18 August

Sydney on a Backpackers Budget

Sydney is a must see stop off point for any East Coast Roadie. The city is iconic, very beautiful and well, world famous but this comes with a price - Sydney is pretttyyy spenny (believe me) - you've gotta make that money last. So, here are some tips and tricks for exploring the city on a budget....


As expected – being a big city and all – Sydney is prettyyy damn pricey! You’ll more than likely either start or finish your Aussie travels in Sydney (depending on which Greyhound bus route you take). I would recommend that you start your journey in Sydney as you’ll have a little more of a budget to play with…

A weeks stay in the city is plenty and believe me, there is defo enough to do here to fill seven days! And to be honest, most of the bucket list things to do here are free – so that’s epic – freebies are a backpackers best friend!

So let’s get going hey! Who doesn’t love a good dose of budget tips and backpacker hacks.

Here are our RatPack top tips on making your CASH stretch further…


Free walking tours

The best way to see all of Sydney’s ICONIC sites, rolled in to one is to hop on a FREE walking tour…amazing!!

These tours are also a great way to meet fellow travellers.


Greyhound Bus Pass - Sydney to Cairns, Hop-On / Hop-Off, 3 Month

Hostel freebies

When booking your accommodation, keep an eye out for hostels that offer meals. They’re usually a fraction of the price you’d pay eating out and are a great way to mingle and meet people. Some hostels may also provide free breakie!

There is also always the ‘free shelf’ in the kitchen – sounds super cheap – but you can actually find some decent stuff in there (we said this would be budget friendly ;)).



In Sydney, you’ll need to purchase an Opal Card to use on public transport…

All day on SUNDAYS you can travel on the metro, train, bus, ferry and light rail services for $2.80 a day – so Sunday is a good day for exploring the ins and outs of the city.


Top Deck - Sydney Discovery

Free events

Sydney pretty much alllwayysyss has something going on – it’s a big ol’ city that has to cater for everyone.

If you search ‘Sydney free events’ I am sure you’ll find a list of things to go and try out…

Check out: Markets, music events, museum events and if you’re there over NYE you cannot miss out on the fireworks!


Places to explore

Sure, the centre has got it all going on – and it’s great fun – but Sydney has so much more to offer.

Why not get off the beaten track and head a little further a field:

  • Surrey Hills – cool vibes and great cafes.
  • Newtown – hipster, cool, artsy vibes.
  • Northern Beaches – check out Manly and Curl Curl.



Backpacker bars

If you’re keen to take on the true backpacker lifestyle, I’m sure you’ll find yourself on some sort of bar crawl/night out…There are quite a few backpacker bars in Sydney, so grab a tinny and let the night begin yeewww…

  • Scubar – bar come club
  • Sidebar – party party!
  • Scary Canary – Great food and drinks


Beach Day

THE best activity to do for free – lounging on a beach with a book in your hand – it really doesn’t get better than that!!

I’m a proper water baby and absolutely LOVE the beach, so here is a lil list of my faves:

  • Shelly Beach, Manly – paradise (my fave)
  • Bronte Beach – surf
  • Tamarama
  • Curl Curl – Northern Beaches
  • And of course, you gotta check out Bondi


Free city jams

The one you’ve been waiting for…FREEBIES – gotta love em (lol).

So here goes, my little list of freebies to check out in Sydney:

  • Harbour Bridge and Opera House – free to look at
  • Royal Botanic Gardens
  • Mrs Macquarie’s Point – epic viewpoint over the harbour
  • China Town – cool at night
  • Beaches – lying on a beach is the best thing to do for free!
  • Hyde Park – grab a picnic and chill
  • Art Galleries and Museums – there are tonnes
  • Bondi to Coogee coastal walk
  • Luna Park – free entry (pay per ride)
  • Manly to Spit walk
  • North Head look out – insane views of the city


What to avoid

Go ahead and enjoy Sydney to your own liking – there are so many hidden gems and areas to explore – you’ll have an epic time! But there are some things to avoid if you wanna keep the cost down:

  • Eating out – ok, maybe treat yourself once, but it’s not worth it – cook up a storm in the hostel instead.
  • Getting the train everywhere – Sydney isn’t as big as you may think, most of it is within walking distance.
  • Clothes shopping – it’s v tempting, but try your hardest – tours are a much more exciting way to spend your dosh.


I hope my tips and tricks encourage you to become a little more travel savvy when visiting this EPIC city. Just remember to set yourself a daily budget to avoid worrying about how much money you’ve spent and most importantly, enjoy yourself RatPack Style. Yewwwwwwwwwwwwww Holly (RPT Blog Writer) - Stay Tuned for my next piece…

Ready to visit Sydney?

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