When your budget is tight, it’s not fun to have to restrict yourself to only the things you can afford. In Sydney, that might not amount to much at all – the city is famously expensive. However, there are lots of ways you can save and even enjoy free entertainment. Here are the key points to remember to help your budget out.

Get an Opal Card

The metro card for Sydney is called an Opal Card, and it’s free to obtain. You can then top it up with money at most stations, and it will give you a huge discount while you are strolling through the city. There’s a discount on each journey for starters, and a maximum daily limit of $15, so you can hop on and off as much as you like. It covers the metro, buses, the ferry, and the light rail systems, so you don’t need to worry about getting where you need to go.

If you’re staying for a while and use the Opal Card five days straight, the fifth day is half price. On Sundays the maximum charge is reduced to just $2.50, which is a pretty amazing bargain also.

Absorb Some Art

If you like art, you’re in luck. The Art Gallery of New South Wales is free to enter, and has a great collection of both Australian and European artists. These include a Monet, Reubens, and more.

Then there’s the Museum of Contemporary Art, which is also free! Australian artists are hugely featured, and there’s a big exhibit of Aboriginal art which will show you some of Australia’s real culture. Get all the fun you want without paying anything – this is a great way to spend a whole day.

Get Outside in Nature

You know what’s almost always free for you to admire? Nature. There’s plenty of it around Sydney, too. Sit on the golden sandy beaches of the city, walk out into the ocean and go for a swim – these activities won’t cost you a thing.

If you prefer to get active, enjoy one of the nature walks around the city. These include the Bondi to Coogee walk, Watson’s Bay, and the Spit to Manly walks. Bondi to Coogee can be a lot busier while the other two are quieter and more relaxing.

Make Your Stay Cheap

When it comes to the necessities of travel, there are two things you can’t avoid paying for: a bed, and refreshments. There are hotels for all budgets around which will really help your purse strings. The further you go from the CBD, the lower your price will get.

In the meantime, there are also lots of low-budget eateries to try out. Sushi trains won’t cost you an arm and a leg, and nor will the noodle and dumpling places in Chinatown. In the MLC Centre, an office building with a food court in the CBD, you can also find inexpensive meals. If your more towards the harbour, the Gateway food court in Circular Quay has three floors and a diverse selection of cuisines.

Take a Tour

While many walking tours will cost you, some of them are free. You can get a tour of the city centre and The Rocks with the I’m Free Walking Tours. There’s also a free service which will connect you with a local to be your personal neighbourhood guide.

Sydney Town Hall is a breath-taking piece of Victorian architecture which offers a tour on Tuesday mornings for just $5. It lasts for two hours, excellent value for the smaller budget. Don’t forget that you’re also fine to walk around the city by yourself – get a map, or use one from your phone, and see where it takes you.

Head to Markets

You don’t have to pay to get in to the markets of Sydney, and you’re not obligated to buy anything once you’re there – although you will probably want to! There are stalls at The Rocks on Fridays and Saturdays, the Bondi Farmers Market, the flower market, the fish market and Paddington Market – you could spend your whole visit in markets without running out. This is a great way to pick up cheap food, gifts and souvenirs, and also a fun way to spend the day without needing to spend anything from your budget if you don’t want to. The atmosphere alone is worth coming for.

You can’t go wrong with these saving tips, and you could easily enjoy a whole trip to Sydney on a very low budget. It can be done.