Sydney is a beautiful city, which we wouldn’t mind calling it home! Read this post to discover the best spot in Sydney.
No wonder why Sydney if often called one of the most beautiful city in the world… Trust us, you won’t be disappointed and you would be amazed more than once. We can’t recommend enough to visit this magical place.
While Canberra is the official capital of Australia, it is the city of Sydney which collects most votes: its charm, its economic activity, its architecture, its curiosities attract tourists from around the world, as much as Australians themselves .
Sydney, a very pleasant city where there is a lot to discover. Before you even leave, take a window seat for your flight because your arrival above the city will be spectacular. Are you ready to go to the other side of the globe? We have put together for you the essential activities and visits to do in Sydney. Let’s go folks!
1. Visit Sydney Opera House
It is certainly the most iconic monument in Sydney. It has been listed as a World Heritage Site since 2007. The project to build the Opera was born in the 1940s when the director of the NSW Conservatory of Music asked for a place to produce major theatrical and musical productions. An architectural competition was launched and in 1955 the project of the Danish architect Jorn Utzon was selected. The construction of the Opera began in 1959 and ended in 1973.
It was the subject of numerous disagreements, budgetary extensions and even led to the resignation of the architect in 1966. In 1973, it was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II . Since then, numerous modifications have been made to the work, which will have cost more than $ 100 million.
2.Surf in Bondi Beach
One of the best and most famous beaches in Sydney, Bondi is a must-see, just a few kilometers east of the city. In Bondi, you can enjoy the beach while basking in the sun or try your hand at surfing. Surfing a wave at Bondi should be on everyone’s bucket list. If you’re beginner, you can book class and enjoy one of the most famous wave in the world.
Coogee Coastal Walk
For those who want to discover the area a little, there are several nice walks such as Coastal Walk which links Bondi to Coogee (6km with very beautiful costal views). You will then pass by Tamarama and Bronte Beach, less crowded and more typical (more locals). We highly recommend that you walk to Coogee, the coastline is absolutely gorgeous.
Every surfers have Bondi Beach on their bucket list. So while you are in Sydney, make sure to check it out, and if you never surfed before, it is a great place to learn . You can book a lesson here.
3. Visit Manly and go on a coastal Trek
Getting to Manly Beach by ferry from Circular Quay is one of Sydney’s must-sees. You’ll embark on an old ferry which will cross the bay towards the Ocean before leaving the visitors at Manly. From there, most people head straight to Manly Beach, one of the best known beach. The ferry ride in Sydney Bay is superb. This is one of the reasons why going to Manly is among the favorite choices of visitors.
Right after leaving Circular Quay you get the best views of the Opera House, the financial center and its skyscrapers, as well as the Harbor Bridge. A little further we discover Elizabeth Bay, Rose Bay, Watsons Bay… with big houses and boats in the moorings near the beaches. We also pass in front of the Taronga Zoo. In 30 minutes you can take your eyes off it and say to yourself that we would live well here because life seems so peaceful.
At the arrival of the ferry there is a small beach but it is not Manly Beach. To get there, just follow the flow of passengers and take the pedestrian street called Le Corso, the perfect stop for fish and chips or a little shopping. After 5 minutes of walking, Manly Beach finally comes right in front of you: a superb beach with dark yellow sand, a surfer’s paradise. The beach may extend for several hundred meters, swimming is only allowed between the flags in front of the lifeguard club on the right when you are facing the sea. Do not take the risk of swimming elsewhere because powerful waves and sharks may await you.
To take advantage of a slightly quieter and more sheltered beach, we recommend that you go to Shelly Beach. It is accessible after a short walk by the sea on a landscaped path and is located at the right end of the bay of Manly. An ideal place for snorkeling.
From Manly, we recommend a beautiful coastal trek all the way to Spit, it’s a 8km walk (one way). The trek will take you to beautiful vantage points of Sydney along secret beaches and up and down rocky stairs.
4. EXPLORE the ROCKS
The Rocks is the oldest district in Sydney, it includes the first buildings erected in 1788. Originally, it was the landmark of sailors and dockers at the port, then in the late 1800s that of gangs. Several reconstruction projects were then undertaken but unfortunately interrupted by the two world wars. Since the renovations, the area has been a tourist spot, known for its market, traditional pubs and souvenir shops.
Every Saturday and Sunday (from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.), The Rocks market (at the end of George street) is to be discovered. With more than 200 displays, there are products from young designers, jewelry, accessories etc. There is a very good atmosphere to start your weekend. You can also visit the Museum of Contemporary Art (140 George Street – free – open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
5. Relax at SydneY Royal Botanic Garden
From the Opera d In Sydney, you can access the Royal Botanic Garden and take a very nice walk in the park. It’s the perfect place to relax and contemplate the city’s buildings, the Opera House and the Harbor Bridge. Next to the park, Andrew Charlton Pool is a very pleasant public swimming pool with a good pub.
6. Walk across (or on top) of the Sydney HARBOuR Bridge
Also called the Old hanger because of its shape, this unique bridge is located just in front of the Opera. For a long time it was considered the highest bridge in the world (134 m above sea level) but also the longest with more than a kilometer of road. It remains to date the widest anyway with 50 meters in width. It was built in the 20-30s and is, for the hearts of Australians, the symbol of technological success. Today, it is possible to climb to the top of the bridge arch which is a unique and very cool experience. You can book here.
7. Go Swim at Sunrise in Bronte Beach
To capture one of the most beautiful sunrise, head to Bronte Bath early morning. There, you can swim in a beautiful pool carved within the cliffside. The waves there can be quite strong, so the saltwater pool is the safest choice. The view from the pool is gorgeous and with the sunrise, this could be one of your best instagram shot.
8.Explore the CBD and Circular Quay
The CBD area is spread mainly around George Street. It stretches from Circular quay to Central Station. Allow around 20 minutes to walk through the city center (without stops). In town, you will find many souvenir shops, especially on George Street. You can also discover shopping centers such as Pitt Street Mall, Town Hall or Queen Victoria Galleries or World Square.
To discover Sydney for free with a guide, do not hesitate to join a FREE TOUR (every day at 10:30 am and 2:30 pm, departing from Town Hall). Local guides in green Tshirts take you around the city and tell you the history and anecdotes on the sites to visit (Harbor Bridge, The Rocks, Hyde Park, etc…).
There are also Hop On Hop Off buses, which offer 2 tours for around $ 50 with 35 stops. You can choose between Sydney and Bondi Tour. From these double-decker buses, you discover the city and stop wherever you want (Central Station departures for Bondi Tour and Alfred St for Sydney Tour).
Circular Quay, located right besides the CBD and The Rocks, is surely the best spot in Sydney to appreciate and admire the bay. The water is calm and the salty smell of the sea tickles your nostrils. located a few meters from the Botanic Garden, you will have the impression of already being at sea. The panorama is fantastic: on one side, there is the Opera and on the other the Sydney Bridge. Then, to the west, you will be overwhelmed by these images of skyscrapers while at your feet, some fishermen tickle the fish and the joggers run on the dike. A perfect place for an unforgettable moment.
9. Chill at Watson Bay
Accessible by ferry from Circular Quay (about 40 minutes), Watsons Bay is a very nice little corner appreciated by the locals. Located on the eastern tip of the city, you will arrive by ferry in a small bay with a very famous Fish & Chips restaurant (on the quay). Then you can cross the main street and reach a viewpoint over the ocean and magnificent cliffs. A short walk also allows you to follow the coast for a few hundred meters. In Watson Bay you can also admire the beautiful houses, with their boat right in from of their gardens. What a dream place to live!
10. Explore the Underwater Beauty at Gordons Bay
If you love the outdoors and enjoy exploring life underwater, then head to Gordons Bay, it’s the best spot to snorkel in Sydney. The turquoise water is the perfect place to see some of Sydney’s best underwater life.
Other things to do just outside Sydney:
We highly recommend a day or two days trip to the Blue Mountains, just 50 kilometers from Sydney. Expect stunning mountains, beautiful sceneries, and unique wildlife. You will see spectacular scenery through bushwalks to famous spots such as Leura Cascades and Wentworth Falls as well as the famous Three Sisters. Finish the day off with a river cruise back to Sydney. A great experience overall !
We instantly fell in love with this beautiful city, which we hope to call home one day. We’re pretty sure will feel the same way once you visit this fantastic city. Enjoy mate 🙂
Where to stay in Sydney?
With its beautiful harbor, its famous surf spots and its laid-back side that is second to none in San Francisco, Sydney is one of the nicest places in the world. Often acclaimed as the first stop on a trip to Australia, it is an excellent choice for those wishing to learn about the Australian lifestyle. But where to stay in Sydney? From Bondi Beach to Darling Harbor, to King’s Cross, making the right choice might not be easy.
For more convenience if you intend to visit the city, stay at The Rocks near the Opera, Darling Harbour or the cental district. If you want something more “local” we highly recommend to stay at Manly Beach. If your things is surfing, then Bondi Beach is your place.
Located at the foot of Harbor Bridge, The Rocks is Sydney’s oldest district. The area has been completely rehabilitated and hosts many shops and cafes. If the view of the Opera is impressive, the place is nonetheless very touristy. We would rather choose to stay here if we want to favor the proximity of the city center and Circular Quay, where the main ferries from the bay leave.
Stay at the Four Seasons if you choose The Rocks and if you are not on a budget. The view from the hotel is beautiful, and the rooms are beautiful. Book here.
If the CBD, the business district of Sydney, lives especially during the day, when businessmen crowd at the entrance of the buildings, there is nonetheless an area to stay if you want to be in the heart of the downtown.
Stay at the Radisson Blu Plaza hotel in the CBD. The hotel is good value for money, and it’s centrally located, book here.
Completely refurbished in the 1980s, Darling Harbor and its waterfront are the meeting place for cruise passengers and travelers. We come here to stroll along King Street Wharf and admire the luxurious boats moored at the docks. Stop for lunch or dinner in one of the many modern restaurants by the water. With its completely new spaces and the dazzling whiteness of its boats, Darling Harbor is a base that looks more like Miami than an Australian bush city!
Stay at the SOFITEL, the view is just stunning. Book here.
Bondi beach, THE neighborhood of Sydney that feels like a proper holiday. Known for its beach and its dream waves, the area is the meeting place for surfers. We come here to perfect our tan and bask on the terraces of small organic cafes. If the neighborhood is a bit far from the city center (allow 30 minutes for public transportation to reach the Opera), the place is nonetheless an excellent place to stay to get acquainted with local life.
Stay at Bondi Hotel, located a few steps from the beach and make sure to ask a room with a view on the Pacific. A great location, if you consider to stay in Bondi while in Sydney. Book here.
Quieter and more family-friendly than its slender neighbor of Bondi Beach, Manly Beach is located 30 minutes by ferry from the city center. We come here to stroll by the water, test our skills as a beach volleyball player or try our hand at surfing for an afternoon. This peaceful seaside resort in the north of the city is perfect for those traveling with family and looking for peace and sport during their stay. This is our favorite place in Sydney, hence we highly recommend to stay here. The ferry ride to the CBD and Opera and quite cheap, besides the ride is absolutely amazing…
In Malny we recommend to stay at the SEBEL Manly Hotel, a stylish boutique hotel. You can book directly here.