WHAT ARE THE BEST THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN SYDNEY?
Founded at the end of the 19th century by European settlers, Sydney is the oldest but also the most populous city in Australia. Located in a superb bay that offers a incredible setting, it has magnificent beaches, and a relaxed atmosphere which makes it one of the best cities in the world in terms of quality of life.
If this is your first time in Sydney, you can use this list of the 10 best things to do and see to plan your itinerary.
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Here are 10 must-see things to do and see on a trip to Sydney:
1. SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Sydney Opera House is Australia’s most famous building. Its very original futuristic sail-shaped architecture is famous all over the world. It seems to be sitting on the water’s edge, ready to take off. In addition to the unmistakable visit from inside the building, it’s possible to stroll around the opera house with a splendid view of the bay. If you love opera, it’s an opportunity to enjoy an evening in one of the most prestigious venues in the world. Not going to see the Sydney Opera House would be like missing the Eiffel Tower in Paris, it’s a must in Sydney!
2. THE SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE
The Sydney Bridge is an impressive building, 1149 metres long. To enjoy the panoramic view, you can go to the Pylon Lookout, on a pier southeast of the bridge. It’s the ideal place to admire this oversized bridge, Sydney and its bay. After climbing the 200 steps of the stairs to a little height, the view is breathtaking. The bravest can also cross the bridge on foot on the footpath or climb it on a guided outing with the BridgeClimb.
3. THE ROCK’S DISTRICT
A charming historic district with cobbled streets? The Rocks in Sydney mix old and new and promise an immersion in the city’s history. It’s the perfect place to go to authentic pubs, visit museums, go to markets or admire the architecture of the place between two art galleries. Don’t miss the Justice and Police Museum, with its real period police cells that once housed Australia’s greatest criminals. The district is so rich in history that you can also take a guided tour through the streets.
4. BONDI BEACH
Bondi Beach is the busiest beach in Sydney. This beautiful beach with its golden sand is a mecca for tourism and all kinds of activities. It’s a really nice place to sunbathe, swim and surf.
But Bondi Beach is also and above all the starting point for Sydney’s most picturesque walk from Bondi to Coogee. A path full of beauty follows the sea, offering superb landscapes along the way. This walk on the Australian coast will make you have a great time.
5. THE ROYAL BOTANIC GARDEN
Sydney’s Royal Botanical Gardens are ideally located in the city. It’s like a paradise on the bay. Thirty hectares of flora and fauna for an escape along the developed paths. For a simple visit or a picnic, the park is welcoming and entertaining. Many things catch the eye between exotic plants, amazing animals and the general beauty of the place.
Access to the park is free of charge and (very practical) maps are available at the information booths.
6. THE ART GALLERY OF NEW SOUTH WALES
Dive into the world of art at the Art Gallery of NSW. This art gallery offers Australian, Asian and European works on five levels. Admission to the museum is free, except for some temporary exhibitions. It’s also possible to enjoy free guided tours. The gallery has a restaurant with a beautiful view of the port and the city, a bar and also a souvenir shop. The museum’s shop has a very famous and popular bookstore section for its complete range of Australian art books.
7. TARONGA ZOO
Taronga Zoo is unique in its kind. To get there you have to take a ferry to Circula Quay. The crossing takes about ten minutes. Once there, the view of the bay is breathtaking. Animals from Australia are of course present such as the famous Tasmanian devil or the koala. The Taronga zoo therefore has a fauna that is partly special compared to European zoos. But the scenery is just as exceptional because you will walk through a lush jungle. The zoo has a cable car (Sky Safari) that allows you to fly over the place and admire all this from above. Many free services are offered such as the bird show or the sea lion show. The place is open all year round without any closing days.
8. MANLY BEACH
Manly beach is 1.5 km of sand in the middle of nature. Set back from Sydney, it’s the ideal place for a less urban day. The beach offers all kinds of activities such as diving, volleyball, surfing and of course shopping. Manly is a place that also offers beautiful walks, with hiking trails, bicycle paths and historic sites for beautiful visits.
To get to Manly you can walk from the Spit Bridge and enjoy an amazing walk, or take a ferry.
9. ADMIRE THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE QUEEN VICTORIA BUILDING
Sydney is full of architectural beauties. If you want to enjoy a shopping spree while admiring the architecture of the place, you must go to the Queen Victoria Building (more familiarly called the QVB). This shopping centre is majestic. Four floors of shops and restaurants in a very beautiful neo-Romanesque setting.
In the same vein, you can also visit the Strand Arcade, a Victorian-style shopping mall. With skylights and a preserved style from the past, this place immerses you in another setting and lets you discover very beautiful shops and Australian designers.
10. THE AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM
The Australian Museum is Sydney’s natural history museum and the oldest in the country. It’s a very beautiful and complete museum that offers a very playful way to discover Australia through the collection of Aboriginal objects, but you can also discover a surprising gallery of skeletons as well as collections of minerals or butterflies. There are amazing objects related to Australia such as the reconstruction of the largest gold nugget weighing more than 70 kg, found on the continent.
MORE THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN SYDNEY
If you have some time in Sydney, here are some other places to visit that are worth a look:
- Enjoy the view from Observatory Hill
- Centennial Parks
- Hyde Park
- The Chinese Garden of Friendship
- Enjoy the view from Sydney Tower Eye
- Take a trip to the Blue Mountains (worth a look!!!!!)
- Royal National Park (south of Sydney)