It’s coming up to the anniversary of our first year in Sydney… how time flies! In that time, I have done and seen so many amazing things, some free, some expensive, some here for a short while, some permanent fixtures.
Whilst I am far from being a Sydney expert, I thought I would compile a list of free things to do here, most of them perfect to do all year around, for anyone who is thinking of travelling here or looking for something to do in this wonderful, but at times expensive, city.
1. Walk Sydney Harbour Bridge. I think Jack and I walk the bridge at least once a month. Whilst people who have grown up in Sydney might find the harbour overrated, or as I once heard someone call it ‘Australia’s worst tourist attraction’, we haven’t quite got over the ‘pinch me’ moment of seeing Opera House and thinking how lucky we are to be here. Walking the bridge is completely free, although there is a lookout that you can climb for $15 for a better view or for a few hundred you can actually climb the bridge.
2. Visit Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden. In my opinion, this garden has some of the best views of the harbour and is an incredibly tranquil spot in the city. Take a book or a picnic and spend a few hours unwinding!
3. Head to the incredible galleries! There are so many free galleries in Sydney, but my favourite is the Art Gallery of NSW. First of all, it is HUGE so you can spend a good amount of time there. Secondly, the exhibitions change often so there is always something new to see. When we went, there were even live exhibitions with artwork being painted in front of us. For any budding artists, there are certain times in the day when you can pull up a chair and draw with other artists. Another major plus – it has good air con. You’ll thank me for that tip in summer!
4. Take a walk around the Royal Botanic Gardens. Situated to the side of the Sydney Opera House, the botanic gardens are in the most perfect, picturesque spot. With water views one side and city skyline views on the other, they are a great place to wander around for an hour or two.
5. Visit the most photographable venue, The Grounds of Alexandria! An Instagrammers favourite, The Grounds regularly changes it’s incredible themed walkways. As I type this, the theme is Christmas, but during my time here it has been Aladdin, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Maleficent themed. You can eat here too, although I personally find the food a little overpriced and not too special to say it is such an iconic spot. Still though, it’s so pretty that it is well worth a visit.
6. Visit Luna Park. As cheesy and as touristy as it is here, I love Luna Park. It makes me feel like I’m an extra in Grease, what can I say? Whilst you have to pay to go on the rides, you can walk through Luna Park for free and see all of the weird and wonderful retro rides. For anyone only interested in big, thrill seeking theme parks or wanting to see what the fuss is about, this is a great alternative to paying over $50 for a ticket.
7. Have a picnic in one of Sydney’s many parks. For such a big city, Sydney still has so much green space. Why not make the most of it by going for a picnic? Hyde Park in the city is pretty central and has a big, Friends like fountain in the middle.
8. Go to the beach, of course! Sydney has some incredible beaches. Bondi is the busiest and most popular for tourists, with Manly a close second. My personal favourite is Balmoral, a tranquil, serene beach that doesn’t have the strong waves like some of the other beaches.
If you went to Sydney, what would you want to do?