My 15 Favourite Matters to Do in Sydney

Photography of the coast of Sydney skyline and Opera House
Up to date: 10/28/2018 | October 28th, 2018

The primary time I went to Sydney (all the way in which again in 2007), I spent most of my days sitting within the botanical gardens, studying a e book, and looking out on the Opera Home and Harbour Bridge. It was the of my journey and all I needed to do was chill out.

Rising up, I had heard at all times heard about how fantastic and exquisite Sydney was.

And it was true. Sydney was stunning. I not often ever obtained to my e book. I used to be too enamored watching the harbor, stress-free within the gardens, and wandering the town’s strolling trails and seashores.

Over time, I’ve visited Sydney a handful of instances, exploring it increasingly more with every go to. I’ve developed native mates who’ve opened up their metropolis to me. I’ve seen all the foremost points of interest, the smaller points of interest, and all the things in between. I can rattle off eating places, bars, and hidden markets and trails with the perfect of them.

Sydney is like no different metropolis on this planet.

If you happen to’re planning your journey and are questioning what the perfect matters to do and see in Sydney are, marvel no extra!

At present, I’m going to share my favourite points of interest in Sydney – from enjoyable matters to uncommon matter to not so touristy matters, you’ll see the perfect of Sydney with this checklist!

The Greatest Matters to See in Sydney

1. Discover The Rocks

the rocks, Sydney
The Rocks is the oldest a part of Sydney. With its slender lanes, wonderful colonial buildings, sandstone church buildings, and Australia’s oldest pubs, this was the primary neighborhood to be settled when the British first landed in Australia in 1788. It was quite a bit greater however, sadly, it was nearly all torn down within the 1970s for contemporary excessive rises and ugly buildings. Fortunately, citizen motion obtained most of it preserved as an alternative – and these previous buildings have been changed into trendy companies, properties, and vacationer points of interest.

The Rocks’ weekend markets, artwork museums, road leisure, scrumptious (and generally overpriced) eating places, and exquisite views of the harbor, Opera Home, and bridge make it one of many coolest areas within the metropolis.

Don’t miss: Sydney Observatory Hill Park for a very good view of the town, wandering the harbor promenade, and hitting the bars at evening.

2. Hang around on the seashore

Pink sunset on the beach in Sydney
Sydney is synonymous with its seashores and world-class browsing. Because it’s heat and sunny a lot of the yr, the town has a robust seashore tradition, and on the weekends (and lots of weekdays for that matter), locals flock to the ocean to surf, swim, and crack open a beer. There are over 100 seashores in Sydney.

From Palm Seaside and Manly within the north to the well-known Bondi and Coogee within the south, Sydney has a seashore for everybody. All of the seashores are straightforward to get to through public transportation or automotive and there are tons of eating places and surf retailers lining all of them. There’s additionally a coastal stroll connecting the seashores collectively. Understand that the seashores, particularly the extra well-known ones, get actually crowded and needs to be prevented on the weekends.

Don’t miss: Manly (broad and exquisite), Bronte (small and quiet), Coogee (enjoyable), Bondi (the preferred), Palm (chill), and Dee Why.

3. Go to the Royal Botanic Gardens and Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair

Purple flowers from the Sydney Botanical Gardens in the city
You’ll discover Australia’s first vegetable backyard and a treasure trove of bushes, ferns, flowers, and gardens on the Royal Botanic Gardens. The gardens have been opened in 1816, and on a sunny day, you’ll see loads of locals sprawled out everywhere in the lawns absorbing the solar. House to the oldest scientific establishment within the nation, the gardens are one of the vital visited areas in all of Australia. Right here you too can see Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, a seat carved right into a stone cliff, the place you’ll be able to sit and gaze out on the harbor. Up till 2010, there was truly a big colony of flying foxes residing within the gardens, however since they have been inflicting an excessive amount of harm they have been eliminated. The gardens are open day by day and admission is free

Don’t miss: The free one-hour volunteer-guided excursions of the backyard.

4. Take the ferry to Manly Seaside

manly beach, Australia
The ferry experience to Manly ($12.40 AUD round-trip, $2.50 AUD on Sundays) presents sweeping views of the harbor, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the world-famous Opera Home. It’s a picturesque 30-minute experience offers you a number of the finest views of the harbor and surrounding space for the most affordable value. Manly, a suburb within the northern a part of the town, is known for its broad seashore, large waves, browsing, and kick-ass nightlife. The world has a totally totally different vibe to it than the central metropolis and it’s part of city plenty of vacationers miss. It’s one among my favourite areas of Sydney. There are some unimaginable coastal strolling trails on this facet of the harbor too.

5. Stroll the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Great angle of the Harbour/Harbor Bridge in Syndey Aussie
Nearly as iconic because the Opera Home, the Sydney Harbour Bridge was inbuilt 1932 as a authorities employment venture in the course of the Nice Melancholy. The venture took nearly 10 years to finish, and on the time it was the world’s largest metal arch bridge. Today, it’s thought-about the sixth longest spanning-arch bridge on this planet. Stretching 1,149m over the water, it’s additionally the world’s tallest metal arch bridge and the widest, making it a powerful architectural accomplishment. To cite the well-known journey author Invoice Bryson, “It is a nice bridge.”

Don’t miss: Whereas excursions that climb the bridge are costly ($158 AUD), it’s free to stroll or bike throughout it for panoramic views of the harbor and Opera Home.

6. Marvel on the Sydney Opera Home

Famous landmark Sydney Opera House lit up at night
This has turn into maybe probably the most iconic website in Sydney, if not Australia. The Opera Home is known for its white-shelled roof, a powerful feat of engineering (getting the roof to remain up took the creation of a posh assist system). The constructing took nearly 15 years to finish, opening to the general public in 1973. At present, greater than Eight million folks go to the Opera Home yearly, with nearly half one million taking a guided tour. Each day guided excursions can be found for 40 AUD and provide you with an entire new appreciation for simply how difficult the constructing was to design and erect. Tickets for a present within the Opera Home differ relying on the efficiency however anticipate to pay not less than 50 AUD.

Don’t miss: Don’t miss out on the guided tour. It could be costly nevertheless it’s value each penny.

7. Go to the Blue Mountains

The three sisters in the Blue Mountains of Australia with blue sky and lush background
Over the millennia, the traditional sandstone of this nationwide park has been weathered into gorges lined by steep cliffs and separated by slender ridges. Some actions in Blue Mountains Nationwide Park embrace seeing the magnificent rock formation of the Three Sisters (notably beautiful at sundown and below night floodlights) or climbing alongside the paths that provide glorious views of the valley, sheer rock partitions, tumbling waterfalls, and luxurious forests. The park is free to go to and you will get there by prepare from Sydney, which takes 90 minutes. If you wish to hike additional afield, it’s finest to remain in a single day! Listed below are another hikes you would possibly need to take a look at should you’re trying to stretch your legs:

  • Grand Canyon Stroll: A 6km path that takes you thru probably the most spectacular areas of the park. The hike is a bit difficult and takes 2.5 hours however is unquestionably well worth the effort!
  • Katoomba Falls: This 4km circuit is a simple stroll that takes a pair hours, main you to the waterfall in addition to some nice viewpoints.
  • Six Foot Monitor: This 44km hike a difficult endeavor that takes a couple of days to finish. However should you’re trying to get off the grid and spend a couple of nights below the celebs, that is the hike for you!

Don’t miss: The Three Sisters at sundown.

8. See all of the museums

Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Australia
Like most main cities, Sydney has all kinds of museums. You’ll discover artwork museums, historical past museums, galleries, museums of the bizarre, and all the things in between. And, fortunately, because of Australia’s Commonwealth previous, all the general public museums within the metropolis are free, making it a fantastic and cheap exercise in an in any other case costly metropolis. My favourite museum in Sydney is the Hyde Park Barracks. Set within the previous convict barracks from the 18th century, it does an incredible and detailed job of chronicling colonial life in Sydney, utilizing the tales of the early settlers, historic data, artifacts, and historic recreations! It’s properly well worth the $10 AUD entrance charge. It’s at all times the spotlight of my journey. Few folks go to, making it among the finest non-touristy matters to do within the metropolis!

Different museums in Sydney:

  1. Artwork Gallery of New South Wales (trendy artwork)
  2. Museum of Modern Artwork Australia at The Rocks
  3. Nicholson Museum (antiquities)
  4. Australian Nationwide Maritime Museum
  5. White Rabbit Gallery (up to date Chinese language artwork; it additionally has a teahouse)
  6. The Rocks Discovery Museum (native historical past)
  7. Hyde Park Barracks Museum (native, prison, and judicial historical past)
  8. Australian Museum (pure historical past)
  9. Justice and Police Museum (prison museum in an previous court docket home)
  10. Museum of Sydney (native historical past)
  11. Sydney Jewish Museum

9. Be taught to surf

Surfers walking down the beach at sunset with their surfboards
Sydney is usually the place vacationers chew the bullet and study the artwork of Australia’s well-known nationwide pastime. There are numerous corporations all through the town that provide classes (they are often discovered on each seashore so that you don’t must look laborious). Whereas Bondi is the preferred seashore within the metropolis, Manly on the north shore of Sydney is taken into account to have the perfect waves (although you could find good waves up and down the coast!). Another nice seashores for freshmen are:

  • Umina Seaside
  • Collaroy Seaside
  • Corrimal Seaside
  • Freshwater Seaside
  • Palm Seaside

10. Wine Tasting within the Hunter Valley

hunter valley, Australia
North of Sydney is one among Australia’s premier wine areas. The Hunter Valley is house to unimaginable wineries that produce a number of the world’s finest purple wine. Whereas visiting will not be straightforward on the price range, it’s an excuse to get out of the town, see the countryside, and do one thing aside from sitting on the seashore. Day excursions are supplied from Sydney however they’re costly ($150-200 AUD) and also you’ll spend plenty of time on a bus. It’s finest to remain for not less than an evening out within the valley to get the total expertise. That is additionally an ideal exercise for {couples} or households!

When you’ve got a automotive, you’ll be able to base your self in Newcastle or Cessnock, however you’d have a extra distinctive expertise should you booked a secluded cabin or house on Airbnb as there are lots within the space, together with some which might be additionally vineyards.

Don’t miss: Need much more enjoyable? Attempt a motorbike tour. Grapemobile and Hunter Valley Biking supply one-day bicycle leases beginning at $35 AUD.

11. Take the Sydney Tower Skywalk

Sydney Tower Skywalk photo against a blue sky
As tall because the Eiffel Tower and twice as excessive because the Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Tower presents wonderful panoramic views of the town from its Skywalk on the high. At $50 AUD, it’s cheaper and simpler than climbing the bridge itself, and the views are literally much better. Additionally included together with your buy of a Skywalk ticket is entry to the “4-D” cinema expertise, which incorporates in-theatre results like wind and fireplace.

12. Stroll one of many coastal walks

Coast of Australia with rocks and clear blue water
There are a selection of beautiful coastal walks that assist you to take within the breathtaking pure great thing about Sydney Harbor. Whereas tons of individuals comply with the two-hour Coogee-to-Bondi stroll (skip the weekends when it’s overly crowded), I discovered each the shorter stroll in Watson’s Bay and the Break up-to-Manly stroll quieter and extra breathtaking. Some coastal walks value trying out are:

  • Rose Bay to Watson’s Bay
  • Watson’s Bay to Dover Heights
  • Chowder Bay to Balmoral Seaside
  • Jibbon Seaside Loop Monitor

Don’t miss: Coogee-to-Bondi stroll and Break up-to-Manly

13. Discover the markets

Paddington market, Sydney
Sydney has many wonderful markets to stroll by way of. At Paddington Markets (Oxford Road; open Saturdays after 10am), the fish market (Financial institution Road and Pyrmont Bridge Street), Bondi Farmers Market (Campbell Parade on Bondi Seaside), the flower market (Parramatta Street), and an entire lot extra seasonal markets, it’s very easy to spend so much of time wandering and buying. I like Paddington Markets and the farmers market the perfect — they draw an eclectic crowd, and the farmers market makes me need to cook dinner nonstop. Another markets value trying out are:

  • Glebe Market: Classic garments and eclectic native handicrafts, in addition to scrumptious meals stalls. Open Saturdays from November-February.
  • Rozelle Collectors Market: House to antiques, clothings, DVDs and all the things in between. If you happen to wish to dig and hunt for superior finds, that is the marketplace for you! Open weekends from November-February.
  • Orange Grove Natural Market: Not solely will you discover nice produce right here however there are some unimaginable meals stalls. Positively include an urge for food! Open Saturdays from November-February.

Don’t miss: Paddington Markets

14. Attend a cultural occasion

Vivid Sydney light up cultural festival
Since Sydney has a posh about Melbourne being referred to as the cultural capital of Australia, it tries to outdo its rival by internet hosting over 30 official festivals and occasions annually. It presents artwork gallery nights, concert events, festivals, and far more. It desires to be seen as extra of a seashore vacation spot. It doesn’t matter what time of the yr you go to, one can find one thing happening within the metropolis!

A lot of the occasions are free and an inventory of what’s happening quickly might be discovered on the Sydney tourism web site. It offers you dates, costs, instances, and all the things in between!

15. Celebration in King’s Cross

a DJ at a party
If you happen to’re trying to exit and get wild on a budget, then go to King’s Cross. That is the place the beer is cheap and the backpackers (and locals) celebration late. The well-known World Bar is the place a lot of the motion occurs (low-cost drinks and a big dance ground). On this a part of city, you’ll discover all of the backpackers and younger college students consuming, dancing, and getting loopy. If you happen to’re trying to get wild, then drink right here. For a much less touristy evening life scene, head to Manly, The Rocks, or the CBD (central enterprise district) the place there are extra locals, fewer vacationers, and chiller bars and lounges (however costlier cocktails and beers).


Sydney is a outstanding metropolis. Whereas some cities scream “run round and see stuff” (cough, NYC, Paris, London, cough), Sydney’s message to guests is at all times “chill out, go exterior, and benefit from the stunning climate.” Sydney is a vacation spot that desires you to go for a stroll, sit by the seashore, picnic within the park, and drink wine by the bridge. Positive, there’s lots to distinctive matters to do right here and museums to maintain you busy, however I discover one of the simplest ways to get pleasure from a go to to Sydney is to take it sluggish, see a couple of points of interest, and, largely, simply lay exterior on the seashore, sit in a park and at a bar with a glass of wine!

That’s the native Sydney. That’s one of the simplest ways to go to.

Guide Your Journey to Sydney: Logistical Suggestions and Methods

Guide Your Flight
Discover a low-cost flight by utilizing Skyscanner or Momondo. They’re my two favourite search engines like google and yahoo as a result of they search web sites and airways across the globe so that you at all times know no stone is left unturned.

Guide Your Lodging
You may e book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you wish to keep elsewhere, use as they persistently return the most affordable charges for guesthouses and low-cost accommodations. I take advantage of them on a regular basis. My favourite locations to remain in Sydney are:

  • Wake Up! – That is my favourite hostel to fulfill folks in. They’ve cozy beds, a full of life bar, pleasant workers, and nice desk to work from!
  • YHA Rocks – With their rooftop and views of the harbor in addition to quiet rooms and cozy beds, this location can’t be beat. Guide prematurely because it fills up rapidly.

Don’t Neglect Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will defend you in opposition to sickness, damage, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes improper. I by no means go on a visit with out it as I’ve had to make use of it many instances up to now. I’ve been utilizing World Nomads for ten years. My favourite corporations that provide the perfect service and worth are:

On the lookout for the perfect corporations to economize with?
Take a look at my useful resource web page for the perfect corporations to make use of while you journey! I checklist all those I take advantage of to economize after I journey – and I feel will enable you to too!

Photograph credit score: 2, 5, 8, 9, 10,
11, 12, 14, 15, 16

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