By Markos Hasiotis
Sydney is a city that needs no introduction, but it does require a guide due to the sheer number of amazing sites and experiences on offer. Here’s how I recommend you navigate the Harbour City.
For those travelling to Sydney by air, I suggest Jetstar or Rex Airlines. Either of them will get you there cheaply and leave you with more money in your pocket to enjoy the delights of the city. I don’t recommend hiring a car while in Sydney, they have an excellent public transport system (and a dire lack of free parking spaces). Just grab an Opal card, load it with money and let the trains, buses and ferries take you where you need to go.
My hotel of choice is View Sydney. It has all the amenities you need, a great central location and (as the name implies) amazing views.
Beautiful Sydney view. Photographed by Markos Hasiotis
The hotel is also a short walk from the Sydney Harbour Bridge - a great spot to begin your Sydney journey. Whether you choose to climb the bridge or just walk along its pedestrian path, it’s a thrill. Plus, the gusts of fresh air you get are more than enough to knock the airplane cobwebs out of yourself!
Walking on the bridge. Photographed by Markos Hasiotis
On the other side of the bridge, there’s plenty of food and drink options if you need to refuel. Be sure to stroll around Circular Quay and the historic Rocks neighbourhood which are 2 fascinating areas with lots to see. From there, it’s only a short walk to get to another popular spot you might’ve heard of, the Sydney Opera House. The Opera House is even cooler in person than it is on postcards, be prepared to snap numerous photos. If you’re interested in taking a tour or seeing a show, those can be easily booked (it’s recommended that you do so in advance).
After your final curtain call at the Opera House, head to the Royal Botanic Garden which is right next door. It’s a beautiful place to walk and be amongst nature.
How about that? We’ve covered 3 major landmarks in less than a day. Time to celebrate with a coffee at the legendary Bill & Toni’s. Take a seat, breathe in the retro surroundings and taste the coffee that they’ve been expertly brewing since 1965.
No trip to Sydney is complete without some beach. There’s more than 70(!) good options but the truly unmissable one is Bondi. This world-famous beach is located only 8km from the city. There’s golden sand to lie on and consistently fun waves to play in. If you’ve ever wanted to swim in a pool that’s right beside the ocean, Bondi has that covered too.
During summer, you’ll want to devote most of the day to experience Bondi but it’s still worth a visit in cooler weather, there’ll also be shorter lines at the restaurants.
If you enjoy surfing knowledge and culture as well as waves, Sydney has an array of art galleries and museums (both major and small). If you’re interested in books, contemporary art, astronomy, the sea, Jewish history, wax figures, buses or whatever - there’s something for you.
For those of you travelling with kids, or if you want to delight the kid inside of you, then be sure to add Luna Park (temporarily closed but stay tuned for reopening details), Taronga Zoo and the highly interactive Powerhouse Museum to your itinerary. It’s also worth seeing the stunning view of the city from the top of the Sydney Tower Eye.
At dinnertime, you’re spoiled for choice: Sydney has a wide variety of world-class eateries. I do recommend Piato Restaurant which offers a mouth-watering selection of European dishes in a rustic and friendly atmosphere. It’s a short walk from the View Sydney hotel, although thankfully just long enough to help burn off some of Piato’s indulgent cuisine. If you’re still not ready for bed, enjoy some of the nightlife at Oxford Street or Kings Cross. Enjoy responsibly!
Sydney is packed with so many great things, it’s not possible to tick every box in a couple of days. But you can have a lot of fun trying. This is a city that rewards you for exploring and always leaves you keen to return in the future. Book your trip now!
- Stay up to date with the latest news and rules regarding COVID in NSW.
- To see what’s happening in Sydney when you’re there, consult this page.
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