CISABROAD BLOG · October 31, 2019 · 3 Min Read
Budgeting Weekend Trips to Sydney | Student Blog from the Gold Coast

Sydney houses some of Australia’s most iconic sites. Great food, great people, and great adventures are just around the corner. Take a look below at the costs that I incurred on my trip to Sydney to give you a general idea of the amount of money needed to visit.

Here are my experience and advice of budgeting weekend trips to Sydney.

Expenses (in Australian Dollar)

Budgeting Weekend Trips to Sydney


You can pay less for the flight than I did if you plan out the trip more than three days in advance. I’ve heard of $90 AUD round trip airfare from Gold Coast to Sydney!  IN Sydney, I HIGHLY recommend obtaining an Opal Card (the Sydney version of  Gold Coast’s GoCard). No, the transportation card will not be discounted with a student concession, but using it will still grant you access to anywhere in and around the city in the most convenient way. If you plan on seeing the entire city, it’s a necessity. Download the accompanying Opal Travel App to track how much money is loaded onto the card and add additional funds on the go!

Budgeting Weekend Trips to Sydney

You’ll have very early flights on some of these weekend trips. These are the highlights of your trip…make sure you GET UP and make it to the airport ON TIME! Believe me, there were some students who missed flights during their time abroad. Please do not let that be you.

Some buses in the city DO NOT TAKE CASH. Therefore the Opal card is the best way to take public transportation in Sydney.


There are literally gazillions of great hostels in Sydney. Do a little research online, and you’ll find the ideal one that you’re looking for. I stayed in Sydney Central YHA for three nights. I selected this hostel strategically as it is located right next to the Sydney Central Train Station: the main hub for going anywhere in and around the city.


I spent the majority of my time exploring, which besides the cost of transportation, carries no additional cost. Do your research on Pinterest and ask locals when you’re there about some lesser known spots. Here are some of my personal favorites:

Budgeting Weekend Trips to Sydney

1.The Botanical Gardens (There’s free Wi-Fi here)

2. Manly Island. Use your OpalCard at the wharf and take the ferry to Manly for some excellent food spots and beaches. Do this in the evening, so that you’re treated to spectacular night time views of the city on your way back!

3. The Sydney Opera House

4. Free Museums (anything from contemporary art, to maritime, to Australian tennis)

5. Bondi Beach for swimming and walking the coastal Bondi to Coogee hike (bring tennis shoes for this one)!

6. Royal National Park for some incredible rainforest hiking

Lucky enough for me, I was also in Sydney the weekend of Australia Day, which meant loads of free music, street food, celebration of aboriginal cultures, and a floating energy and excitement that electrified the city. The trip was capped off by fireworks over the Sydney harbor.

I hope my suggestions help you plan for budgeting weekend trips to Sydney!


Read Alex’s blog post about budgeting on the Gold Coast.

Read other blog posts from Gold Coast or about Budgeting abroad!
Read more about Alex’s program in Australia!

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