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Budget-friendly Ways to Enjoy Sydney

  • Sydney is a dream destination for many travellers and often finds itself top on the lists of the most expensive cities in the world. While this is undeniably true, you don’t always need to have a fat wallet to enjoy what this glamorous city has to offer. All you need is some insider knowledge and planning. I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of months here in the Emerald City and while the tourist hotspots like Darling Harbour serve some exxy cocktails and events, you can still find plenty of attractions that will let you explore the city on a  budget.

     

    Combine Dining with Sightseeing

     

    You don’t need to climb to the summit of Sydney Harbour Bridge for epic views! Cruises are a popular attraction in Sydney but a lot of residents won’t recommend it, usually citing the more affordable ferry system. But over the course of the last couple of months I've been on several cruises including the harbour cruise lunch and I don’t think I stress this enough– it is an experience worth considering! There are many benefits over ferries. They cover the same ground more than once and at a slower pace, giving you the chance to compose better photos and have a really good look at the attractions. Cruises like the multi-million dollar catamaran have more deck space, so better views, and lasts around three hours. And apart from offering close-up views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, a Sydney Lunch Cruise also lets you indulge in gourmet food and drinks!

     

    Take Advantage of the Free Events

     

    Sydney’s social calendar is jam-packed with events, there is always something going on in the city, from small-scale events hosted at the many museums to mega annual festivals like Vivid Sydney. Vivid is a massive festival taking place from the 27th of May to June 18 and it paints the city in rainbow. Most of the festival is free but there are few ticketed events as well. World-famous Pride Parade also takes place around this time. Check out the events calendar and try to time your visit to line up with some of these free events.

     

    Coupons, Coupons, Coupons!

     

    I remember when I used to make fun of my mom for her obsession with coupons but when I arrived in Sydney, it’s a habit I picked up quickly. For instance, when I dine at Cantina Bar Balmain which offers a degustation menu, I could easily snag a 40-5-% off if I redeem my groupon voucher, instead of booking directly. And the best part is that these vouchers are not just limited to foods. From cinema tickets at Govinda’s to sightseeing tours there are tons of epic ativie you could do while you're in the city. You can even redeem them on select harbour cruises mentioned earlier!

     

    Aboriginal Heritage Tours

     

    The Royal Botanic Garden is one of the go-to destinations for tourists and residents alike. The garden which was opened in 1816, features plants and flowers from around the world. Also in the midst of all the greenery are hothouses with palms and ferns along with Calyx, a stunning exhibition space featuring a glasshouse gallery with varied plant-themed exhibitions. The history of the place is something worth your eyes and ears. This was once an initiation ground for the gadigal people. You can gain a deeper insight into the region and its rightful owners on the free 1.5 hour guided tour that runs everyday!

     

    Bonus Tip

     

    Although the public transport is pretty decent throughout the city, in the early hours of the morning when buses are limited, the price of taxis can easily empty your wallet. Catch an Uber or go for ride-share options which will likely be your best friend during your time in Sydney.

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