Bondi Beach

The best free things to do in Sydney

Immerse yourself in Sydney's art, music and sport - for free
Life at uni can be busy and expensive – but living on a student budget doesn't need to be boring. That's why we've put together a collection of just some of the many free events Sydney has to offer.

Get to know the city

Sydney is a beautiful city, and luckily some of its best outdoor attractions are totally free. You can walk the Sydney Harbour Bridge, climb Observatory Hill, wander through Luna Park or explore historic Cockatoo Island, a former penal colony and dockyard, all without spending a cent. 

Travel by foot

Get your walking shoes on – coastal walks are the one of the best ways to experience Sydney. The Bondi to Bronte walk, trails through the Dharawal National Park, the Bay Run through the inner-west and the Spit to Manly are just some of the amazing walks that Sydney has to offer.

Explore the markets

Buying and selling at the markets is a great way to live cheaply in Sydney, but taking in the atmosphere is just as fun. From Glebe, to Marrickville, to Bondi, wandering around the markets is the perfect way to get some free retail therapy. Plus, the USU runs markets on campus once a month, too.

Make the most of holidays and events

The Australian calendar is dotted with public holidays – not only does this mean you'll get a day off from uni, there are a number of unique free events hosted around the city. Check out the free Sydney Easter Parade on Easter Monday or attend a dawn service on ANZAC Day (25 April), a national holiday in honour of the men and women who have served in Australia's military forces.

Check out some amazing art

Sydney is home to some incredible art galleries – and mostly, admission is free. The Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Museum of Contemporary Art have free general admission, and in October and November you can see Sculpture by the Sea with the added bonus of an ocean view. If you're looking for something closer to campus, visit Verge Gallery the Footbridge Gallery and the Chau Chak Wing Museum.

Test your general knowledge with new mates

If your classes don’t tire you out too much, heading down to a pub trivia night after class can be one of the best ways to cement new friendships. There’s plenty of trivia nights to choose from, no matter which campus you’re studying at.

Relax on the grass or sand

From the Royal Botanical Gardens by the Harbour, to the Chang Lai Yuan Chinese Gardens in Western Sydney, relaxing in some of Sydney’s parks is the best antidote to a stressful semester. Plus, while Bondi and Coogee are famous for a reason, exploring some of the beaches off the tourist track is definitely worth it.

Listen to Sydney Ideas talk

Sydney Ideas brings together leading thinkers from around the world to the University of Sydney – and most of the events are free. Held on campus and online, the talks range from physics and philosophy to literature and law, so whatever your interest, there’ll be something up your alley.

Watch a free gig (or get on stage yourself)

Whether you’re just keen to watch some free comedy or music, or you’re eager to jump up on stage, there's something for everyone. Check out free live music, or if you're feeling adventurous, go along to an open mic night. There are loads of open mic nights all over Sydney.

Keep fit for free

Sydney has plenty of options when it comes to free sport and fitness, whether you want to watch or participate. You can find free table tennis at Ultimo and running clubs all over Sydney. If you feel like something a bit more zen, try a free meditation class.

7 March 2019

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