This post provides details about the best free walking tours you can take in Sydney.
We include services that cover the general history of the city, the rocks, and even the Sydney Botanic Garden.
OVERVIEW + SCHEDULE
There are several free walking tours led by locals in Sydney that provide information about a variety of different subjects and locations in the city.
The most popular tour offering covers the history and highlights of Sydney, and these outings also typically include sightseeing of several major sites and landmarks.
If you want an even deeper dive into the specific history of one area in the city, there are also free tours of the Rocks, the former site of the first European settlement in Australia.
Alternatively, you may also want to consider taking a guided walking tour of the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney or exploring the city on your own with a self-guided tour.
How do free tours work?
These are essentially pay-what-you-wish walking tours led by local guides, meaning that they are tip-based and you can decide how much you want to tip your guide at the end of the tour.
How much do you tip a walking tour guide?
Most guests feel comfortable tipping $10-$15, and given that these tours are generally well-rated, it’s not difficult to see why.
Do I need tickets?
Although you will need to reserve your spot on a free walking tour, there isn't a traditional ticket for this type of outing.
Of course, if you’re looking for a different kind of service, there are also paid small-group tours available that you might want to consider instead including a cruise on the harbor, bike tours, bus tours, segway tours, and more.
FREE WALKING TOUR SYDNEY
There are a few different free walking tours that cover the history of the city as well as its most notable and important landmarks.
While you’re discovering each of the sites included on these tours, a professional guide will provide interesting details about the history of Sydney.
Most of these services will also include information about free things to see and do, great places to eat, and some of the best bars in the city.
You can expect to make stops at some of the following locations:
- Sydney Opera House
- St. Andrew’s Cathedral
- Sydney Harbour Bridge
- Archibald Fountain
- Parliament House
- Town Hall Square
- Cadman's Cottage
- Sydney's Oldest Pubs
- Macquarie Street
- Customs House
- Sydney Tower
- Circular Quay
- Hyde Park
- And more!
If you’re interested in seeing these sites and learning more about them, consider taking one of the following tours.
I’m Free Walking Tours | Syndey Sights Tours
This company offers a free Sydney sightseeing walking tour that covers more than 25 different landmarks, notable locations, and a variety of different subjects.
In addition to learning about the history of the city, you’ll also receive details about affordable activities, great places to shop, and hidden bar culture.
This 2 ½ - 3-hour pay-what-you-wish walking tour is available on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 10:30 am.
Free Tours Sydney
This tour is also known as a “colonial walk in modern Sydney,” as it provides information about both the older and more recent history of the city and its origins as a British colony.
Aside from seeing several notable landmarks, you’ll also learn about some of the most historic pubs and hear tales of well-known criminals.
This 2 ½ hours pay-what-you-want walking tour is available every day, rain or shine, at 10:30 am.
Find out more or book this tour.
Additional Sydney History Tours
If you’d rather see this city from a different perspective, there are several paid Sydney history tours that offer an interesting sightseeing experience.
The services available include a variety of different ways to see the city including walking tours, cruises, segway tours, bike tours, and more.
Check this list of paid Sydney history tours to find an outing you’ll enjoy.
FREE TOURS OF THE ROCKS
This is the site of the first convict settlement in Australia, and it’s a great location to learn about the history of how The Rocks developed into one of the most notable locations in Sydney.
There is currently one pay-what-you-wish walking tour that covers the nature of the Rocks area.
But, it should be noted that each of the Sydney history tours also provides at least a few details about this part of the city.
That said, the Rocks tour we’ll discuss below is specifically focused on the location itself and it goes into more detail about this subject than other outings.
Here are a few of the most notable attractions you can expect to see on this tour:
- Historic Pubs
- Observatory Hill
- Foundation Park
- Susannah Place
- Oldest House in Sydney
- And more!
Discover the importance of these locations and learn more about the history of this part of Sydney on the free tour of The Rocks below.
I’m Free Walking Tours
Aside from their Sydney history tour, which also covers the Rocks at least in part, this outing is one of the best and most affordable ways to learn about this historic location.
This tour will visit a variety of notable sites in the area, and it also includes a lot of information about mysteries, murders, and muggings that took place in the area.
Since the tour starts at 6 pm, this could technically be considered either a sunset tour or a night tour.
You can take this 1 ½ hour free walking tour of the Rocks every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
Additional Tours of The Rocks
While there aren’t any other pay-what-you-want walking tours that cover this part of Sydney, you might want to consider taking a paid tour instead.
In addition to walking tours of The Rocks, there are also pub tours, brewery and tasting tours, bike tours, and many other interesting options.
Ticket prices range from $30-$120 or more.
Take a look at this list of paid tours of The Rocks to find an outing that fits your interests and schedule.
SYDNEY BOTANIC GARDEN TOURS
The Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney is actually entirely free to visit, and they offer free walking tours of the garden led by volunteer tour guides.
These tours cover some of the most beautiful plants and flowers in the park, providing information about each of them.
This garden also offers some paid tours covering a variety of specific topics such as aboriginal heritage, artwork, bush food, and also a behind-the-scenes tour.
For more details, please read this post about free guided walks at the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney.
SELF-GUIDED SYDNEY TOURS
If you’re looking for a free walking tour that you can take any time, there are several self-guided walks offered by Sydney Expert that you might want to consider.
While these are free to use, you won’t have a professional tour guide helping you find each location and learn more about it.
That said, these self-guided walking tour options do tend to have plenty of details to help you.
Most of these outings are focused on locations just a bit outside the city such as Watsons Bay and Bondi Beach, but there are also tours of The Rocks, Sydney’s history, and the Royal Botanic Gardens.
To find a tour you’ll enjoy, please check this list of free self-guided walks in Sydney.