Budget Guide: Free (or Really Cheap) Things to Do in Sydney CBD

Are you looking for inexpensive things to do in Sydney CBD?

Sydney dazzles visitors with some of Australia’s most stunning beaches, exceptional cuisine, talented artists and top-notch sports venues. Unfortunately, Sydney is also one of the most expensive cities in the world. Budget travelers tend to limit their time in the Harbour City or even skip Sydney altogether.

things to do in sydney cbd

Luggage storage in Sydney with Stasher

Stasher offers affordable and fully-insured luggage storage in Sydney CBD and the rest of the city. If you ever need to temporarily store your luggage in Sydney, check out one of our many locations around the city.

Free Things to Do in Sydney

If you know where to look, you can still find a ton of free (or really cheap) things to do in Sydney CBD. You can squeeze many of them into a few hours during a layover or gap between early checkout and late departure. Stasher offers convenient and secure luggage storage in Sydney for only AUD $10. Store your luggage at one of our Sydney CBD StashPoints, and check out some of these free (or really cheap) things to do in the heart of the Harbour City.

Free Museums in Downtown Sydney

  • Art Gallery of NSW: Visiting this museum is one of the best things to do in Sydney CBD, especially when you’re waiting for a late train departure. The Art Gallery of NSW showcases Australian, Aboriginal, European and Asian art. The museum offers free admission and guided tours every day from 10 am to 5 pm. On Wednesdays, the gallery remains open until 10 pm for free events.
  • White Rabbit:This free gallery celebrates the avant-garde among Sydney’s contemporary Chinese artists. The gallery is open from Wednesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm.
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art: Located at Circular Quay, this museum emphasizes the contemporary art of NSW’s Aboriginal and Asian populations. The museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm with free admission and tours.

Walking Tour of Sydney’s Must-See Attractions

Unfortunately, the Route 555 Free Shuttle Loop stopped running to make room for a new tram line on George Street. However, the walk from the center of Sydney CBD to the Harbour Front is a breeze. You can store your luggage at one of our Sydney Central Station StashPoint hosts and take a leisurely 30-minute walk to Circular Quay Wharf.

At the Wharf, you will find two things that you must do in Sydney: Walk across the Harbour Bridge and ponder the unusual architecture of the iconic Sydney Opera House. While you’re in the area, make sure that you stop by the Sydney Observatory. The view of the city’s landmarks from Observatory Hill tops the list of things to see in Sydney. Admission is free from 10 am to 5 pm daily.

A Touch of Nature in the City Center

The Royal Botanic Garden, found just to the east of the Wharf, offers visitors a glimpse of some of Australia’s unique plant and animal species. In addition to being an ideal place for a picnic or game of frisbee, the Royal Botanic Garden houses several completely-free things to do in Sydney City, including:

  • The Government House: This castle-like Gothic Revival building houses the Governor of New South Wales. The staff gives free tours every half-hour from Friday to Sunday from 10:30 am to 3 pm.
  • The Sydney Conservatorium of Music: Some of the most talented musicians in Australia have studied at Sydney’s Conservatorium. The University frequently holds free concerts and music workshops.
  • Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair: In 1810, Governor Macquarie commissioned convicts to carve this landmark from local sandstone. The Governor wanted his wife, Elizabeth, to have a comfortable spot to take in the spectacular view of Sydney’s Harbour. A visit to Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, which lies within the Royal Botanic Gardens, is completely free.
In Sydney Botanic Garden

Hyde Park, another popular Sydney CBD nature area, includes the Anzac Memorial. The memorial honors Australia’s WWI veterans. The Anzac Memorial opens from 9 am to 5 pm, and admission is free.

Cheap Eats and Souvenirs in Sydney CBD

Generations of Chinese have made the Harbour City their home, and visiting Chinatown is one of the coolest things to do in Sydney CBD. You can’t beat Chinatown for its delectable variety of economical food. Nearby, Koreatown and Thai town also offer delicious, affordable dishes. Right next to Chinatown, vendors at Paddy’s Markets offer a wide-selection of inexpensive keepsakes and the priceless opportunity to interact with the local culture.

Travelers can also find plenty of budget lunch options at the many food courts scattered among the Sydney CBD office buildings.

More Sydney CBD Budget Tips

  • Every Sunday, travelers can buy an Opal Card pass which grants all-day access to Sydney’s many transportation systems for just AUD $2.60.
  • Visitors planning to spend a bit more time in the city can buy a Sydney Museum Pass, which provides discounts for local attractions.
  • For more information about events and things to do in Sydney CBD, check out Lonely Planet or Time Out for current local listings.