As I traveled down the east of Australia I’d heard a few different things about Sydney from other travelers which were, unfortunately, negative. It was ‘too expensive’ and ‘too busy’ and ‘overrated’. But I’m a firm believer that you should make your own mind up about a place, despite what other people might tell you.
I ended up really enjoying my two months spent in Sydney. Australia’s largest city has a lot to offer. From the harbour front with its iconic landmarks and bustling restaurants, to the many lush, inner-city parks and sun-blazed beaches. Whether you’re exploring the city for a few days or making it your home for a while, there’s so much to see and do in Sydney.
recommended to explore
How to get Around
- Free Walking Tour – Grab your map of the city and explore! Sydney is huge, so the chances of getting lost are high as you navigate yourself around the busy, bustling streets! A free walking tour will give you an insight into the cities impressive sights, history and culture.
- Opal – if you’re staying in Sydney for a while, grab yourself one of these cards from the nearest 7-Eleven. This is essentially a tap-on tap-off card which offers discounted travel; you’ll never pay more in a day than the standard cap, and on Sundays you’ll spend a maximum of $2.50.
Things to see and do
- Sydney Opera House – head to Circular Quay and capture Sydney’s iconic landmarks in all their glory.
- Sydney Harbour Bridge – there are many ways you can explore the bridge, whether it be walking, cycling or climbing.
- The Rocks – home to the oldest buildings in Sydney and the best place to discover the cities history. Check out The Rocks Discovery Museum.
- The Royal Botanical Gardens – peaceful, picturesque gardens located southeast of The Sydney Opera House.
- Bondi – arguably the most iconic beach in Australia, and being closest to the city, it can be reached by train and bus. Its easy to spend a whole day here, relaxing on the golden sandy beach and marvelling at the unique art work.
- Paddys Market – grab yourself a bargain at this huge market on Hay Street. I used to buy my weekly fruit and veg from here!
- Manly – for a less touristy feel. The ferry journey across the harbour will give you the opportunity to snap a picture of Sydney’s impressive city skyline as you sail across the water ($15 return). The beach is a lot quieter than Bondi, and attracts a lot of local surf.
- The Bondi to Coogee Walk – a walk that shouldn’t be missed! Taking around two hours to complete, it’s incredibly picturesque and allows access to Tamarama and Bronte beach along the way.
- Visit The Chinese Garden of Friendship – set within the heart of Sydney, its the perfect setting for a tranquil afternoon (entry $6), with the only sound you can hear being the running water from the waterfall within!
- See the iconic landmarks from the water – my favourite way to see them. From around $5 for a ticket from Darling Harbour to Circular Quay how could you resist?
- View the city from one of its many viewpoints. My favourite of which are Milsons Point and Observatory Hill.
- Venture to Hyde Park, which is the oldest parkland in Australia, hosting numerous monuments, statues and the ANZAC Memorial Building.
- Spend an afternoon at The Prince Alfred Park Pool – if you’re staying in Sydney for a while it’s a great way to spend one of your days off work! It costs $6.20 for an entire days entry and it even has its own cafe!
Where to eat
- Chinatown – for delicious, Asian eateries.
- Darling Harbour – the main entertainment hub in the city hosting an abundance of bars and restaurants. Don’t miss the free fireworks that take place every Saturday at 8pm!
- Sushi – it’s just something else in Australia! There are many sushi spots scattered around the city, where you can get takeaway sushi for only a couple of dollars.
- The Lindt Chocolate Cafe – something I just couldn’t resist. I would recommend the Lindt Chocolate Lovers Ultimate Platter.
- Take the train to The Blue Mountains – the most popular road trip from Sydney. One of the main highlights, The Three Sisters, is located at Echo Point, which offers you a brilliant view of the mountains behind. According to aboriginal legend, the unusual rock formation represents three sisters who were turned to stone!
- Hunter Valley – one of Australia’s largest wine regions, where you’ll find more than 100 vineyards!
- Road trip to The Northern Beaches – head further north on a day trip to the various other golden sandy beaches that Sydney has to offer, including Newport, Whale and Palm Beach (famous as being Home and Away’s fictitious setting of Summer Bay) to name a few.
Have you been, or are you going to Sydney soon? Would you add anything else to the list? Let me know in the comment section below!
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