Whether it is your first trip to Australia and Sydney is high on your radar, or you are a local looking to start your trip from its fabled shores, there is so much to see and do in a day in Sydney and its surrounds that setting a plan has to be one of the first things you do.
When you are in Sydney it is essential that you plan to spend a good few days taking in the sights, sounds and experiences that Sydney has to offer. Make sure you take the time to walk over the Harbour Bridge around through the Sydney Rocks, Circular Quay and into the Botanic gardens. Whilst the walk can be done in as little as an hour and a half if you are on a strict timeline (we recommend you take your time though and drink in the views), you will get to see many of the sights that makes Sydney such a beautiful city. And of course if you want to take it all in from on high and have a few extra dollars in your pocket, investigate the Bridge Climb or the Sky Walk at Sydney Tower.
But sticking to the Harbour doesn’t have to be the only thing you do, there are many other fantastic walking trails you should check out too. Along the water’s edge check out Bondi to Coogee (Take some binoculars in case a pod of dolphins or a whale are swimming by), Watson’s Bay via the Hornby Lighthouse, The Spit Bridge to Manly and The Cremorne Point walk. And if hiking trails and getting back to nature are more your thing, then you must try the Narrabeen Lagoon trail, The Barrenjoey Lighthouse walk at Palm Beach or the Manly Lagoon to North Head. The Best part is, at the end of most of these walks you can rewards yourself with a swim at a selection of beaches known around the world.
But getting out and about doesn’t have to be all you do in Sydney. Sydney has a rich cultural underbelly which you should take the time to check out at as well. From weekend markets, to museums to things to see, here are a few things we recommend most
- Museum of Contemporary Art
- Powerhouse Museum
- Paddington Weekend Markets and Kirribilli Weekend Markets
- Sydney Jewish Museum
- Hyde Park Barracks
- Sydney Mint
- Luna Park
- State Theatre and the Sydney Lyric Theatre
- Museum of Sydney
- National Maritime Museum
- Sydney Wildlife Park
- Rose Seidler House
- Art Gallery of NSW
- The Brett Whiteley Studio
Whatever your budget, rest assured there are some awesome places to eat peppered around Sydney. From fine dining to Hawker style street food, here’s a quick list of places you might want to check out.
- Tetsuya’s – a Sydney institution and a restaurant that put Sydney on the map
- Kingsley’s at Woolloomooloo – For a great outdoor dining experience, amazing steaks and waterside views, this is a must
- La Capannina – If you are willing to hit the North of the Harbour, this serves up classic Italian dishes with a modern twist, and offers up amazing views of the harbour and Bridge.
- Café Sydney – You almost forget to enjoy just how good the food is because the view will leave you breathless.
For the more budget savvy
- Medusa Greek Taverna – According to Gourmet Traveller “With simple food done well, Medusa Taverna may be the best casual Greek diner in Sydney”
- Spice Alley – for good, low priced Asian food, put Spice Alley in Chippendale on your list
- Try Liverpool Street in the CBD and check out a range of amazing Tapas restaurants.
- Maisy’s – serving up good quality, decent priced food 24 hours a day, this is a good place to eat when hunger calls.
For a drink
- The Australian – Amazing Harbour views are combined with good pub food and drinks
- Shady Pines – Although located on the skirts of the city, stepping into this bar will make you feel like you are anywhere else but Sydney. A must for those looking for something different.
- Kazbah – Located in Balmain, this is a funky little restaurant serving up amazing breakfasts, lunches and dinners
- The Cricketers Arms – If you’re in Surry Hills, a visit here is a must – especially for their $12 lunch specials.
- The Unicorn – In the heart of Paddington this revitalised Aussie pub is again a great place to get good food, a good ol’ Aussie beer and listen to some great music.
- Baxter Inn – If whiskey’s and good cocktails are your speed, make sure you check this out – the wall of spirits will amaze you
- Earle’s Juke Joint – Hidden behind the façade of an old butcher, this eclectic 1950s style bar oozes charm
- Opera Bar – If you are a first timer to Sydney, then you have to have at least one drink at Opera Bar overlooking the harbour
- North Steyne – Located as you come off the beach at Manly, this bar is an institution unto itself.