Sydney, the city of harbors and miles-long sandy beaches, has a little bit of something for everyone – and we really mean everyone. So what’s stopping you from hopping on a next flight? Oh, that’s right – it’s the land Down Under. You’ll need to trade in both your arm and a leg just to get there. Even if you do reach the continent surface, the prices will kick you right back where you came from.
Fine, we might be exaggerating a bit – we did say everyone will find their place in Sydney, regardless of their budget.
Sydney on a Budget – is it possible?
First off, if we take into consideration the fact that Sydney covers an area larger than 12 thousand m2. It is evident you’ll need to find a way to reach its farthest points. For those with thin wallets, an Opal card is their safest bet. One-use tickets do come as instant solutions but don’t pay off in the long run. Opal card offers discounted fares, meaning you can go anywhere on the transportation system, be it metro, light rail, or ferry.
Certain galleries and museums do come with a price, but if you want to indulge yourself in exquisite paintings and statues of some of the Australian and European most celebrated artists, The Art Gallery of NSW is completely free. The Museum of Contemporary Art is free as well, offering a wide array of Aboriginal artwork. There are also numerous walking tours of the city center, as well as Sydney’s original settlement, The Rocks. But if you want to feel the real spirit of this place, make sure you book the tour with Sydney Greeters in advance – this service will connect you with locals who can’t wait to take you on a walk around their neighborhoods. There really is no better way to discover this city’s hidden gems.
And how can you travel all that way and not visit Sydney’s most popular hotspots? Circular Quay is certainly something tourists choose to visit first. They snap a few pics of the iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge. By taking a short walk behind the opera, you’ll stumble upon the famous Royal Botanic Gardens; make sure you arrive there at sunset, to catch one last breathtaking view of the harbor. And certainly, you have to get the chance to see the flying foxes up close. As they wait for the night to come to take the flight to Sydney skies and bring a whole new light to the city.
In this land of eternal summer, one would be silly not to stroll down the iconic Bondi beach. There truly is no better place to think and gather your thoughts. And if you get hungry, find your way up to the North Bondi RSL. There you can find a fairly-priced bite of seafood, on a terrace of one of the ocean-view cafés.
Partially Carefree Sydney
Aside from the above-mentioned sights, those who were lucky enough to spare a few extra bucks may want to consider finding restaurants that would be somewhere in between cheap eats and those worth the splurge. And when it comes to Australian restaurant offerings, there is only one word to describe it: worldly.
Thai. Try the best red curry of duck with pineapple and deep-fried barramundi. Make sure you visit the Bangkok Sidewalk in Kirribilli. The versatility of dishes will amaze you. Starting from noodles, fresh and fiery salads, and grilled calamari with a chili-lime dressing, to a roasted duck, lemongrass, and chili jam.
Malaysian. At The Malaya in King Street Wharf, you can get a multi-dish set menu for less than $30, filled with barbecued fish wrapped in banana leaf, or an outstanding Singapore curry fish.
Greek. One of the city’s best-valued restaurants is none other, than Medusa Greek Taverna, offering authentic Mediterranean cuisine. For only $36 you can get a massive mezze plate of taramosalata, tzatziki, sausage, olives, dolmades, and pita bread – a plate big enough for at least four people.
Italian. Those on a family vacation should under no circumstances skip Ventuno in Walsh Bay – not only is this highly affordable Italian restaurant known across Sydney for its mouth-watering Neapolitan pizzas, but also its originally-made rolled eggplant with tomatoes, breadcrumbs, pine nuts, and parmesan, as well as king prawns wrapped in pancetta with pea puree, calamari fritti, and a Panzella salad.
Go big or go home
Finally, if you can afford to experience this town to its fullest, sparing no expense – start by treating yourself to luxury accommodation in Sydney; an ocean-view room in Bronte Sands, harbor-view in The Sienna, or a room overlooking the entire city in Sky Loft.
Once you settle, pick up the map and start planning your itinerary. Sydney is a city full of excitement, and you have the chance to get a taste of it all. You can begin by exploring the historically and architecturally rich Queen Victoria Building. It is located on George Street. It boasts more than 180 of this city’s finest boutiques and jewelry shops, as well as delightful restaurants and cafés.
After an inspiring shopping tour, make a well-deserved stop at some of Sydney’s most exclusive restaurants that take fine dining to a whole new level. Those who know how to appreciate the art of food will gladly enjoy exquisite Modern Australian dishes, spiced up with a bit of Japanese influence in Sepia Restaurant. If you prefer minimalist décor in a secluded corner of the Inner West suburb of Stanmore, be sure to stop at Sixpenny. Where they offer two degustation options each evening, providing you with a chance to taste something you never have before. Nevertheless, if you’ve traveled to the land lassoed by the ocean waters to get the taste of fresh seafood, Catalina should be your final destination.
To repeat that question from the beginning – what’s stopping you? No, nothing really. Whether you’re about to pack your old backpack or the trendy LV suitcase, be sure there’s a memorable adventure ahead of you.