Five Cheap (Or Free!) Valentine’s Day Ideas In Sydney

Hey we get it! You want to treat someone special on Valentine’s Day but boy is dating expensive. Well, little money, few problems, because here are some free Valentine’s Day date ideas for a good time for nothing at all, and cheap Valentine’s Day ideas to treat that special someone… but not too much.

1. Explore the Botanic Gardens

Sydney has one of the most beautiful inner-city gardens in the world right by the CBD. Head to Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens for a stroll, admire the view of the harbour, and just generally peace out.

If you’re willing to spend a little on your date, pack a picnic and bring a blanket to sit on. The gardens are open until 8pm in February, so there’s plenty of time to sit and enjoy each others’ company, and the view. Bam! Cheap Valentine’s Day date sorted.

There will also be a romantic dinner at the Botanic Gardens restaurant, but it’s sold out so you, my friend, are sadly without both money and time. Why are you organising this one day ahead anyway?

Where: Mrs Macquaries Rd, Sydney

2. SoCal x Bumble

cheap valentines day dates sydney

Image: SoCal

Head to Neutral Bay’s California-themed bar and restaurant SoCal for a drink – if you show your Bumble profile (which can totally be used for networking as well as dating) and you’ll get a free cocktail or frosé!

You can also book in for a dinner of southern Californian fare such as tacos and slow-cooked meats with an extensive tequila menu (not free, by the way).

Bumble is also hosting a Valentine’s Day party called the Domino Effect, based on the concept that when a woman makes the first move (in anything from dating to business) it empowers other women to do the same. It’s free if you show your Bumble profile!

Where: SoCal, 1 Young Street, Neutral Bay; The Domino Effect Valentine’s Day Party, Ivy Pool Club, 320 George St, Sydney

3. Wander an art gallery


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Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art and Art Gallery of New South Wales are both free to enter! Wander both galleries’ extensive permanent collections for free.

They also have temporary exhibitions for an entry fee, such as the MCA’s David Goldblatt photography exhibition ($24) and the AGNSW’s Masters of modern art from the Hermitage exhibition ($28).

The catch is that they’re only open 10am to 5pm on Thursdays, so you’ll have to skive or have the day off unless you pay for an exhibition like Hermitage, which has extended hours until 9pm through till March 3.

Where: MCA, 140 George St, The Rocks; AGNSW, Art Gallery Rd, The Domain

4. Get it on at The Soda Factory

cheap valentines day dates sydney

Image: Soda Factory / Facebook

Head to Soda Factory in Surry Hills for a Valentine’s Day party from 5pm to 2am. Entry is free, so go ahead and be a cheapskate if you like.

There will be traffic-light themed cocktails. From the Soda Factory announcement:

  • “Green cocktail: Hot N’ Ready
  • Yellow cocktail: Possibly DTF
  • Red cocktail: That’s a no for today.”

As well as two hours of DJ Dedications, Live R’n’Bae Tunes, and “Make-out music and DJs” until very late, there will be $5 burgers, $12 cocktails and $5 house pours from 5pm to 7pm. All the makings of a cheap Valentine’s Day date.

Where: 16 Wentworth Avenue, Surry Hills

5. See a movie

Yes this is classic date material, but Sydney really takes cinema to another level in summer. Check out Moonlight Cinema, located in Centennial park for a screening of classic love-in Crazy Stupid Love. You can buy tickets ($20 per adult or $49 for two tix and a special Valentine’s Day package) here. That’s a pretty cheap Valentine’s Day date we reckon.

Or, check out the Openair Cinema in Redfern for a screening of the other movie about love, The Notebook. Get your tix (from $20 for general admission) here.