Posted: 3/10/2023 | March 10th, 2023
Sydney is the most famous and largest city in Ausrtralia. If you visit the country, you visit here. Home to five million inhabitants (about 20% of the entire population), it has a ton of things to see and dofrom the iconic Opera House and Harbor Bridge to its stunning beaches and many museums (many of which are free).
As the largest city in the country and the most popular destination for tourists, there is a lot to do here. Beyond the usual sites, museums, and activities, there are also many incredible walking tours that give you a feel for the people and culture of the city.
I love walking tours for this reason. Led by a local, they give you information you can’t find by just wandering around on your own. You get someone who can answer your questions and share their insider tips.
There are many walking tours in Sydney to choose from. To help you avoid some of the less efficient ones, here’s my list of the best walking tours in Sydney:
BEST OVERALL TOUR
Bonza Bike Tours
Bonza Bike Tours pedalers will be taken on a four-hour, two-wheeled adventure, taking in all the sites — the Opera House, Harbor Bridge, Observatory Hill, the Rocks, Barangaroo Park, and more — all while listening to historical quirks stories and facts about the city. Halfway through the ride, the group stopped for a break and a quick beer.
Tours start at 149 AUD.
Best Free Tour
Free Walking Tour Sydney
Meet your guide at the Archibald Fountain in Hyde Park at 10:30am and prepare for an information-packed 2.5 hours. Free Walking Tour Sydney offers a great introduction to Sydney — meaning, if you’re a first-time visitor, consider doing this walking tour at the start of your stay. The tour explores everything from Aboriginal history to the Opera House to the country’s notorious sharks and snakes. (Note: While the tour is free, tips are strongly encouraged.)
While those may be the best free and paid tours in town, Sydney has a lot more to offer, whatever your interests. Here are nine other fun, insightful, and educational tours!
1. Sydney True Crime Tour
If you’re looking for a tour that explores the darker side of the city beyond the usual tourist spots, this is the one for you. Over the course of 90 minutes, you’ll travel through historic sites around The Rocks neighborhood and learn about heinous criminals and heinous crimes (after the country was colonized by criminals). The tour will take you through narrow alleys and hidden corners as you discover the underbelly of Sydney. It’s pretty cool.
Tours start at 34 AUD.
2. Sydney Incognita
Sydney Incognita is a fun walking tour company that offers three-hour casual walks where you’ll learn everything you want to know about Sydney (they’re really informative; writer Calvin Trillin calls it “testing the facts.”). On this tour, you’ll see all the major sites and enjoy stories about the area’s earliest known history right up to the 21st century.
Tours start at 49 AUD.
3. Fit City
If you want a more nature-based tour, this is a good one. This company runs 4.5 hour guided hiking tours around Manly Heads. During the 11-kilometer (7-mile) journey, you’ll get some spectacular views and learn a lot about the environment from the local guide. The walk ends in Manly (one of the my favorite neighborhoods in the city) where you can stroll through the streets of the charming area, replacing yourself with well-earned food and drink. Fit City also offers walking tours and harbor running tours.
Tours start at 97 AUD.
4. Sydney Architecture Walks
You don’t have to love buildings and their different styles to have a great time touring with Sydney Architecture Walks. Led by actual architects, these tours are jargon-free adventures that give visitors a deeper understanding beyond what makes certain buildings beautiful. This 2-3 hour, small-group tour focuses on the patterns and forces that have shaped the look of contemporary Sydney, making it suitable for anyone who wants to learn more about the city’s history and design.
Tours start at 49 AUD.
5. Lantern Ghost Tours
For a spooky tour around town, check out Lantern Ghost Tours, Australia’s largest ghost tour company. Their tours run on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights and take curious travelers around haunted places where heinous crimes have taken place and spirits still haunt the residents. Tours last 90 minutes.
Tours start at 36 AUD.
6. Travel Procedures
This tour company offers several themed walks, but one you shouldn’t miss is the 2.5-hour walk around convict-era Sydney, where guides lead a maximum of 14 guests around of the city’s notorious colonial beginnings (often focusing on the Rocks area), when Sydney was a playground for British convicts. You will hear many amazing stories and tales that may inspire you to explore more on your own. The tour is a must for history buffs!
Tours start at 36 AUD.
7. Secret Food Tours
Secret Food Tours takes visitors on a delicious journey through the Surry Hills section of Sydney, stopping to sample some great Vietnamese fare and learning how Gold Rush immigration–era Italians, Portuguese, and Greek in shaping the cuisine here. Dive into the craft beer scene, visit a butcher, eat some sweets, and even taste a “secret dish.” It all makes for a fun three hours on a tour of no more than 10 people.
Ask about tour prices as prices vary.
8. Aboriginal Harbor Heritage Tour
On this tour, you’ll wander 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 regional flora. You will learn what specific flowers, plants, herbs and trees mean to the Gadigal people and how they have traditionally used them for different purposes. I recommend it. It adds a lot of perspective to the city.
Tours start at 30 AUD.
Sydney has a ton of walking tours available that will help you save money, see the sights, and introduce you to all that this incredible city has to offer. Whether it’s a foodie walk or an Aboriginal-led tour or a history-filled bike trip, you’ll leave Sydney with a deeper appreciation for the place than when you arrived.
Book Your Trip to Sydney: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner to find cheap flights. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines worldwide so you always know that no stone is unturned.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel at Hostelworld because they have the biggest inventory and the best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use it Booking.com because they always return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. Two of my favorite places to stay are:
For more suggested hostels, here is a list of my favorite hostels in Sydney. For more on where to stay, click here for a list of the best neighborhoods in Sydney.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance protects you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellation. This is comprehensive protection in case something goes wrong. I never travel without it as I have had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
Looking for the Best Companies to Save?
See my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I’ve listed everything I use to save money when I’m on the road. They can save you money when you travel too.
Want More Information on Sydney?
Be sure to visit our solid Sydney destination guide for more planning tips!