Sydney is such a beautiful city to visit with a million things to eat, see and do. It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what you want to do when there is an abundance of restaurants, museums, theatres, art galleries, beaches, hiking trails and surrounding regions to explore. So here is an itinerary which I send to my visiting friends with a subset of my top recommendations. You can take it or leave it, but I always say you just need to experience the fresh food, coffee, water views and you’ve seen Sydney!
Sydney is a bit of a foodie’s paradise with a million places to eat an amazing meal. Just look at the sheer number of food blogs about Sydney here!! You can find almost any type of cuisine from modern Australian to Mexican, Japanese, Lebanese, Greek, Italian or Ethiopian. Here are my recommendations:
Brunch: Avocado, eggs and sourdough bread with tasty coffee should be consumed at a historic building with harbor views at Burnt Orange in Mosman or inside a historic convict site at Hyde Park Barracks Cafe. Find more brunch options here.
Cheap and cheerful: Mamak for spicy Malaysian roti and curry, Chat Thai for delicious green curry and noodle soups, Sushi Tei for great sashimi and ramen, El Loco for delicious tacos and corn chips with guacamole.
Casual-sh and a bit pricier: Fratelli Fresh for their tagliatelle and meatballs, Jamie’s Italian for their cheese and meat boards, Mejico for freshly made guacamole, O’Bar and Dining for Sydney city views and modern Australian, Ripples Milson’s Point for oysters, modern Australian and incredible harbor views.
Fancy: Sepia for a fancy degustation menu, Rockpool for modern Australian and Tetsuya’s for a Japanese inspired degustation menu. I haven’t been to Tetsuya’s but it should be on your list if you’re a fancy foodie.
Dessert: Gelato Messina, a Sydney institution for delicious gelato.
High Tea: Tea Rooms QVB for elegant sandwiches and sweets in a beautifully decorated room with a Victorian ceiling, glittering crystal chandeliers and walls adorned with pretty antique mirrors and wallpaper.
Max Brenner for delicious hot chocolates.
Sydney Bridge Climb: Pricey but worth it. If it’s too expensive you can always walk on the bridge for free from the Rocks to Milson’s Point. It’s only about 30 minutes or less.
Museums, Art Galleries and Theatre: My favouries include the Museum of Contemporary Art for amazing collections and the Museum of Sydney for some local history.
The Rocks: Explore the cobblestone pathways and admire the heritage buildings where the first settlers in Sydney lived.
Royal Botanic Gardens: For a peaceful walk through very beautiful gardens. My fave route starts from Macquarie Street and ends up at Circular Quay.
Sydney Opera House: Marvel at the beautiful structure, see a production or do a tour.
Sydney Aquarium: For a fun and educational experience. See the dugong and be calmed by the fish peacefully swimming around in their tanks.
Taronga Zoo: See giraffes, elephants, monkeys and more with a backdrop of the harbor and city. Make sure you book into a koala encounter.
Bondi Beach: Generally busy and touristy but stunning. Get there by a train to Bondi Junction and a bus or taxi to the beach itself. If you have some more time, walk from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach and be spoiled with fresh air and stunning views.
Catch a ferry: From Darling Harbour to Circular Quay. Sit on the top deck because you can snap views of the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Visit Manly: Catch the ferry from Darling Harbour to Manly Beach for fish and chips.
Westfield Pitt Street Mall for stores like H&M, Zara, Forever 21 and my personal faves, Portmans and Forever New. You can also find the David Jones and Myer department stores here which stock a range of brands and goods.
Strand Arcade, a beautiful old building for stores like Alannah Hill, Scanlan and Theodore and Aesop.
Queen Victoria Building for Karen Millen, David Lawrence, Top Shop and Lorna Jane.
Hope this is helpful! Do you have any questions? If you’re from Sydney, do you have anything else to add?