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10 Best Things to Do in Sydney, Australia

Discover the top 10 things to do in Sydney, Australia! Explore this stunning city’s iconic landmarks, vibrant culture, and unique attractions.

Sydney was the second stop on my East Coast tour of Australia. I started in Melbourne and continued to Brisbane and Airlie Beach to do a cruise to the Whitsundays and Cairns.

Sydney Opera House, the Harbor Bridge, and Bondi Beach are places that probably everyone has heard about. And I was so happy I finally made it there after 13 years of traveling.

But Sydney has much more to offer! You can learn more about Sydney’s past by joining a tour in the Rocks, spending a fun day at Luna Park, enjoying breathtaking Sydney views on a ferry ride, or spectacular views on the Coogee-to-Bondi Coastal Walk.

To help you plan your Sydney vacation, I have compiled a list of my 10 favorite things to do in Sydney.

Let me know in the comments below if there is another place that you would add to the list.

What to do in Sydney

1. Sunbath at Bondi Beach

Sunbathing at Bondi Beach is one of the best things to do in Sydney.

As one of Australia’s most famous beaches, Bondi offers a perfect setting for soaking up the sun and enjoying the vibrant atmosphere.

The beach is well-equipped for a full day of relaxation, with lifeguards on duty to ensure your safety and plenty of cafes and shops nearby.

2. Explore The Rocks

Exploring The Rocks in Sydney is a journey through the cobblestone streets of the city’s oldest neighborhood.

This historic area, nestled on the edge of Sydney Harbour, offers a mix of colonial architecture, boutique shops, and art galleries.

You can learn more about Australia’s past at museums and preserved sites or join a guided tour of The Rocks.

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3. Spent a day at Luna Park, Sydney

Luna Park is probably one of the world’s most iconic amusement parks. It’s located under the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge and offers spectacular views of the bridge. You can also see the Opera House in the distance.

The best way to the park is by ferry from Circular Quay or Darling Harbor to Milson’s Point Wharf in front of Luna Park. Trust me, the ferry ride is already the first highlight!

Inside the park, you can enjoy a variety of rides, like nostalgic roller coasters or the Ferris Wheel, from which you can enjoy breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour.

Read here more about Luna Park Sydney.

4. Take the ferry to Manly Beach

The ferry ride to Manly Beach is already a highlight and one of Sydney’s most scenic journeys. You will pass by the Sydney Opera House and enjoy breathtaking views of Sydney Harbor and the harbor bridge.

Once in Manly, you can sunbathe at the famous beach, go surfing, or visit the shops and cafes.

5. Sydney Harbor Bridge-Climb

Best Things To Do In Sydney Australia Universal Traveller By Tim Kroeger 19

The Sydney Harbor Bridge-Climb offers an unparalleled opportunity to experience Sydney from a breathtaking perspective.

As you ascend the iconic structure, you’ll feel a thrilling sense of adventure mixed with awe at the panoramic views of the city and beyond.

The climb is a physical and historical journey as you learn about the bridge’s storied past and its significance to Sydney’s landscape.

Whether you climb at dawn, during the day, at twilight, or under the stars, each time offers a unique and unforgettable vista of the harbor, the Opera House, and the sprawling city.

6. Join a Bar Tour

We joined Matt, the founder of Syndey Bar Tours, for a tour of some of Sydney’s best and most hidden rooftop bars.

This tour is designed for locals and tourists interested in exploring the city’s bar scene through the eyes of an insider.

Matt’s extensive knowledge and firsthand experience with Sydney’s bars enrich the tour with deep cultural insights and captivating stories.

Read here for more about Sydney Bar Tours.

7. Learn more about Sydney on a Free Walking Tour

Best Things To Do In Sydney Australia Universal Traveller By Tim Kroeger 13

Joining a free walking tour of Sydney allows you to learn more about this iconic Australian city’s vibrant history and culture.

As you walk through Sydney’s streets, you’ll be accompanied by knowledgeable local guides passionate about sharing the city’s rich stories and hidden gems.

This tour introduces you to the major landmarks, like the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, and uncovers the lesser-known spots that locals cherish.

8. Join a Tour of the Opera House

One of the best things to do in Sydney is join a tour of the Sydney Opera House.

It is an excellent way to learn more about the architecture and history of one of the world’s most iconic cultural landmarks.

The tours, led by knowledgeable guides, provide insights into the unique design and construction of the Opera House and stories about the performances.

You will get the chance to see the magnificent theaters and halls.

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9. Visit the Royal Botanical Garden

The Royal Botanic Garden is located next to the Opera House in Sydney.

You can explore themed gardens such as the Rose Garden and the Fernery, discover rare plants in the Tropical Greenhouse, and learn about indigenous Australian flora through guided tours.

It is an excellent place for long walks or a picnic.

10. Coogee-to-Bondi Coastal Walk

The Coogee-to-Bondi Coastal Walk is a spectacular outdoor activity in Sydney that offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.

This popular 6-kilometer (about 3.7 miles) trail winds along dramatic cliffs, sandy beaches, and rocky coves, connecting the suburbs of Coogee and Bondi.

The path also features viewing platforms that provide perfect spots for whale watching during migration seasons or simply enjoying the sea breeze.

My Sydney Hotel Recommendation

1. Budget-Friendly: YHA Sydney Central

During my time in Sydney, I stayed at the YHA Sydney Central. As the name suggests, it is located in the city’s center. The nearest metro station is right opposite the accommodation.

I booked a private room with a shared bathroom, but rooms with ensuite bathrooms and shared dormitories are also available.

YHA Sydney has a fantastic indoor pool on the top floor, a rooftop terrace with amazing views of Sydney, a large kitchen, and comfortable communal areas for socializing.

There is also a co-working space if you need to do some work.

I also really liked the community events that YHA organized. I joined the Coogee-to-Bondi Coastal Walk on my first day and met some incredible people.

Click here to check prices and availability.

Frequently Asked Questions about the best things to do in Sydney

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What are the must-visit attractions in Sydney?

Sydney has several iconic attractions, including the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the Royal Botanic Garden. Don’t miss taking a ferry ride in Sydney Harbour for picturesque views of the city’s skyline.

What is the best time to visit Sydney?

Sydney is a great year-round destination, but the best time to visit is from September to November or March to May. These months feature comfortable temperatures and fewer tourists.

What are the best things for families to do in Sydney?

Families will enjoy visiting Taronga Zoo, the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, and Luna Park. The beaches of Bondi and Manly are also great places for a family day.

What are the best places to shop in Sydney?

Sydney offers a variety of shopping experiences, from the high-end boutiques in the Queen Victoria Building and Pitt Street Mall to the eclectic markets like Paddington Markets or The Rocks Markets.

What are the best outdoor activities in Sydney?

Sydney offers many outdoor activities, like the coastal walks like the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, bridge climbs on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and surfing lessons at Bondi Beach.

Disclaimer: I was a guest at YHA Sydney Central. As always, my opinions are solely my own.

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