ydney is known for a beautiful and wonderful place in Australia. Anyone will feel too enamored, relaxing in the gardens, watching the harbour, and wandering the city’s walking trails and beaches.
Exploring Sydney may take time. But once you do, it’s possible to see all its small and major attractions, and everything in between. You can rattle off the hidden trails and markets and its bars and restaurants with the best of them.
If you plan your trip and think of the best things to do and see in Sydney, then wonder no more. In this post, I’m going to share with you the ten must-do tours in Sydney.
Hang out at the Beach
Sydney is known for its famous beaches and surfing spots. Since it is warm and sunny most of the year, the city has a strong beach culture. During weekends, locals flock to the sea to swim, surf, and crack open a beer.
From Manly and Palm Beach in the north to the famous Coogee and Bondi in the south, Sydney has a beach for everyone. All the beaches are accessible via public transportation or car, and here are several restaurants and surf shops lining them all. There is also a coastal walk connecting the beaches together. Take note that most beaches can get crowded on weekends.
Don’t miss the Palm (chill), Bondi (the most popular), Coogee (fun), Bronte (small and quiet), and Manly (vast and beautiful).
Explore The Rocks
The oldest part of Sydney, The Rocks, was the first neighbourhood to be settled when the British landed in Australia in 1788. This place used to be a lot bigger; however, it was almost torn down in the 1970s for modern high rises and ugly buildings. Fortunately, citizens got most of it preserved – and these old buildings have turned into modern homes, businesses, and tourist attractions.
The Rocks’ art museums, weekend markets, delicious restaurants, street entertainment, Opera House, and bridge make it one of the city’s coolest areas.
For a good view of the city, don’t miss the Sydney Observatory Hill Park while wandering the harbour promenade and hitting the bars at night.
Take the Ferry to Manly Beach
If you want to experience sweeping views of the harbour, then taking a ferry ride to Manly will surely allow you to see that. The harbor’s picturesque 30-minute ride will give you some of the best views of the harbour and the surrounding area with only AUD 12.50 for the all-round trip.
Manly, a suburb in the northern part of the city, is famous for its wide beach, surfing, giant waves, and kick-ass nightlife. Compared to other parts of the town, the central city offers an entirely different vibe that you would not want to miss.
Visit the Royal Botanic Gardens and Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair
The Royal Botanic Gardens is the first vegetable garden in Australia where you can see a treasure trove of flowers, trees, ferns, and gardens. As home to the oldest scientific institution in the country, it is one of Australia’s most visited areas. You can see Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, a seat carved into a stone cliff, where you can size and gaze out at the harbour. The garden is open daily and offers free admission.
Walk the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Built-in 1932, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is almost as iconic as the Opera House as it was a government employment project during the Great Depression. The project took almost a decade to complete and was the world’s largest steel arch bridge.
Stretching 1,149m over the water, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is considered the 6th longest spanning-arch bridge globally and the world’s tallest and widest steel arch bridge. Hence, this became an impressive architectural accomplishment in Australia.
Though the bridge’s climb is costly (160 AUD), it is free to walk or bike across it for panoramic views of the harbour and Opera House.
Throughout thousands of years, the ancient sandstone of the Blue Mountains has been weather into gorges lined on the steep cliffs and divided by narrow ridges. Some activities you can do in this national park include seeing the magnificent rock formation of the Three Sisters or hiking along the paths that offer excellent views of the sheer rock walls, valley, magnificent forests, and tumbling waterfalls.
The park is free to visit, and you can get here by train from Sydney, which takes 1 ½ hour. If you are looking to stretch your legs, then the hikes you might want to check out are the Grand Canyon Walk, Katomba Falls, and the Six Foot Track.
Marvel at the Sydney Opera House
Marvel at the Sydney Opera House is most likely the iconic site in Sydney. It is famous for its white-shelled roof, an impressive feat of engineering. Opened to the public in 1973, this building took almost 15 years to complete.
Today, more than 8 million people visit the Opera House every year, with almost half a million take the guided tour. Daily guided tours only cost 40 AUD, which is worthy of giving you a whole new appreciation for just how complex the building was designed and built. Tickets for a show in the Opera House range from 50 AUD to 100 AUD depending on the performance.
Wine Tasting in the Hunter Valley
Northern Sydney is one of Australia’s premier wine regions. Home to incredible wineries, the Hunter Valley produces some of the world’s best red wine. Day tours from Sydney are expensive (180-200 AUD), and you will spend most of your time on a bus. It is best to stay for at least a night out in the valley to get the full experience. This is also a perfect activity for couples or families.
If you crave for more fun, try a bike tour. Hunter Valley Cycling and Grapemobile offer one-day bicycle rentals starting at AUD 35.
Explore the Markets
Aside from the fantastic nature Sydney has, there also beautiful markets to walk through. The flower market, Bondi Farmers Market, the fish market, Paddington Markets, and many more seasonal markets make it easy to spend time wandering and shopping.
Among these, the farmers market is the best as this will make you want to cook nonstop. Other markets worth checking out include Glebe Market, Rozelle Collectors Market, and Orange Grove Organic Market.
See the Museums
Just like the other cities in Australia, Sydney also has a wide variety of museums. You will find history museums, art museums, museums of the weird, and other galleries. All the public museums in the city are free, making it a great activity in an expensive city.
Hyde Park is one of the best museums in Sydney. It sets in the old convict barracks from the 18th century, does an amazing job of chronicling colonial life in Sydney, stories of the early settlers, artifacts, historical information, and recreations.
Other museums in Sydney are the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia at The Rocks, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australian National Maritime Museum, Nicholson Museum, Sydney Jewish Museum, Justice and Police Museum, Museum of Sydney, Hyde Park Barracks Museum, The Rocks Discovery Museum, White Rabbit Gallery, and Australian Museum.