A Travel Price Comparison for Australia Sydney vs. Brisbane for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Sydney or Brisbane?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Sydney or Brisbane, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Sydney

Sydney, known as the harbour city, is the most famous and frequently visited city in Australia. It is at the economical and cultural heart of the country, and is one of the most beautiful and livable cities in the world. It's situated on the water with stunning views of the famous harbour throughout the city. It's most famous landmarks include the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is also very close wonderful beaches, parks, and nature.

Brisbane

Although Brisbane is often overlooked as a travel destination in Australia, it is the capital of the state of Queensland, and is the third largest city in Australia. It's a very young and vibrant city with an active nightlife and a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. It's a modern and economically thriving city and, if you do have time to visit, it actually has a lot to offer travelers. It has some beautiful scenery, a wonderful warm climate all year long, and is actually one of the fastest growing cities in Australia.

Which city is cheaper, Brisbane or Sydney?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Sydney is $142, while the average daily cost in Brisbane is $114. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Sydney and Brisbane in more detail.



Accommodation

A hotel room in Sydney is about $170 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $140 in Brisbane For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Sydney $85
    Brisbane $70
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Sydney $170
    Brisbane $140

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $13 per day to get around in Sydney.

Brisbane's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $15 per person, per day on transportation in Brisbane.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Sydney $13
    Brisbane $15
Typical Local Transportation prices in Sydney

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Sydney:


  • Taxi Ride
    $14
  • Taxi to Airport
    $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sydney

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Sydney:

  • 1-hour Sydney CBD to Sydney Airport Transfer in Party Limo: $435
  • Sydney Harbour: Private Helicopter Flight with Transfer: $433
  • Blue Mountains Limousine Transfer: $371
  • Private 24 Seat Mini Bus Sydney CBD To Penrith Stadium Transfer: $315
  • Private 13 Seat Mini Bus Sydney CBD To Penrith Stadium Transfer: $284
  • Private 24 Seat Mini Bus Sydney CBD To BankWest Stadium Transfer: $268
  • Private 13 Seat Mini Bus Sydney CBD To BankWest Stadium Transfer: $236
  • Private 24 Seat Mini Bus Sydney CBD To Taronga Zoo Transfer: $205
  • Transfer from Sydney Airport to Sydney Central Business District - ROUND TRIP: $176
  • Private 13 Seat Mini Bus Sydney CBD To Taronga Zoo Transfer: $157
  • Round trip transfer in private minivan from-to Sydney Airport in Sydney Downtown: $149
  • Sydney Transfer (Airport to Hotel in Sydney Central Business) ROUND-TRIP: $149

Typical Local Transportation prices in Brisbane

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Brisbane:


  • Airtrain to the City
    $11
  • Go Card
    $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Brisbane

Also for Brisbane, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • 8-Day Authentic Outback Adventure Tour of Cunnamulla Including Round-Trip Air Transfer from Brisbane: $3,043
  • Brisbane Airport Arrival Shuttle Transfer to Toowoomba (transit stops): $63
  • Brisbane Airport Arrival Shuttle Transfer to the Sunshine Coast Hotels/addresses: $41
  • Brisbane Airport Arrival transfer to Gold Coast shared shuttle: $43
  • Brisbane Airport Private Transfer to or from Brisbane CBD Maxmium 10 Person: $29
  • Brisbane Airport Private Transfer to or from Brisbane CBD Maxmium 10 Person: $33
  • Brisbane Airport Shuttle Transfer to Toowoomba (Transit Stops) Round trip: $102
  • Brisbane Airport Transfers : Brisbane to Brisbane Airport BNE in Business Car: $84
  • Brisbane Airport Transfers : Brisbane to Brisbane Airport BNE in Luxury Car: $131
  • Brisbane Airport Transfers : Brisbane to Brisbane Airport BNE in Luxury Van: $112
  • Brisbane Airport to Brisbane City Round-trip Shuttle Transfer: $32
  • Brisbane Airport: Shared Transfer to Gold Coast: $39

Is it cheaper to fly into Sydney or Brisbane?

Prices for flights to both Brisbane and Sydney change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food

In Sydney travelers spend around $33 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.

On average, meal and food prices in Brisbane cost around $27 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $11.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Sydney $33
    Brisbane $27
Typical Food prices in Sydney

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Sydney:


  • Tea
    $2.83
  • Lunch Special
    $11
  • Food/Drink Coogie Beach
    $11
  • Meat Pies
    $3.53

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sydney

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Sydney.

  • Retro Dinner Cruise on Sydney Harbour: $59
  • Dinner Christmas Party! Nov&Dec: $62
  • Vivid Dinner Cruise Sydney Harbour: $63
  • Latino Dinner Cruise on Sydney Harbour: $67
  • Harbour Dinner Cruise with 3 or 6-Course Menu: $71
  • Valentine's Day Dinner Cruise with live Brazilian show on Sydney Harbour: $78
  • Sydney Harbour Sunset Dinner Cruise: $78
  • Tall Ship Harbour Twilight Dinner Cruise: $79
  • Australia Day Dinner and Fireworks Cruise on Sydney Harbour: $103
  • Harbor Cruise with 3-Course Premium Dinner: $123
  • Sydney Harbour Dinner Cruise: $126
  • Sydney Harbour Gold Penfolds Dinner Cruise: $197

Typical Food prices in Brisbane

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Brisbane:


  • Hamburger Lunch
    $5.65
  • Cup of Coffee
    $2.12
  • Chinese Food Lunch
    $8.83
  • Ice cream
    $3.89
  • Japanese Meal
    $15
  • Smoothie
    $4.59
  • Japanese Soup
    $8.13
  • Coffee & Muffin
    $4.95
  • Morning Mint Tea
    $2.47
  • Veggie Burger & Chips
    $9.89
  • Bread
    $1.84

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Brisbane

For Brisbane, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Guided Food Tour with Coffee and Wine Tastings: $184
  • Brisbane Food Tour: A Taste of Queensland: $202
  • 3-Course Progressive Dinner Experience in Brisbane: $237
  • Queensland Food Tour: Farm-to-Table Indulgence: $375

Entertainment

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $29 per person, per day in Sydney. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Brisbane can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $21 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Sydney $29
    Brisbane $21
Typical Entertainment prices in Sydney

Here are a few typical costs in Sydney for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Theatre Show
    $32
  • Sydney Tower Visit (for 2)
    $33
  • Blue Mountain Tour/Featherdale Park (for 2)
    $135
  • Powerhouse Museum
    $11

Tours and Activities in Sydney

Here are a few actual costs in Sydney for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 1 Hour Northern Beaches Trike Tour: $127
  • 10-Day Surf Adventure from Sydney to Brisbane Including Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay and Gold Coast: $2,371
  • 2 Hours Running Tour in Sydney: $170
  • 2-Day Hunter Valley Small-Group Tasting Tour: $420
  • 2hr Explorer Cruise - Sydney's best value whale watching cruise: $47
  • 3 Hour Discovery Cruise Ultimate Whale Watching Experience: $69
  • 3-Day Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley Small-Group Eco-Tour: $908
  • 3-Day Tour from Sydney to the Gold Coast Including Port Stephens and Byron Bay: $832
  • 3.5 Hours Explore Bondi Beach and Sydney Sightseeing Tour: $168
  • 4 Day Blue Mountains & the Southern Highlands Adventure: $1,367
  • 4-Hour Private Sydney Sightseeing Tour with Pickup: $427
  • 6 Hour South Coast Tour: $340

Typical Entertainment prices in Brisbane

For Brisbane, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Concert Tickets
    $14

Tours and Activities in Brisbane

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Brisbane.

  • Newstead House General Entry Ticket: $9.48
  • Green Cabs Brisbane Tours: $16
  • Midday River Sightseeing Cruise: $24
  • True Crime Tour: $25
  • Brisbane Like a Local: Customized Guided Tour: $35
  • Guided River Kayak Tour: $47
  • River Cruise with Lunch: $50
  • Express Segway Tour of Brisbane: $50
  • Brisbane River Cruise and Koala Sanctuary Visit: $61
  • Byron Bay Day Tour: $78
  • Brisbane to Moreton Island Return Ferry & Adventure Day Pass: $86
  • Wine & Food Pairing Experience: $87

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Sydney may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $13 per day on alcoholic beverages.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Brisbane, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $44.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Sydney $13
    Brisbane $44
Typical Alcohol prices in Sydney

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Sydney:


  • Wine
    $11

Sample the Local Flavors in Sydney

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Sydney:

  • Urban Winery Wine Tasting Tour with Cheese Platter: $61
  • Brewery, Winery, and Distillery Tasting Tour: $112
  • Northern Beaches Brewery Tour and Tasting: $123
  • Small-Group Hunter Valley Wine Tasting Tour from Sydney: $130
  • Hunter Valley Wine Tour from Sydney with Lunch and 3 Cellar Door Tastings: $138
  • Hunter Valley Small Group Luxury Wine Tasting Tour from Sydney: $138
  • Sip n Savour: Southern Highlands Premium Wine Tour from Sydney: $154
  • Hunter Valley Wine Tasting Tour from Sydney: $157
  • Wine Tours Sydney - Southern Highlands Day Escape, Full Day Wine Tasting Tour: $217
  • Hunter Valley Wine Tasting Small Group: Cheese, Choc, Lunch, from Sydney+Hunter: $217
  • Hunter Valley Wine Tour from Sydney | Private Sydney Wine Tour: $356
  • Hunter Valley Highlights Private Wine Tour from Sydney: $387

Typical Alcohol prices in Brisbane

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Brisbane:


  • Evening at the Bar
    $11
  • Sixpack of Beer
    $9.89
  • Guiness Beer
    $6.01
  • Sixpack of Beer
    $9.18

Sample the Local Flavors in Brisbane

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Brisbane:

  • Deluxe Wine Tasting Tour Mt Tamborine Includes 2 course Lunch: $94
  • Morning or Afternoon Brisbane Half-Day Brewery Tour: $111
  • Mt Tamborine Wine Tour: $119
  • Brisbane Half-Day Private Brewery Tour: $119
  • Hinterland Heritage Wine Tour: $119
  • Northern Rivers food & Wine Tour from Brisbane: $119
  • Two Day xxxx Brewery and Tamborine Winery Tour: $198
  • Private Full Day Wine Tour from Brisbane to Tamborine Mountain: $474


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Sydney and Brisbane, we can see that Sydney is more expensive. And not only is Brisbane much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Brisbane would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Brisbane and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Sydney would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Sydney than you might in Brisbane.

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Sydney vs. Brisbane Travel Comparison

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