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.
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.
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.
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 (22 April) or attend a dawn service on ANZAC Day (Thursday 25 April), a national holiday in honour of the men and women who have served in Australia's military forces.
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 or the newly-opened Footbridge Gallery.
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.
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.
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, the talks range from physics and philosophy to literature and law, so whatever your interest, there’ll be something up your alley.
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. The Tudor Hotel in Redfern runs free comedy every Thursday, and there are loads of other open mic nights all over Sydney.
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.