Sydney – money budget

What are the costs in Sydney?

How much money do you need when are you planning to go to Sydney? What are the average costs in Sydney? 

 Sydney is the largest city in Australia which offers a full range of excitement – from culture experience, shopping, beautiful parks, socializing, business activities, restaurants, ocean, beautiful harbour, famous Opera house and there are also plenty of festivals during all year. Everyone will find there what they are seeking for. I would say that Sydney is awesome! I love Sydney for its options that offer not only tourists and explorers but also for studying, working and having fun.

Because I am living in Australia, I would like to share my opinion about not only a vacation but also how is the life and expenses here. I have visited Sydney for a couple of times and I love the variety there, especially with the food, events and areas. You can be in the middle of a crowd, have a huge selection of shopping, restaurants but also escape to the park or the ocean to restore your energy. Living in Sydney is really expensive though – a rent, fancy restaurants, activities. I also feel that the city is pretty safe apart from an area around King cross street where you will not feel comfortable and people usually try to avoid this part of Sydney, so don‘t book a hotel or a hostel around this area. 

If you consider living in Sydney, the prices for the houses are huge, and if you are a person who rather lives in a quiet place, then Sydney will probably not be the best option for you. Sydney is really busy, crowd and people often rush. For a vacation though dont hesitate to put it on your bucket list!

Public transport

The best way how to get around is to buy an Opal card, which can be used for buses and trams or airport link. The cost of the card is for free but the minimum top up is 10$ AUD for adults. You can also buy a single tickets but then you have to have coins and you just pay more for each ride.

Hop on, hop off – popular for tourist in almost every city – price start from 50$ AUD

Ferry – If you want to ge to Manly beach, you can go by a public transport but it is better and more fun to take a ferry. The ferry goes from Circular Quay every 20 minutes during peak hours and it take approximately 30 minutes to get to Manly. You can buy some snacks on the ferry as well! 🙂 


Takeaways vs Restaurants

The average takeaway meal cost around 12-20$ AUD. You can also get a combo deal for a lunch around 15 AUD which includes a drink and sometimes chips or another side. Asian restaurants which serve noodles with meat and rice or soups can cost around 15 AUD per meal. In a nice restaurant you will spend around 30$ AUD per meal (without drink), but if you want to have some really good meal and drink, you have to spend at least 50$ AUD (dinners are more expensive). For a fancy dinner, the average price is 80-100$ AUD per person. 

If you want to eat with a style you don’t have to spend a fortune for it, look for specials, check how the food looks like on the plate and not just on the picture and you can enjoy a fancy meal. Check for example World Square with variety of meals or area around Chinese Garden of friendship or romantic Darling Harbour.


The average price for a coffee is from 3.50$ AUD to 4.50$ AUD (a small latte or cappuccino). A brekkie (breakfast) usually cost around 12$ AUD for some omelette or Egg Benedict. 

Check Queen Victoria Building with few fancy cafes.


Event Cinemas – 26$ AUD

Harbour Bridge Climb 163$ AUD week price, 183 AUD weekend price,

Harbour Dinner Cruise – from 90$ AUD – 200$ AUD for 1 person (depends on style of food how fancy you want to be 🙂 )

Taronga ZOO – entry 46$ AUD or 63$ AUD with Harbour cruise

Sea Life aquarium – start from 35$ AUD

Luna Park – unlimited rides from 50$ AUD

Opera house performance – prices start from 80$ AUD


The cheapest Backpacker hostels start at 25$ AUD but it is usually for 6 or more people in one room with very low quality, average hotel starts from around 100$ AUD and the better one at least 140$ AUD. I definitely recommend to book in advance as the later you book it, the more you will pay more for a less quality. 

Tips how to save money if you are on a tight budget!

Tap water is safe to drink  

If you need a coffee and don‘t have money buy one at 7 Eleven for 1$ AUD or Night Owl for 2$ AUD (which I would say taste much better)

Go to an Asian grocery, they have many amazing sweet drinks for great prices, for example, Rose drink for 1.40$ AUD. I definitely prefer these types of drinks rather than soft drinks!

Search for free events. There is always something that is happening and you don‘t need to spend a fortune for expensive exhibitions or events especially when your budget is limited

Book your place in advance, don‘t wait until the last minute, it is just stressful and then you pay more for lower quality. One of the quite good backpacker hostels which is right in the city centre is for example: Base X, check my review here.


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