Blog,  Travel & Holidays

10 Things To See in Sydney On A Budget


A few weeks back PC had the opportunity to attend a seminar in the Big Smoke, he was rather excited as this meant he could stay with, and spend time with our City sons. Always keen to spend time with their Bros, our next three oldest also headed down with him. As our City sons were working both days and PC attending his course, the question was, how should our teens and tween use their time in Sydney?


Suggesting this could be an educational opportunity for ‘Country goes to the City,’ I armed our 17, 14 & 12 year old with a list of potential places of interest within reasonable distance of Circular Quay, added some instructions on safety and they were all set to head off into the City each day to navigate the sights by themselves. Fortunately our country kids had experienced the public transport system on our Christmas holidays, so were confident with trains and trams, too a couple of times they were able to to travel in/home with their Bros who work in Darling Harbour.


I was most intrigued to see what teens and a tween would choose to see when ‘let loose’ in the City and was keen to hear their impressions. Some sights they chose due to interest, some decisions they based on cost and others for their vicinity to their previous choice. I was particularly keen for them to go to The Rocks Discovery Museum as it looked most promising, but based on vicinity and their sore feet on the second day, they chose not to trek back. Disappointed they came home with no photos of themselves enjoying the sights, as to why they thought I’d want two hundred photos of paintings hanging in the Art Gallery of New South Wales I’m uncertain. Rather proud of  these Country kids getting themselves about the City so successfully.


Australian Museum

1 William Street

9.30am – 5.00pm Daily

Adult $15, Concession $8, Children under 16 – Free

Teens/Tween Verdict: Lots of historical artifacts on a wide variety of history topics. Also covered some science areas. It wasn’t crowded midweek even though there were school groups there.  4.5 Star


Art Gallery of New South Wales

Art Gallery Rd, The Domain

10am until 5pm Daily. Until 10pm on Wednesdays.

Entry – Free

Teens/Tween Verdict:  Many beautiful paintings, engaging and instructive. 4 Star


State Library NSW

Macquarie St

9am- 5pm Daily

Entry – Free

Teens/Tween Verdict: Our local library is far better, ours is more inviting and we have many more interesting books.

The State Library had lots of computers, desks and an art gallery, there were not many books of interest.  2.5 Star


The Mint

10 Macquarie Street

Monday to Friday: 9.30am – 5pm

Entry – Free

Teens/Tween Verdict: Not much there to see.  2 Star


The following our teens/tween didn’t manage to see.


*The Rocks Discovery Museum
2 – 8  Kendall Lane, The Rocks

10am – 5pm daily

Entry – Free


Museum of Sydney

Cnr Phillip and Bridge Streets

10am – 5pm

Adult $10, Child 5 – 15/ Concession $5, Under 5 free, Family: two adults + two children $20


Royal Botanic Gardens

Mrs Macquaries Road

7am – 5/8pm

Free guided walks, daily

Entry – Free


State Parliament House Tour

6 The Macquarie St Historic Precinct


Free guided tour 1:30pm every Monday and Friday

Entry – Free
St Mary’s Cathedral

St Mary’s Road

8.30am to 5pm Monday – Friday

Entry – Free



Sydney Observatory

Watson Rd, Millers Point (20 min walk from Circular Quay)

10am- 5pm

Telescope costs

Entry free to outside

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  • Katherine

    Very instructive to read their insightful reviews! What I would recommend to people visiting Sydney is: buy an ‘opal’ card (f0r public transport) and spend some time on the ferries. Great way to see the harbour 🙂

    • Erin

      Excellent recommendation! We bought and Opal card for our Christmas holiday trip and one highlight was traveling on the Rivercat 🙂 but yes would also be a fantastic way to get around the harbour, the most beautiful harbour in the world.

    • Erin

      It was too good an opportunity to miss. I was intrigued by their choices, but I definitely want us all to go to the Rocks museum if we have another trip.

  • Einstein

    At the end of each day they came home exhausted but happy with what they had seen, they would meticulously plan out their route each night as to which path would be the most direct while allowing them to see the sights of inner Sydney.

    I confess that I might have had a hand in them bringing you over two hundred photo’s, as when I met them for lunch and found that they had not taken a single photo, I told them that you would love to have pictures and said that the more they took the better. 🙂

    With Love,
    Your Einstein

    • Erin

      So pleased to ‘see’ them planning well, and it was so interesting to see their choices. Appreciate your efforts Son, next time if you could specify I would like them to take pictures of each other enjoying the sights, that would be perfect.
      Lots of love

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