The best things in life Sydney are free. It may not quite be a Janet Jackson song but it’s got a nice ring to it, don’t you think? And ok, while not all the best things in Sydney come cost-free, there are some pretty awesome activities you can get involved in without spending a dime. Here are our top 10.
Before you roll your eyes and navigate away from the page, bear with us for a second. We don’t just mean walk any old where: we’re suggesting tackling some of the most hot dang picturesque sections of pavement you’ve ever seen, from the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk, the trail from the Opera House round to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, through The Rocks and over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and along any of the 56 trails in the Royal National Park.
2. Admire things at the Museum of Contemporary Art
“What kinds of things?” you ask. All kinds of things: giant, often confusing installations; beautiful photography; impressive sculptures; contemporary films; and – if you go upstairs to the rooftop café – one of the most iconic views of the harbour in town.
3. Listen to jazz and play board games
No, we don’t mean with your nanna – pop along to the uber cool Venue 505 in Surry Hills every Monday night and enjoy it all for free (disclaimer: you may want to buy a drink – we hear board games are more fun after a wine).
Take a dip at Bondi, swim out to one of the floating platforms at Murray Rose, snorkel at Gordon’s Bay or test out the ocean pool at Bronte. Great Instagram pics are guaranteed.
5. Check out the markets
There’s always a market on somewhere in Sydney, from the open-every-day Sydney Fish Markets, to the Saturday-only famers markets at Carriageworks and Bondi and the mid-week offerings in Moore Park and Double Bay. Sure, chances are you’ll buy something but that doesn’t negate the glory of free samples.
Come & join us this #saturday at @carriageworksfarmersmarket from 8am-1pm - sample seasonal produce including organic & bio-dynamic foods from #farmers & #artisan producers .. #delicious #supportlocal 🍓🍷🌽 . . . #slowwinecoevents #carriageworksfarmersmarket #ilovesydney #regram #tasteorange #coolclimatewines #sydneylife
6. Watch a movie
Yep, that’s right: Sydney’s so cool we show movies for free! Head along to the Soda Factory on Monday nights to catch the classics, from The Wizard of Oz right through to The Lion King. You’ll have to pay for dinner, but with bargains like $8 mac n’ cheese and $12 buffalo wings it won’t break the bank.
7. Listen to the experts
The University of Sydney hosts a constant stream of free talks on Sydney Ideas, getting experts to cover topics like fraud, climate change and what the future holds for millennials. All you have to do is register online to secure your free seat.
8. Explore the big events
We’re pretty lucky here in Sydney town when it comes to free large-scale events. There’s Vivid (of course), Sculptures by the Sea and Sydney Festival, which always offers an enticing line-up of free events. Just check the calendar to see what’s on.
Perceptions... this one is one of my favourite pieces of art! If you are in Sydney between the 19 October and the 5 November, make sure you check out Sculpture by the sea! #upsidedown #downunder #ausland #ocean #bondibeach #tamarama #travelcouple #nature #art #perceptions #sculpturebythesea #coastalwalk #bonditocoogee
9. Test your knowledge at trivia
The Dog Hotel in Randwick hosts awesome trivia every Wednesday night, pitting teams against each other in a battle for bar tabs and cold hard cash. They also do a mean $12.50 steak and chips, which we can highly recommend.
💡Ancient Babylonians were so serious about beer, if anyone brewed a bad batch, they would be drowned in it as punishment // If that's not enough Trivia for you, catch us tonight 7pm at The DOG for Witty Wednesdays! We have some great prizes and $5 Beer from Sydney Brewery! // See you all there!! #drinkgoodbeer #thedograndwick #wittywednesdays #trivia
10. Get contemporary at White Rabbit Gallery
This little gallery has taken Sydney by storm since it opened in 2009, displaying owner Judith Nelson’s private collection as well as regularly changing exhibitions of the weird and wonderful. Visits here are made even better thanks to the gallery’s free entry policy.