Keep reading to discover the 15 best things to do in Sydney, Australia.
Sydney is Australia’s most vibrant and lively city full of things to do and see. From beaches skyscrapers and beyond, Sydney is a city like no other. It is one of Australia’s largest cities home to various iconic landmarks and sights.
This is one of my favorite places in the country and just so happens to be one of the most beautiful places in Australia! Sydney is one of the few places that I could actually picture living in. The city feels safe, clean, and full of life.
A visit to Sydney is a must for anyone visiting Australia to get a taste of the beauty and wonder of the country all in one place. Spending 5 days here is the perfect amount of time to do all the top things, but more time is always better to fully appreciate the city.
Below are the 15 best things to do in Sydney!
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15 Best Things to Do in Sydney, Australia
Admire the Bondi Icebergs
The Bondi Icebergs are one of the most iconic pieces of architecture in Sydney. These famous pools are built on top of the waters along Bondi Beach – like icebergs floating in the sea.
They are some of the world’s most photographed pools and for good reason. The bright blue pools, white decks, and surrounding blue water all combine beautifully! Here you can enjoy swimming laps in safer conditions than the sea beside, or enjoy the calm conditions as you float around.
While here you will notice the waves from the sea crash against the pools and combine with the pools offering a super unique pool day experience. The entrance price is $8 for adults to enjoy a one-of-a-kind pool day.
This is one of the best things to do in Sydney and one of my personal favorite things to do in the city!
Enjoy a Beach Day
Enjoying a beach day is easily one of the best things to do in Sydney. The city sits along the coast and offers countless beaches with stretching white sand, bright blue water, and a vibrant atmosphere.
Heading to the beach is the ultimate Australian experience where you will always find tons of people and surfers galore! The beaches in Sydney are of the most beautiful in the world – clean, pretty, and lively.
The most popular beach in Sydney – that you must visit at least to say you’ve seen it – is Bondi Beach. This iconic beach is HUGE and one of the main attractions in Sydney.
Perfect for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing. Plus, it is right beside the Bondi Icebergs so you can enjoy both at once! Heading to Bondi is one of the best things to do in Sydney to experience the beach culture of Australia!
Some of the best beaches in Sydney are:
- Bondi Beach
- Manly Beach
- Balmoral Beach
- Palm Beach
- Bronte Beach
Just beware – swimming in Australia can be pretty dangerous. There are very strong currents and tides, sharks, and more. If you are not a strong swimmer stay out of the ocean – and even if you are a strong swimmer be sure to stay within the flags where lifeguards are watching.
Book surfing lessons for the ultimate Australian experience!
Visit the Sydney Opera House
Visiting the Sydney Opera House is one of the top things to do in Sydney, Australia. This architectural marvel is a global icon and offers a range of activities.
Begin your visit with a guided tour that takes you inside this renowned landmark. Learn about its design, rich history, and the incredible stories behind its construction.
➡️ Book this tour of the Sydney Opera House!
Explore the different performance venues, such as the Concert Hall and the Joan Sutherland Theatre, and gain a deeper appreciation for the world-class performances that take place within these walls.
Go beyond a tour and attenda concert, opera, or theater performance at the Sydney Opera House! Be mesmerized by the talent and artistry of local and international performers, and let the breathtaking acoustics and stunning visuals transport you to another world.
Have a Drink in Front of the Opera House
Indulge in a delightful experience by having a drink in front of the Sydney Opera House. With its stunning backdrop and breathtaking views, this iconic landmark provides the perfect setting for a relaxing and memorable moment.
Find a spot along the harbor promenade or at one of the nearby waterfront bars or restaurants that offer outdoor seating. Savor a refreshing cocktail, a glass of Australian wine, or a locally crafted beer as you take in the magnificent view of the Opera House, framed by the sparkling waters of the harbor.
💡 This is one of my all time favourite things to do in Sydney. It is so simple yet such an amazing way to soak in the beauty of the city and the lively, vibrance of the harbour!
Whether it’s during the day or at night, having a drink in front of the Sydney Opera House is an experience that combines stunning views, cultural significance, and the joy of indulging in a refreshing beverage.
Raise your glass to the beauty of the Opera House and the enchanting atmosphere of Sydney’s harbor.
Do the Bondi to Coogee Clifftop Walk
Walking from Bondi to Coogee is one of the top things to do in Sydney that I suggest everyone does. The Bondi to Coogee Clifftop Walk is a stunning coastal walk that brings you along the cliffs of Sydney from the very famous Bondi Beach to Coogee beach.
Along the way, you will walk by many other beaches and hot spots perfect for finding a more intimate and local beach day experience.
The entire walk if you start at Bondi and end at Coogee is 6km and takes between 2.5 – 3 hours. You will likely make many stops along the way to relax for a drink or swim in some of the pools and, of course, in the ocean. One of the best stops along the way is Bronte Beach. This beach has its own set of mini Bondi Icebergs but they are free!
Take the Ferry to Manly
Taking the fast ferry from Sydney to Manly is one of the best things to do in Sydney to see a new and different side of the city. The ferry departs from Circular Quay and takes 20 minutes to reach Manly. The ride is pretty scenic and costs only $10 AUD.
Manly is an easygoing suburb with a coastal holiday vibe. It can get pretty busy on warm days with locals and tourists alike all eager to enjoy beautiful beaches, markets, and beachfront restaurants. There is also a beautiful coastal walk to enjoy here!
Walk or Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge
The Sydney Harbor Bridge is another one of Sydney’s iconic landmarks that one must enjoy fully when visiting the city.
The best way to do this is by walking across it or if you are a real adrenalin seeker – climbing it! YES! You can climb to the top of the bridge for beautiful views of the city and the Opera House from unimaginable heights.
This iconic activity offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city, including landmarks like the Opera House and Sydney Harbour. Various guided climbs are available which are not just an adventure but also a unique way to witness the architectural marvel of the bridge itself.
Doing this at dawn, dusk, or night adds a different dimension to the experience, showcasing Sydney’s skyline in varying lights.
➡️ Book this Sydney Harbour Kayak TOUR!
Explore the Botanical Gardens
Exploring the Royal Botanic Gardens is one of the top things to do in Sydney. Located in the heart of the city, this oasis offers a plethora of natural beauty and tranquility.
Immerse yourself in the gardens and stunning landscapes that make up this paradise. Explore the collection of curated gardens, showcasing a diverse range of flora from around the world.
As you walk through the gardens, enjoy the amazing views of Sydney Harbour. With its prime location along the waterfront, the Botanic Gardens provide breathtaking views of the water, the iconic Sydney Opera House, and the Harbour Bridge.
While here be sure to delve into the rich Aboriginal heritage of Australia by visiting the Aboriginal Heritage Garden within the Botanic Gardens. Discover traditional bush tucker plants, artworks, and interpretive displays that provide insights into the cultural significance of the land to the Aboriginal people.
Throughout the year, the Botanic Gardens host a range of events and activities that cater to all interests. From outdoor concerts and art exhibitions to guided walks and workshops, there’s always something exciting happening amidst the greenery.
Go Wine Tasting
Wine lovers this is for you! The wine in Australia is some of the best in the world and sampling it while here is a must. The Hunter Valley is just a stone’s throw from Sydney and heading here to sample from various wineries is one of the best things to do in Sydney.
Below are some tours! But if you don’t have the time to travel to a winery you can also head to Handpicked Wines to sample local wines within the city.
Join a River Cruise
Sit back, relax, and immerse yourself in the serene ambiance of a river cruise in Sydney. Witness the breathtaking beauty of the city’s iconic landmarks, including the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, from a different perspective.
Glide along the sparkling waters of the Sydney Harbour, taking in the panoramic views. As you cruise, informative commentary will provide insights into the history and culture of Sydney, enhancing your understanding and appreciation of the city.
A river cruise in Sydney offers a unique and unforgettable experience, allowing you to discover the city’s beauty from the tranquility of the water.
Indulge in Sydney’s Foodie Scene
Indulge in a culinary adventure and explore the vibrant foodie scene of Sydney. With its diverse culinary offerings and a mix of international flavors and local delights, the city is a paradise for food lovers. This is one of the top things to do in Sydney for foodies!
Start your culinary exploration by visiting the local markets in Sydney. The iconic Sydney Fish Market is a must-visit for seafood enthusiasts, offering an array of fresh catches and delicious seafood dishes.
Additionally, the weekend markets, such as Paddington Markets and The Rocks Markets, are perfect for discovering artisanal food, fresh produce, and unique treats from local vendors.
Sydney’s multiculturalism is reflected in its culinary landscape. Head to Chinatown to experience the flavors of Asia, Leichhardt for its Italian delights, then neighborhoods like Surry Hills and Newtown which boast a diverse range of eateries offering Middle Eastern, African, and Latin American flavors.
Take advantage of Sydney’s stunning coastal location and enjoy waterfront dining. Whether you choose to dine at Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, or along the golden shores of Bondi Beach, you’ll be treated to fresh seafood and breathtaking views of the water.
Visit the Blue Mountains
Escape the bustling city and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Blue Mountains, a popular destination located just outside of Sydney.
Marvel at the breathtaking panoramic views as you overlook the eucalyptus forests, dramatic cliffs, and the iconic Three Sisters rock formation. The blue haze, which gives the mountains their name, adds a magical touch to the scenery.
Lace up your hiking boots and explore the numerous walking trails that wind through the Blue Mountains. From easy strolls to more challenging hikes, there are options available for all fitness levels. Discover hidden waterfalls, ancient caves, and native wildlife as you traverse the lush bushland.
Encounter native Australian wildlife, including kangaroos, wallabies, and colorful bird species, as you explore the Blue Mountains. Visit the Featherdale Wildlife Park or join a guided tour to learn about the region’s unique flora and fauna.
The Blue Mountains offer a serene escape into nature’s embrace, with stunning vistas, invigorating hikes, and an abundance of natural wonders. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a glimpse into Australia’s natural heritage, a visit to the Blue Mountains promises an unforgettable experience.
Take Surfing Lessons
Dive into the exhilarating world of surfing by taking lessons in Sydney, Australia. With its beautiful coastline and great surf spots, Sydney offers the perfect environment for beginners to learn and seasoned surfers to improve their skills. This is one of the top things to do in Sydney that is fun and interactive!
Enroll in a surf school that provides expert instructors who are experienced in teaching surfing to people of all skill levels. They will guide you through the basics of surfing, including paddling, standing up on the board, and riding waves.
Surf schools in Sydney are conveniently located near beginner-friendly surf breaks that have gentle waves suitable for learning. Iconic beaches like Bondi, Manly, and Maroubra are popular spots for surfing lessons, with a variety of waves to suit different skill levels.
Surf instructors will offer personalized feedback to help you improve your technique. They will teach you proper body positioning, balance, and timing, ensuring you develop a solid foundation for your surfing journey.
Surf lessons not only teach you the technical aspects of surfing but also provide a fun and adventurous experience. It’s an opportunity to meet like-minded people, make memories, and experience the unique and addictive joy of catching your first wave. So grab a board, hit the waves, and prepare for an unforgettable surfing experience in Sydney.
Go to a Festival
Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of a festival in Sydney. The city hosts a wide array of festivals throughout the year, celebrating music, arts, food, culture, and more.
Attending a festival in Sydney allows you to immerse yourself in the city’s creative energy, connect with like-minded individuals, and celebrate the rich and vibrant culture that defines this cosmopolitan city.
Sydney’s festival scene offers a rich tapestry of experiences. From music festivals that showcase local and international talent to cultural events that highlight the city’s diverse heritage, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Enjoy a Street Market
Heading to a street market is one of the best things to do in Sydney for all types of travelers.
Some of the top street markets in Sydney:
➡️ The Rocks Markets, located in the historic Rocks precinct offers a charming setting with a diverse range of arts, crafts, fashion, and delectable food.
➡️ Paddington Markets showcase Australian designers, emerging artists, and unique homewares.
➡️ Glebe Markets, situated in the bohemian suburb of Glebe, feature vintage clothing, second-hand books, handmade jewelry, and vibrant artwork.
➡️ Bondi Markets near the iconic Bondi Beach is where you can browse through fashion, accessories, homewares, and locally made products, all while enjoying the relaxed beach vibes.
Freqently Asked Questions
Is 3 days enough to visit Sydney?
Yes, three days in Sydney is enough time to experience its key highlights. You can explore the iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, relax at famous beaches like Bondi or Manly, and enjoy the Royal Botanic Garden.
You also have time to take a ferry ride across Sydney Harbour and visit Manly Island. While a longer stay allows for more in-depth exploration, three days offer a well-rounded glimpse into Sydney’s vibrant culture, beautiful landscapes, and landmark attractions.
What are 4 places to visit in Sydney?
The four best places ti visit in Sydney are Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Bondi Beach, and Royal Botnaic Gardens.
➡️ Sydney Opera House: This architectural marvel is not just an iconic symbol of Sydney, but also a hub for the performing arts. Explore its fascinating structure and history through guided tours or enjoy a performance in one of its stunning venues.
➡️ Sydney Harbour Bridge: Experience breathtaking views of the harbor and the city by walking or cycling across this majestic bridge. For the adventurous, the BridgeClimb offers a unique perspective from the summit.
➡️ Bondi Beach: Renowned for its golden sands and vibrant surf culture, Bondi Beach is perfect for relaxation, swimming, and surfing. The scenic Bondi to Coogee coastal walk starts here, offering stunning ocean views and charming beachside cafes.
➡️Royal Botanic Garden: A tranquil escape in the heart of the city, the Royal Botanic Garden showcases an array of native and exotic plants. It’s a perfect spot for leisurely walks, picnics, and enjoying panoramic views of Sydney Harbour and the Opera House.
Where to Stay in Sydney
When it comes to choosing a place to stay in Sydney, there are several neighborhoods that offer unique experiences and cater to different preferences. Here are a few popular areas to consider:
➡️ Sydney CBD: The Central Business District is a convenient choice for those who want to be in the heart of the city. It offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly choices, and provides easy access to major attractions, shopping districts, and public transportation.
➡️ Darling Harbour: This vibrant waterfront area is home to numerous hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues. It offers stunning views, a lively atmosphere, and is within walking distance of attractions like the Sydney Opera House.
➡️ Bondi Beach: If you’re seeking a beachside experience, consider staying in Bondi Beach. This iconic suburb offers a relaxed coastal vibe, stunning beaches, and a thriving surf culture. There are boutique hotels, guesthouses, and vacation rentals available, providing easy access to the beach and a variety of dining options.
➡️Surry Hills: Known for its trendy cafes, boutiques, and dining scene, Surry Hills is a popular choice for those looking for a hip and vibrant neighborhood. It offers a mix of boutique hotels, stylish apartments, and guesthouses, as well as proximity to the city center.
➡️ Manly: Located across the harbor from the CBD, Manly is a laid-back beachside suburb with a range of accommodation options. It offers beautiful beaches, coastal walks, and a relaxed atmosphere. Take a ferry ride to the city or enjoy the local amenities and attractions, such as the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary.Booking.com
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