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8 Affordable Activities in Sydney

As a city, there are numerous affordable activities throughout Sydney for international students. While studying in Sydney, remember to take the time to enjoy what Sydney has to offer.

Sydney has something for everyone, from tourist attractions and museums to sightseeing experiences and fun nights out. Here is our list of affordable attractions and experiences that can be found in  Sydney.


Museums and Galleries

Sydney is a city full of museums and art galleries. From the Powerhouse Museum and the Maritime Museum to the Museum of Contemporary Art and Art Gallery of NSW, there is something for everyone, with each offering its own unique experience.


After renovating throughout 2020, the Australia Museum has numerous exhibits covering natural history, anthropology, music, First Nations culture, and climate change.


For a more interactive museum, The Powerhouse Museum is the place to go. It is full of interactive exhibits, including Locomotive No. 1 (Australia’s first train), Space, Transport, The Steam Revolution, and so much more.


The Australia National Maritime Museum covers all parts of Australia’s maritime history. The museum has several marine vessels to explore, including HMAS Onslow, an Australian Navy Submarine, Navy Destroyer HMAS Vampire, HMS Endeavour and several other exhibits.

View overlooking Maritime Museum and Darling Harbour


If art is more of your scene, there are numerous art galleries around Sydney. The Museum of Contemporary Art, located next to Sydney Harbour, has over 4,000 pieces, including multiple Indigenous artworks.


For more traditional art, the Art Gallery of NSW runs numerous exhibitions throughout the year.  Each year, the gallery becomes home to various touring art shows. The Archibald Prize, Australia’s most prestigious portrait competition, is held at the gallery.


For all these museums and galleries, entry is free. However, some exhibitions may require a paid ticket.


Sydney Walks

Numerous coastal walks can be found along Sydney’s coast and surrounding the harbour.


One of the most famous walks is the Bondi to Bronte walk. The 2.5km walk takes approximately 1 hour to complete. The famed Sculptures by the Sea festival takes place along the walk each year. The Bondi to Bronte walk can be extended to Coogee, taking in Clovelly and Gordon’s Bay.


View of a Sculpture overlooking Bondi Beach

On the Northern Side of the Harbour, you can find The Spit to Manly walk. The walk is 10km and takes approximately 4 hours. Along the walk, there are numerous secluded beaches and sites.


And for the more adventurous, the Bondi to Manly walk is one of the longest walks on offer in Sydney. At 80kms, the walk takes in almost all of the eastern part of Sydney Harbour.


Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island is located on the western end of Sydney harbour in the Parramatta River. The island has a rich history as a former prison and shipbuilding yard. Now the island is home to various tourist spots. Cockatoo Island is accessible via ferry from Circular Quay, Barangaroo and Parramatta River ferry.


The island has two cafes, picnic areas, and guided and self-guided tours. In addition, the island is home to numerous events throughout the year, from New Year’s Eve functions to performances of the Opera Carmen.


Sydney Harbour Bridge

As the focal point of many celebrations, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of Australia’s most famous attractions. There is a pedestrian path along the eastern side of the bridge from The Rocks to Milsons Point, offering views of Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay and across the harbour. The walk takes approximately 20 minutes. For $19, you can go that bit higher and take in the views of Sydney from the top of the pylons supporting the bridge.


View of Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House at night

Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo is Australia’s oldest and largest zoo. The zoo is located on the northern side of Sydney Harbour and is accessible via a ferry from Circular Quay. There are over 350 different animal species at the zoo. In addition, Taronga Zoo offers encounters with Koala’s, Giraffes and Meerkats, which require an additional ticket.

Koala sitting in a tree at Taronga Zoo

Luna Park

Located at the foot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Luna Park is Sydney’s premier amusement park. Throughout 2021, Luna Park has added several new roller coasters and thrill rides. While it is free to enter the park, a day pass is needed to enjoy the rides. Day passes are available online, starting at $44.


View of Luna Park looking back towards the Sydney Harbour Bridge



There is something for everyone in Sydney. The harbour areas, including Darling Harbour, Circular Quay, and The Rocks, are home to numerous venues, from restaurants and bars to entertainment establishments.


FunLab operates various entertainment venues across Sydney. Play a round of putt-putt at Holey Moley, try an Escape Room experience at Red Herring or go bowling at Strike. All these venues offer food and drinks. And activities start from $18, and they can all be booked online.


Day Trips

The areas surrounding Sydney make for spectacular day trips.


Travelling west, catch a train to the Katoomba where you can visit the Three Sister or enjoy Scenic World, home to the World’s Steepest Railway. Stop at Leura to visit boutique shops or Medlow Bath to visit the Hydro Majestic Hotel or Megalong Valley.

The Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains


Going south, catch a train to Kiama to visit the famous Kiama Blowhole. The Royal National Park is the perfect place for a hike or camping trip.


Catching a training north to Sydney will take you to the Central Coast and Newcastle. You can explore areas surrounding the Hawkesbury River from the Central Coast or learn to surf at one of Newcastle’s beaches.


Whether you want to take a relaxing walk along the beach or embark on an adventure in the areas surrounding Sydney, there is truly something for everyone.


To find out more about the courses offered at SISTC, visit our course information page.