Sydney is the oldest city in Australia and has the perfect mix of busy downtown core and quaint, peaceful suburbs. People come from all over the world to see Sydney and the famous Opera House, bridge, and harbour – but there is so much more to add to a perfect trip in this beautiful city! Sydney is one of the most well-known cities and thanks to ‘Finding Nemo’ people come here expecting to find P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way which doesn’t actually exist! 😉 Nonetheless, the city will exceed your expectations with countless outdoor or indoor options!
Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk
This is by far one of my favourite walking trails in all of Australia! This stunning trail follows the rugged clifftops along the coast for approximately 6kms with plenty of stops to take it all in. In between are several other beaches as well if you don’t want to walk all the way to Coogee including Bronte and Tamarama beach. There are also cafes, picnic spots, and water refill stations along the way. Once you get to Coogee, be sure to stop at the Coogee Pavilion for much-deserved food and drinks with a great view of the ocean! If you don’t want to walk all the way back afterward, there are plenty of buses that will take you right back to Bondi Beach.
Bondi Beach is also a great place to spend the day relaxing on the beach, swimming, or trying your hand at surfing! If you’re a beginner but want to learn how to surf, I recommend getting a lesson with a company called ‘Lets Go Surfing’ which is right near the main strip of Bondi. The friendly instructors will help you with all the proper techniques and surf etiquette. They offer a 2-hour introductory course for $99. To learn more about surf lessons, visit their website here!
Paddy’s market is a historical market, dating back to the 1800s and is a great place to find anything you need (or may not need)! Although it was originally a place for the distribution of grain and hay, it is now a place filled with produce, fish, clothing, and jewelry! There are two locations of Paddy’s Market in Sydney, one Haymarket and the other in Flemington and are open Wednesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm. There are also a variety of events happening throughout the year, just check the website before arriving to see what’s on!
The Botanic Garden is an extensive greenspace right in the city core! It is a calming oasis to escape the city noises and get back into nature. There is a huge collection of plant species to wander through and space to enjoy a picnic amongst the musical birds. If you want to see more, The Calyx is a place for food, shopping, workshops, and events. The city offers a variety of tours including an Aboriginal Heritage Tour as well as a guided walking tour. If you’re not in the mood for walking, hop onto the Choo Choo Express for a scenic 25-minute tour that costs $10 per person.
The Rocks is the cities historical neighborhood, dating back to the 1700s. Take a look through the small cobblestone streets and stop for a drink in one of the iconic pubs. There are also weekend markets and frequent events that happen in the area. If you want to learn more in-depth information, try a free walking tour with ‘Free Tours Sydney’. The Rocks is also home to the Museum of Contemporary Art which has free entrance to the main exhibitions as well as daily free guided tours. The museum offers pieces from both local and international artists.
Darling Harbour & Harbour Cruise
Darling Harbour is a buzzing waterfront to hang out in both the daytime and nighttime with surrounding harbor-front cafes and restaurants drawing people in from all corners of the city. If you want some time to relax and escape the sounds of the city, I highly recommend checking out the Chinese Garden of Friendship which has a small $6 entrance fee. It is a peaceful place and an insight into Chinese architecture and heritage with a creek, trees, and exotic plants. The Darling Harbour is also home to the Australian National Maritime Museum where you can explore maritime collections, galleries, and exhibitions free of charge!
Friday Night Chinatown Market
This is one of my favourite things to do on a Friday evening in the city. This buzzing little street is packed with vendors on Friday nights. Be sure to be hungry when you get there as there are a number of food stalls with amazing selections from dumplings to rolled ice cream! There are also vendors with clothing, jewelry, and trinkets if you want to shop and buy some unique souvenirs! They also have events throughout the year such as the Chinese New Year celebration!
Manly Beach is North of the city and is a very popular beach amongst the locals and tourists for a day in the sand! There are so many great cafes and restaurant spots on the main strip and the beach has a ton of volleyball courts for some beach fun! This is also a really great place for surfing with the beginner to intermediate waves. If you’re looking for a surf lesson, I recommend trying out Manly Surf School. They offer adult group lessons for $70 and private lessons for $110.