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Seeing Sydney on a Budget


There’s many ways to describe the amazing city of Sydney: Stunning, friendly, coastal, diverse, buzzing – but expensive! Sydney stands out as the most expensive city in Australia, and in the top 20 most expensive cities in the world. For travellers, most of the everyday living costs and utility bills don’t apply. However the basic travelling essentials like food, drink, transport and entertainment do contribute to the high price tag associated with travelling around Sydney. 

Throughout this article, we’ll provide you with some little short-cuts to help make ends meet so you can still get to experience this must-see world famous, and largest Aussie city.

Vegemite sandwiches and 2 minute noodles will suffice for a few days, at best. However you’re going to need real food that sustains your hunger. In and around the city hotspots such as Kings Cross, China Town the CBD and Circular Quay, keep your eye out for bakeries and food kiosks. Many offer cheap yet nourishing breakfast options such as coffee/muffin or coffee/toasty or ham & cheese croissants/coffee for under $5.00. Tip: Some offer discounts if you eat out rather than require table service. 

And for lunch or dinner, there’s plenty of specials being offered in exchange for your travelling dollar. For under $10.00 The Bodega Cafe in Surry Hills offers a great menu with loads of specials for between $5.00 – $10.00 per main meal – Make sure you try their famous wagyu burger and Chorizo roll with chimichurri. Other super-cheap eat-outs for chomping around town include the 60 + Asian restaurants in China Town. Take your pick from these cuisines on every corner: Korean, Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese. Entrees start at just $2.00 as well as yum cha for under $6.00 per person. If you like it spicy, Flying Fajita Sistas in Glebe offers authentic Mexican Tacos and tequila shots for $3.00.       

Sightseeing and Culture
Getting from A to B isn’t a problem, and there’s no shortage of free or low-cost places to go and see, and the mono-rail can get you to any of the central locations around the city. If the $200 price tag attached to the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb isn’t an option, for under $10.00, head to Pylon Lookout for the same vantage point.

Hyde Park hosts the historical Anzac Memorial. Hyde Park is akin to New York’s Central Park, offering magnificent beauty and nature walks overlooking the water, and provides hundreds of tall trees that inhabit sleeping bats scattered throughout the park, perfect for a picnic or even as a cheap yet romantic dating idea with your boyfriend or girlfriend. An ideal location to ‘pop the question’ if you have romance and dating in mind with your sweetheart. For an afternoon of more famous Sydney treats, jump on the bus (grab a 3 day travel pass for $12.00) and head 10 minutes East to Bondi Beach, and chances are, you’ll spot a celebrity or two!

The Art Gallery of NSW and the Contemporary Art Museum offer free entry for those with an appreciation for world class art exhibits. Other famous museums and galleries include the Powerhouse Museum, as well as various other galleries scattered throughout the Rocks, which showcase some of the finest Aboriginal paintings in the country.

Your best bet for cheap accommodation will be a hostel, starting from $25.00 for a shared dorm. And if you require some privacy for both yourself and the person you might be dating or your boyfriend/girlfriend, expect to shell out around $50 per night. Check out the deals offered by the YHA which has several central locations around Sydney. YHA accommodation typically has clean facilities and friendly staff with an NRMA rating of 3 stars.

The singles and dating scene is one of the most vibrant and diverse in the world. Whether you’re in town as a solo traveller looking for love, lust, casual dating or just any type of companionship, the scene is electric, and you’ll simply never want to leave. Happy hour venues are always a good option, and these are aplenty in Sydney. We’ve also tracked down some other cool entertainment venues with a very reasonable price tag. The Mars Lounge offers $10.00 cocktails until midnight. The Sanctuary Hotel at Darling Harbour offers $3.00 drinks before 9PM, the venue is also a hotspot for backpackers. While you’re at Darling Harbour, check out some other trendy venues like Tokio Hotel and Home Bar – but only stop by these bars if money is no object.

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