It is easy to get overwhelmed by all the exciting experiences and sights to see in Sydney, after all, it is the largest city in Australia.
With one of the most iconic buildings in the world, beautiful beaches and mountains, and an infinite amount of cafes to check out, Sydney offers endless possibilities for visitors to spend their day.
We have compiled 17 essential activities that every tourist has to check off their list in order to proclaim that they have been to Sydney.
#1 SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
No visitor can say that they have truly been to Sydney without an obligatory photo and visit to the Sydney Opera House!
Take a stroll towards the iconic building, have a meal right by the water and visit the souvenir shop. If you’re looking for the full experience, book a wine and dine tour at the Sydney Opera House, or better yet catch a show!
With over 40 shows per week at the Sydney Opera House, we’re sure you’ll have the most magical experience there.
#2 SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE
An iconic attraction of its own situated right next to the Sydney Opera House, there are two best ways to experience the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
For a more relaxing time, take the sightseeing cruise and sip on a warm cup of tea or coffee while the cruise takes you around both the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Friendly tour guides are also available on the cruise for engaging personal stories and recommendations on sightseeing activities.
The adrenaline junkies should attempt the climb to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge for an extraordinary experience! Not only will you get the best view of the city, but it will also make for an epic story to share with your loved ones.
#3 THE ROCKS MARKET
Head over to the cobblestoned lanes and sandstone steps of The Rocks, where you will find a myriad of locally-made products from handcrafted jewellery to luxurious silk scarves, tasty street food, and chocolate made with Australian grown cocoa beans.
Be amazed by the artists performing glassblowing and spray-painted artworks before you at the market that takes place every weekend.
#4 DARLING HARBOUR
Bask in the warm rays of the setting sun while enjoying a romantic dinner by Darling Harbour. The colourful Star of the Show Ferris Wheel also boasts a spectacular view of the waterfront for an intimate ride with your partner.
You could also take a relaxing stroll around the bustling harbour during the day, which is equally as romantic, and look out for the numerous yachts docked along the harbour.
#5 RIDE ON THE MANLY FERRY
The Manly ferry services connect the central business district of Sydney to the suburb of Manly to bring visitors for another adventure. The exhilarating voyage to Manly offers visitors a remarkable view of the serene blue ocean that stretches as far as the eye can see.
#6 TAKE A TREK FROM MANLY TO SPIT
The entire route from Manly to Spit Bridge is an estimated 10 kilometres and will take up to 4 hours to complete the whole trek, but do not let that deter you from a visit!
The coastal walk takes you through lush greenery and is made up of several short routes that pass-through Sydney’s beautiful scenic beaches and bays.
Photo Credit: Emperor’s Puffs
#7 TAKE A WALK AROUND CHINATOWN
The Chinatown in Sydney is probably Australia’s largest, with a plethora of Asian cuisines for visitors from every corner of the world to feast on.
From quirky and uniquely named bubble teas at Song Tea to mouth-watering custard puffs made using old school machinery at Emperor’s Puffs, Sydney’s Chinatown is one you should definitely check out for how large, diverse and multicultural it is.
Photo Credit: Cre Asion
#8 BRUNCH AT CRE ASION
Matcha lovers rejoice, Cre Asion is a simple and cosy Japanese cafe hidden away in an alley that is typically spotted with a queue of eager diners awaiting their turn.
Well-balanced with earthy flavours and a bittersweet taste, diners get to choose from a plethora of matcha dishes, from freshly baked goods to aromatic lattes. If you are craving something more savoury, order their scrambled eggs, which are served perfectly cooked with a side of toast.
101/21 Alberta St,
Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Mon to Fri: 8am to 4pm
Sat: 9am – 4pm
Sun: 10am – 3pm
Nearest Train Station: Museum Station
#9 ROYAL NATIONAL PARK
South from Sydney, the Royal National Park one of the best natural attractions in Australia with astonishing coastal cliffs to lavish forests scented with eucalyptus trees and isolated beaches.
Admire the view at Wedding Cake Rock, appreciate mother nature at the Figure Eight Rock Pools, and be awed by the waterfalls, this national park is a must-visit whether you are a nature lover or not.
Photo Credit: The Grounds of Alexandria
#10 THE GROUNDS OF ALEXANDRIA
The Grounds of Alexandria is a highly Instagram-worthy place filled with colourful flowers and photogenic structures such as the fountains and leafy arches. Inside, there are several photogenic spots for visitors to snap away including a charming flower shop.
Take a break at any of their beautifully-decorated eateries, including The Cafe that offers a seasonally inspired menu, as well as The Potting Shed, that not only serves tasty meals but also houses an adorable parrot!
7a/2 Huntley St,
Alexandria NSW 2015, Australia
Mon to Thu: 7am – 9pm
Fri: 7am – 10pm
Sat: 7.39am – 10pm
Sun: 7.30am – 9pm
Nearest Train Station: Green Square
#11 BLUE MOUNTAINS
Rugged sceneries of the mountainside, majestic waterfalls, and a panoramic landscape of the sky meeting the tree-lined cliffs.
The Blue Mountains is a three-hour drive out west of Sydney and is a popular location amongst tourists to observe Australian scenery at any of the magnificent lookout spots including Echo Point with an awe-inspiring view of the Three Sisters rock formation.
Photo Credit: Jenolan Caves
#12 VISIT THE JENOLAN CAVES
Close to the Blue Mountains, Jenolan Caves is one of the world’s most ancient and striking cave formations made of limestone. Adventure seekers will love this vast cave for the mystical aura it has from the years of history as well as the incredibly rare and diverse natural resources located here.
#13 SYDNEY FISH MARKET
This enormous marketplace in Sydney is the seafood heaven of your dreams! Feast on as much seafood as you want here, dive into the brightly orange-coloured fresh salmon sashimi and perfectly seared scallops covered in cheese.
Satisfy all your wildest seafood cravings and stretch your dollar for the best bang for your buck, Sydney Fish Market offers some of the best quality of seafood at great prices. Feast on huge pieces of lobsters and freshly shucked Australian oysters without bursting a hole in your wallet.
Corner Pyrmont Bridge Rd &, Bank St,
Pyrmont NSW 2009, Australia
Daily: 7am – 4pm
Nearest Light Rail Station: Fish Market/Wentworth Park
#14 MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
Right by the waterside, the Museum of Contemporary Art is easily accessible due to its location close to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.
Take the guided tour by the friendly staff and gain valuable insight into the artists’ vision for each piece of artwork in their exhibits. The museum also has amazing Aboriginal art exhibited for visitors to gain a brief understanding of the indigenous people’s culture.
Photo Credit: Queen Victoria Building
#15 QUEEN VICTORIA BUILDING
Quaint boutique shops and beautiful nineteenth-century architecture, the Queen Victoria Building is a heritage-listed building that is located in the heart of the Sydney central business district on George Street.
The lively ambience here is reminiscent to the magic of Christmas, with locals enjoying their brunch, tourists purchasing their gifts and taking photos of the stunning design of the clocks while a random visitor plays a romantic tune of the grand piano on the top floor.
Photo Credit: KOI Dessert Bar & Dining
#16 KOI DESSERT BAR & DINING
MasterChef Australia’s Reynold Poernomo, who has gained international recognition for his spectacularly decorated desserts, along with his brothers Arnold and Ronald are the forces behind Sydney’s most popular dessert eatery, KOI Dessert Bar.
The award-winning desserts combine unique flavours to indulge their diners’ senses with their innovative sweet treats, this is the perfect place to stop for dessert after a satisfying meal.
46 Kensington St,
Chippendale NSW 2008, Australia
Tue to Sun: 10am – 10pm
(Closed on Monday)
Nearest Train Station: Central Station
#17 BONDI BEACH
Debatably the most well-recognised beach in Australia, Bondi Beach is always packed with both locals and visitors. The emerald blue waters are constantly speckled with surfers riding waves and families splashing around while joggers run along the coastline and dogs play fetch.
Bondi Beach also has an abundance of trendy, laid-back cafes, hip bars and charming shops lining the streets nearby if you wish to hide away from the scorching sun and chilly wind for a bit.