It's about time I write a travel guide for my new home base in Australia! This travel guide walks you through 10 things to do in Sydney that you won't want to miss on your visit. If you're spending 3 days in Sydney, you might have to cut some of the day trips, but 5 days is perfect. Sydney itself is very similar to LA: verrrry spread out! So, you can scrape the surface of Sydney in 3 days with these 10 recommendations, so it's definitely doable if you're doing a bigger Australia trip, but my recommendation would be 5 or 6 days if you want to hit the gorgeous gems Sydney has to offer, including some pretty spectacular spots that would be great for a day or half day trip. So, here are my recommendations:
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1. CLIMB OR WALK THE HARBOUR BRIDGE
There's two ways to do this, depending on your budget. The Harbour Bridge Climb is a pretty unique, yet expensive (> $300 AUD), bucket list item for many, but you can also do this in a more budget friendly way walk over the bridge for free and walk up to the Plyon Lookout (costs $15 AUD) to get a similar view. Click here for my Harbour Bridge Walk guide!
2. HAVE A DRINK WITH A VIEW OF THE OPERA HOUSE
Here are my recommendations:
Opera Bar: a huge outdoor patio bar just under the Opera House), super casual so great if you've been out and about all day.
O Bar: A chic, rotating bar with lofty views of the Harbour. Keep in mind there's a dress code here (no sandals or shorts).
Hacienda: Located right in Circular Quay, think a Lisa Vanderpump style restaurant with gorgeous pinks and pops of color along with lush indoor plants. This cute spot is filled with Cuban-style decor and sits up 3 floors from the ground, with an unblocked view of the Harbour and Opera House.
3. DO THE BONDI TO COOGEE WALK
Bondi to Coogee is the famous one (did you even go to Sydney if you don't post an Instagram of the Bondi Icebergs?!), and my absolute favorite recommendation for things to do in Sydney! On the Bondi to Coogee walk, make sure to check out Porch & Parlour for breakfast & end at the Coogee Pavilion which is a really fun bar/restaurant in Coogee (pro tip: you MUST try the Cravado cocktail)! If you can do Bondi on a weekday instead of a weekend, it will be much less crowded!
4. SPEND A DAY AT MANLY BEACH
Take the ferry from Circular Quay for some great views on the way. See my Manly beach guide here. This is where I live and it's LOVELY! There are also some pretty amazing coastal walks on the northern beaches around Manly, including: Other pretty amazing coastal walks in Manly include: North Head, Spit to Manly, Manly to Shelly, Dee Why to Manly (read my post on this here). From Manly, you can even explore the gorgeous Palm Beach.
5. WALK AROUND THE ROCKS
This is a cool historic neighborhood in Sydney full of laneways and right near CBD & the bridge! right Check out the Argyle for a cool outdoor bar or The Glenmore Hotel for rooftop drinks with a view! There are also markets on Sundays that you can see!
6. SPEND SOME TIME OUTSIDE
There's lots of bush walks (aka hikes) you can do around Sydney, including visiting the famous Three Sisters at the Blue Mountains, or visiting Royal National Park, where you can see Wedding Cake Rock, go chasing the Curracurrong Falls, and swim in Wattamolla or Figure Eight Rock Pools. You can even do a 2 day, 1 night backpacking trip and camp in here! Joe and I have this planned for November 2018.
Three Sisters at the Blue Mountains
7. PET A KANGAROO & SEE A KOALA
Pet a kangaroo & see a koala at Featherdale Wild Life Park, Koala Sanctuary or Symbio Wild Life Park, or go to Taronga Zoo in Mosman for a more traditional zoo. The Wild Life Parks are true aussie zoos & treat the animals really well.
8. SWIM IN AN OCEANSIDE ROCK POOL
Bronte, Fairy Bower, & Bondi Iceberg pools are the coolest in my opinion, but you have to pay for the Bondi one. The rest in Sydney are free, and every beach has one!
9. DRINK AN ESPRESSO MARTINI
Here are my recommendations for fun bars in Sydney:
-The Dolphin Hotel (Surry Hills)
-The Clock (Surry Hills)
-The Bucket List (Bondi)
-Watsons Bay Hotel (Watsons Bay)
-The Paddington (Paddington)
-The Ivy (CBD)
-Glass House (Manly)
10. WANDER AROUND PADDINGTON
Paddington is Sydney’s gorgeous, upscale neighborhood. Walk around and admire stumble into chic boutiques, cheeky bars & gourmet cafes. Oxford Street is one of the most famous streets in Sydney, and home to many of Sydney's wealthiest, so you might even get some celeb sightings as you're exploring! The Paddington Markets run on Saturday if you're around then.
Next, check out my Jervis Bay guide. Jervis Bay is just 3 hours south of Sydney, and with it's crystal clear water and white sand beaches, it's hands down the best place to camp in NSW!