4 Days travel on a budget to Sydney (Day 1)

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If you are a travelholic, Australia or specifically Sydney is surely always on the list of the top must-come-destination! However, as you might be aware, Sydney, which is one of the most expensive cities in the world, can deter you from getting the most of this lovely city. So, how can you still enjoy the beauty of Sydney without harming too much your wallet? Let check out the “4 days travel on a budget to Sydney” written by Trang Le – a traveling lover currently living in Melbourne.

Summary my trip

  • Trip: Melbourne to Sydney Budget: 500 – 600AUD (flight ticket and accommodation, Adele concert ticket, eating, shopping, and transportation included)
  • Length: 3 Full days and a half day (4 nights at Hostel)
  • Requirements: Walking ability + good health conditions + Food sharing + Modest shopping + Early wake-up and late comeback
  • Places covered: Harbour area, CBD area (Shopping streets, Mary Cathedral, Sydney Tower, Queen Victoria Building, Hyde Park), The Rocks area, Royal Botanic Garden (Macquarie’s chair), Sydney Fish Market, The Star Casino, Darling Harbour, The Market City ( The paddy’s Market), The Melbourne Contemporary Museum, Harbour bridge walking (30-1 hour) Harbour night view, Manly Beach, Coogee to Bondi Beach walk ( 3-4 hours), The Rocks + the rocks Sunday market
  • Places I ate: It’s time for Thai food, Vietnamese Bread – Destination Roll, Peters Sydney Fish Market, Cafe Cre Asion, The Pancakes on The Rocks
  • The note includes my itinerary, my tips, my recommendations.
  • Good for: travel on budget, nature lovers, photos taking, eating lovers…


First full day

I flew from Melbourne to Sydney with the early morning flight at 8 am. After arrived at the hostel around 10 am, I had first breakfast in Sydney with Vietnamese bread at the store next to my hostel: 5.50$ for any rolls. It is quite good and the price is affordable. 

5.50$ – taste good with affordable price

Then, I went on a tour called “Free walking tour – CBD Tour” at 2:30 pm until 5:00 pm and “Free walking tour – The rocks” at 6 pm until 7:30 pm.

The tour includes almost all the main attractions at Sydney CBD and Harbour area
The ending point of the first tour is also the beginning of the 2nd one which is in Harbour area ( Circular Quay).

Harbour Area

There was about less than 1 hour in between the tours. Therefore, you might walk around the Harbour area to Opera House and take some pictures with Harbour Bridge, Opera House,… 


Harbour Bridge

The Rocks area

My experience

Personally, I did really enjoy it since it is free, and I haven’t joined any informative tour like this before. Especially there are so many places to go around Sydney and you might spend a lots money on transportation which can be made in a walking distance.
  • I think the tour is very good for people who are new to the city. You can have an overall review of all the places around CBD, then you can come back later to any places that you are interested in. They covered all of the main iconic places in CBD Sydney, explained the history then gave some fun facts. I really recommend it for those who are interested in listening to stories and histories, as well as knowing more about what locals think.
  • However, you shouldn’t go with the tour if you prefer walking randomly on your own preferences, taking pictures… The tour is designed to give a brief introduction to Main points in Sydney for you to come back later.

Foodie time

After finishing the tour, my friend and I decided to have a meal at a Halal Thai food restaurant “It is time for Thai”. It is also the place we ate at the last day in Sydney. Since she is Muslim, we preferred eating here. So it is optional if you want to give it a try.

Tom Yum Kung and Thai style fried rice – 28$

Chicken Green Curry with Roti – 13.50$

Thai Fried Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Sauce – 6.50$

Personally, I think the “Green chicken curry with Roti” – 13.50$ and Tom Yum Kung are very delicious. I love the smell of coconut and the spicy-sour flavor for Tom Yum. Some friends might know I am a spicy eater, but it is not that spicy though. Therefore, I recommend them to those who are into Thai food and spicy food.

End of day 1

Do you like this article?

You can also discuss with me in the comment ?

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46 replies
  1. Jennifer says:

    Fried ice cream?! Yes, please! Australia has always seemed like an expensive country to travel to, so it’s great to know one can get around on a budget.

  2. Jen Morrow says:

    Good to know about the free walking tours, what a great way to learn about the area. Those are some pretty great views of the harbor bridge and opera house, plus street views. Thai for dinner looks delicious.

  3. traveltorgeir says:

    Sydney is such a great city. It’s been way too long since I visited though. The Thai Food restaurant seemed very Nice. Nothing beats delicious asian Food. When I Return to Sydney I will try one of the walking tours, thanks for the tip.

  4. Archana Singh says:

    Sydney is such a lively place. Although I was there for close to 10 days yet I couldn’t see everything but i pretty much did what you wrote about. Good summary.

  5. nomadbytrade13 says:

    I love how detailed you are with all of the prices. This really helps with making a realistic budget for food and such. I often find that this is the hardest aspect of trips to predict.

  6. Cristina says:

    I travelling on a budget is possible, there are so many affordable options! I think you had fun and visited so many places! The food looks delicious!

  7. Melai says:

    Great guide! We were in Sydney two years ago and I didn’t find the city a budget destination especially on eating out. Haha! But their food are of big portions and tastes good. 🙂

  8. Tanvi Rastogi (@Tanviidotcom) says:

    Australia is on my list for next year. Thanks for all the tips. Glad to know one can do it on a budget. The expense itself makes me hesitant sometimes.

    ❥ tanvii.com

    • Expatolife says:

      Yes, that’s why we have this post :)! You should not hesitate to visit one destination, just need to find best way to avoid “tourist trap”! Hope you will enjoy our next articles in this series!

  9. Caroline @ The Travelling Sloth says:

    I love the little summary you’ve included in the beginning of the post. I didn’t realise there were free walking tours in Australia (and I used to live there). I don’t think i’ve ever had fried ice cream – didn’t know that was a thing! Looks absolutely delicious. Look forward to seeing what you got up to the other days.

  10. Julianne says:

    It’s been 10 years now since I’ve been to Sydney, and your post makes me want to return! I remember walking around the Harbour area and Rocks area by ourselves. The idea of a free walking tour is great! Also, that fried ice cream looks delicious.

  11. Lara @ Find Your World Girl says:

    Sounds like you had a great time! I was lucky enough to live just outside of Sydney for awhile and have only great memories 🙂

  12. Janine Good says:

    My hubby is from Sydney and I can totally relate to your article as we have travelled there a few times since he came to Canada. I love the Opera House and Harbour Bridge! Free walking tours would be something I’d love to do next time! The Thail rice looks delicious and a nice big portion for $28 🙂

  13. familyinfarawayplaces says:

    I’d really like to visit Australia but with a family of 3 it’s really expensive, especially since I want to go to the Outback! Those free walking tours look like a good option for families that are a bit older than ours though.

  14. ravenoustravellers says:

    Sydney has such a reputation of being expensive so it’s glad to see your tips and recommendations on how to make it a more affordable trip, thanks for the recommendations – we love free walking tours!! That fried ice cream looks delicious too!

    • Expatolife says:

      Don’t let its reputation stop you from visit Sydney! You can surely follow our next posts in this series to know more on how to travel on budget in this expensive city 🙂

  15. laurencocking says:

    An interesting post on a destination I actually haven’t really considered before. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  16. Steph says:

    Definitely saving this for when I ever get to Sydney! Have to admit the cost does put me off but it’s somewhere of love to go, great photos of the views and some good advice

  17. Jin Chu-Ferrer says:

    Great information about your travel itinerary in sydney! Love the insight, as I’m hoping to go there in the near future!

  18. Natasha von Geldern says:

    Everything you need to know about making the most of your time in Sydney – nice one! I’m impressed with the detail here, very helpful.

  19. WorldGlimpses says:

    Walking tours are always interesting. I walk a lot when travelling anyway, so it’s nice to be guided sometimes, instead of carrying the map all the time and asking for directions. (Which I love, by the way! :D) Looks like you made the most of it, even though the trip was only for few days, good for you! 🙂

    • Expatolife says:

      I love wandering around by myself as well, but I also agree that sometimes having a tourguide is useful, especially when you want to know more about the city 🙂

  20. meghanramsey1 says:

    I’m a budget traveler as well and I think this guide is great! It’s always good to see a price break down and really see how you will spend your money when you are in a city. Also looks like you were able to do a lot in just a short amount of time! Awesome!

  21. Karyna @ Kosan Travel says:

    I loved Sydney, though I am a Melbourne girl at heart! It’s definitely not easy to do on a budget, but you’ve got some great tips here!


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