The hype about Sydney is real – a recent report voted it as the second-best city to visit in the world, topped only by Rome.
There’s a hell of a lot to take in once you’re here and an abundance of reasons why you’ll never want to leave. It’s also true that travelling around Sydney can be a costly adventure due to the number of tours, attractions and landmarks that come highly recommended for visiting. Fortunately, there are ways to save on costs that sometimes go under the radar and in this guide, we’ll let you in on five of the best-kept secrets.
Saving money can help you see more for less for a greater backpacking experience – so enjoy these money-saving tips on your next adventure.
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1. Hostels Are Cheaper Than Hotels
If you’re new to backpacking then staying in a hostel may be an unfamiliar concept. Once you get your head around the idea of sharing a room and facilities such as kitchen and living space with fellow travelers, the benefits become easier to grasp. Hostels are typically cheaper than hotels per night, which means more money saved. The community environment also allows for guests to share food and take part in group activities, like surfing, cycling and sightseeing to keep costs down. You simply can’t expect those perks from a hotel chain. Speak to our friendly team to book your accommodation for your next Sydney visit.
2. Save Long Distance Journeys For A Sunday
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There are over 12,000 kilometres of Sydney to explore and it takes a combination of road, rail and being on foot to get to the major highlights on your tour map. Take the Blue Mountains or Royal National Park for example, which are both more than an hour out of the CBD. Because of the distance, there’s a higher fee to pay especially when getting there by train, unless you travel on a Sunday! All-day travel on Sunday is capped at $2.60 meaning you can go far and wide on your Opal Card. There are a few things to bear in mind when using Sydney trains, and you can read about them on the Transport for Sydney website here. If you're planning on heading onwards from Sydney, a pre-purchased bus pass saves time and money, showing you all the hottest East Coast destinations for only a fraction of the price of solo transport.
3. Save Up To 40% With An Attraction Pass
Where does one begin with the adventure in Sydney? From Sydney Tower Eye, to Madame Tussauds, to the Sea Life Aquarium, there’s something to take in on every day of your visit. Entry fees can add up quickly so plan your itinerary in advance to make sure not to overstep your budget. To do so, check out travel websites that offer attraction card passes to all the popular landmarks at a discounted rate. You may also have the option to jump the queue on a number of top attractions when you book with a Sydney Attraction Card. Not only do they cover some of the best highlights but also give tips and ideas for all occasions – check out this guide to 120 ideas for things to do in Sydney!
4. Late Afternoon Lunch Special
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Backpacking doesn’t have to mean missing out on delicious meal deals – there are plenty of hidden gems within the city to satisfy your appetite. If you’re looking for a cost-effective alternative to supermarkets, you can take advantage of the customary afternoon specials at street markets and food kiosks. Markets in Bondi, North Sydney and all major places of interest have stalls and eateries that lower the price of their meals after the traditional lunch-time rush. So sneak in before the late hours and grab a bite on a budget. You may also be keen to check out deals and offers that spring up on discount sites like Groupon and Deliveroo, sign up to view them all.
5. Sign Up For Free Sydney Tours
Free days out are hard to beat, especially if you’re set budget rules out paid tours and attractions. But don’t fear, you can tour Sydney for free with guided city walks and not miss out on any of the fun. Websites like I’m Free are set up especially for tourists new to town that want to get a good deal. A typical activity will include a 2-3 hour, easy-walking tour with a local expert pointing out sights and telling stories about the history of places like The Rocks, Sydney Opera House and much more. Free friendly knowledge can brighten up your day and allow you to set aside dollars for some of the bigger attractions later. Many backpackers sign up for these events so there’s a good chance you can socialize and make friends on your journey.