From natural beauty to iconic architecture and just plain fun, Sydney has it all. Now, Sydney is an expensive city, but it also offers free attractions like the lovely Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Museum of Contemporary Art: feed your soul, people.
And, of course, you must visit the beaches: Bondi, Manly, Watson’s Bay, Bronte, Coogee… we say visit them all! There are also free walking tours with local guides, which is a nice way to interact with Sydney siders, as well as the simply gorgeous Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk that’s about 6km of gorgeous views. You may also want to consider longer walks, like the Sydney Harbour Circle Walk, which clocks in at about eight hours.
A walk you must do is the Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk, which takes a maximum of an hour and gives you unparalleled views of the Opera House without having to pay for the Bridge Climb.
Then, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Barangaroo Harbour Reserve, and The White Rabbit Gallery, featuring Chinese art, are also great. Cross water for your supper by taking a ferry to Manly and have a great, cheap meal at Manly Wharf. Or contribute to education by getting a massage at the at the NSW School of Massage, which has cheaper rates for guinea pigs, err, massage clients.
If you’re in town from May 26 to June 17 2017, you must enjoy the eighth edition of the Vivid Sydney festival, a spectacular sound-and-light show at Sydney Harbour.
LEAVE ON A JET PLANE: Return flights start at 823USD from Mumbai and from 551USD from New Delhi.
VISA: 107 USD
GET AROUND: Sydney’s public transport system rocks, whether train, bus or ferry services. Get a free Opal card and access Sydney’s public networks, or buy a single-trip ticket for less frequent intercity travel. Plan your most expensive travel for Sundays when the maximum fare limit is AUD 2.50 – so you can basically go anywhere in the city for less than the price of a pint of beer! Avoid taxis like the many poisonous spiders they boast of having here.
STAY: Hostels- or ’backpackers’- are comfy and safe. We like Bounce Sydney, Sydney Harbour YHA, The Rocks, Eva’s Backpackers and The Jolly Swagman.
EAT AND DRINK: Sydney is utterly multicultural in cuisine, and, more importantly, affordable cuisine. The CBD (especially in Chinatown, Korea Town and Thai Town) is full of budget restaurants catering to the on-the-go businessman. Spring River’s is good for a cheap meal. Milk Bar by Cafe Ish does great chicken wings, and fab milkshakes.
Lentil as Anything is a unique not-for-profit restaurant that lets you “pay as you feel”. The Food Court at the MLC Centre has everything, from Mexican and sushi to salads and sandwiches, for 8USD or less. Get cheap on-the-go options from supermarket chain Woolworth’s and don’t forget the quintessential Aussie ‘barbie’ experience through coin-operated BBQ at Bronte Park; buy meat from the supermarket.
WHEN TO GO: The land Down Under has autumn from March to May and spring from September to November. These are the best times to travel: hotel prices drop by 25 per cent.