How to Live in Sydney Australia for Free – Clever and Creative Ways

Learn how you can easily live in Sydney for free, using these clever and creative travel hacks and money saving tips.

by Layla
Published: Updated:
Living in Sydney, view of Sydney Harbour

Live in Sydney, Australia for free


“How do you manage to live in Sydney for free? How do you do that?!”

That’s the question I get asked the most, about living in Sydney, Australia — when I tell people I live there, almost for free.

Probably because Sydney is the most expensive city in Australia to live in, the most expensive city in the Oceania region and one of the most expensive cities to live, in the entire world.

Well, believe it because I have done it.

Although it wasn’t an intentional plan to try to live in Sydney without money, it’s just how it happened for us.

My partner and I had to live in Sydney on a tiny budget, for a year with barely any income. It wasn’t out of choice, and it was tough going, but we did it.

And we still managed to see many places and do lots of fun things in Sydney.

We landed on tough times after moving to Sydney in 2018 and we struggled to settle in and overcome some issues. We had already been living in Sydney for almost a year before we started to get back on our feet again.

And then in 2020 — the covid-19 pandemic kicked off and we lost everything we’d worked so hard to build up. That was heartbreaking.

So when times were tough, we learned to adapt so that we could survive. 

Some of it wasn’t fun at all, and a lot of it meant we had to be very resourceful on a daily basis. But doing all of it saved us SO much money and enabled us to live in Sydney for that long.

Some days we didn’t spend any money at all, because we just didn’t need to. 

Most of the time, we used all of these tips and hacks because we often had little to no income — especially during the pandemic. So we needed to use all the tips on this list to survive and make the money we did have, last as long as possible.

However, everyone’s situation is different so pick out whichever tips you’d use or find helpful in your life. Plan which costs you need to cut and ways you need to save ahead of time and be consistent.

Some of these money-saving tips are suited to people wanting to live in Sydney on a budget long-term, such as:

  • Backpackers
  • Long-term travellers
  • Digital nomads
  • International students

And if you’re already living in Sydney, you might already have established ways to live cheaply. However, newbies moving to live in Sydney will hopefully find these travel hacks helpful too.

Also, I hope that my tips on how to live in Sydney on a small budget will help out someone else, who may be going through hard times.

So here’s all the knowledge we’ve gained, and tips and hacks we’ve discovered, for anyone who wants to move to Sydney, or who already lives in Sydney — so you can learn to live there almost for free, too.


Live in Sydney for Free: How to get Free or Cheap Accommodation in Sydney

First things first, having somewhere to stay or live in Sydney is pretty important and Sydney rents are famous for being super expensive. Hotels, hostels and Airbnb are all great places to stay but they’re not very affordable long-term.

So if you want cheap accommodation, renting a room in a house share is a good option. But if you don’t have a rental bond or deposit and you’re really broke — there are ways to find free accommodation in Sydney.


1. Live in Sydney for free by house sitting

House sitting has been the main source of free accommodation for us, for the past 7 years. And during nearly all of our time spent travelling in Sydney, we lived in house sits.

House sitting is when a homeowner goes away on a trip and entrusts their property and pets to a housesitter. Housesitters get to live rent-free in exchange for housesitting responsibilities such as taking care of their pets, garden maintenance and housekeeping. 

You won’t pay rent, and utility bills, nor pay for parking, WiFi, or household supplies whilst you’re house sitting. And a lot of homeowners will include the use of their car, whilst looking after their property. So the only thing you need to pay for is your food. 

House sitting is an excellent way to live in Sydney for free (or any expensive city) because accommodation is always one of the biggest drains on your budget.

It’s easy to become a housesitter and get house sitting jobs if you are responsible and like taking care of pets. So have a look around on a few house sitting websites for housesits in the area you’re going to travel to.

I wrote this post reviewing which sites are the best house sitting websites to find jobs on and it’s full of useful housesitting tips too.

Living in Sydney House sitting in Sydney

How we could live in Sydney for free – by house sitting.


2. Airbnbs in Sydney

We usually get our house sits booked to run back to back, but when we can’t make the dates work, we use Airbnb accommodation in Sydney to fill the gaps in between house sits.

You can find Airbnbs in Sydney on a budget, you’ve just got to search a little. Check out this post on the best cheap Airbnbs in Sydney we have put together.


3. Help Exchange

When there weren’t any house sits, or if we didn’t have the budget for Airbnb accommodation, we sometimes used Help Exchange placements to live in Sydney for free.

Help Exchange is an arrangement where volunteer helpers work for a host (a farm, hostel, lodge, B&B, camp-site, or homestay), and offer their skills for 4-5 hours a day in exchange for free accommodation and food.

There are many online platforms you can use for finding Help Exchange positions, including HelpX and Workaway.


4. Au Pair accommodation

If you are good with kids or have worked as an Au Pair before, it could be a great solution for living on a budget, as most Au Pair roles include accommodation within the remuneration package.

There are lots of Au Pair roles within the Sydney area, so check out a few websites for available jobs, such as Select Au Pairs or AIFS Au Pairs – both are based in Australia.  


Live in Sydney for Free: Free or Cheap Food 

Completely free food is hard to come by in Sydney (or anywhere for that matter) unless you’re into foraging or dumpster diving.  And if you are dumpster diving, always check the rules first.

We always bought groceries and cooked meals at home, which was easy because we were usually living in a housesit, and we had a fully equipped kitchen we could cook in.

And when we’re house sitting, homeowners are always pretty generous and leave us some food as a token of gratitude. And they’re also usually happy for us to use anything they leave behind in the fridge or pantry. 

However, we did learn to stretch the small amount of money we had, as far as we could on groceries. And when we had to grab food when we were out, we always took advantage of reduced deals and specials.

Here are some ways we reduced our cost of buying groceries and food on the go.


1. Search for supermarket reductions 

Grocery prices have been steadily rising in Australia in recent years, so bargain hunting in supermarkets is now a must if you want to save money.

Supermarkets reduce a lot of their fresh produce food items when they’re near their expiry or use-by date, by as much as 70%.

The times they do this varies by supermarket but I have found Woolworths & Coles in Sydney, reduce their meat & dairy products early in the morning and other reductions around 3.30 pm to 4 pm.

The reductions or markdowns are usually done early in the morning and before the after-work rush hour. You’ll get reduced fresh food produce & deli items like packaged veggies, salad, stir fry and also deli food, pizzas or ready meals.

Then there are the closing-time item reductions which are usually bread, pastry and cake items and these are reduced around two hours before closing time.

It sounds tedious but if you put the work in, you really can save lots on your groceries each week. I’ve found amazing reductions like grass-fed beef and salmon for as low as $2, whole deli chickens for $5 and many fresh veggies packets for 75c – $1. 

PRO TIP – At the bottom of your supermarket docket or receipt, you’ll also find an alcohol docket deal where you can get a discounted carton of beer, cider or wine, just by showing your docket or receipt in the partner liquor store.

Hunt down supermarket reductions wherever you live in Sydney


2. Check out the food courts

If you go to the food courts in the shopping malls at closing time, you’ll find all kinds of reductions on fresh food. Go between 4 pm and 5 pm and hang around to catch all the good discounts, although closing time varies between vendors.

  • If you’re in Sydney CBD, Pitt St Mall’s food court is huge and has plenty of food options. Soul Origin sells their healthy veggie and salad meals at 50 – 70% off at closing times, so we always go there and pay only $12 for three tubs of healthy food.
  • And if you’re in the inner west Marrickville Metro Mall near Enmore Park has a decent food court with Asian cuisine outlets that sell their dishes at 50% off at closing times.  
  • For options further out west, Parramatta Westfield has a huge food court where you can pick up reduced dishes at closing time.


3. Look for lunch specials in Sydney

This hack will save you so much, as lunch is often the meal you’ll find the most specials or discounts on. Eating dinner out in Sydney can be very expensive, so fill up at lunch if you’re going out and cook dinner at home. 

Here are the best cheap eats in Sydney under $20:

(Check their social media pages before going, as some specials do change).

  • The Crown Hotel in Elizabeth St in the CBD does $10 lunch specials on certain days
  • Get a Hot Chip Roll with salad for only $6.90 at all El Jannah restaurants which are Sydney-wide
  • Marrickville Pork Roll is famed for their authentic, delicious $8 Vietnamese bánh mì in Marrickville, now enjoy the same at their Darling Square branch in Haymarket
  • At Chinese Dumpling Master on Enmore Road, Newtown you’ll find cheap delicious dumplings in a busy but cheerful small restaurant
  • Fill up on giant gourmet sandwiches for $9 at South Dowling Sandwiches in Darlinghurst or Alexandria  
  • North Sandwiches Cafe on Bridge St in the CBD do loaded sandwiches ranging from $10-15
  • Get 2 huge Pizza slices and a can for $11 at Manny’s Pizza Diner in Chippendale
  • Chickpea layered veggies and hummus plates with falafel for only $5-$6 at Shwarmama in Surrey Hills 
  • Time for Thai in Newtown does lunch menu specials and so does At Thailand in Bankstown


4. Use Sydney cheap Tuesday deals

When you live in Sydney, it’s worth knowing that on Tuesdays in Australian and New Zealand culture, there is an institution known as ‘Cheap Tuesdays’. Also known as ‘Taco Tuesdays’ or ‘Tight-Arse Tuesdays’.

It’s when some places drop their prices for one night of the week and you can get discounted takeaways, drinks or movie tickets. So you can get $2 Tacos, $5 Pizzas, $5 Beers, and $10 Cocktails at many places on Tuesday evenings.

As living in Sydney is notoriously expensive, there aren’t many Cheap Tuesday deals in Sydney, or they’re challenging to find.

Check out these Sydney Cheap Tuesday deals that we found:

  • 🌭 Dollar Dogs ($1 Hot Dogs), $6 Mimosa and $5 Beers at Soda Factory in Surrey Hills
  • 🌮 $3 Taco and Tequila at Flying Fajita Sistas in Glebe
  • 🥩 $20 Steak & house drink at The Newtown Hotel on King St in Newtown
  • 🥩 Steak Night for $10 steaks at The Shakespeare Hotel in Surrey Hills
  • 🍗 $10 Schnitty’s at The Chippo Hotel in Chippendale
  • 🥟 Dollar Dumplings at Della Hyde in Darlinghurst
  • 🦪 Riley St Garage in Wooloomooloo for $1 Oysters and $5 Beers & $5 Wine
  • 🌮 $3 Taco’s at The Norfolk in Redfern
  • 🎥 The Dendy in Newtown is a much-loved Sydney icon and does $13.50 movie tickets on Tuesdays
  • 🎦 The Ritz Cinema in Randwick is only $10 for movies on Tuesdays
  • 🎥 Event Cinemas in the middle of the city is only $15 on Tuesdays to see any movie

Generally, you’ll find more Cheap Tuesday deals when you ask around your local area. Always check their social media pages before you go, as these deals can change or be put on hold.


5. Groupon discounts in Sydney

On Groupon, you’ll find all kinds of discounts, but if you select the Sydney location and then select the Food & Drink category, you’ll find heaps of money-saving offers.  Items such as half-price coffee, bubble tea,  half-price bakery items, sandwiches, sushi and snacks, and discounted lunch deals. 

Groupons are downloadable instantly and can be used immediately, so they’re really handy if you’re caught hungry in the city and don’t want to spend money on expensive lunches or snacks.


6. Food trucks at Paddington Markets

Paddington Markets are an iconic feature of the weekends in Sydney.

These artisan markets are held on Saturdays on Oxford St and you’ll find local designers, craftspeople and artists.  They also have many yummy food truck options.

For ultimate savings, go in August for the month-long Paddington $5 Food Festival, offering $5 plates of delicious food at the International Food Court.


7. Get 50% off your dinner bill using First Table

This is an awesome travel hack to use when you have a small budget and you want to go out for lunch or dinner in Sydney, but you still want to get a discount.

Even sat down in a restaurant, browsed the menu and wished everything was half the price? With First Table, you can have exactly that.

First Table is an early bird dining platform, where you’ll find a list of medium to high-end restaurants and eateries and each one has a limited number of reservations available at specific off-peak/early times.

Book a ‘First Table’ in any city for lunch or dinner for $10 and your entire table gets 50% off their food bill! 

Simply go to First Table, select the Sydney region, pick your restaurant, pay the $10 booking fee to book one of the ‘first tables’ and the whole of your table will get 50% off their bill.

It’s a great option to use for restaurants that are usually out of your budget or just to get a cheap dinner.


8. Pay as you feel at Lentil As Anything

Lentil as Anything is a donation-based restaurant in the trendy inner-west of Sydney, with solid values that everyone should have access to healthy food, without borders of race gender, or finances.

Lentil As Anything operates on a pay-as-you-feel, not-for-profit concept serving delicious vegetarian and vegan food.

You pay what you can for your meal — even if it’s not much — and there are even opportunities to volunteer for them in the kitchen.


9. Free food delivery app discounts

Or just eat takeaway at home, by picking up all the Uber Eats, DoorDash, MenuLog or Deliveroo special first-time order codes.

You can usually find these discount cards on most takeaway vendors’ front counters, or just go in and ask if they have any.

Then download the food delivery app and use each of these discount codes on your first order for each platform.

If you’re a couple or a group of friends, download the apps and use the discount codes on all phone numbers you have, for maximum savings.

Use our links to get money off your first orders with these food delivery partners:


How to Find Cheap Bars and Drinks in Sydney

Sydney is a city full of trendy and unique bars. However, a lot of these awesome city bars are expensive to spend a whole night out in.

So for cheap nights out, make sure you hit the Sydney bars when their Happy Hours are on.

Most bars have one and they’re usually on from 4 pm to 7 pm. Most of them only run on weekdays, although you can find a few that extend their Happy Hours into the weekends.

The bars around Sydney Harbour are great value, as you get cheap drinks and a waterfront view.

The Argyle at The Rocks has one of the best Happy Hours in Sydney, on Wednesdays to Saturdays from 4 pm to 7 pm and you can choose from:

  • 🍸 $5 Lychee Margarita
  • 🍹 $5 Aperol Spritz
  • $5 Espresso Martini
  • 🥤 $5 Pimms Cup
  • $5 Pink G&T
  • 🍻 $5 Beer, Wine & Spirits
  • $10 Wood-fired Pizzas 🍕

What’s not to be happy about? 🙂 


Bars with happy hours in Sydney 🍻 

A few other popular Happy Hours in Sydney are: 

  • 🍸 $15 Sofi Spritz jugs at The Newtown Hotel – Saturdays from midday to midnight
  • 🍹 The Carrington in Surrey Hills – $10 Cocktail Happy Hour, $6 Beer, House Wine & Rosé from 4 pm to 6 pm 
  • 🍺 The Century Bar on George St for Jugs of Beer for $12 and $9 Koyomi Shochu Blend Highballs 
  • 🍻 🍷Websters Bar in Newtown for rooftop views and $6 Beers, Wine and Ciders from 2 pm – 4 pm Monday – Thursday.
  • 🍻  All-day, every day, $5 Coronas at all branches of Guzman Y Gomez Mexican Kitchen
  • 🍹 The Argyle at The Rocks (as above) on Monday – Saturday from 4 pm to 7 pm – for $5 Cocktails, Wine and Spirits


Use the Happiest Hour app

To find Sydney’s best Happy Hours, download and check out the Happiest Hour App for all of the current Happy Hours at bars all over Sydney.

The Happiest Hour is a food and drinks specials platform that allows venues to promote their food & drink offerings in real-time, so you can always find out where the best deals are and at what time. 

On the app, as well as drinks specials, you’ll find burger night specials, cheap taco nights, bottomless brunches or dumpling specials.

If you’re super broke or can’t get to a bar, just go buy a beer or pre-mixed can from a liquor store  (yes, you can buy just one bottle) for a few bucks, find a spot on one of Sydney’s beaches or parks and watch the sunset.

Living in Sydney

Even The Opera Bar in Sydney has a Happy Hour!


More Clever and Creative Ways to Live in Sydney for Free – Cheap or Free Things

Try some of these other money-saving tips for more free things in Sydney:


Use the free outdoor gyms in Sydney

There are lots of outdoor gyms or outdoor fitness stations in Sydney, they’re completely free to use and are open 24 hours a day.

They’re also often in scenic locations such as by the beach or in a park. Some of the more popular free gym locations are:

  • Bondi Park’s Outdoor Gym
  • Observatory Hill Outdoor Gym near the Harbour Bridge
  • Sydney Park Gym in Erskineville

However, if you’re not keen on working out in front of everyone, go early in the morning when it’s quieter as most people are doing Personal Training sessions in the surrounding parks.


Sydney city libraries: free workspace and free wi-fi

Sydney has some of the best libraries in Australia, and most of the Sydney City libraries offer great facilities, the latest technology, and comfortable work environments.

All Sydney libraries will have free Wi-fi, free workspace, free books to read, free PCs to work on, plus quiet rooms, printing and research areas.

If you can show proof of address, you can join the library for free and check out items including books, eBooks, DVDs, audiobooks, and magazines.

I love using libraries to work in when I travel, so I try to explore and work in as many as possible wherever I go.

The best ones I visited in Sydney were Woollahra Library, Green Square Library and Marrickville Library which has an on-site cafe for essential caffeine refuelling.  

Free facilites at Sydney City Libraries


Always stay connected: free wi-fi in Sydney

There’s been a few times when our budget has been strained and we haven’t been able to top up our mobile phone credit.

Luckily, many places offer free Wi-fi in Sydney, and in most places, you don’t even have to go in, you can usually pick up the signal just by standing outside.

  • McDonald’s, Hungry Jacks, KFC and Woolworths all have free Wi-Fi networks.
  • Most hotels and cafes will have free Wi-fi that you can pick up outside if you can’t make a purchase.
  • Main CBD street areas of Sydney will almost always have a free Wi-fi network.
  • Most shopping malls will have free Wi-fi and sometimes the foreshore, beachfront or popular outdoor shopping areas will offer free networks too.
  • And of course, all Sydney libraries will have free Wi-fi too.

Some of these places have been a lifesaver when we’ve been out and have needed to look something up or we’ve needed to call someone.


Free haircuts and colour in Sydney

This is one of the best travel hacks I have discovered when you’re trying to live in Sydney for free.

Getting your hair cut or coloured in any city can be very expensive, right?

Well, this may surprise you, but I’ve never paid more than $50 for foils, or colour and I’ve never paid more than $10 for a haircut — during the whole two years I lived in Sydney.

How? Well, I discovered that in Sydney, there is a huge group on Facebook called Hair Models Sydney and lots of stylists post in this group, requesting hair models for their assessments, in return for heavily discounted or free haircuts and colours.

Yes, you can get haircuts, treatments and blow drys for free, and colour, foils and balayage often only cost around $30 – $50.

I’ve had haircuts and foils done many times through this FB group and I found Toni & Guy, Edwards & Co and Oscar, Oscar was the best, as they all invest a lot in training their stylists. 

Most of my haircuts were free and the most I ever paid for my full head of foils was $50.

It’s worth remembering you would be a model getting free or heavily discounted services, so it’s expected that you:

  • Are patient and allow time, as the stylist is training
  • Are flexible with your appointment time 
  • Always turn up once you’re booked in — some stylists rely on their models to gain their assessment marks

Also, models are often needed for waxing, lash and brow services, or other beauty treatments in exchange for discounted or free services.


Use grocery rewards cards

Woolworths and Coles are the two main supermarkets in Australia and they both have grocery specials each week, that change every Wednesday.

So if you’re planning your food budget ahead of time, you can check out what specials or offers they have on their website.

Make sure you pick up a Woolworths Reward Card and a Coles FlyBuy card so you can collect points when you buy your groceries. When you reach a certain amount of points, you’ll get money off vouchers that you can use to buy groceries, gifts or alcohol.

FlyBuys is an excellent rewards platform that you can also use in their partner stores like Liquorland, Kmart, and Target, on and you can even convert your rewards points to air miles.


Get free books at Sydney street libraries

Book exchanges or ‘street libraries’ are becoming popular in Sydney.

Residents or the local community bodies plant a cute-looking wooden box on a stand in their front yard or garden, to be accessible from the street and they’re an invitation for anyone to take a book for free.

The idea is you just pass the book on to a friend or return it somewhere to the ‘street library network’.

So keep an eye out for them around the city suburbs, there are hundreds of them, you can find your nearest Sydney Street Library here.

There are also larger ones often just inside buildings, like this one below on the Balmain ferry wharf. And that is where we’ve scored a few excellent books.

They’re ideal for us because when we were housesitting in Sydney we moved suburbs a lot and we couldn’t always join a local library. So it was really helpful for us to be able to take a book and then return it to any other ‘street library’ location.

Brilliant free street library setup in Balmain wharf in Sydney


Cheap travel days in Sydney on Opal card

The Opal Card is the public transport travel card for Sydney. They cost $10 and you can buy them and then top them up online, at newsagents or any train station.

And if you’re living in Sydney without a car, you’ll definitely want to get an Opal card, to get cheaper public transport trips.

(UPDATE – Sadly Transport NSW have recently changed this Sunday deal to a weekend travel cap. But you can still travel as far and wide as you like for $8.05).

What a lot of new visitors to Sydney don’t know is that every Sunday weekend is a ‘cheap travel day’ on the Opal card. So for a flat rate of $2.80 per person, a travel cap of $8.05, you can travel anywhere in the Greater Sydney area.

And because the Greater Sydney region covers a HUGE area, you can explore SO many places on a budget, if you go on Sundays at the weekends.

So at weekends, if you can afford to put $10 on your Opal card, here are a few ideas for exploring Sydney:

  • Go all the way out west to the Blue Mountains
  • Travel all the way north up to Palm Beach (yes, where Home & Away is filmed)
  • Swan around Sydney’s picturesque bays
  • Simply cruise around the city circle, checking out all the sights

And all for under $10 round trip.

Sydney public transport will get expensive if there are two of you and you’re making multiple trips, so this is the way we’ve been able to travel to so many different places in Sydney, whilst on a small budget.

On one Sunday, we jumped on some of the ferries and got to cruise Sydney Harbour and see all the beautiful bays en route, all for a small price.

TIP – After you’ve completed 8 trips on an Opal card, you’ll reach a Weekly Travel Reward and for the rest of the week, your trips will be half price.  

Jump on a ferry and cruise around Sydney Harbour using the Opal card travel cap at the weekend.


Explore the op shops in Sydney for cheap clothes

Charity shops or Thrift stores (or as the Aussies call them ‘Op Shops’ – short for Opportunity Shop) are full of bargains and perfect for when you need to buy clothes on a budget.

They’re not like they used to be either, charity or thrift shops can be a treasure trove of bargains and unique items.

When we needed clothes for a last-minute job interview, we picked up shirts and trousers for under $10 each.

And when I couldn’t survive the Sydney winter anymore in just a hoody, I found a cute French Connection jacket for just $17 at an inner west Vinnies op shop. 

There are heaps of op shops all over Sydney and you’ll find the fully stocked ones, in the more densely populated suburbs. Our faves were Leichhardt, Newtown and Randwick Op shops.

Vinnies and the Red Cross are aplenty and where we’d find the most choice for clothing, but there are also the Salvo’s (Salvation Army) which have lots of furniture bargains and Lifeline Shops too.

If you’re into vintage fashion op shops, check out independent thrift shops in Darlinghurst, Surry Hills, Newtown and Marrickville.

Also, we discovered after any public holiday, such as Christmas, is the best time to score a thrifty bargain, as that’s when most people are on holiday and likely to be doing clean-outs and donating their belongings.

PRO TIP – Go check out the Op Shops in the more affluent Sydney suburbs, quite often you’ll score lots of designer bargains, try Potts Point, Mosman, Randwick, Coogee, Surrey Hills or any Northern Beaches suburb.


Free yoga classes in Sydney

For free yoga classes, check out Lululemon stores in Sydney, some of which hold a weekly free yoga class.

The Lululemon store at The Ivy on George St runs a free yoga class on Wednesday evenings at 7 pm — BYO yoga mat.

Make sure you always check with each Lululemon store for times and availability before you go.


Free ocean pools in Sydney

Sydney has lots of free ocean pools around its coastline, that you can access in the warmer months.

The most popular ones are:

  • Bondi Icebergs Pool at Bondi Beach
  • Bronte Baths at Bronte
  • Wylie’s Baths at Coogee

There are many other popular ocean pools in Sydney including:

  • Dee Why Rockpool
  • Fairy Bower Pool at Manly
  • McIver’s Women’s Baths at Coogee
  • Fairlight Rockpool

A few of the high-profile ocean pools do charge a small entry fee, these include:

  • Bondi Icebergs – $6 
  • Wylie’s Baths – $5
  • McIver’s Women’s Baths $2

But most other ocean pools in Sydney are completely free to use. 

If you’re living in Sydney, try Bondi Icebergs Ocean Pool in Sydney for a swim.


Clever and Creative Ways to Live in Sydney for Free

Ultimately, you can genuinely cut most of your living costs when you live in Sydney by using these money-saving tips, and by being consistent.


To conclude, let’s go over the ways to live in Sydney for free:

  • Get free accommodation, free utilities and a free furry friend by house sitting
  • Or when house sits aren’t available, apply for help exchange placements to cut all your rent and food costs
  • Cut down on food costs by hitting the food courts just before closing time
  • Save on groceries by shopping when the supermarkets reduce the fresh produce
  • Save on gym costs by exercising at the free outdoor gyms or the free group fitness classes 
  • Swim safely and with a stunning view in the outdoor ocean pools
  • Get free haircuts and colour at training salons
  • Get free Wi-fi and study space at any of Sydney’s libraries
  • Grab a few free books at Sydney’s book exchanges


That completes our guide on How to Easily Live in Sydney Australia for Free: Clever and Creative Ways.

I hope you found something helpful and are able to take away some valuable travel hacks for living in Sydney almost for free.

I managed to live in this very expensive city on a tiny budget for almost 2 years and I still got to see a lot of Sydney whilst I was there.

It’s definitely not luxury travel, it’s simply living differently. You do have to be flexible and very resourceful, but if you’re savvy, you can totally make it work.

This lifestyle is a frugal one, it’s not for everyone!

But sometimes you’ve got to be resourceful to get through tough times, keep trying and eventually, you will move forward. 

Have you discovered any travel hacks on living in Sydney for free? Do you live in Sydney now on a really small budget? Let me know in the comments.


Happy & Safe Travels 🙂



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Liz 28 September 2020 - 10:49 PM

This is a great article. Whenever I find myself in Sydney I will be sure to refer to this article. 🙂

Layla 29 September 2020 - 12:40 AM

Glad you found it helpful and thanks for reading 🙂

Kitti 30 September 2020 - 7:07 AM

Wow what a great and detailed article! I’m planning on moving to Australia in the future (hopefully borders will open up soon) so this will definitely come in handy! I’ve always wanted to try housesitting I think it’s a great way to live somewhere for free.

Layla 30 September 2020 - 9:41 PM

Thanks so much Kitti, I tried to make it as helpful as possible and it was my way of living in Sydney for a long time. House Sitting is amazing, you do have to move a lot but we didn’t pay rent anywhere in Sydney in the whole year and a half we were there.
P.S – Aussie House Sitters is definitely the best one for Australia house sits, have a look at my house sitting posts for more info.

I hope you get to move to Australia soon, we’re all hoping their strict travel rules will be eased soon 🙂

Alma 11 October 2020 - 12:10 AM

Great article and worth knowing if I ever go back to Sydney. We found it so expensive after we converted our weak currency (ZAR) into $ for a holiday!

Layla 17 October 2020 - 7:14 PM

I know what you mean!! Even GBP doesn’t convert into much these days in Australia. It’s fast becoming a city that’s extremely difficult to have a budget holiday in. Thanks for reading 🙂

skigrl985 11 October 2020 - 12:54 AM

These are awesome tips, many I never thought of! I’m not near Sydney, but these are great ideas to look up similar things near where I live! Great post!

Layla 17 October 2020 - 7:13 PM

Thank you and yes, some of these tips can be transferred to any expensive city. 🙂

olliechinny 11 October 2020 - 5:39 PM

This guide is really informative! I live in Switzerland (a really expensive country) and if there’re tips and tricks (Swiss version) like this article you wrote THAT WOULD BE PERFECT ALREADY! It’s inspiring how you learn to lead a lifestyle with less, but making the most out of it! The part about General Assembly’s free course sounds very helpful, i hope it is offered internationally!

Layla 17 October 2020 - 7:12 PM

Ah yes, I know what you mean. I wish I had this post BEFORE I moved to Sydney!! It would’ve made things so much easier.
I am also going to do one of these posts for each city I’ve lived in on a budget. Unfortunately, I have not yet visited your country Switzerland, but I have heard it is also very expensive. I feel your struggle! 🙂 Thank you for reading.

Cedric Noronha 13 October 2020 - 4:27 PM

Very good post. Highly informative for travellers who want to visit Sydney. Keep up the good work.

Layla 17 October 2020 - 7:09 PM

Thanks for reading 🙂


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