posted: 3/10/2023 | March 10, 2023
Sydney is the most popular and largest city in Australia. If you visit the country, you will visit here. Home to five million people (about 20% of the population), there is plenty to see and do, from the iconic Opera House and Harbor Bridge to stunning beaches and numerous museums (many of which are free).
As the largest city in the country and the most popular tourist destination, there's plenty to do here. Beyond the typical sites, museums, and activities, there are also plenty of great walking tours that give you an idea of the city's people and culture.
I love walking tours for this reason. Led by locals, they give you information you won't find just wandering around on your own. You get someone who can answer your questions and share their insider tips.
There are many walking tours of Sydney to choose from. To help you avoid some of the less so, here's my list of the best walking tours in Sydney:
BEST OVERALL TOUR
Bonza Bike Tour
Bonza Bike Tour takes cyclists on a four-hour, two-wheeled adventure, visiting all of the locations — the Opera House, Harbor Bridge, Observatory Hill, the Rocks, Barangaroo Park, and more — all while being treated to unique historical tales and facts about the city. On the way, the group stopped to rest and have a few beers.
The tour starts at 149 AUD.
Best Free Tour
Sydney Free Walking Tour
Meet your guide at the Archibald Fountain in Hyde Park at 10:30 a.m. and prepare for an informed 2.5 hours. Sydney Free Walking Tour offers an excellent primer on Sydney — meaning, if you're a first-time visitor, consider taking this walking tour early in your stay. Tours delve into everything from Aboriginal history to the Opera House to the country's famous sharks and snakes. (Note: While this tour is free, tips are highly recommended.)
While they may be the best free and paid tours in the city, Sydney has a lot more to offer, whatever your interests. Here are nine more fun, insightful, and educational tours!
1. Sydney True Crime Tour
If you're looking for a tour that explores the sandier side of town beyond the standard tourist sites, this is the one for you. For 90 minutes, you will explore the historic area around The Rocks neighborhood and learn about heinous criminals and notorious crimes (after the country was colonized by criminals). The tour takes you down narrow alleys and into secret corners as you explore the underbelly of Sydney. This is very cool.
The tour starts from 34 AUD.
2. Sydney Incognito
Sydney Incognita is a fun walking tour company that offers leisurely three-hour walks where you'll learn everything you've always wanted to know about Sydney (they really do include a lot of info; author Calvin Trillin calls this “sneak facts.” ). On this tour, you'll visit all the major sites and enjoy stories about the area's earliest known history all the way back to the 21st century.
The tour starts at 49 AUD.
3. Match City
If you want a more nature based tour this is great. The company runs 4.5 hour guided hiking tours around Manly Heads. During the 11-kilometre (7-mile) ride, you'll get stunning views and learn a lot about the surroundings from your local guide. The hike culminates in Manly (one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city) where you can stroll the charming area, refueling yourself with well-earned food and drink. Fit City also offers walking tours and harbor running tours.
The tour starts at 97 AUD.
4. Sydney Architecture Journey
You don't have to be into buildings and their various styles to have fun on a tour with Sydney Architecture Walks. Led by real architects, these tours are jargon-free adventures that give visitors a deeper insight into why certain buildings are beautiful. This 2-3 hour small group tour focuses on the patterns and forces that have shaped contemporary Sydney's appearance, making it perfect for anyone looking to learn more about the city's history and design.
The tour starts at 49 AUD.
5. Lantern Ghost Tour
For a spooky tour around town, check it out Lantern Ghost Tour, Australia's largest ghost tour company. Their tours take place on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights and take curious travelers around gruesome places where terrible crimes have occurred and spirits still haunt the residents. The tour lasts 90 minutes.
The tour starts from 36 AUD.
6. Walking Trip
This tour company offers several themed walks, but what you shouldn't miss is the 2.5-hour walk around convict-era Sydney, where a guide takes up to 14 guests around the city's famous colonial beginnings (mostly focusing on the Rocks area), when Sydney was a playground for British convicts. You will hear many interesting tales and stories that can inspire you to explore further on your own. The tour is a must for history buffs!
The tour starts from 36 AUD.
7. Secret Food Tour
Secret Food Tours take diners on a delicious excursion through Sydney's Surry Hills section, stopping to sample some delicious Vietnamese dishes and learn about how Gold Rush-era immigration by Italians, Portuguese and Greeks helped shape the cuisine here. You will plunge into the world of craft beer, visit the butcher, eat sweets and even taste the “secret dish”. It's all good fun for three hours on a tour that never exceeds 10 people.
Ask about tour prices as prices vary.
8. Aboriginal Harbor Heritage Tour
On this tour, you can explore the harbor area with an Aboriginal guide who shares the history and culture of the area from an Aboriginal perspective. The one hour walk focuses not only on the past but also on the flora of the area. You will learn what certain flowers, herbs, herbs and trees mean to the Gadigal people and how they have traditionally used them for various purposes. I highly recommend it. It adds a lot of perspective to the city.
The tour starts from 30 AUD.
Sydney has many walking tours available that can help you save money, see the sights and introduce you to all that this incredible metropolis has to offer. Whether it's a food-related walk or an Aboriginal-led excursion or a history-laden bike tour, you'll leave Sydney with a much deeper appreciation for the place than when you arrived.
Book Your Trip to Sydney: Logistics Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner to find cheap flights. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the world so you always know there's not a stone left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld because they have the largest inventory and the best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, go for it Booking.com because they consistently return the cheapest rates for guest houses and budget hotels. My two favorite places to stay are:
For more suggested hostels, here's a list of my favorite hostels in Sydney. For more information on places to stay, click here for our list of the best neighborhoods in Sydney.
Don't Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you from illness, injury, theft and cancellation. It's comprehensive protection in case something goes wrong. I never travel without it as I've had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
Looking for the Best Company to Save Money?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to work with when you're on the go. I list everything I use to save money while I'm on the road. They'll save you money on the go, too.
Want More Information on Sydney?
Be sure to check out our powerful Sydney destination guide for even more planning tips!