Sydney is one of those cities that surprises people. It is not that big, yet still manages to provide a lot for visitors to see and do. So much so that if you are only there for a week or two, narrowing down what experiences to enjoy during your stay can be difficult.
Below, we have put together a suggested itinerary. One that you can build the rest of your stay around. It incorporates all of the sights and experiences that travellers that have gone before you have said that they most enjoyed. It is all grouped by area, which should help to prevent wasting too much time travelling around the city.
The Harbour Area
This is probably the most famous part of the city. The area everyone heads to first. While there, visit:
- The Sydney Opera House – this iconic building dominates the area; it is simply stunning, and you will be able to photograph it from many different angles during the time you spend in and around the harbour area. But don´t miss the chance to take the walking tour and go in and experience it from the inside. The tour is fascinating.
- Sydney Harbour Bridge – from the bridge, you get good views of the area, especially if you are brave enough to climb to the very top. It is a long way up and a tough climb, but the views are worth it. Just be sure to book well in advance.
- Eat at the MCA Café which sits atop The Museum of Contemporary Arts – it ranks high on this most instagrammable cafes in Sydney list and regularly attracts 5-star ratings on review websites. The views are spectacular, providing you with the perfect opportunity to get some special photos for the album.
- Take a ferry trip – there are several ferries running out of the harbour area, hopping on a few, is an excellent way to get your bearings and see more of the city. You can find out about 7 of them here.
This iconic beach is as popular with residents as it is with tourists. It´s the perfect place to while away an afternoon. But if you are not that keen on sitting on the beach you can do the following instead:
- Learn to surf – being able to say that you learnt to surf on Bondi Beach would be a great icebreaker, so why not do it?
- Take a movement and/or meditation class on the beach – classes are run almost year-round, but it is wise to book first.
- Head to the Icebergs Swimming Pool – Since 1929, the Icebergs Swimming Pool has been the base of Sydney´s winter swimmers. It is a great place to mingle or chill out. There is also a sauna to enjoy.
- Have brunch or lunch at Speedos Cafe – this place is something of a Bondi Beach institution. It is a great place to relax and enjoy food chosen from their extensive menu, which includes everything from burgers to seafood.
- Go to the market – if you are there on a Saturday, spend a couple of hours at the Eastern Suburbs market.
Take a day trip
In addition to visiting a National Park, take one or two other day trips. There are plenty, the possibilities include:
- Visiting Hunter Valley – one of Australia´s oldest grape-growing regions and a foodie’s paradise
- A day at Manly Beach – Bondi beach is great but a bit touristy. If you want to experience an authentic Aussie day out Manly is the place to head. Check out the SEA LIFE Sanctuary while you are there.
- Take a river cruise – overall Australia is a dry country, but Sydney is surrounded by waterways for you to explore by boat. The Hawkesbury River Cruise is a particularly good one, that gives you the chance to visit heritage villages and see unspoilt bush land.
- Visit a National Park – There are 8 National Parks within easy traveling distance of Sydney, including The Blue Mountains, which is just an hour long train journey away.
Planning your trip
Now you have some idea of what is available go here and download the tourist map of Sydney. This shows you more places you could go and where they are located. You will also find a very good transport planning map and one that has suggested walking tours. They make it incredibly easy to see where everything is in relation to each other and plan how you are going to get there.
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