24 great free things to do in Sydney


While we’d never describe Sydney as cheap, one of the joys of the Harbour City is how much there is to do that won’t cost you a cent. The great outdoors is key, with Sydney’s magical array of beaches and national parks all free to access. The center holds some excellent historic attractions that don’t charge entry, and a network of museums and galleries will keep you more than entertained on an indoorsy day. Here are our top picks for experiencing Sydney totally gratis.

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Hit the beach

Sydney is sand city and with some 40 ocean beaches stretching over nearly 40 miles of coastline as well as dozens more in Sydney Harbour and Botany Bay, you are definitely spoiled for choice. The luxuriant crescent of Bondi is deservedly famous but you’re sure to find your own favorite.

The Eastern Beaches run south from Bondi and are easily accessed by bus; the Northern Beaches are further from downtown and a little wilder. Make sure you swim between the flags so the lifesavers can keep an eye on you. Sydney’s smaller harbor-front beaches offer more sedate water, which are great for younger children and less confident swimmers. 

Traverse the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydneysiders are proud of the giant Sydney Harbour Bridge, which opened in 1932. The best way to experience this majestic structure is on foot. Stairs and elevators climb up the bridge from both shores, leading to a footpath on the eastern side (the western side is a bike path). Getting the train to Milsons Point and walking back toward the city is the most spectacular way to do it: the skyline and harbor vistas are…

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