20+ Date Ideas in Sydney

20+ cute, fun and cheap date ideas in Sydney that you (probably) haven’t already thought of.

Whether this is your first date or your hundredth this year, it’s easy to find yourself stumped for date ideas in Sydney. 

From visiting gorgeous beaches to solving your own murder mysteries, we've been and tested these fun, cute and cheap date ideas in Sydney so you can skip the awkward stage and go straight to impressing that special someone.


So whether it’s money, transport, lack of creativity or something else that’s stopping you from having incredible dates in New South Wales’ capital, keep reading to find 20+ date ideas in Sydney for pretty much any occasion…

And just so you know - nobody pays us to include these date ideas on our list. They’re just places we’ve been or experiences we’ve loved that you can use for great date ideas in Sydney.

Best Date Ideas Sydney

Wanna just cut to the chase and find out the best date ideas in Sydney? Sure you do! Here are our top picks for date ideas in Sydney in the CBD and inner city.

Go On a Treasure Hunt Through Sydney CBD

The ideal way to show a date around your city if your partner is from interstate, rural NSW, or overseas - a scavenger hunt through Sydney CBD takes our top spot as the best on our list of date ideas in Sydney (and for good reason). 

How it works: You and your date will receive clues, riddles and puzzles to your phones through Whatsapp that you need to work out together to take you on an adventure through the CBD. 

Stumble across hidden gems, take breaks at hand-picked cafés and bars and compete for the top prize - and get a big thumbs up from your date when they ask when you can book your next adventure together. 

Bring Movie Night Outdoors with WestPac Cinema

Is there anything more romantic than sitting next to your date to watch a movie while also watching the sunset against Sydney Harbour? No, probably not.

Grabbing tickets for Westpac Outdoor Cinema is one of the best date ideas in Sydney to really impress that special someone. Bring movie night outdoors by taking your seats to watch new (as in, still on at the cinema) movies on a screen right on the edge of the Harbour.

While tickets are pricey (and the food and the drinks aren’t cheap, either) it’s absolutely worth every cent. 

PSST: If you opt for general seating, bring a marker pen. You’ll get a piece of paper to save your seats with and you should write your names on them so you can go and grab a drink without worrying about anybody stealing your seat. Also, bring a rain jacket. If it rains, the show goes on (and it’s much easier to enjoy yourself when you aren’t soaked, take it from me!).

Get Up Close With Wildlife at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo

One of the best date ideas in Sydney for animal lovers, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo is conveniently located right in the heart of Darling Harbour and a must-visit for romantics with a soft spot for nature.

The venue hosts a whole number of activities and events that you can book (breakfast with koalas, anyone?) but honestly, just wandering around and seeing the animals is a great date choice.

Try An Outdoor Escape Room

Indoor escape rooms are all the rage but, to be honest, locking your date in a room with you can come across a little creepy - especially if it’s your first date.

But that’s ok, because you can still get the essence of an escape room without actually physically locking anybody in anywhere! Outdoor escape rooms like these transform Sydney into a giant, romantic escape room by letting the pair of you explore, work together and breathe the fresh air - the perfect compromise between romance and adventure.

Answer riddles, solve puzzles and pause for refreshment at hand-picked cafés, bars and pubs - all while appearing very knowledgeable and clever (so that’s a win-win). 

Find out more here.

View The Sculpture by The Sea Exhibition on The Bondi to Coogee Walk

Although only available for a limited time, the Sculpture By The Sea exhibition on the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk is a must-see - and one of the best date ideas in Sydney. 

Not only is it totally free (although donations are welcome) but the sculptures are great conversation starters if you’re feeling a bit shy.

If you’re reading this when the exhibition isn’t on - don’t worry, the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk is incredible any time of the year. Expect gorgeous scenery, plenty of spots to take a quick dip for a break and cute backdrops for selfies, if you’re into that.

Grab Dinner at Australia’s Oldest Fish and Chips Restaurant Doyles

Whether you’re looking to pull out all the stops for Valentine’s Day or you just want to enjoy a romantic meal for two, there is no better place for it than Doyles.

The restaurant sits right on the beach at Watsons Bay, delivering incredible skyline views of the CBD just beyond the water. Not only that, but the food is unbelievably good - and the cocktails are pretty amazing too.

Doyles is pricier than your typical fish ‘n chip restaurant but it’s truly worth every cent if you’re looking to secure the whole package at one venue.

Cheap Date Ideas Sydney

Don’t let a lack of funds spoil your date night in Sydney. From free activities to low-cost alternatives, these cheap date ideas in Sydney strike the right balance between affordable and fun!

Spot Whales at Cape Solander

Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful spots in Sydney, Cape Solander and the surrounding Botany Bay National Park is home to some incredible Aboriginal and modern history as well as some truly spectacular wildlife.

The only thing you have to pay for while visiting is parking (and of course petrol to get there) but the views make the long-ish drive from the CBD worthwhile. If you’re planning a date during the winter months (May-August) you might even get to see some whales cheering your date on from the ocean below.

PSST: Even in the summer, this place gets super windy. Bring a jacket and make sure you stay behind any fences and don’t venture too close to the cliff edges. Enjoy national parks safely!

Visit The Australian National Maritime Museum

Even if boats and the sea really aren’t your thing, don’t underestimate the variety of exhibitions available at the Australian National Maritime Museum

One of the best cheap date ideas in Sydney, a visit to the ANMM is a sure-fire way to discover more about Australia’s maritime history - including wildlife, seafaring, immigration and so much more.

Go for a Romantic Stroll to Barrenjoey Lighthouse

More than just going for a walk, taking a stroll to Barrenjoey Lighthouse is a pilgrimage of sorts that feels like an exotic hike without spending big bucks.

The lighthouse itself is well worth a look - it was built in the 19th century and sits at Sydney’s northernmost point - and has some pretty breathtaking views of Ku-ring gai National Park and the Central Coast.

Also, if you happen to be planning your date between May and September, there’s a strong chance you’ll even see some whales - how’s that for romance?

Solve a Murder Mystery in The CBD Together

Murder might not be the first thing that pops into your head when you’re trying to be romantic, but hear us out. 

What if, instead of being partners in crime, you became partners in solving crimes? 

Perfect for true crime podcast lovers, players of Among Us or anybody who enjoys puzzles, Death On The Rocks is a head-scratching mystery that will bring the pair of you closer together to try and solve a mystery in real time, live in the CBD. 

Combine your powers of deduction with your partner’s eagle-eye for detail (or vice versa) and get solving today! Climb the leaderboard and see where your sense of triumph takes you…

Find out more here. 

Psst: Café, bar and pub recommendations are included so you no need to argue about where to take breaks!

Go Snorkelling at Milk Beach

If you’ve both got a pair of flippers and a snorkel, head over to Milk Beach and spend a morning or afternoon like The Little Mermaid without spending a dollar.

One of the best date ideas in Sydney for beach lovers, a visit to Milk Beach combines all the elements of an expensive date but at no additional cost: stellar views of the city, crystal clear waters and a close proximity to Vaucluse. 

Just to add to the romantic atmosphere, Milk Beach can only be reached on foot or by boat and there are no nearby facilities, so bring a packed lunch or some snacks, a towel or a blanket and enjoy some secluded time with your partner! 

Take a Picnic To Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden

For one of the most romantic date ideas in Sydney, you need only head to Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden in Lavender Bay.

“Founded” by a couple, the secret garden is an ode to love in all its forms: a love of land, plants, family, and of course, romantic love too. The best part is, it’s totally free to visit and its atmosphere is unparalleled anywhere else in the city. 

Take a romantic stroll around or throw yourselves down on the benches for a picnic in privacy, surrounded by some of Sydney’s most wild (but looked after) scenery.

Get Competitive At TimeZone

No matter how old you are, you’re never too old to want to win a bag of lollies at Timezone

An ideal location for first dates in Sydney or doing something different for couples who’ve been together a long time, Timezone is the perfect place to lose a few hours to some innocent fun.

Battle it out by playing competitively or join forces to win a plushie - the choice really is yours. 

Find out more here.

Pick Up a Bargain at Manly Markets

For weekend date ideas in Sydney that don’t break the bank, head over to Manly and visit the markets.

During the summer months, Manly Markets are open from 9am to 5pm, giving you plenty of time to hunt around the stalls with your partner and maybe bag a bargain. 

From experience, you can pick up anything from coasters to hair scrunchies, fresh flowers to locally-made foods - and it helps that you’re right around the corner from the world famous Manly beach when you’re done looking! 

Visit The Royal National Park

If you’re looking for cheap date ideas in Sydney that will fill a whole weekend, we recommend visiting the Royal National Park in Sydney’s south. 

The park itself is absolutely huge and offers a massive variety of activities as well as gorgeous scenery and fresh air out in the bush.

Activities you might want to suggest include bushwalking, birdwatching, having a barbecue or even doing a bit of whale watching - just remember to bring good walking shoes and plenty of suntan lotion!

Psst: Keep an eye out for wedding cake rock (it's incredible!)

Explore Sydney’s Botanic Gardens

Last but not least on our list of cheap date ideas in Sydney is a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney. 

Easily accessible for Sydneysiders from all corners of the city, the RBG in Sydney is the oldest of its kind in Australia and contains thousands of plant species including flowers, shrubs and edible plants. 

We recommend taking a stroll through the gardens itself or the neighbouring area known as The Domain, making sure to take a stop at the herb garden where you can learn about the Roman uses for mustard, bay leaves and more. Otherwise, take an Aboriginal harbour heritage tour with a First Nations guide to learn about native plants and the ancient history of botany in Australia.

Fun Date Ideas in Sydney

Here’s where to look for fun date ideas in Sydney that add a bit of variety to your date night, whether that’s somewhere you’ve never been or experiences you’re yet to try. Read on to find out more!

Go Glamping at Cockatoo Island

First on our list of fun date ideas in Sydney is a night just outside the CBD unlike any other: a night under the stars at Cockatoo Island.

Formerly a penal colony for reoffending convicts, Cockatoo Island has a pretty dark yet fascinating history - but these days, it’s best known for its awesome campground and proximity to the CBD.

You can get there by catching the Rivercat ferry from Circular Quay or Parramatta and we recommend taking a look around when you arrive (it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site so, why not?) before settling down to a romantic evening under the stars. Choose from fancy glamping tents or pitch up your own tent to save some cash - either way, you’re in for a fun night.  

Explore Elizabeth Bay House

Sydney has no shortage of heritage buildings but a visit to Elizabeth Bay House is right up there for fun date ideas in Sydney that are a little out of the ordinary. 

Built as the ultimate trophy home in the 19th century, Elizabeth Bay House was the fanciest and most exclusive mansion in the colony of Australia back in the day. Today, it’s an incredible museum where you and your date can explore the house and Australia’s colonial past. 

Take a Dip With a View At Sydney Olympic Pool

Show your date you listened when they told you they are a water sign (that’s scorpios, pisces and cancers, if you’re wondering) by taking them to Sydney’s most iconic swimming pool.

With a view of the Harbour Bridge and surrounding waters, swimmers at Sydney Olympic Pool are spoiled for choice. It even has a sauna so you could turn your date into a mini spa day without paying extravagant prices to top it all off!

Go For Pancakes On The Rocks

Opened in 1975, Pancakes On The Rocks is one of Sydney’s mainstays and most iconic restaurants - with a twist.

Serving up incredible pancakes and much, much more, Pancakes On The Rocks is the ideal place to take your date to be served up a treat.

Don’t worry if you or your date has dietary restrictions, either - gluten free options are available so don’t let tummy problems talk you out of a great date! 

Get Romantic with Ramen in Sydney Chinatown

Look, you don’t need to look far to find good Asian-style cuisine in Sydney (there’s honestly way too many options to list here) but for a date, you might as well switch it up and try something new.

Nestled deep in the heart of Chinatown Sydney you’ll find eateries serving incredible Asian dishes including gyoza, pho, ramen, laksa and much, much more. Switch up your routine and treat your date to a delicious (and affordable) noodle soup to warm your bellies (and hopefully a few romantic sparks too)!

Get Arty in Surry Hills 

If you suspect your date has an arty side or you want to show off your own, head to Surry Hills and get signed up for an art class.

Art classes like Cork and Chroma are BYO and offer a relaxed, guided venue to express yourself through art. My partner and I opted for a beach painting class and had a marvellous time listening to tunes, sipping on beers and accidentally not listening to instructions (hence the weird looking trees). 


So there you have it! 20+ cute date night ideas in Sydney that are sure to shake up your date night, day or weekend.

Remember that no matter what you decide to do on your morning, arvo or evening out with your date, there’s nothing like teamwork to make the dream work.

That’s why we at CityDays create fun, interesting and challenging trails around the world to help you immerse yourself in a city’s culture, history and curios. 

Want to find out more?

Check out all our available activities in Sydney here and embark on an adventure in the city you’ll never forget: CityDays awaits!