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Top Tips for Backpackers in Sydney

If you’re travelling around Australia it’s likely that you’ll end up in Sydney, the country’s unofficial capital, at some point – in fact, you will most likely be flying into the city. And if Sydney isn’t featured on your itinerary, it should be! You will always find backpackers in Sydney.

Backpackers in Sydney

Syndey by neal_mcquaid, on Flickr

Don’t miss out on enjoying all that Sydney has to offer because you’re worried about blowing the budget – it’s perfectly possible to spend little but live a lot in this sunny Aussie city! Below are a few hints and tips to saving as much money as possible, and some ideas for great things to do that won’t cost you a single cent.

Book Accommodation Early

Many hostels have early-bird deals, so the earlier you book, the cheaper your stay could be. In the peak summer months (December-February), the best hostels will get booked up well in advance, so if you wait until the last minute you may find yourself having to stay on the outskirts of the city or somewhere more expensive.

Attend a Festival

Sydney holds world-class festivals and events throughout the year.  Whatever month you’re in the city you should find something going on. From the flamboyant Mardis Gras parade in February, to the more refined Good Food & Wine Festival in July, to the fun Festival of the Wind (a kite flying competition on Bondi Beach) in September, there’s something to suit every taste and most are completely free of charge. Check out for details.

Backpackers in Sydney

Sydney Light Festival by jdelard, on Flickr

Chill Out on Bondi Beach

Synonymous with laidback Aussie fun, spend a day on the famous Bondi Beach.  You’ll be sharing an experience many Sydneysiders have every weekend (lucky them!). Pack a picnic, jump on the bus from the city centre and you’ll be lying in the sun within half an hour. Surfers fill the waters as surf lifesavers, in their iconic red and yellow budgie-smugglers and hats.

People swim in both the sea and the saltwater swimming pool at the south end of the beach. While games of cricket and frisbee are played, walkers hike the 6km along craggy cliffs between Bondi and Coogee beach. All you’ll have to fork out for is your bus ticket.

Backpackers in Sydney

Bondi Beach, Sydney by Gabes1982, on Flickr

Gaze at Iconic Landmarks

Think of Australia and chances are images of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House will pop into your head. Gaze at the white sails of the Opera House and the coathanger-like bridge and you’ll have to pinch yourself to be sure that you’re actually in Australia – they are quite a sight.

Backpackers in Sydney

Sydney Australia by Chris Breikss, on Flickr

It is possible to take a paid guided tour of the Opera House and climb to the top of the bridge, but the best way to appreciate these great icons is simply to look at them – from as many different angles and at as many different times of the day as possible. Silhouetted against a dark red sky, the Opera House is stunning when viewed at sunset, and looking back across the city whilst walking across the bridge as night falls and the lights start twinkling is an image you’ll never forget.


Simmo says:

Again Some amazing pictures here! I’ll be in Sydney in a little over 3 months, as well as travelling through other parts of Australia. Hope I can get my Photography skills up to this level! 🙂

Heidi says:

I didn’t know they had a Mardi Gras celebration in Sydney, too… Is it as wild and crazy as the one in New Orleans?

Dorian says:

Don’t forget to have dinner at Tatsuya’s… It might sound strange to eat at a Japanese / French fusion restaurant in Australia but it’s amazing.

Great article

Thristhan says:

Bondi Beach sounds so familiar. Is that the one where they allow visitors to be nude?

Byorgy says:

“…allow visitors to be nude?”

:-DDD yeah, there’re a few topless chicks but not completely nude

Gyorgy says:

As a Bondi resident, I agree! 🙂

I also recommend the Bondi to Bronte walk that goes through Tamarama which is my second favourite beach in the Eastern Suburbs. Less tourists, less crowd and great atmosphere! 😉

Lori says:

Great tips and I loved your photos!

Michael says:

Great tips! As a Sydneysider myself, I’d recommend all of those things.
If you’re into beaches, you could also try some of the harbour beaches in the east like Nielsen Park.
There are lots of cheap eats and shops in a suburb called Newtown in the inner-west.
If you like music, you should check out some cheap gigs in Surry Hills.
And don’t be afraid to take the train to the Blue Mountains for a day!

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