Whether you are travelling in Sydney solo or you feel like a little alone time, there are plenty of free amazing things to do to keep you occupied and make you smile. Sydney is known for its great walks to explore, museums to visit and beaches to relax on. They say that the best things in life are free, even more so when the sun is shining – here are 10 examples of how to spend your time wisely without it costing a penny.
Explore the Manly to Spit Walk
Enjoy a stunning walk through a mix of bushland and scenic harbor trails. The 10 km Manly to Spit Bridge Coastal Walk is made up of a series of short tracks which pass through some of North Sydney’s most stunning beaches, bays and inlets. Take the ferry from the city to Manly and begin the walk from the Manly Wharf towards Dobroyd Head and take in a gorgeous view of the harbour. From there, continue through the Sydney National Park at Castle Rock and pass through the shorelines of Clontarf Beach, Sandy Beach and Fisher Bay. From May to November, keep a look out for the migrating whales as they make their way north. The walk takes about 3-4 hours to complete.
Relax in the Royal Botanical Gardens
A true sanctuary, the Royal Botanical Gardens are a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. If you are looking for things to do in Sydney and want to relax in nature, the gardens are perfect! Just a short walk from Circular Quay and Hyde Park, the garden has thousands of plants and spectacular wildlife such as colorful birds, fruit bats and water dragons. Enjoy spectacular views of the Sydney harbour, Opera House and bridge. Volunteer guides can lead you through the gardens on free walks daily at 10:30 except on public holidays and 1pm on weekends. You might want to relax in this tranquil oasis for a while. Why not curl up under a tree near the water with a book and some nibbles? It’s an ideal afternoon!
Venture out to Barangaroo Reserve
Barangaroo Reserve is Sydney’s newest Harbour foreshore park! An old concrete container terminal has been redeveloped as a natural rocky headland landscaped with 75,000 native trees and shrubs. Barangaroo provides never before seen views of the harbour, features lookouts, walking and cycling trails, coves, picnic spots and places for relax in peace. It’s a great place to have a wander or take a break from the busy tourist sites. From Saturday morning yoga to markets, from aboriginal cultural tours to botany and public art, there is always something interesting on at Barangaroo.
Walk and learn on a free city tour
Sydney Sights Free Tours are held daily at 10:30 am and 2:30 pm and start from Town Hall Square. The tours last for about 3 hours and are full of history and fun facts about the city. In addition, they help you get acquainted with transport, culture, events, restaurants and hidden bars so that you can make the most of your time in Sydney, like a local. The tour will cover locations and landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House, the Rocks District, Hyde Park Barracks, St Mary’s Cathedral, Customs House, Queen Victoria Building, Laneways & art, Martin Place, Circular Quay, Underground Tunnels and much more!
Catch some rays at the beach
Sydney is an incredible coastal city in that is blessed to have such a stunning array of sun kissed, sandy beaches. Whether you travel to the north or south or in between, you are guaranteed to encounter some of the best beaches in the world. The north beaches include Manly and Palm beach and to the south there’s the quieter Cronulla and beaches that stretch all the way to Wollongong along the Grand Pacific Drive. They are easily accessible by public transport. Bondi is Sydney’s most famous beach but be warned, it can get quite crowded.
Go on a Cultural Experience Walk
Sydney’s Culture Walks app provides city tours at you figure tips and at your own pace. Simply select from a tour on the list provided by the app. You can choose from historical tours, public art tours, architecture tours. You can also select from a list of points of interests that are near your location. A map will take you from place to place during the tour. At each place of interest, there is information explaining its significance. For an example, you could choose the Barani Redfern tour. This tour will take you through a suburb that was a powerhouse of the political activism in the 60s and 70s that created educational, cultural and community facilities that continue to support the Aboriginal community today. The tour is 1-2 hours and you will stop at 15 significant locations.
Visit the NSW Art Gallery
If you are looking for something interesting to do indoors and want to get your culture fix, try the Art Gallery of NSW for a free learning experience. The Gallery of NSW is proud to present fine international and Australian art in one of the most beautiful at museums in the world and it’s mostly free! Be inspired by the Gallery’s permanent galleries and most temporary exhibitions. Enjoy most events, tours, talks, music and film. You’ll find modern and contemporary works on display in light-filled spaced with stunning views of Sydney and the harbour. There are galleries dedicated to celebrating the arts of Asia and Aboriginal and Torres Staight Islander art as well as collections of colonial and 19th century Australian and European works.
Take on the Bondi to Coogee Walk
One of the most iconic journey to complete in Sydney in the famous Bondi to Coogee walk. This activity is highly rated on leisure and travel guides, and for good reason. The walk extends for six km and features stunning coastal views, beaches, parks, cliffs, bays and rock pools. Have a swim along the way. Stop at one of the cafes for takeaway or enjoy your packed lunch at one of the beaches or rest stops. The walk takes about 2 hours to complete from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach. The Walk will take you past the Bondi Icebergs, the famous swimming pools surrounded by the ocean. The pathways lead out to Tamarama and Bronte, well known beaches and watch the surfers catch a wave. View the most scenic cemetery in Waverly for a photographic moment. Admire the waves crashing against cliffs as you make your way from Clovelly to Coogee. Don’t forget water, sunscreen and a hat!
Immerse yourself in history at The Rocks Discovery Museum
The Rocks is a popular landmark of Sydney that has a history lesson at every corner. Discover this area of Sydney from pre-European days to the present at The Rocks Discovery Museum. Housed in a 1850s Sandstone warehouse, the museum is home to a unique collection of images and archaeological artifacts found in the Rocks. Enjoy interactive touch screens, audios and visual elements that bring the history to light. Take a step back in time and learn about the establishment of the English colony and the time when the sailors, whalers and traders made The Rocks their home.
Sightseeing from Sydney Harbour Bridge
Fit for both pedestrians and cyclists, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a pleasant way to get your daily step count in whilst observing some breathtaking scenery of North and South city shorelines. The walk time is just around 20 minutes end to end which is ideal for a quick power walk or going halfway along for the ultimate Sydney Opera House photo shot. It doesn’t matter what time of day you choose to do this walk, the views will be stunning regardless. If you access the bridge from the southern side, there are stairs to the bridge from Cumberland Street in The Rocks. To access the bridge from the northern side, go to Milsons Point jetty, walk up the hill to the stairs that take you on to the bridge.
For more fun and exciting ideas to try when exploring Sydney alone don’t miss out on iVenture Card’s top recommended and night-time things to do guides.