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How to Save Money on a Trip to Sydney

Sydney has finally made it to the top 10 of the most expensive cities in the world. But we want to help you save money on your trip to Sydney and still have a fantastic holiday. There is no denying it; this is an expensive place to visit, right up there with London, Rome and Zurich. Don’t let that be a reason to take a holiday in Sydney off your bucket list.

Sydney on a budget – tips on making your dollar go further

You can have an affordable holiday in Sydney, you just need to plan well and learn some of the insider secrets on how you can save money while you are here.

Today I am going to show you some ways to trim your budget on your Aussie holiday.

1. Do not visit in School holidays or at Christmas and New Year

By choosing your dates carefully you can save hundreds of dollars. Unless you have a free bed visiting Sydney at in key times is expensive.

Check out our guide to the best times for visiting Sydney to find the best weather and prices for your trip.

Hotels, particularly in the city centre up their prices and impose minimum stay rules over the Christmas and New Year period, even coastal caravan parks charge more than New York City hotels.

If you do want to be here in during the holidays plan as far ahead as you can. New Year’s Eve accommodation begins to fill up in August!


2. Use public transport

View from Circular Quay Platform
This has to be the best train station view in the world!

Locals whine constantly about our public transport system and yes it is light years behind Singapore’s but for visitors, it is a great option. Inner-city transport works well, especially outside peak times and the ticketing system is integrated and easy to follow. If you are here for more than a few days just grab yourself an Opal Card and ride away on all buses, public ferries, trains and light rail services till your heart’s content.

Read our guide to Sydney’s Public Transport and be riding like a local in no time!

The biggest bargain of all is Sunday Fun-day which allows travel anywhere in the Sydney train network for $2.70 per day – even to the Blue Mountains!

3. The best things in Sydney are actually free

Some of the best things to do and see in Sydney will not cost you a cent. It is possible to spend an entire day exploring without parting with any of your hard-earned dollars.

Botanic Gardens Sydney

The Royal Botanic Gardens, our gorgeous beaches, walking across the bridge, exploring the historic streets of The Rocks, the Art Gallery of NSW and the harbour-side walks all cost nada.

I’m Free and a couple of other companies off free guided tours of the city you can join. Check out our self-guided history walk to get you started.


4. Stay away from convenience stores and inner-city takeaways.

The CBD is home to at least 6 hidden supermarkets and Paddy’s Market at Haymarket. These are great places to stock up on snacks and drinks, fresh fruit and vegetables and all the other essentials you will need for your holiday.

There are also some very cheap Asian food courts like Hunter Connection near Wynyard Station or the Dixon Centre in Chinatown where you can buy lunch for $6-7 even cheaper after 2pm when prices drop quickly!

5. Grab all the free Sydney guides

Free Sydney Guidebooks

Make sure you pick up all the free guide booklets at the airport and your hotel lobby, especially the ones aimed at backpackers. These feature lots of discount entry tickets, as much as 30% off.  

There are also ads highlighting where you will find cheap pub dinners and cut-price drinks.


6. Request a Sydney Greeter

Sydney Greeters is a free service that matches local volunteers with visitors for a 3-4 hour walk around the city or an inner suburb. It’s a great way to learn more about the local lifestyle and get some great tips for the rest of your visit.

Greeters are more like a local friend or relative you have not met yet, rather than a tour guide. There is no set route and each greeter

So there you have it – my top tips for making your dollar go further in Sydney.  If you have a tip for saving money you would like to share please tell us below.

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