No one will doubt that Sydney is one of the world’s most expensive city to live in. When you are a newcomer to this beautiful city, you might spend days wondering where your monthly income goes. Especially if you love travelling and exploring new cuisines just like me! After four years of living in Sydney, which includes two years of being on minimal to no salary, one and a half year of co-taking a home loan mortgage; I have learnt how to manage my cash the hard way. Here are few money saving tips we follow, so as to be able to enjoy this beautiful city and its surrounding areas. Hope they benefit you as well.
Get an Opal Card:
You can use Sunday Funday with Opal to explore the far fledged suburbs of Sydney. For all those new to the Sunday Funday Scheme of Opal, here it is. Well, you get to travel to any place, unlimited number of times in just $2.5 per person! Isn’t that a steal? Oh, and yes, you can use the trains/buses or ferry 🙂
Attend free local events:
Go to “What’s On Sydney” and find out a list of free and cheap current events. I also frequently check Eventbrite for free workshops/ events and activities.
Visit weekend markets hosted by different suburbs:
Sydney has so many amazing markets to walk through. From Paddington Markets (Oxford Street; open Saturdays after 10am), Fish market (Bank Street and Pyrmont Bridge Road), Bondi Farmers Market (Campbell Parade on Bondi Beach), the Flower market (Parramatta Road), Parklea Market (Blacktown) and a lot more seasonal markets, it’s really easy to spend a lot of time wandering and shopping. I love Paddington Markets and the farmers market the best — they draw an eclectic crowd, and the farmers market makes me want to cook nonstop.
Save $200 and walk the bridge for free
Hang out at the beaches:
Sydney is synonymous with its beautiful beaches, and best things is that they are free to all! Sydney has lovely warm and sunny most of the year, making beaches the go-to place for locals on the weekends (and many weekdays for that matter). From Palm Beach and Manly in the north to the famous Bondi and Coogee in the south to the hidden Little Beach near La Perouse, Sydney has a beach for everyone. We love the fact that all the beaches are so easy to get to via public transportation or car. Not only that but also they are surrounded by tonnes of restaurants and shops too!
Visit the Rocks:
If you love rustic, heritage buildings and quirky shops then you can head to The Rocks. Did you know that The Rocks is the oldest part of Sydney? It has interesting narrow lanes, fine colonial buildings, sandstone churches, and some of Australia’s oldest pubs. It was lucky to have been preserved, just like the way it was in 1970’s, inspite of the modern development that took over the rest of the city!! I particularly love Rocks for its weekend markets, art museums, after dusk vibes, restaurants, and the beautiful views of the harbour, Opera House and the bridge.
Do any of the breathtaking coastal walks that Sydney offers:
Sydney has a number of stunning public coastal walks that allow you to take in the breathtaking natural beauty of Sydney’s harbour and coastal cliffs. While Coogee-to-Bondi walk is the favourite amongst tourists, I personally love Split-to-Manly walk which is quieter, more relaxing, and beautiful.
No doubt that most of Sydney’s restaurants will burn a hole in your pocket is you are on a minimal budget. But there are a few places in Sydney where you can get a good-sized meal within $12 or less. I have no personal thing against high-end restaurants, except for the fact that I am always left hungry, unhappy, and thinking about the lack of value I got, owing to the teeny-weeny sized portions. I would recommend smaller restaurants that are low to medium range that offer good quantity as well as is pleasing to the taste buds! That way you’ll get more bang for your buck!
You can try any of the sushi trains around the city which offer a filling meal for $10-20. We personally love the noodle and dumpling shops in Chinatown that offer authentic meals for less than $10. Few other suburbs that offer good Value for money and satisfying meals are Cabramatta or Flemington ( for its Vietnamese restaurants like Gia Hoi), Auburn ( For typical Lebanese/ Middle Eastern Cuisine try Jasmine, New Star or Khybar ), Newtown, Harris Park( For all you Indian food lovers), Granville ( think El Jennah/ Hawa or Himalayas). You can also try Lentil as Anything (a vegetarian restaurant in Newtown) that offers meals on a “pay as you feel” system. We love Mamak too, for its tantalising variety of Malaysian food. There are also a number of small restaurants in Western Sydney like Sun Burmese Kitchen and Viet fusion that offer yummy home-cooked meals packed with lots of flavours.
Try the free walking tours
Admire the beautiful landscapes around Sydney
Sydney has so much natural beauty, you will never get tired of seeing. The best part is that you don’t need to burn a whole lot of cash to see it. Just walk around the city or take the public transport to any of the beaches or suburbs around. Don’t forget to take your camera along!
Enjoy the change of seasons
We love enjoying how Sydney and surrounding areas transform in the change of seasons. You can enjoy the spring festivals hosted anywhere around Sydney or go towards the Blue Mountains to see these beautiful trees transform the area in the Autumn.
If you have any other tips for us, please do write below. We would love to hear from you 🙂