Is it possible to have a Sydney Christmas on a budget? Christmas in Sydney without breaking the bank can seem like a challenge, but we have a few ideas for anyone visiting or just not wanting to spend the day at home.
- Six ways to spend Christmas Day in Sydney
Six ways to spend Christmas Day in Sydney
Have a picnic in the Royal Botanic Gardens
One of the nicest ways to spend a day in Sydney is to take in the view while sipping your favourite drinks and nibbling on local delicacies. With just a little planning you can put together an epic picnic basket and for no more than the price of public transport have a wonderful day to remember.
Just before supermarkets close on Xmas Eve, you can usually pick up some great bargains on fresh seafood, ham, and other Christmas goodies. Most shops across the city are closed on Christmas Day so get in and sort out your hamper nice and early.
We also suggest you get over to the Sydney Fish Market and join the annual tradition of prawn shopping. The markets open day and night for several days before Christmas and the atmosphere is electric.
Google map reference: Royal Botanic Gardens
Ride the ferry to Cremorne or Manly
There is no holiday for Sydney’s public transport, so why not jump on a ferry and find a spot to enjoy the day. We think a swim with a view of the beautiful harbour at the free Maccallum Pool is a great idea. There won’t be much open here, so be sure to bring a picnic with you.
Google map reference: Maccallum Seawater Pool, Milson Road, Cremorne Point NSW, Australia
Another option is to head to Manly where you will find plenty of things to do and several takeaway food options. Spending at least some part of Christmas Day at the beach is very much a part of the lifestyle in Sydney’s beach communities and the Northern Beaches crowds will be much more local than Bondi.
You could snorkel at Shelly Beach, take a walk to North Head, or challenge yourself with the Manly to Spit Bridge walkway. But we think a dip in the ocean pool and some fish and chips by the beach with a bottle of bubbly is a top choice!
Google map reference: Shelly Beach
Sydney’s Beaches get pretty crazy in summer, but there is a short reprieve on Christmas Day when lots of locals are spending the day at home with family.
Google map reference: Sydney Rock Pool
Visit Bundeena and view indigenous rock art
Take the train to Cronulla and then the little Bundeena ferry across the bay to Bundeena Village.
Once you arrive, there is an easy-to-follow rock art walk and several beaches to choose from for a Christmas Day picnic. The tracks in the Royal National Park will likely be nice and quiet too!
Google map reference: Cronulla Ferries
Take a self-guided bus tour
The buses are operating on the Sunday timetable on Christmas day, and the roads will be less busy than usual. Follow the self-guided HOHO bus tour on our sister website Sydney Expert.
Explore Sydney’s Street Art
Follow my Inner West street art walk, Newtown will be much quieter than usual, but the window shopping and street art will be waiting for you to discover, and you are bound to find somewhere to eat along King Street or Enmore Road.
Wander the city and check out the Christmas decorations without the crowds
From the Rocks to Martin Place, Town Hall to St Mary’s Cathedral there are at least 4 giant XMAS trees to visit and tonight will be your last chance to take an evening light walk. A stroll around Darling Harbour after sunset on Christmas eve or Christmas Day is perfect. There are also several more affordable dining options in Darling Harbour.
We would love to hear how you plan to spend your Christmas day in Sydney on a budget!
Main image credit: Bronnie Barnett and Darling Harbour Authority