10 Things to do in Sydney for Less Than $20

Sydney is super-expensive, right? Well, not necessarily. These activities prove that you don’t have to have a thick wad of cash to have a great time in Sydney. With just $20 in your pocket you can find a Sydney activity that’s heaps of fun.

1. Find a cheap meal


Sometimes you’ve got to be in the right place on the right night and sometimes you’ve just got to be in the right place in general, but there are lots of places to eat cheap in Sydney! Beach Burrito in Bondi (pictured) has Tuesday’s $3 taco special and nachos for less than $15. Check out Manoosh Pizza in Newtown for $10 pizzas from Monday to Wednesdays and Dove and Olive Surry Hills for $10 steaks.

2. Treat yourself to a Sydney-style coffee


Where do you find the best coffee in Sydney? Take your pick! Skittle Lane (pictured) is deservedly popular with CBD workers. Dutch Smuggler has an impressive number of cold brew coffees while Marlowe’s Way is a New York-style café and bar. But really, if you want a great coffee in Sydney you can find one anywhere. These suggestions are just to get you started.

3. Grab a bite at Bourke Street Bakery


Walk in with $20 or less, walk out with a $5 tart, a $3.50 croissant, a loaf of artisanal bread or one of the many other mouth-watering baked goodies this legendarily popular bakery has to offer. What started in 2004 as a small shop in Surry Hills is now so popular its expanded into ten other locations. The original Surry Hills store still stands and, although the lines are long, it’s worth it for one of their treats.

4. Check out the Pylon Bridge Lookout

Source: Greg O’Beirne

Can’t afford Bridgeclimb? You can still catch some pretty spectacular views of the city just by climbing up 200 stairs to the Pylon Lookout.  From the top you get sweeping views of Sydney Harbour and the world-famous Sydney Opera House.

5. Drop into the Australian Museum


The Australian Museum is Australia’s first museum, and still one of its best. With over 18 million objects to see including dinosaur fossils and cultural artefacts from around the world, it’s well worth the price of admission: only $15 for adults and $8 for concession holders.

6. Go on a coastal walk


It doesn’t cost anything to explore Sydney’s coastline, including the popular Bondi to Coogee Walk (pictured) and the Bradley’s head to Chowder Bay walk, which takes you from Taronga Zoo to Chowder Bay’s cafes and beaches with views of Sydney Harbour along the way.

7. Wander Circular Quay and The Rocks

Source: Michael Coghlan (

Circular Quay is the home of famous landmarks the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, while The Rocks is the birthplace of Sydney and a region of authentic convict history turned into a bustling region of pubs and artisan markets.  

8. Visit the Chinese Garden of Friendship

Source: Taryn (

Escape the hustle of the city in this Chinese-style garden at Darling Harbour. Wander beneath the willow trees among the waterfalls and koi carp lakes. Sip Chinese tea in a teahouse overlooking the garden. Entry to the Chinese Garden is only $6 for adults and $3 for students.

9. Drop into the Sydney Observatory


Need some space? On the hill overlooking Sydney Harbour, Sydney Observatory has a museum full of artefacts plus a collection of telescopes both historical and modern. Entry for a day tour for an adult is just $10.

10. Take a walk around Barangaroo Reserve

Source: Wpcpey

A former industrial port site, Barangaroo Reserve has been turned into a scenic six-hectare parkland with many species of local plants and trees planted. With its walking trails, cycling trails and views of Sydney Harbour, this redeveloped site which opened in 2015 is one of Sydney’s newest and most chilled-out free attractions.


More things to do in Sydney for less than $20

1) Get along to happy hour at a Sydney pub.

2) Pack a picnic and head to the Royal Botanic Gardens.

3) See some live music or stand-up comedy.