One of the most iconic cities in the world, Sydney Australia really is as amazing as you can imagine! This city has such an incredible energy to it, with SO many different things to do from beaches, to museums, to boat cruises, to bontanic gardens and amazing food… Sydney has it ALL!
Visa For Australia:
Americans will need a Visa to go to Australia, which can be obtained fairly easily online. If you’re going for less than 90 days, you can obtain an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) by clicking HERE, for $20AUD ($15USD). To read about the regulations for Visa’s from your country, check out their Website.
How to Get Around:
Taxi: From the airport to downtown, a taxi will take 20-30 minutes and cost you about $35USD.
Shuttle Service: Private companies run shuttle services between the Airport and various city accommodations. They depart regularly from the front of the terminals and and cost AUD $16-18/person one way.
Walking: Strap on your walking shoes and save some cash, because in 24 hours you can cover the major sites of the city, but you’ll sure have to be prepared for it!
What to Do:
We had 24-fast hours in the city before our next flight onto New Zealand, so we just hit the highlights. I’ve ordered and mapped them here for you, to make things easier. We’ll definitely come back to the this city again for a more extended stay!
1. Sydney Harbour
One of the most beautiful harbors I’ve ever seen, Sydney Harbor is likely where you’ll spend a bulk of your time during your visit. This harbor is so massive that four different bridges cross its waters: The Sydney Harbor Bridge, The Ryde Bridge, The Silverwater Bridge and the Galdesville Bridge. Nearly 15 million trips are made by ferry around the harbor each year. Start here near the Opera House by strolling near the water to take it all in. You’re in Sydney!!!
2. Sydney Opera House
Opened in 1973 and designed by the Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the Sydney Opera House is THE iconic emblem of the city. It truly is beautiful from every angle, inside and out. Walk around the perimeter to take photos of the unforgettable architecture prior to entering for your tour. Tours run daily form 9-5 and run about 60 minutes per tour. The cost: Tour $37AUD Adult, $20 Child, $95 Family. If you’re lucky enough to stay in the city for a few days, be sure to see one of the 40 shows that takes place there weekly.
3. Sydney Harbor Bridge
The iconic steel arch Sydney Harbor Bridge, is a MUST to walk across while visiting Sydney (if you have extra time, otherwise just enjoy it from the Opera House Angle). Opened in 1932, it is the world’s largest steel arch bridge and took 1400 men eight years to construct. I also suggest taking a cruise (details below) to see the bridge from a different angle as well.
4. Mrs Macquarie’s Chair
About a 20 minute walk from the Opera House, Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair offers epic views of the Harbour, so get your camera ready! It’s actually a bench, carved into a sandstone rock.
5. Sydney Road Botanic Gardens
I’m always in love with Botanic Gardens in every city we go to and Sydney Botanic Gardens did not dissapoint. A gorgeous, 74-acre botanic gardens, perfect for a stroll or a run. It’s best to visit the Opera House first, then walk to the Botanic Gardens, it’s super scenic and only takes about 30 minutes!
6. Boat Cruises: Captain Cook Cruises
What better way to spend the afternoon than with a cruise around Sydney Harbor? Luckily, Captain Cook Cruises ports out of Circular Quay (near the Opera House), which is perfect because you can circle back there after visiting the Botanic Gardens.
Operating for 42+ Years, this reputable company has various cruises to suit your craving of seeing the city from the water. We chose the Harbour Story cruise, which lasted 2 hours. If you only do one thing while visiting Sydney besides the Opera House, let this be it. The cruise lasts 1.5 hours and costs $39AUD per person.
7. Darling Harbour
Adjacent to the city center, Darling Harbour boasts a large amount of restaurants, shops, and museums, as well as other tourist attractions. You’ll finish your Captain Cook Cruise near here, so grab a drink or a bite to eat and enjoy the area!
If You Have Extra Time In Sydney…
Photo Credit: https://www.experienceoz.com.au/en/sydney/
Bondi Beach is the iconic beach of Sydney. Because we only had 24 hours in the city, we had to forgo rest and relaxation at Bondi, but if you’ve got the time, you MUST go and soak up some sun for me! Be SURE to wear a LOT of sunscreen and continue to reapply, as the sun is extremely strong! Don’t forget to take a surf lesson while you’re here.
Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk
If you’re going to Bondi, then you’ll have to take the coastal walk connecting Bondi to Coogee Beach. Observe the gorgeous views of beaches, parks, cliffs, bays and rock pools as you stroll or run along for 6km (about 1.5 hours). This is the number two thing on our list for when we return to Sydney, next to Bondi Beach.
Where to Stay:
Airbnb is great to utilize in the city, because it’s quite expensive. Here are some other great hotels, if budget permits. I wouldn’t personally recommend the Airbnb we had (we’ve stayed in over 40+ and this was the only poor experience we’ve had thus far). For $36 off your first Airbnb booking, click HERE.
An absolutely gorgeous hotel, the Intercontinental Hotel is located less than half a mile from the Opera House. It offers up some of the best views of the city at its club lounge. We’ll definitely be staying here next visit. $225USD/night
The Grace Hotel Sydney
If you’re looking for something more budget friendly, then this is the Grace Hotel is for you! Great location and, at $125USD/night, it’s great if you’re looking for a hotel on a budget.
Where to Eat:
Food is EVERYWHERE in this city! We were SO overwhelmed at where to eat and, although most sit down restaurants are quite expensive near the Harbour, all the food is amazing!
Opera Bar/Opera Kitchen
Located just beside Sydney Opera House, The Opera Bar is a great place with a large menu for food and drinks. Beware, it comes at a cost, as it’s in a prime location.
Places We Wish We Had Time To Eat At:
Because we lived in Singapore, we had SO many patients who lived in Sydney and gave us all the BEST places to eat in the city, but, sadly, we didn’t have enough time to eat at these. Go check them out for me and let me know if they measure up to their high recommendations.
Mr. Wong Chinese Restaurant
Arguably the best Chinese restaurant in the city, serving Catnonese style eats, Mr Wong came highly recommended.
The Governor’s Table
The Governors Table serves Australian cuisine in a more relaxed atmosphere. Go there for brunch, the menu looks great!
Tetsuyas is THE SUSHI SPOT in Sydney. Get your sushi and sashimi fix here, I’m told it’s worth the price!
Things to Note:
BRING SUNCREEN…like SPF 50++! The sun is SO SO SO strong and Josh and I each got quite toasty!
Australians are super friendly, so don’t hesitate to ask someone for help.
Check Our Our Video From Sydney, Australia & New Zealand!
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XOXO The Traveling Blondie
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