Sydney is not the capital of Australia, but it is certainly the most important city. If you are organizing a trip to Australia you cannot miss this article where we recommend the best places to visit and what to do in Sydney .

These are our recommendations, based on our experience living in Sydney for more than five years. Not all the places we mentioned are tourist places , but these are for us the best places to visit and activities to do in Sydney .

  • If you are planning a trip to Australia, take a look at our Guide to travel to Australia , it will surely help you organize your trip. We have put a lot of love

Map what to see in Sydney

As is customary in all our articles, we begin the post with a map of Sydney that we have created where we point out the best places to visit in Sydney so that you do not get lost in the city and help you plan your trip to Sydney

What to do in Sydney: The 16 essentials

1 . Opera house

It is the most emblematic place in the city, so take the opportunity to photograph it from all its angles. Book a ticket to go to the opera or visit the interior of the auditorium. Go to the Opera Bar for a drink, the views are spectacular, especially at night.

What to see in Sydney Opera

  • Tours and shows at the Sydney Opera House

  • Sydney Opera Tour : 1-hour tour in English in which you can visit the opera through all its rooms .

  • Opera Carmen: Enjoy a show inside the Opera.

  • Great Opera Hits: Enjoy great successes of the opera for 90 minutes live.

2 . Royal Botanic Garden

Stroll through the gardens and enjoy views of the bridge and the opera. If you have time, we also recommend that you have a picnic, it is a very Australian custom due to the number of parks in the country. If you fancy a coffee and a sweet, in the center of the park there is a very nice cafe.

What to see in Sydney Royal Botanic Garden

  • If you are looking for accommodation in Sydney take a look at where you can choose from over 1960 different places to stay overnight. These are for us the best places to stay in Sydney according to your budget.

3 . Bondi-Coogee Coastal Walk

If you visit Sydney you are bound to visit its most famous beach, Bondi Beach. We also recommend that you do the coastal route from Bondi to Coogee Beach and enjoy the spectacular coastal views , it is about 6 km. Finish at Coogee and go up to the terrace of the Coogee Pavilion Bar for a post-hike beer and views of Coogee Bay and its beach. It is one of the best bars in the city, very lively all day.

Tip: Do the route on a sunny day

Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk. Things to do in Sydney

4. Manly

Take a ferry from Circular Quay to Manly to see the famous Sydney Harbor. Once in Manly walk the boardwalk to Shelly Beach . You can also do some shopping on The Corso Street, a pedestrianized street lined with shops and bars that runs from the ferry pier to Manly Beach.

Much better if the day is sunny too.

Manly, What to do in Sydney

5. Newtown

Stroll through the streets of the most alternative and liveliest neighborhood in the city and go to have a beer at any of its typical pubs or hidden rooftop bars such as the ZanziBar Newtown and bars such as the Newtown Hotel or the Courthouse Hotel.

Newtown. Things to do in Sydney

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    We leave you a link where you can get a 5% discount .

6. Panoramic view at O ​​Bar and Dining

It is a revolving restaurant that is located in the city center (CBD), opens at 5 pm and offers spectacular views to watch the sunset.

Or Bar and Dining. Things to do in Sydney

7. Northern Beaches

You can't leave Sydney without going up to the Palm Beach Lighthouse and enjoying Sydney's most stylish beach views. The Northern Beaches are a group of beaches located on the north side of Sydney, above Manly and they are each more spectacular, they deserve a visit if you have time, but at least an excursion to this wonderful beach, Palm Beach.

Northern Beaches. Things to do in Sydney

  • To go see the northern beaches you have several options. The cheapest is to take a bus from the Martin Place station in Sydney CBD that takes you to Palm Beach.

    If you prefer to visit more beaches or go to the Ku-ring-gai national park from where you will have beautiful views of Palm Beach then it is better that you rent a car for a day to fully explore this entire area.

    If you are going to rent a car we recommend that you do so through the Airport Rentals search engine with which you can find the best deals. We always rent our cars using this search engine.

    If you prefer to take an excursion to visit the northern beaches of Sydney and the Ku-ring-gai national park, this tour seems to us to be very good:

8. The Rocks

It is worth visiting on Saturday morning to see the market and stroll through its narrow streets , it is one of the oldest areas of the city, located very close to the Sydney Opera House. It also has many bars and restaurants for dinner.

The Rocks. Things to do in Sydney

9. Harbor Bridge / Luna Park

Walk across the bridge to enjoy the views and get up close to the famous old Luna Park amusement park , located on the north side of the bay.

Sydney Bridge and Luna Park. Things to do in Sydney

  • If you like strong emotions go for it and climb the Sydney Bridge. It is an activity that we have not done, but we have some friends who have done it and they have loved it. Here is the link in case you want to take a look:

10. Surf

Go to Bondi, Manly or Houston, rent a surfboard and try to surf at least. You can't leave Australia without saying you've been on a board. You can book a surf lesson at Australia's most iconic beach, Bondi Beach .

Surf. What to do in Sydney, Australia.

11. BBQ

After surfing, there is nothing better than to recharge with a good barbecue, some say that it is the national sport in Australia. There are free public barbecues on almost every beach in Australia, take advantage of them.

Barbecue. What to do in Sydney, Australia

12. Museums and art galleries

Take a look at the collections that are being exhibited and the events that are taking place in the following museums and galleries:

13. Markets

During the weekend there are markets for second-hand clothes, crafts and organic products throughout the city (Newtown, Rozelle, The Rocks ...), but without a doubt the most recommended is the market that takes place every Saturday in Glebe .

Rozelle Market. Things to do in Sydney

14. Darling Harbor

It is worth taking a walk to meet him. The night views of the Sydney Skyline are very pretty from here.

It is full of bars and restaurants especially for those who are visiting the city. Here you can also find the city's Chinese garden and the maritime museum.

Many old boats depart from here that cross the bay, pass in front of the Opera House and take a very pleasant walk of a couple of hours, here we leave you links to some, we have done several and we loved it, highly recommended:

Tall Ship Harbor Twilight Dinner Cruise

Sydney Harbor: Tall Ship Afternoon Cruise

Darling Harbor. Things to do in Sydney

15. The Grounds of Alexandria

On weekends most of Sydney residents They go out to have the famous brunch (a mixture of breakfast and lunch, around 10 or 11 in the morning) on a terrace of a bar, join this very Australian custom. Take the opportunity to visit The Grounds of Alexandria , one of the best places in Sydney to have a brunch or to eat something, you will not regret it.

The Grounds of Alexandria. Things to do in Sydney

16. Parks and gardens

In almost all districts of Sydney can find a very careful to walk park, sports, picnic ... In addition to the Royal Botanic Garden, well worth knowing Centennial Park , Glebe Foreshore Parks and Lavender Bay Parklands (Photos from the last two parks are spectacular).

And a slightly hidden garden that we loved is Wendy's Secret Garden, we leave you its location on the map in case you dare to discover it.

Parks and gardens. Things to do in Sydney

And we were left with a bad taste in our mouths after writing this post, because there are a thousand other places in Sydney that we could recommend: Bars, restaurants, cinemas, neighborhoods, beaches ... But as they say here step by step , this will be the first of others articles about our favorite city: Sydney .

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What to do in Sydney Australia

Article published in October 2016 and updated in April 2018, July 2019 and February 2020.

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