Sydney, my home away from home. This city has so much to offer. From sprawling beaches to hustling suburbs and amazing nature reserves all within reach.
In this blog post, I will show you the ins-and-outs of Sydney living and everything you should see when visiting this amazing city.
WHAT TO DO
Darling Harbour is a harbor adjacent to the city center. It offers waterside dining, encounters with Australian wildlife, a maritime museum, star encounters at Madame Tussauds Sydney and much much more.
The Rocks is a neighborhood of historic laneways in the shadow of Sydney Harbour Bridge. The area has some of Sydney’s oldest pubs and many of the upscale restaurants that have stunning harbor views.
The Museum of Contemporary Art is also located in the rocks and is solely dedicated to exhibiting, interpreting and collecting contemporary art, both from across Australia and around the world.
Circular Quay is the world-famous harbor where you find the Sydney opera house as well as the Sydney harbor bridge.
The Royal Botanic Garden is located next to the opera house and offers spectacular city views. What an absolute delight these gardens are, they are a real breathing space in the city of Sydney. At all times of the year there are plants and features of interest, special activities on offer for children and adults alike, exhibitions of plants with an educational theme and a booth manned by volunteers who provide answers to visitors’ queries, as well as free maps and lists of featured plants for the month.
Kings Cross is THE GO-TO party suburb of Sydney. It is home to hip bars and cafes, stylish restaurants, food markets and intriguing history. Two Sydney landmarks are in The Cross, the dandelion-shaped El Alamein Memorial Fountain, and the giant neon-lit Coca-Cola billboard.
Walk through Hyde Park – Hyde Park is Australia’s oldest park and the city’s central open green space. The park is home to St Mary’s Cathedral as well as numerous monuments and statues and an impressive fountain.
Bondi Beach + Bondi – One of Australia’s most famous beach, guarded by some of the best lifeguards in the world, a visit to Bondi beach is a must. The hip suburb of Bondi is also a visit worth. It is filled with cute little cafes, restaurants, and second-hand shops.
If it isn’t beach weather, then do the Bondi to Coogee walk. This coastal walk is 6 kilometers and takes you along some of Sydney’s best and most iconic beaches.
Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge – Climbing one of the most famous bridges in the world is a once in a lifetime experience. Take either a dawn, day, twilight or night climb and take in the breathtaking views. Visit BridgeClimb.com for more information.
Milsons Point is a suburb on the lower North Shore of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. The suburb is located 3 kilometers north of the CBD.
It is home to Luna Park, a small amusement park that still contains traditional midway games and rides. Entree to the park is free as a spectator.
Milsons point also offers amazing city views of the Opera House and of Sydney Harbor Bridge.
Taronga Zoo – The zoo is situated on Sydney Harbour in a natural bushland setting with absolutely spectacular views out over the harbor. With a wide variety of animals from around the world.. with daily live shows, keeper talks, and animal encounter – This zoo will keep you entertained for most of the day.
With just a 90-minute drive west of Sydney, these mountains are a must see and an ideal day trip!
Pick a bushwalk route, check out some of the famous sights like The Three Sisters rock formation in Katoomba, enjoy stunning views over Govetts Leap at Blackheath or check out some unique caves in the Jenolan Cave district.
HOW TO GET THERE?
Car – a 90-minute drive
Train – 2 hours from Sydney Central Station to Katoomba via the Blue Mountains line. Just sit back and enjoy the scenery.
WHERE TO SHOP
Pitt street mall is a large shopping mall in the CBD. The mall has stores that cater to all walks of life. If you are looking for high-end luxury stores or just everyday shopping such as Nike, Myers or David Jones they are all here. One can easily spend an entire day here if you are so inclined. If you are a shopaholic than this precinct is perfect for you.
Darlinghurst’s Oxford Street is probably Sydney’s most famous shopping street, offering designer brands including upcoming Australian designers, funky boutiques, retro, vintage clothing and amazing little gift stores.
The Queen Victoria Building (or QVB), is a late nineteenth-century building designed by the architect George McRae. The Romanesque Revival building was constructed between 1893 and 1898 and offers nowadays a variety of fashion brands. You should visit the QVB for just the building itself, simply amazing.
Paddies market – Paddy’s has held a central place in Sydney’s history for over 150 years. Paddy’s Markets, Sydney’s biggest markets have a wide variety of stalls; food, electronics, clothing, make-up, and cheap souvenirs.
Paddington market – Is a local market with heaps of local arts and crafts stores. This market has more than 200 stalls of Australian-made goods. Open every Saturday starting at 10 am. Paddington also offers a showcase for up-and-coming Aussie designers. Great place to get your hand a designer bag.
SOME SOUVENIR SUGGESTIONS
Aboriginal artwork, Didgeridoo’s and boomerangs are an awesome souvenir to bring home and can be found in pretty much all the souvenirs shops and markets.
Many visitors like to take home Ugg boots – do your research first if you don’t want to end up with a Chinese low-quality version (the price will give it away!).
Jerky made from native animals or kangaroo balls as a lighter make for a quirky gift for a friend back home.
The city center is extremely walkable and for the most part flat.
From Central Station to Circular Quay (where the opera house is) and back should take approximately 30-40 minutes.
FREE BUS SHUTTLE
A free CBD shuttle (route 555) runs every 10 minutes on a loop from Central Station to Circular Quay via Elizabeth and George Streets.
The Sydney Explorer offers commentary tours of the CBD and to Bondi at 34 different stops including all the major Sydney attractions.
CITY CIRCLE LOOP
The City Circle loop will take you around the CBD area with stops at Central, Town Hall, Wynyard, Circular Quay, St James, and Museum.
24 HOURS IN SYDNEY
If you are only in Sydney for 24 hours, then you can still see most of the sights. Here is what I would do when I would only have 24 hours in this amazing city.
07.00: BREAKFAST TIME
An early start of the day is important to see as many sights as possible. But starting off with some decent fuel is just as important.
I can give you some examples: but depending on where your hotel or B&B is, there will be loads of little bakeries in your area. Just follow the locals, they know where to eat.
08.00: MOST IMPORTANT STOP: CIRCULAR QUAY
Wander around Sydney’s most iconic duo, The Sydney opera house as well as the Sydney harbor bridge. Wander around circular quay, take loads of pictures and also wander to the rocks, the oldest suburb of the city.
09.00: ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS
Right next to the opera house, there are the Royal Botanic Gardens. These offer another great photo opportunities. These immaculate gardens are home to lorikeets, parrots and the ibis.
10.30: HOP-ON -> BUS TO BONDI BEACH
Next, hop on a bus to Bondi beach. This journey will take about 20 minutes from Sydney CBD.
When you arrive at Bondi wander along the promenade and enjoy the beautiful Bondi Beach and all it has to offer. It the weather is nice, spend some time sun baking and take a quick dip. Of course, make sure you swim between the flags.
Grab a bite to eat at one of Bondi’s delicious little restaurants. There is plenty of choices for everyone.
13.00: BONDI TO COOGEE WALK
If it is not too hot I suggest you do the walk next. This amazing walk takes about 2.30-3 hours and takes you along some of Sydney’s most famous beaches and cliffs.
Make sure to bring plenty of water along the way, because it is quite a hike.
15.30: HOP ON -> BUS TO CITY
Taking the bus back to the city CBD will take you about 25 minutes. Get off at Hyde Park.
16.00 SKY TOWER
Wander to the sky tower – Sydney’s tallest structure and the second tallest observation tower in the Southern Hemisphere. Here you can see the ultimate view of Sydney and beyond. Enjoy amazing panoramic views stretching 80km in all directions.
17.00 DARLING HARBOUR
From the sky tower, it is only a short walk to Darling harbor (10-15 minutes) enjoy the views of this inner harbor.
18.30 DINNER CRUISE
From Darling Harbor, there are several cruises that depart from Darling harbor. Enjoy the sunset whilst eating some delicious food and enjoy some amazing onboard entertainment.
20.00 HAVE A FEW DRINKS IN THE CROSS
After this dinner cruise, I suggest grabbing a taxi to Kings Cross. Here you can enjoy a couple of drinks until you want to go home.
And there you have it if I had 24 hours in Sydney this is how I would spend it.
Time Zone: UTC +10.
Electricity: Flat three-pin plug. Electrical power in Australia runs on a cycle of 50hz, and a voltage of 230 Volt.
Currency: Australian Dollar ($).
Tipping: In Australia, you don’t have to tip – ever. But you can if you want to.
Weather: Sydney enjoys a sunny, Mediterranean-style climate all year round with more than 340 sunny days per year. The summer is from December – February.
AUSSIE SLANG WORDS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Underneath there are some Aussie slang words that might be useful for you when traveling down under.
- G’day – Hello
- How are ya– Greeting, warm welcome
- Arvo- Afternoon
- Catch ya later – Goodbye
- Good on ya – Good job
- Dunno – ” I don’t know “
- Barbie – Barbecue
- Bloody oath – That’s true.
- Beaut – Fantastic, wonderful, the best.
- Buzz off – Go away
- BYO – Bring your own grog/alcohol
- Crikey! – Astonishment, disbelief
- Fair dinkum – True, real, honest
- Fair go – To give somebody a reasonable chance at something; to treat them fairly
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I hope these tips are helpful when traveling to Sydney.
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