Sydney, Australia’s Maximum City, is home to two modern architectural marvels and boasts stunning beaches, world-class queer nightlife, and a global melting pot of food and cultures. Here’s our pick of the best things to do in Sydney.
Explore Sydney’s Aboriginal history, heritage, and living culture with this unique tour. Dreamtime SouthernX is an Aboriginal-owned and operated business founded by Margaret Campbell. Led by Aboriginal guides, the walking tour starts at Cadman’s Cottage located in The Rocks, and takes one on a journey from Sydney’s Dreamtime beginnings, the origins of its Aboriginal saltwater people and important Aboriginal sites under the Harbour Bridge.
Sydney Harbour Bridge, nicknamed the ‘coat hanger’, is a 20th-century architectural wonder of the world. Walk or cycle across this gargantuan steel-through-arch bridge
If you have some cash to spare, get on your hiking shoes to climb up 1,332 stairs to the summit of one of the world’s most recognisable landmarks and enjoy 360-degree views of Sydney Harbour from 134 metres above sea level. Relive the climb later at the vibrant bars and cafes that dot the historic area around The Rocks.
The city’s other architectural marvel is a one-stop destination. Enjoy a drink, world-class dining, catch a show, musical or play. Take a tour for an exclusive behind-the-scenes peek at what lies beneath those iconic sails.
There is no better way to see Sydney’s iconic harbour than on the water. Splurge on renting a luxury charter boat (Lifestyle Charters). Discover hidden coves and beaches, spot landmarks, and enjoy sunset views while sipping on champagne.
If splurging on a luxury charter boat is not your style, use your Opal card and hop aboard one of the regular commuter ferries at Circular Quay. The best value for money is the Manly ferry.
To explore the harbour at a more leisurely pace, grab your oars and book a kayaking or stand-up paddle-boarding session.
Sydney boasts world-class dining. Acclaimed chef Josh Niland changed the way Sydneysiders look at fish, with his philosophy of waste nothing and mission to get the world to treat fish with the same “nose-to-tail reverence as meat,”.
For the proper ‘fin to scale’ experience drop in at his newly renovated restaurant Saint Peter on Oxford Street, Paddington. If you prefer takeaway, head to Niland’s Fish Butchery in Waterloo, which claims to be Australia’s first sustainable fishmonger and sells everything from fish cheeseburgers to dry-aged, cured, smoked fish and offals.
The best things in life are free and there is a Sydney for every budget. From markets to museums, you do not have to shell out top dollar for some of the best experiences in Sydney that are absolutely free.
Find everything from souvenirs to vintage jewellery and clothing at Paddy’s markets or the weekend markets at The Rocks and Bondi or visit the city’s green oasis, the Royal Botanical Gardens.
The Art Gallery of New South Wales holds an impressive collection of Indigenous, modern and contemporary works. Head to the Museum of Contemporary Art at Circular Quay, which has regular exhibitions from contemporary Australian and international artists. From fashion and design to science and technology the Powerhouse Museum at Ultimo has something for everyone. Steam engines and space shuttles share space with a Carla Zampetti exhibition.
If it’s the outdoors and adventure you are looking for, nothing beats Sydney’s coastal walks. The hiking trails are set against a spectacular coastline with beaches, cliffs and ocean pools. The six-kilometre Bondi to Coogee walk is the more famous one, connecting two of Sydney’s most popular beaches. The five-kilometre-long Federation Cliff Walk from Watsons Bay to Dover Heights rewards one with dramatic views and Instagram-worthy photos.