Last Updated on
Sydney Australia City Guide – Sydney, Australia is an amazing place, and I really recommend you try and spend longer than just one day there, to really see everything – but this guide gives you a quick idea about what you can see in 24hrs and can help you get started – hope you have a wonderful stay in Sydney!
Sydney Australia City Guide
Sydney Opera House (The Best Angle)
There are so many different angles to view the Sydney Opera House, I am not sure which is the best angle, but for me it was while taking a ferry over to Manly Beach.
You get to see the arches which have come to best symbolize the Sydney Opera House – if you have visited Sydney, which is your best angle?
- Sydney Opera House
Find Nemo and his friends
Start the day discovering the incredible Australian underwater life at the Sydney Aquarium right in the center of town (Darling Harbour) and get an insight in what’s under that nice warm water you might be swimming in later that day (although be prepared to change your mind about that swim – when you see the sharks…!)
Get there first thing in the morning when they have just opened up, at that time you can basically get the whole place to yourself.
Without all the crowds you can really soak up the experience, and walking through a quiet practically empty aquarium you really get to feel the closeness to the animals and be able to walk in your own pace.
In some aquariums the glass actually makes the fishes look smaller than they really are, with that in mind seeing the white sharks makes your legs weaken a bit!
Idyllic Icons and Quaint Quay
Next stop is Circular Quay, where you get a nice view of the two most famous icons of Sydney – The Sydney Opera House and The Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Make sure to check out The Rocks, which is the oldest part of Sydney.
This is the place the British convicts claimed and built their camp in 1788.
Walk along the street in and out of boutiques in buildings dating back to when the European settlement began.
Many of the boutiques have really restored that old feeling, and entering a “Puppet Boutique” in some sort of back yard it feels like you’ve just stepped back a century in time.
After a stroll around the area, check out the famous market in The Rocks, where the farmers market and designer market blend in with each other.
All from farmers to young new designers come here to sell their stuff, and whatever you’re into, I guarantee you’ll find something you like here.
Tea Time At Tara’s
After a bit of shopping, sit down for a tea break on the outside seating at Tara Tearoom right next to the market.
It’s a very charming Irish café with tasty freshly warm scones in all kinds of flavors mixed with fairy/Irish music and pretty knitted tea pot warmers.
- Sydney Opera House
Green Garden and Vivacious Views
Check out Sydney Opera House up close, and after trying to get a good picture (which is almost impossible – with so many tourist around – the best pictures are taken from a ferry going across the harbor towards Manly Beach), continue to the Royal Botanic Gardens.
This park is very beautiful and full of surprises and little stories.
Australia’s wild life and nature is quite special, and you can notice this even in this park in the middle of the city, where the huge trees are crowded with bats and the fish crawls up from the ocean making their way to a pond once every year.
If you want a good view over Sydney, go to Lady Macquaries Chair, where you find an amazing view over the city and the harbor.
The chair was once carved out of a rock ledge for Elizabeth Macguires, as she was known to visit the area and sit enjoying the panoramic views of the harbor – something you can understand.
Shopping In a 19th Century Building
Go shopping in the impressive Queen Victoria Building, a beautiful old shopping mall from the late 19th century.
The mixture of these new modern shops in an old building blend in well, and the details inside are really one of a kind.
This is a place to go even for the one who aren’t interested in shopping, you can find many memorials and historic spectacles.
The building is awesome and reminds you of the first class rooms in the scenes of “Titanic” movie.
After this, walk down the street and grab an ice tea drink with jelly pearls from EasyWay, a weird but tasty drink.
- Australian Beer
Bondi, Beer and Fish ‘n Chips
Take the bus down to Bondi beach and soak up the afternoon sun, check out the surfers, sunbathe or take a swim.
After a sunny salty hour go and get some typical Aussie food; Fish ‘n chips and beer at a bar/restaurant with a view over the beach.
Beer is more than just a beverage in Australia, it has become part of their culture.
There are so many different types of Australian beers, ‘Tooheys New’ is one of the typical NSW beers.
Max Out At IMAX
Get back to the city. Go to the IMAX theatre cinema and get blown away by the 3D on this HUGE screen (the largest film format in the world!). You really get sucked into the film and it feels as if you can touch it.
Party Hard In The Harbor
If you feel for some partying, there are quite a few clubs spread along the Darling Harbour, which must be the most beautiful place to spend the evening.
Sharks In Australia
Sharks are such eery and mysterious creatures, that is why I love the light which captured this shark and I think added to the drama and beauty while we were in Sydney, Australia.
- Sharks In Australia
Sydney Australia City Guide IF YOU HAVE A SPARE DAY
If you have a spare day I really recommend you to check out Manly Beach for a day.
It’s the little brother to Bondi beach, with more of the local feel, more beautiful, less crowded and less touristy.
You can easily spend a day surfing or swimming, and there is a nice little shopping street along the way from where the ferry lands down to the beach.
Plus, like I said before you get the absolute best view of the Opera House from the ferry running between Manly and Darling Harbour.
It’s a beautiful scene in the afternoon with the golden sun shining on the building.
5 Money Saving Activities to Enjoy Sydney Australia
Sydney is well known for being a city of excitement, culture and adventure.
As a popular destination for gap year students, there is a lot to discover upon arrival but as we know flights to the other side of the road in Australia aren’t exactly cheap.
However, that should not stop anyone from pursuing an Australian adventure holiday and having the experience of a lifetime.
So here are some activities that won’t break your bank balance but will ensure that you have an incredible time.
Photograph the Sydney Harbor Bridge
- Sydney Harbour Bridge
Home to one of the most astonishing views in Sydney, the Harbor Bridge is loved by all.
Just as you can see everything from it, you can also catch sight of the bridge from all over the city.
The best way to experience the views is by foot.
A footpath runs right across the eastern side and will provide you with a totally free and true Sydney experience, as well as a lovely stroll.
If you are not quite fulfilled by this view then you can climb the bridge itself for a few hundred dollars!
Free admission at the Art Gallery of New South Wales
Fancy some culture?
The Art Gallery of NSW has free entry, which considering its fantastic reputation in Sydney society is definitely something to take advantage of.
There are three permanent collections: Australian, post sixteenth-century European, and Asian.
They offer free guided tours on the hour from 11am-2pm on Tuesday-Sunday.
Along with the art collections there are also concerts, screenings and celebrity talks – not one to be missed!
Creative Tips for Saving and Earning Money for Travel
6 Top Australian Water Parks For the Best Thrills
Things To Do In Australia vs New Zealand
5 Reasons To Visit Cairns Australia
Most Scenic Drives in Australia
Sydney Australia City Guide
Amuse yourself at Luna Park!
Walking across the Sydney Harbour Bridge from the Rock is Luna Park.
This 1935 amusement park is well-known for providing a fun-filled day out, and you could take some other travelers with you to enjoy the fun!
Known for the staple Ferris Wheel, Big Dipper and Flying Saucer, as well as many others, it can provide a good combination of nausea and excitement.
The park is free to enter, and you can either pay as you go on the rides or buy an unlimited height restriction pass.
Visit the second oldest National Park in the world
The Royal National Park is a breathtaking coastal park. It’s the second oldest National Park in the world, including dramatic cliffs, golden beaches and amazing rain forests.
Aspects such as the coastal walk from Bundeena or the opportunity to go surfing at Gari or Burning Palms are all very popular attractions.
Walking around the different areas of the park is free, but to make the trip that little bit more special you can also hire rowboats, canoes and kayaks from Audley Boat Shed for about AUD$45 a day in order to paddle up Kangaroo creek or the Hacking River.
Peruse the stalls of Paddington markets
Paddington markets provide the perfect Saturday afternoon experience in Sydney.
They are long established markets and turn Paddington upside down with their quirkiness.
They started back in the 1970s and used to be where the more alternative crowd of punks, skinheads and hippies used to hang out together.
Now it is a little more mainstream but more than worth a visit for its variety of stalls.
How To Enjoy The Good Life Down Under
- How To Enjoy The Good Life Down Under
Sydney, Australia was the last stop for my friend and I after 5 months of traveling around South East Asia.
Although it was strange to be in a more Westernised environment again, we soon found our feet sampling all the restaurants and bars that our purse strings could possibly handle.
If you enjoy live music I would highly recommend the Lansdowne Hotel – this is an iconic venue, which is very much part of the underground scene and hosts an eclectic range of different bands each night.
Not only is the music great but the drinks are also relatively cheap and they have a 2 4 1 cocktail hour every night from 10pm-11pm, which we took full advantage of!
- Tank nightclub in Bridge Lane
However for a real clubbing experience that truly demonstrates the essence of Sydney’s nightlife I would suggest the Tank nightclub in Bridge Lane.
Many DJs come from around the world just to play here and you can understand why the second you enter the underground clubber’s paradise.
Everything has been taken into consideration: a stunning sound system, mesmerizing lighting and even interactive live-mixed video projections, which are always entertaining after a few drinks!
The music is usually funky house, and the drinks are not too pricey and well worth the visual audio experience.
For the morning after the night before, there are hundreds of great restaurants to nurse the hangover – for an experience to remember, Universal Restaurant is definitely worth a try, with its unique and beautifully presented food.
I chose the seared sea scallop with lotus root samphire and wasabi avocado, which is every bit as delicious as it sounds!
The great thing about this restaurant is that you’re never completely sure what you’re ordering, but once you’ve eaten it you’re glad you didn’t go with the usual.
However, though this is a wonderful place with amazing food, it is quite expensive for people on a budget.
- Jasmin’s in Haldon Street.
For a delicious place to eat in Sydney that won’t burn holes in your pockets I would recommend Jasmin’s in Haldon Street.
This is one of the best Lebanese restaurants I have been too! The falafel was to die for and the bread and humus was not far behind.
My traveling buddy loved the meat too, particularly the lamb kebab, which came with some yummy salad and vegetables.
I would really advise giving this place a visit if you enjoy Lebanese cuisine, but be warned it can get very busy – eating in Sydney is a wonderful experience that definitely hits the stop when your tummy grumbles, and the nightlife is just as wonderful!
It’s a very good life down under, one I would truly recommend to anyone considering such an adventure!