market in Redfern is where you will find fresh pie, bread, vegetables, and other tasty treats.

picnic spots sydney
Photo: Destination NSW

Picnics

Shake out a rug, pack up a wicker basket with cheese, fruits, and snacks, for a picnic on one of Sydney’s best picnic spots. Picnics are a great way to spend time with family and friends and is cost-effective too. There are plenty of spots to set up camp, including Bradley’s Head Amphitheatre in Mosman, Mrs Macquarie’s Chair in the Royal Botanic Gardens, and Observatory Hill in Millers Point. Blues Point Reserve in McMahons Point has views of the Sydney Harbour, as does Cremorne Reserve, and Dudley Page Reserve. 

Get the latest from Thrillist Australia delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe here.

Sydney

All of the Sydney Food News You Need to Know

For all your Sydney food moments.

Family or friends having pizza party dinner. Flat-lay of people clinking glasses with red wine over rustic wooden table with various kinds of Italian pizza, top view. Fast food lunch, celebration (Family or friends having pizza party dinner. Flat-lay
Photo By Foxys_forest_manufacture/Getty Images

There’s plenty to celebrate this year, from new menus to restaurants throwing parties, bottomless brunches, and more.

Here, we have the latest on Sydney’s food news, from chefs taking over restaurants to limited-edition menus and feasts for all your friends to enjoy.

  • To celebrate World Gin Day, and for one week only, gin and food lovers can try nagashi-sōmen—translating to ‘flowing noodles’— which sees noodles sent down a bamboo chute for diners to collect with chopsticks. The one-off experience will be hosted at Kid Kyoto, where guests can enjoy their flowing noodles alongside a menu paired with delicious KI NO BI Gin cocktails. Purchase tickets here.
  • Tuck into a Fireball Burger
  • Feeling the cold? Fireball Whisky and Bar Luca have teamed up for the ultimate firey menu. Offered for a limited time only, head down to Bar Luca for $6 Fireball shots all day, a Fireball shot and cocktail on arrival, and an all-you-can-eat bites of the full “Blame Fireball” menu on Saturday, July 1. Book a spot here
  • For two nights only, on Tuesday the 20th and Tuesday 27th of June, Graeme Hunt, Head Chef of Sydney’s trending late-night bar and dining venue at Zaffi, will be stepping up to the kitchen at award-winning bar PS40. Pop-up guests can expect a mosaic of colourful Lebanese-inspired bar snacks paired with exclusive midweek sips made by the mastermind behind the experimental bar, Michael Chiem.
  • Fan of Cinderella? The Great Hall is transforming into The Royal Palace for an enchanting high tea from July 1-2. There will be dancing and fun, and then Cinderella will run out of the venue leaving behind her glass slipper—the search for the missing beauty will begin. Tickets for the Cinderella High Tea costs $80-85 and you can purchase them here.
  • Grill’d has dropped two new burgers, and they’re beyond anything we could have imagined. Taking inspiration from Mexico, Grilld’s two new burgers are a Zesty Mexi and Luxe Nacho Burger. The Zesty Mexi features a black bean pattie with corn chips, tasty cheese, slaw, jalapenos, and chipotle mayo mixed with green tomatillo lime salsa. For meat lovers, the Luxe Nacho Burger is the same as the Zesty Mexi, but with a premium Wagyu pattie.

Get the latest from Thrillist Australia delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe here.

Related

Our Best Stories, Delivered Daily
The best decision you'll make all day.