Top Attractions In Sydney For Free

Sydney is a great place to visit. This modern city is home to some of the world’s most famous attractions, such as the iconic Sydney Opera House. When visiting Sydney on a budget, the best way to enjoy your trip is to check out the many cheap things to do in Sydney.

attractions in Sydney that are worth checking out are the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Royal Botanic Gardens, Bondi Beach, Lane Cove National Park, Parramatta Park, Art Gallery of NSW, and many more!

The best thing about visiting Sydney is that there will always be something free for you to do regardless of the time of the year. For instance, one of the free things to do in Sydney this summer is to visit the many free beaches that include the famous Bondi Beach, Palm Beach, and Shelly Beach. If you are traveling with your kids in tow, one of the free things to do in Sydney with kids is to have a picnic at the Parramatta Park, an idyllic park featuring 200 acres of land area.

So if you’re in the process of planning for a budget trip to Sydney, you better check out this list of free things to do in Sydney.

Free Things To Do in Sydney

1. Sydney Harbour Bridge (Free)

4.5 Free Tourist Attraction

Spanning one of the world’s largest harbours, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a masterpiece of construction. Upon its completion in 1932, the steel arch was the second longest in the world, with a span of more than 500 metres; soaring to a height of 134 metres above sea level, it remains the tallest of its kind. Nicknamed “The Coathanger” for its distinctive shape, the bridge has become the centrepiece of the harbour city, and a focal point for national celebrations. Its New Year’s Fireworks displays are world-renowned. Among the painters employedto keep the bridge steel grey was once Paul Hogan – later to achieve fame as Crocodile Dundee.

Visitors are free to stroll across the bridge on the eastern footpath, with spectacular views of the harbour and the skyline; cyclists may cross the harbour in the western lane. But for the most breathtaking views of Sydney, visitors may pay to take the Bridge Climb, ascending to the summit of the enormous arch.

Opening Times

2. Royal Botanic Gardens (Free)

4.5 Free Tourist Attraction

The Royal Botanic Gardens of Sydney is among the finest public showcases of flora in the world. In 1816, the colonial governor of NSW, Lachlan Macquarie set aside some 75 acres of shorefront as a preserve for the rich array of local and foreign botany. Intended as an exclusive garden for scientific study, the gardens were opened to the public 15 years later. Today, the gardens welcome around 3 million visitors every year.

Visitors can stroll among red gums and swamp oaks that predate the European settlement of Australia, or rest against the twisting trunks of sprawling Moreton Bay Figs. The garden paths are punctuated by ornate fountains and statues, while the large herbarium and glassy greenhouse pyramid are reminders of the botanical research still conducted within the grounds. Exiting the gardens via the northeast gates, visitors can continue a few hundred metres to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair – where the governor’s wife once sat gazing out over the harbour of the growing colony.

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3. Bondi Beach (Free)

4 Free Tourist Attraction

In the land of 10,000 beaches, no beach is more famous than Bondi Beach. Each year, more than 5 million visitors are riding its waves. And all year round, tourists from around the world flock to lay their towels in the drawn to this one kilometre arc of golden sand. The closest beach to the Sydney CBD, it acts as a magnet for many locals during the hottest days of summer; even in the coldest days of winter, surfers can be seen sand and bronze their skin in Speedos or bikinis.

More than just a beach, Bondi is a social and cultural phenomenon. The beachfront and surrounding community is packed with hundreds of restaurants, cafes, bars, and hotels. The setting for countless television programs, Bondi Beach was the focal point for David Hasselhoff’s failed attempt to create “Baywatch Down Under.” Every August, close to 100,000 runners wend their way from downtown Sydney to Bondi Beach as part of Australia’s most celebrated fun run – the City to Surf.

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4. Shelly Beach (Free)

4 Free Tourist Attraction

Just a few minutes from the better-known Manly Beach, Shelly Beach is a unique location on the east coast of Australia, since it actually faces west. With a large reef also sheltering the beach from the heavy ocean swells, Shelly Beach is a small and secluded haven – perfect for a quiet picnic on the sands or a gentle swim in the ocean. These calm coastal conditionsmake ShellyBeach an ideal spot for scuba divers and snorkelers to explore an underwater world. Among the colourful array of fish regularly seen in its waters are blue gropers, flounders, flatheads, and sometimes small sharks. Observant snorkelers may also spot the submerged motorbike covered in seaweed. As the name suggests, the seabed and sands arealso strewn with a wide variety of shells. But as in most Sydney beaches, visitors are advised to take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints…

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5. Art Gallery of NSW (Free)

4.5 Free Tourist Attraction

Housing a comprehensive selection of art from the Renaissance to the 20th century, the Art Gallery of NSW is a must for art-lovers. Established in the late 19th century, it acquired works from European masters from Rubens and Canaletto through Monet and Cezanne to Picasso and Braque. Those seeking works of a more local flavour will find Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, and works from colonial Australianmasters like Tom Roberts and Frederick McCubbin. In total,the gallery houses some 30,000 pieces: paintings, sculptures, photographs, representing every corner of the globe.

With free admission, more than a million visitors enter through the gallery’s neoclassical portico each year. While many come to admire its masterpieces, others come to attend lectures on art or view special film screenings. For many visitors, no trip to the gallery would be complete without a meal in the gallery restaurant or a coffee in the outdoor terrace.

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6. Palm Beach (Free)

4 Free Tourist Attraction

The most northerly of Sydney beaches, Palm Beach is far from the bustling crowd, yet only an hour’s drivefrom the CBD. Three kilometres in length, Palm Beach is among the most spacious of Sydney beaches, offering ample room to shake the sand off a beach towel without blinding other bathers. The natural beauty of the beach is offset at its northern tip by the historic Barrenjoey Head Lighthouse.

For many locals and tourists alike, Palm Beach’s greatest claim to fame is as the real “Summer Bay,” a fictional coastal town in the long-running Australian soap-opera, Home and Away. Now televised in dozens of countries, the drama series is followed by a devoted audience of 50 million people. Fans of the show may be able to catch the filming of episodes on weekdays, both on the beach and in the neighbouring community.

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7. The Rocks Discovery Centre (Free)

5 Free Tourist Attraction

This family orientated museum helps you to piece together the history of Sydney's oldest neighbourhood. Located in a historical 1850's warehouse, its 3 floors take you back in time to pre-European days before gradually bringing you back up to date as you go through the Colony exhibition which covers 1788-1820, then the Port exhibition 1820-1900, and finally the Transformations exhibitions which covers the history from 1900 to the present day.

Educational exhibits along with interactive touch-screen displays keep this interesting for the whole family, history really coming alive as you learn about the original inhabitants of The Rock, the Gadigal (Cadigal) people as well as the early colonial characters. The museum have been sensitive when portraying the Aboriginal heritage and actively recognizes the Gadigal people as the custodians of the land.

Opening Hours : Daily 10am-5pm

Address: Kendall Ln, The Rocks NSW 2000, Australia

8. Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (Free)

5 Free Tourist Attraction

The MCA is Australia's leading contemporary art gallery. Housed in a historic Art Deco building it contains more than 4,000 works of modern art and is dedicated to showcasing the works of living artists from Australia, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, along with artists around the world. It displays paintings, photographs, sculptures, drawings, film, and performance art.

Whilst you're indulging your creative side, you can admire the stunning views out across the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, perhaps you'll be inspired to take pen to paper or paintbrush to canvas yourself! Note – The permanent exhibitions are free of charge but temporary exhibitions may charge a fee.

Opening Hours : Monday-Wednesday and Friday-Sunday 10am-5pm, Thursday 10am-9pm

Address: 140 George St, The Rocks NSW 2000, Australia

9. Lane Cove National Park (Free)

4 Free Tourist Attraction

Just 11 kilometres from the heart of Sydney, Lane Cove National Park comprises more than a thousand acres of bushland. The park was created between the two World Wars to offer respite from the encroaching western suburbs of Sydney. By constructing a weir on the lower Lane Cover River, park developers drowned the valley upriver – making its waters safe for recreational use.

The park offers a wide array of facilities and activities. Picnickers will find grassy clearings and barbecue areas; bushwalkers can explore the forestlands on many varied tracks; cyclists are free to ride along the park’s roads, or along the old fire trail running through the woods; those seeking to paddle out onto the river can hire canoes, kayaks, rowboats, or peddle boats inside the park. Visitors wishing to stay overnight should check in at the Lane Cover River Tourist Park, where campsites and cabins are available. But be warned: you may be woken by the laughing call of Kookaburras!

Opening Times

10. Parramatta Park (Free)

3.5 Free Tourist Attraction

Located in the heart of western Sydney, Parramatta Park is an idyllic sanctuary in the midst of urban sprawl. Straddling the Parramatta River, the site had been home to Aborigines for 20,000 years; indeed, Parramatta is a prehistoric aboriginal name for the river, probably signifying water of eels. After the arrival of European settlers and convicts in 1788, colonial governors took up residence on the site; the governor’s country estate and bathhouse may still be seen on the grounds. By 1858, the old governor’s domain had been converted into a public park, one of the oldest in the world.

Every year almost 2 million visitors come to Parramatta Park. With more than 200 acres of land, the park is a perfect retreat for picnicking families, swooning couples, or those simply needing a green retreat from the urban jungle. There are tracks for walkers and cyclists, cricket ovals, football fields, a golf course, and a swimming pool – anopen focal point for the sport-loving citizens of western Sydney.

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