While two days in Sydney is not a lot, there are plenty of things to do in Sydney in 2 days. This is the most beautiful, established and loveliest Australian city.
Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of the First Fleet, set up the first British colony in Australia in 1788 at Sydney Cove. Today, internationally, the capital of New South Wales has become one of the most travel spots in the world.
This most-populous metropolitan lies in the midst of an enticing intermixing of land and ocean with hot summer sun.
Below I take you on a journey exploring the legendary history with a memorable trip to Sydney seeing the Shiny white sails of the Opera House in the daylight, the elegant arch of the Harbor Bridge, the city’s great museum and through memorable structures of the Rocks and much more.
Things To Do In Sydney In 2 Days
While I stayed in Sydney a lot longer than 2 days, exploring NSW as part of a solo trip in Australia, if you only have 2 nights in Sydney these are some of the most unmissable spots to check out in Sydney.
Further below I have also shared a sample day by day with what to do in Sydney for 2 days.
Beyond your 48 hours in Sydney, for an idea of what to do in Sydney for a week have a look at my combined itinerary of Sydney and Melbourne.
1. The Sydney Opera House (Bennelong Point, Sydney):
Whether you have one day or 2 days in Sydney this is not to be missed. It’s the star attraction. The main Sydney landmark and architectural marvel to visit. The Sydney Opera House is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are plenty of places for the best views of Syndey Opera House some of which you will find on the blog.
2. Sydney Harbor Bridge (5 Cumberland Street, Sydney):
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the world’s largest steel arch bridge was built in 1932. The local name is “Coathanger”. It connects Sydney central business district and the North Shore.
3. The Rocks (66 Harrington Street, Level 6, The Rocks, Sydney):
Even if you visit Sydney in 2 days there is no way this place can be missed on any itinerary in this amazing city. The Rocks is the oldest part of Sydney on the west side of Sydney Cove. This is the place where the first European settlement took place when the British first landed. Cadman’s cottage (the oldest building in The Rocks) and the Rocks Discovery Museum are the main attractions here.
4. Queen Victoria Building (455 George Street, Sydney):
The Queen Victoria Building is also a heritage-listed place to visit. Romanesque-style QVB was built in late-nineteenth-century (between 1893 and 1898) crowned by a high central dome and surrounded by 20 smaller domes. Don’t forget to have some refreshments and coffee at the Tea Room of QVB (Queen’s Café inside the QVB).
5. The Sydney Tower Eye (100 Market Street, Sydney):
Other than the Opera House, Sydney Tower Eye is one of the great landmarks of Sydney. You 2 days trip around Sydney is not complete without taking in the views here.
The 309-meter-high Sydney’s tallest structure is a member of the World Federation of Great Towers. You can enjoy the breathtaking 360-degree views of the beautiful harbour city from the golden beaches of the Sydney Tower Eye.
6. Taronga Zoo (Bradleys Head Road, Mosman)
If you want to close encounters with amazing natural wildlife of Australia, Taronga Zoo is the best choice to cover up.
You can also enjoy the superb views of the Sydney skyline. The zoo sometimes hosts special events, parties and functions to maintain the tourist attractions.
7. Sydney Beaches
Last but not the least beaches in Sydney. With calm water and sugary sands are the best Sydney tourist attractions.
The world-famous Bondi beach with parked sand, the rocks, the calm water is located east of the Sydney central business district (CBD).
Don’t forget to check out the Bondi farmers market whilst here for seasonal goods and fresh harvest. You can also chill out in Palm Beach located north of the Sydney central business district (CBD).
You can enjoy watersports, exotic fine dining, buzzing nightlife here.
Among the Northern Beaches of Sydney Manly Beach is also famous places to offer swimming and surfing.
It was named by Captain Arthur Phillip stating that “their confidence and manly behavior made me give the name of Manly Cove to this place”.
Coogee, New South Wales – relaxed coastal suburb and a favorite choice for both swimmers and surfers. Fantastic ocean views from Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk always amaze the travelers.
EXPERIENCE SYDNEY LIFESTYLE
Shopping and NightLife:
The Rocks, Darling Harbor and Chinatown are the best places to have your shopping. If you need high-end branded shopping, you may visit the Queen Victoria Building.
For the people aged between 18-40 will definitely have a top-notch nightlife. The Rocks and the Inner City are the best places to spend the nightlife.
Food and Restaurants:
Cattle and sheep meats are most preferred food here and among them the beef counts as traditional foods in Sydney. In The Rocks, or the central business district you may locate the famous restaurants and diners here.
NIGHTLIFE IN SYDNEY
The beach road hotel Bondi
Are you looking to party in style and prepared to spend a little more money, then this timeless Bondi bar is a great choice.
You will encounter a steady stream of backpackers, locals and music lovers, tuned up to see the touring bands and DJs.
This live music venue, located not too far away from Bondi Beach, offers a “genre – free” party night every Wednesday, expect a crowded venue full of tanned surfers and lots of live music!
This cool venue consists of several floors filled with different bars and clubs, and has a pool in the rooftop bar. LA glamour meets Italian riviera placed in the center of Sydney. This is one of the most luxurious rooftop bars in Sydney, the decor is inspired by the 60s with private cabanas and sunbeds. On the weekends you can experience local as well as international DJs at the Ivy complex, head to the dance floor or terrace for a different experience than the cozy cabana feel up top. There is an entry fee of 20A$ per person so be prepared to bring cash.
Inside the Star casino, you find this gem of a nightclub and bar. This offers the ultimate Vegas feel, but in Sydney featuring popular acts and DJs such as Calvin Harris, Drake, Tiesto and Avicii even used to play here.
Expect loads of confetti, glamour dancers and popular DJs. The entry fee for Marque is around 10 A$ for a Friday night and as high as 35 A$ on a Saturday, there is also a dress code that applies, lads dress up in shirt, fancy shoes and trousers, no shorts and ladies you might need your heels.
No, Chinese Laundry is not about cleaning or doing laundry, it’s about getting down and dirty! This club hosts superstars like Hudson Mohawke, Baauer, DJ Slink and many other international legends.
This is the longest-running and most respected night club, placed underneath the slip in. The club is made up of 3 rooms for partying and dancing and a large outdoor garden.
Experience bass music on Friday while Saturday offer more house and electro music. Food is also served until midnight, but you might need to reserve your table, this place gets crowded.
RESTAURANTS TO CHECK OUT IN SYDNEY DURING 2 DAY VISIT
Do you like sushi? Then head down to the most impressive sushi counter in Sydney.
If not only the design of the restaurant and the immaculate, innovative plating of the food was enough to sweep you off your feet then the flavour will hit the last punch!
Seasonal cocktails are served made of fresh fruits and top-class ingredients, and the Japanese creations on the menu offers a lot of flavour, not enough to be overpowering, just right.
This is like your favourite pizzeria times 10! This Italian restaurant offers among the best pizzas in Sydney, placed in the funky area of Newtown, this gem should not be missed.
The pizzas are made with fresh ingredients, and this you can taste. The average price is around 17 $ for one pizza.
This fancy restaurant set in the lovely area of Circular Quay is owned by Leon Fink and run by the famous MasterChef Australia judge Peter Gilmore.
It has appeared in the world’s 50 best restaurants several times and definitely lives up to the awards.
The food does not only look fantastic with the creative touch the flavours blend into an unexpected deliciousness. This is Sydney’s fine dining supreme and some people go here for the shimmering harbour view alone.
GETTING AROUND SYDNEY
The public transport in sydney is very well developed, you can use busses, trains, light rails and ferries, even walk around the city!
The best option for getting around is to purchase an opal card, these are usually 10$ and you can use the value of the purchase to travel with and recharge at any time.
Thanks to the sparkling harbour, ferry travel in Sydney is fairly easy and one of the only ways to reach places such as Taronga zoo and Manly beach.
The ferry operates from Sydney Harbour and circular quay to eight main destinations.
Thanks to Sydney’s comprehensive bus network it is easier than ever to travel by bus to the Sydney suburbs, beaches and regional areas. Simply tap your opal card as you mount the bus.
Wherever you want to go there is probably a train there. The city circle train network runs in a loop around the city stopping at: Central, Museum, St James, Town Hall, Wynyard, Circular Quay and Martin Place. Are you staying north of the Harbour Bridge, catch the northern line that stops at Central, Wynyard and Town Hall before travelling north across the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Are you wanting to get to kings cross or Bondi junction catch the Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra Line that goes from Central, Town Hall and Martin Place stations.
If you are planning on travelling to the Blue Mountains, catch the Blue Mountains line from Central.
It passes through the vibrant Western Sydney city of Parramatta, and then on to the main Blue Mountains stations including Wentworth Falls, Leura and Katoomba.
- Light Rail
The Sydney light rail network goes from Central Station to Dulwich hill. This is the best way to reach Chinatown, the powerhouse museum located in Ultimo, the International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour and the star casino amongst other attractions along the line.
SAMPLE 2 DAY SYDNEY ITINERARY
Below is a sample itinerary for what to see in Sydney in 2 days. Having checked into your hotel the night before. In the morning you should be fresh and ready to explore Sydney’s attractions. Visit two days in Sydney with ease with the itinerary below.
Day 1 In Sydney
- Sydney Opera House – You can also book a tour around the Opera House.
- Sydney Royal Botanical Gardens
- Views of Harbour Bridge From Mrs Marquaries Chair
- Harbour Bridge – If you are up to it you can also do a bridge climb tour.
- Head to the Rocks on Harrington Street
- Grab some lunch at many of the cafes and restaurants nearby.
- If you fancy more exploring you can combing exploring Sydney Harbour with a lunch cruise.
- Head back into CBD Via Hyde Park
- Take in views From Sydney Tower Eye. You can purchase a ticket for Tower Eye here.
- If you are into Aquariums near the tower your also have SEA Life Sydne Aquarium.
- At the bottom of the Tower Eye, you also have Westfield Sydney Shopping Mall. If you are in the mood for a little retail therapy then explore and then grab a coffee and snack in one of the cafes.
Evening In Sydney On Day 1
- Head back to your hotel to freshen up and check out the nightlife in Sydney at one of the spots mentioned.
- If not up to night clubs then check out the many restaurants around Circular Quay or Darling Harbour. A couple of suggestions provided above.
Day 2 In Sydney Australia
- Head to Queen Victoria Building which houses a mall in a beautiful setting.
- Grab some coffee and a little retail therapy if you need anything to wear for the beach.
- Head to Bondi Beach
- Explore Icebergs swimming pool. Unless taking to the waters you can also take the scenic walk on Coogee Walk.
- Take the ferry and explore Manly.
- There are beaches, restaurants and cool hangouts to just chill.
- If you have capacity then you can also check out the markets in Sydney.
- Do the iconic On The Rocks Bar Crawl
Pro tip: You can purchase a Hop On/Hop Off tour for your first of 2 days in Sydney. This will help you get your bearings in the city.
OTHER PLACES TO VISIT IN SYDNEY IF TIME PERMITS
You can also include these amazing places on your travelling list.
- Cockatoo Island
- Barangaroo Reserve
- Sea Life Sydney Aquarium
- Featherdale Wildlife Park
- Art Gallery of New South Wales
- Port Jackson
- St. Mary’s Cathedral
- Macquarie Street
- Kings Cross
- Hunter Valley
- George Street
- Museum of Contemporary Art
- The Blue Mountains
- Nicholson Museum
- Fort Denison
- St George Open Air Cinema
- Luna Amusement Park
- Hyde Park
- Chinese Garden of Friendship
- Attend Local Cultural events
HOW TO PLAN TRIP TO SYDNEY AUSTRALIA
- Get tips on the best time to visit Australia. Each region or state has its own sub climate. For tips on the best time to visit Sydney check out my linked post.
- If you have more time or want to combine Sydney and Melbourne, I have an itinerary for Sydney and Melbourne in 10 days with many additional day trips included to maximise your visit to Australia.
- The post on the best times to visit Australia includes tips on the cheapest times to visit so for deals on flights to Sydney check out Expedia.
- I rented an apartment in Sydney CBD which I shared details about on the blog. I will share additional posts on the best areas to stay in Sydney shortly. You can also check Booking.com’s list of hotels, hostels and apartments in Sydney for the best places to stay within your budget.
- Plan the tours in Sydney and book in advance once you have narrowed down the dates of your trip. Especially if limited on time tours can help you make the most of your time. Particularly if you are looking to maximise what to see in Sydney Australia in 2 days, this might be the way to go.
- If you are visiting Sydney for the new year check out my tips on where to stay for New Year’s Eve in Sydney.
Going beyond Sydney? Also See:
- How To Spend 5 Days In Melbourne
- A Day Trip To Great Ocean Road
- Exploring Brighton Beach In Melbourne
- How To See The Penguins In Melbourne For Free
- The Best 7 Days In Melbourne Australia
- A Helicopter Tour Of Great Ocean Road
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