Free Attractions and Things To Do In Sydney

by AboutAustralia

There are many wonderful free things to do in Sydney, so there's no need to break your budget.

Cities can be expensive places to visit, but you don't need to spend your entire savings on sightseeing and entry fees when you can maximize your visit with cheap and cheerful DIY adventures.

Some of the best memories are made when we let ourselves explore with the least amount of interference as possible. Simply going on one of the many enchanting walks that the city has to offer, will uncover a treasure trove of experiences that you'll remember for a lifetime. Enjoy!

National Maritime Museum Darling Harbour, Sydney

Free Things To Do in Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour is a waterside plaza on the shores of Sydney Harbour in the CBD. You’ll find parks, shops, conference centers, museums, restaurants, cafes, IMAX theatre, outdoor performances, and nightclubs.

Australia has a rich maritime history and the National Maritime Museum is a free attraction well worth a visit (special temporary exhibitions may attract a fee). Located in the Darling Harbour Precinct it is easily located by following the signposts to Murray Street.


Located in Dixon St in the CBD, you can explore the Chinatown district at your leisure on your way to Darling Harbour. You will find many notable Chinese Restaurants including Kam Fook, which is the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere. There are also lots of market stalls and skilled outfitters who will make you a unique garment overnight.


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Historical Sydney - The Rocks

Free Things to do at The Rocks, Sydney

The Rocks is an historic area of Sydney which now boast a variety of galleries, shops, and restaurants. Wander your way through the streets and check out Sydney's oldest pubs.

The Rocks Farmers Markets at Jack Mundy Place, are a great place to while away a few enjoyable hours. Wander through the amazing flower and fresh food stalls, and be entertained for free by the tunes of the buskers. You will find the markets on the corner of Argyle and George Streets, The Rocks.

The Rocks Weekend Markets are open from 10am through to 5pm on both Saturday and Sundays, and are located on the corner of Playfair and George Streets, The Rocks. There is an interesting display of local talent on hand that provides you with a huge range of designer and fashion products including:

  • Gifts
  • Accessories
  • Homewares
  • Art
  • Ceramics
  • Fashion
  • Jewellery

Cadman's Cottage

Originally the Coxswain’s barracks, Cadmans Cottage is Sydney’s oldest house. It was built in 1816 from stone to provide shelter for the officer in charge of the fleet of government boats. The history of the building explains how the boats were crewed by convicts.

Originally Cadman’s Cottage was located on the Sydney Harbour foreshore, but is now quite a distance from the shore line as land has been reclaimed from the ocean over the years with landfill. Access is from 110 George St, The Rocks.

The Rocks Historical District, Sydney

Historic Buildings and Sydney Harbor Bridge, The Rocks, Australia
Sydney Harbour Bridge from the Rocks Area, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Queen Victoria Building

Window shopping in Sydney

The Queen Victoria Building is a must see free thing to do in Sydney. From a near ruin to one of the most stunningly beautiful retail spaces in the world, the Queen Victoria building is well worth a visit. Do some window shopping and take your time to admire the architecture and use of space in this gorgeous building located at 455 George St, Sydney.

Queen Victoria Building, Sydney

Exterior Facade of the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, Pacific
Queen Victoria Building, Sydney, Australia

Picture Postcard Views of Sydney

Free Things to do in Sydney - Royal Botanical Gardens

Another wonderful free thing to do in Sydney is to visit the 30 hectares of Botanical Gardens located on Mrs Macquarie Road, Sydney with the harbour at your side. There are spectacular views overlooking Farm Cove, the Sydney Opera House, and Circular Quay. The gardens abound in wonderful trees, scrubs, and bird life and will delight the sightseer who enjoys a free day out.

Sydney Opera House

Opera House and Harbour Bridge at Sunset, from Macquaries Point, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Aerial View of Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, New South Wales, Australia

Hyde Park, Sydney

Free Things to do in Sydney - Hyde Park

 In the early 19th century Hyde Park, in Sydney’s CBD, was home to a sporting ground and racecourse. Now with the passing of time its use has been reallocated to recreation and it is the best outdoor free thing to do in Sydney. You can play chess on the Western side of the park, or stroll through the central pathways under the shade of magnificent mature fig trees. The War Memorial was erected in 1934 and is an art deco tribute to the soldiers who fought in WWI.

The War Memorial is located above the pool of remembrance, but underneath is an exhibition of photography worth exploring. In the summer months Hyde Park comes alive with lots of free activities to enjoy during the Festival of Sydney.

Hyde Park, Sydney

Hyde Park and St. Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, Pacific
Fountain, Hyde Park, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, Pacific

The Iconic Paddy’s Markets

Free Things to do In Haymarket, Sydney

The iconic Paddy’s Markets are one of the best free things to do in Sydney. The stall holders offer a huge range of:

  • affordable clothes imported from overseas
  • fresh fruit and vegetables
  • gift-ware
  • fresh seafood

Give yourself a good couple of hours to soak up the sights and sounds of this great market venue. Located at Darling Drive, Haymarket

Paddy's Market, Sydney

Cloth Stall, Paddy's Market, near Chinatown, Sydney, Australia
Fruit Stall, Paddy's Market, near Chinatown, Sydney, Australia

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Updated: 04/11/2012, AboutAustralia
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