Australia is one of those places you don’t forget. There’s nothing you can’t find here. If your interests include anything from marine biology to authentic native art, you won’t be dissatisfied with this country.
Obviously, I couldn’t visit everything I wanted, but towards the end of my journey I ended up at the crown jewel of my trip – Sydney. Unfortunately for me, I ended up going with only a fraction of my budget left.
The good news is that Sydney accommodated me just fine anyway. Here are some ways that I enjoyed the town with barely any money.
1. Use public transit to get around
If there’s one thing I’ve learned travelling in Sydney, it’s that public transportation can be a real lifesaver. There’s no shortage of ways to get around the city. People I’ve met along the way recommended that I get an Opal card to save some money while trying to cover the whole city.
It’s a bustling metropolis that features everything from buses to underground metro systems. Crossing the harbor on a ferry was a memorable experience, and it didn’t cost me much.
At one point I underestimated how much I spent on mochas in coffee shops (an understandable mistake) and I had to resort to walking. It was possibly the best decision I could have made, despite the fact that I didn’t actually make the decision myself. There are a lot of wonderful details you miss by not having a walk through the many areas of Sydney.
I ended up visiting the Secret Garden of at Blues Point, which I’m sure wasn’t included in the bus trip to The Harbour Bridge. Afterwards, I passed through The Rocks, but I couldn’t buy anything for obvious reasons. It made me regret spending money on those mochas.
2. The sand and the art
If there’s something everyone likes visiting, it’s beaches. I absolutely had to get my sunbathing groove on. Luckily for me, the beaches in Sydney are free to visit. There’s no better place to spend a sunny day than at the Bondi beach.
However, my new favorite place had a different kind of price. Visiting on off days was wonderful, but when the weekend hit, it was a bit too crowded for my tastes. I didn’t want to have to arm wrestle a bunch of seniors for a spot at the beach.
Museums became my best friends when my cash started running out. There are lots of bougie museums that cost a lot to enter, but there’s also a fair share of free museums to choose from. My personal favorites were The Museum of Contemporary Art and the White Rabbit Gallery. They featured some interesting pieces from contemporary artists and aboriginals alike.
3. Places to stay are plentiful
Finding the right place to stay was tough. On one hand, I wanted to save money. On the other hand, I didn’t want to walk miles while living in a Canberra hostel that claimed to be within “walking distance” of Sydney. I might be exaggerating, but that’s what it felt like to look for accommodation.
Luckily some friends overheard that I was looking for a place to stay and they recommended few places in Sydney. It beat having to search for the least-sleazy hotel. I ended up in some nice-looking apartments and I was on my way towards the start of my journey in Sydney. It wasn’t too far off from the center, which made walking even easier later on.
4. Finding food is a breeze
Whenever I find myself in a big city, looking for cheap food becomes like second nature. In a huge metropolis like Sydney, I figured it would be best to avoid the strict city center.
This is where all the tourist traps are located. You don’t want to end up paying double digits for some mediocre food that they give to travelers. It’s a good idea to ask some locals where they eat and why.
There’s a lot of food to choose from. I really liked the Chinese places around town that featured some cheap and authentic meals. I heard of a quaint place called Lentil as Anything, where you pay what you feel for the meals. I regret not visiting it, as it might have helped my budget later on.
Sydney is a very unique place to be. It gives you the best of both worlds. You can experience it as a humongous metropolis with more than enough tourist attractions to go around, or you can enjoy the quaint nature that surrounds it.
It has an aura of majesty while still being humble enough for the common man. You don’t have to be a millionaire to experience all the best things Sydney has to offer. All I know is that I’m definitely visiting again.