Sydney’s friendly people, stunning weather and work-to-live mindset mean you’re sure to love all that this fabulous city has to offer. Free activities abound; whether you’re an adventurer keen to explore the accessible outdoors or you’d prefer something a bit less strenuous, you can put your money away. Some of the best things to do in Sydney are completely free.
The one and only Bondi
Nothing says Sydney like the legendary Bondi Beach. Flanked by grand sandstone headlands, Bondi is not just a place to enjoy the sand and sea; locals and visitors alike love it for its shimmering oceanside swimming pool. With walking paths that caress the cliffs and views for days, head here for out-of-this-world photo ops and endless people-watching opportunities. You may even run into Hugh Jackman – a regular here.
Grab some culture at the MCA
Aboriginal art is one of the oldest forms of artistic expression in the world, and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in Circular Quay is a fantastic place to experience it firsthand. Learn about the meaning behind the iconic symbols and explore the permanent collection’s sculptural and functional objects. Visual storytelling brings the history of Australia’s Indigenous peoples to life. Roam the exhibits at your own pace, or book a free tour.
Blooms and bubbles
The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is a cool green oasis of beauty in the city. Rather than chiding you to ‘keep off the grass’, here, signage actually encourages you to make yourself welcome on it. Stroll through the grounds to see native flora either at your leisure or on a free 60 or 90-minute guided walk. These tours take place twice a day – 10:30am and 1pm Monday through Friday – and depart from the Garden Shop. Be sure to check Royal Botanic Garden’s official website for more details. Or take a picnic, find your own patch of paradise and open some bubbly as you say ‘Cheers!’ to Sydney.
The Spit-to-Manly walk
This 10km walk requires a moderate level of fitness and takes about 3.5 hours. The walk hugs the coastline and offers a wonderful combination of bush and beach terrain. Reward your efforts with a refreshing ocean swim at the 6km mark. Its stunning vistas, Aboriginal rock engravings and well-maintained track mean many locals consider this Sydney’s best hiking trail.
Have a wander at the Quay
Circular Quay is action central and easily accessible by train, bus and ferry. Bustling with activity day and night, the Quay is a great place for a meander. Street musicians and talented buskers entertain crowds and compete for your attention, and a paved promenade leads to excellent window-shopping and, ultimately, to the famed Sydney Opera House. On the western side, The Rocks is jam-packed with history. Discover this charming area at your own speed or find a free walking tour (typically, about 90 minutes) led by locals.
With so many free things to do in Sydney, the hardest part of your day may be deciding just where to begin! Enjoying this jewel of a city does not have to cost you anything at all. Get even better value: ask your knowledgeable Hilton Concierge to advise you about these and other incredible budget-friendly activities in and around the city. They’ll be able to tailor just the right experience for your Sydney stay.