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explore Sydney city on a budget

One of the wonderful things about living somewhere like Sydney is that you have amazing restaurants and cafes, quirky boutiques, live music and theatre shows, galleries and wonderful markets at your fingertips.  All these highlights of inner city living come with a fee however, so to really get the most out of living somewhere cosmopolitan and adventurous we kinda need to sample the fare, which costs money….

Or does it? Is it possible to be inspired by our home town without feeling the need to constantly spend in order to experience it?  Over the coming weekends (before they all get gobbled up by social commitments and end of year catch ups) see if you can get out and experience the city with loved ones or buddies or take yourself out for some quiet time alone, and see that you can have a great time without spending up big.

How can we experience cosmopolitan, vibrant Sydney on a limited budget?

  • Go to any one of the beautiful beaches and walk along the coast line, pack a picnic and take a dip
  • Go to the galleries and check out the free exhibitions
  • Support one of the local independent cinemas and go on their cheap night for a treat, bring along homemade snacks and a bottle of water.  
  • Keep an ear out for festivals and public performances where you can experience a free live show or performance - often Darling Harbour, the Domain and Circular Quay have exciting displays to experience throughout the year. Events such as Tropfest, Sydney Festival and Vivid have lots of opportunities on offer to enjoy.
  • Visit some of the wonderful cafes and restaurants by all means, but make it a treat (say breakfast or a dinner out once a fortnight), rather than several times a week.
  • Jump on one of the ferries (for a small fee) to experience the beautiful harbour of Sydney and wander the streets like a tourist. Visit The Rocks, Manly, Bondi and Newtown for some varied and interesting window shopping.
  • Visit one of the many national parks bordering Sydney for a mind clearing and grounding bush walk. Breathe in the refreshing Eucalypt scent as you wander down lush bush tracks. See if you can spot some wildlife, birds or native flowers.
  • Check out the various markets held across the city, Kirribilli, Glebe, Bondi, Paddington or experience true multiculturism at Cabramatta. Set yourself a budget and check out the vintage stalls and refresh your wardrobe for a fraction of the cost of buying new stuff. You might even find vintage pieces to refresh your home too, think tablecloths, cute china cups and quirky artwork. 
  • Visit the local farmer's markets and stock up on fresh locally grown produce for often the same price as the supermarket chains.  Meet the growers and develop a better understanding and respect about where your food comes from.  Only buy what you know you'll consume.  Get into the habit of making your own soups and stocks with left over peels and off cuts of veggies and don't be afraid to recreate meals from left overs.  Avoiding food waste is a very easy way to save money for more fun activities.  

We are already half way through Spring and the outdoors is beckoning for us to get some fresh air and have some fun. So go and experience this wonderful city, but just be mindful of how you spend your money and use your imagination and creativity to come up with ways to enjoy yourself while still staying on a budget.  

Enjoy!