Sydney is one of those cities that has been on my list now for a long time and I had put it off for so long until my friend announced that she was moving back to London. Suddenly the pressure was on to visit Australia before she left but the thing is, she was based in Melbourne. No problem at all, solo travel is nothing new to me so I embarked on travelling to Sydney on my own before flying out to Melbourne and check out her city a couple of weeks before she moved to London. If solo travel is something that scares then hopefully my recent post with tips for first-time solo travellers
will help ease the anxiety of getting out there on your own.
Sydney is one city that you can happily explore by yourself but if you have company to experience it with then even better! Below are my top 10 places to see, visit and maybe do, while visiting Australia’s famous city. Enjoy! Don’t forget to share the post.
1. Sydney Opera House – Sydney’s, if not Australia’s most recognised building. You can take a leisurely walk around the harbour, leading to a roll of restaurants and cafes before arriving at the Opera House. The whole area is usually buzzing with people, ferries cruising by transporting tourists and citizens from the circular quay. Standing on the steps of the Opera House offers amazing views into the city.
2. Climb Harbour Bridge or Pylon – Climbing Harbour Bridge offers and the amazing experience but comes at a cost of close to $300! You can actually get a similar experience for slightly cheap by taking to the Pylons. Pay $13 and climb up 200 stairs to get amazing views. View are not bad for the small price and a little sweat.
3. Sydney Botanical Gardens – Take a leisurely walk through the Royal Botanical Gardens which is home to beautiful plant life as well as historical buildings within the Gardens. You can also take the Choo-choo train which is a guided tour with commentary on some of the native plants and those that were introduced to the country. I will be sharing more pictures of the Botanical Gardens in a separate post as there are so many spots with beautiful views so that just has to be a separate post.
4. Mrs Macquarie’s Chair
– From the Botanical Gardens continue walking through and follow directions to Mrs Macquaries Chair. Mrs Macquarie’s was the wife of the New South Wales governor, she was apparently known for sitting on a rock and watching the ships from Great Britain sail into the harbour. Mrs Macquarie’s Chari is an exposed sandstone rock cut into the shape of a bench. From here you have amazing views of the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.
5. Sydney CBD and Viewing Towers – Some of Sydney’s best shopping malls can be found in Central Business District. Easy to find and explore as its runs in a grid system. This is where my apartment was located, on Pitt Street. Pitt Street and George Street dominate CBD as they are always bustling with shoppers and city professionals. Nearby you also have Hyde park and the Skywalk at the top of Sydney Tower Eye for views of the city.
6. Ferry Around The Harbour – Check out Darling Harbour which is beautiful both by day and by night. Here you will find Madame Tussauds, Cinemas, Sydney’s Zoo and SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium. From Darling Harbour and Circular Quay, which is the city’s main transport hub. It’s the only place where ferries, trains and buses intersect, you can also catch the ferry to check out Sydney’s stunning bays and coves like Manly Cove, Watson Bay, Double Bay, Rose Bay and more!
7. Try Sydney’s Gastronomy – You have to drop by on George and Argyle street in The Rocks for vibrant cafes and some of the city’s oldest pubs. Head to Kings Cross for the hip scene and Wooloomooloo for the waterfront bars and restaurants, while in the area also check out Darlinghurst which is said to be a culinary hot spot. Another spot for food is Bondi’s beachfront strip which has everything from takeaways to fine dining.
8. Sydney’s Retail Therapy – Check out Queen Victoria Building which is filled with boutiques, cafes and restaurants. It’s a stunning building with a domed roof and Instagram-able floors #Ihavethisthingwithfloors. If you still have more cash to burn then check out Westfield Shopping Centre on Pitt Street. It comes with levels upon levels of designer stores and tasty eateries.
9. Sample The Night Life – Australians seem to love a good party evening much like the next country. Most of the hotels have cool and trendy bars, like Hilton’s Marble Bar. If you are in the mood to shake a leg then head to Kings Cross which is well known its nightclubs and notorious for strip clubs. Places to check out; Mrs Sippy, known for its hangouts for Sydney’s cool crowds or the Opera Bar for live jazz on the harbour. In the morning you can head back to Kings Cross and Woolloomooloo to cure your hangover at the Sunday Markets or Harry’s Cafe de Wheels as well as checking out galleries and museums in the area such as the Jewish Museum and Elizabeth Bay House.
10. Explore Bondi Beach And surrounding Bays
– Some of the city bus tours will drop you off right on the beach. When you get here you can easily walk the stretch of the coastal line exploring the iconic beach and surrounding suburbs. Right along the beaches, you will also notice how a lot of them actually have sea water pools much like Bondi Icebergs. If you have always wanted to surf there is also a surf school near the beach.
Where to Stay:
Sydney can be expensive but I found it accommodating in terms of what was available for varying budgets. There are luxury hotels in Sydney to affordable and even budget hostels. With some located fairly central in the city. I opted to stay in a service apartment which I shared here. I booked it via booking.com which also has a range of for all budgets. For apartments rentals in Sydney click here, you also have hostels in Sydney some of which I spotted near central Sydney. For a list of hostels in Sydney click here. For more hotels, homestays and other accommodation options in Sydney click here to read reviews and compare prices.
Is Sydney on your wanderlust list?…