1. Watch the sunset at Prince Alfred Park
This park nuzzled in the exciting Surry Hills district is a must visit for a perfect city sunset. Grab a seat and watch as the sun disappears behind the Sydney skyline. Best accompanied with a wine induced picnic of course. Sit back with a drink of choice, some good company and watch the sun gleam off the skyscrapers making for a memorable sunset.
2. Go Art Hopping
Sydney has some fantastic free art institutions. This can be said for the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Both house some pretty spectacular works of art that range from renaissance to surrealism to impressionism with a bunch more styles in between. To get to each it’s a fun 20 minute walk through the bustling heart of downtown. This can easily be an afternoon activity that won’t cost you one cent.
3. Dazzle at the Queen Victoria Building
Built in 1898, this brilliant Romanesque building houses sophisticated shops with price tags that will have you clutching your heart in disbelief. BUT rest assure my fellow broke traveler, it won’t cost you anything to window shop. The window fronts are glorious displays of the finest clothing and accessories and the jaw dropping architecture is sure to blow your mind.
4. Go street art exploring in Newton
This alternative neighborhood is littered with street art. IF you know where to look. Knowing where to look is simply a matter of wandering down a street and seeing where it takes you. I started to follow a scent coming from a restaurant kitchen and it resulted into me stumbling upon back alleys and side streets covered in vibrant, beautiful pieces of art.
5. Check out the views at the Royal Botanical Garden
For an afternoon filled with sweet smelling flowers, gorgeous scenery, relaxing vibes and a sick view of the Sydney Opera House go check out the Royal Botanical Garden. This park sprawling over 74 acres is nothing short from incredible. The park features outdoor modern art pieces, a colorful garden and plenty of places to sit down and rest your feet. Head down to the water and walk along the harbor to Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair for some Instagram worthy views of the Sydney skyline.
6. See if there is an exhibit at the State Library of New South Wales
Okay okay, so me being the nerd I am ALWAYS down for a free trip to a new library. Free wifi, outlets, bathrooms, aircon, heat AND COMFY CHAIRS TO REST MY FEET. Yes, please. I always make a point to stop by a library after a long day of exploring. But the State Library of NSW is so much more than any library you’re used to. First off, this place is MASSIVE. There is a modern, open building and then a grand, neoclassical building blending into one impressive place to see.
Aside from the library section, the state library also houses various exhibitions. When I was there I saw a colorful exhibit titled “Planting Dreams: Shaping Australian Gardens.” Walking in, I instantly noticed the giant, sculpted violets, tulips and other bright flowers adorning the walls. This vibrant exhibit explored how gardening has evolved in Australia and displayed an array of artifacts spanning over 5 centuries. Richard Aitken’s flower filled exhibit is just one of the many that you could check out for free! So check it out, soak up some free wifi, use the public bathrooms for free and stay awhile.
7. Hang out at one of Sydney’s beaches
One of the things I love about Sydney is going from a fast-paced bustling city over to a jaw-dropping, relaxing beach is a short car ride away. On a sunny day it is an absolute must to go explore Sydney’s coastline. Coogee beach is my personal favorite but Bondi and Bronte beach are equally as gorgeous. The best part is that there is a convenient path connecting all of them. So pack a lunch, grab the suncream, toss on a bathing suit and go soak up some sun.