There is so much to see and do in Sydney on weekends, but sometimes the seemingly endless possibilities can become a bit overwhelming. We’ve put together some of our favourite free activities and attractions, that won’t leave you short of enjoying all that this charming city has to offer.
Bondi to Bronte walk
The Bondi to Bronte walk is one of the most iconic walking trails in Sydney. You will see the breathtaking views of the South Pacific Ocean, and the coastal cliffs are picture perfect. The track takes you between two of Sydney’s most well known beaches, with some spots along the way to take a rest and enjoy the views. The walk is quite easy and is 5km to and from Bronte. We recommend taking a yummy picnic lunch to enjoy in the park or on the beach!
Visit the Art Gallery of New South Wales
With five levels of art to explore, just ten minutes walk from the city, the Art Gallery of New South Wales is worth checking out. There is a variety of Australian art, European and Asian treasures on offer, as well as one of the largest galleries of Aboriginal art in the country. There are also free guided tours available!
Royal Botanic Gardens
The Royal Botanic Gardens is located in the heart of Sydney, and offers 30 hectares of luscious green space. Here you will find rare and threatened plants, to a romantic rose garden. There are several other themed garden displays, which aim to show you the wonders and diverse beauty which nature has to offer. Every weekend from 10:30am to 12pm, there are free guided walks, with a knowledgeable guide leading you through the gardens.
Visit the Queen Victoria Building
Designed by George McRae and completed in 1898, the Queen Victoria Building, now commonly known as the QVB, was built as a monument to the long reigning monarch. Exploring this beautiful building which was once accommodated by coffee shops, a concert hall, and even showrooms, is something truly special. Glorious stained glass windows and captivating architecture add to this buildings already unique charm. Once here, be sure to head up to Level 3 and watch the clock chime on the hour.
Explore The Rocks
The Rocks are the place of first European settlement in Australia, and here will you be able to visit buildings and public places from the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth century. You can even get a free app for your phone (available for iPhone and Android devices), called “Walking the Rocks” which will take you from the earliest days of settlement, to the lively place it is today. While you are here, there are also markets on every weekend from 10am – 5pm, where you can wander and check out stalls full of unique jewelry, clothes, and original artworks.
Have a picnic lunch at Hyde Park
Hyde Park is the oldest public parkland in Australia, and is a 40-acre green space in the central business district. You can walk and explore the space, with well kept gardens and famous fig tree lined avenues on offer. The Archibald Fountain is the centre piece of the park, and is worth checking out, as it was donated in honour to Australia’s efforts in World War 1. There is also a giant outdoor chess set located at the Nagoya Gardens, if you fancy a game or two! But don’t forget to bring a picnic blanket and a yummy lunch or some snacks, as Hyde Park is the perfect place to relax and bask in the sunshine.
Walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge
While you can pay quite a bit of money to climb the bridge, walking across this Sydney landmark is the second best option. There is a pedestrian walkway on the eastern side of the Bridge, with access available from the southern or northern side. Although the walk is estimated to only take 15-30 minutes, you’ll find yourself continuously stopping to take in the breathtaking views. So make sure to pack your camera!
Browse Glebe Markets
Just a stones throw away from Sydney, you’ll find the unique and charming Glebe Markets. These markets are held at Glebe Public School every Saturday from 10am – 4pm. You will spend hours browsing the many stores bursting with new, vintage and pre-loved clothing, as well as a variety of handmade crafts. Free music by local musicians is also on offer from 12-3pm on the lawn, so pull up some grass or dance to the vibrant tunes.
Check out Darling Harbour and Circular Quay
If you feel like doing some inner city sightseeing, then definitely head on over to Darling Harbour and Circular Quay. You can window shop at Darling Harbour while being right near the beautiful Sydney Harbour. Once you’ve had enough here, you can walk to Circular Quay and see if there are any hidden treasures on offer along the way (if you don’t feel like the 30-minute walk, you can also catch the train or drive). Here at Circular Quay, you can take some beautiful pictures of the Sydney Opera House, and find the best spot to watch the sun set.
In Chinatown, you will find some of the most amazing Chinese culture in this special neighbourhood. You will be able to explore the many restaurants and shops, with close access also to Sydney’s famous Paddy’s Markets. For a taste of a different culture, Chinatown is not something to miss.