Sydney Travel Guide – Things To Do and Things You Should Know
Sydney is a beautiful city in Australia and a popular destination for tourists across the globe. Among the other popular cities, Sydney is the first choice on many traveler’s bucket list. Sun-soaked beaches, famous harbor, beautiful architecture, amazing people, and culture make Sydney a fun and entertaining place for everyone.
In a hurry? Navigate to the right place:
- What to do in Sydney
- Sydney beaches
- Tours and Activities in Sydney
- Hotels in Sydney
- Traveling in Sydney
- Tips for travelers
The peak tourist season is in the months of summer; i.e. December to February, when the average temperature ranges from 18 – 25 degree Celsius. It is the best time to enjoy the beaches of Sydney as the water is pleasant. Autumn falls in the month of March to May, which is the mildest time of the year. During the autumn season, tourists prefer spending their time walking along with the coastal areas as humidity levels are low.
While planning your trip to Sydney, you should check out the innumerable events that are held each day so that you can add them in your itinerary. You can participate in countless cultural exhibitions, festivals, and sporting activities that take place in the city. Other than these events, there are many more attractions in Sydney that should not be missed at all. To help you in planning your trip well, mentioned below are the top things to do in Sydney.
What To Do In Sydney?
Sydney Bridge Climb:
You may have climbed a bridge before; but, nothing can be better than climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge! The 3.5 hours climb will provide an unforgettable experience that you will surely cherish for the entire life. There are hundreds of climbers every day who reach the pinnacle to see amazing views of Sydney Harbour. Kids above the age of 8 years are allowed to climb the bridge, so it can be a fun activity for the entire family.
The charges for the climb differ for day journey and night journey. Weekday price per person for morning to afternoon climb is AU $308 for adults and AU $208 for children. The journey after sunset costs AU $268 for adults and AU $188 for children. There are plenty of other options available too. So, depending on your choice, you can opt for the sunrise option or the sunset option, and have a wonderful time while admiring the beauty of Sydney.
Sydney Opera House:
To view some of the best performances in music, theatre, and dance, you should visit the Sydney Opera House at Sydney Harbour. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that comprises of multiple venues for performances. There are several events held each day and you can select them as per your preferences. You will even come across bars, cafés, restaurants, recording studio, and retail outlets in the premises. Guided tours are available, which are held in a variety of languages. The cost for such tours is AU$42 per adult and AU$22 per child. On an average, there are 1,600 performances held each year, which are attended by millions of people.
Royal Botanic Gardens:
If you are traveling with kids, then you must visit the Royal Botanic Garden to view thousands of plant specimens and colorful birds. The garden is situated close to Circular Quay and Hyde Park. From the garden, you can click spectacular pictures of Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House.
Entry to the garden is free of cost and it is usually open from 7am to 6pm, which changes due to weather conditions. You can gain information about current timings of Royal Botanic Garden by clicking here. If you are traveling in a group or six or less, then you may search for a volunteer guide who will share unique history of the garden and provide information on wildlife for free of cost. Alternatively, you may download the app on your smartphone to view an interactive map of the garden.
Your trip to Sydney would be incomplete if you do not visit some of its stunning beaches. There are more than a hundred calm and clean beaches in Sydney. Among them, Manly beach and Bondi beach have acquired international popularity because of their spectacular views and beautiful white sands. All beaches are equipped with rest rooms, bath areas, and changing rooms. There are several hotels offering beach facing rooms, so you can book a room close to the ocean.
Bondi beach is the jewel of Sydney and it attracts several tourists from across the world. You can visit the beach to view the sandstone cliffs, turquoise waters, curling waves, and clean sands or simply go swimming, surfing, and sunbathing. Reaching Bondi beach is easy as you can take a public mode of transport from Town Hall to reach within 30 minutes.
Another attraction to visit Bondi beach is an entire village of souvenir stores, hotels, restaurants, and cafés. Locals as well as visitors enjoy spending one full day in Bondi as there is so much to do. As it may get crowded in the day; to have a peaceful experience at Bondi beach, you should visit early in the morning to watch the sunrise and the magical ocean.
The beach is also the starting point for a mesmerizing Bondi to Coogee Walk. It is a 6km coastal walk that comprises of amazing views, parks, beaches, bays, cliffs, rock pools, restaurants, and cafés. As there are several staircases and some steep gradient paths, the walk would take about two to three hours to complete. You may consider walking for another half an hour to reach Maroubra or if you want to make the walk shorter than you can go from Bondi to Bronte.
The walking track is suitable for most ages and fitness levels, but does not have wheelchair or pram accessibility at some areas. Along the walking path, you will come across five beaches where you can swim. There are lifeguards available in these beaches. Also, there are innumerable cafés and restaurants where you can relish authentic dishes or takeaway some snacks to munch on the way.
If you enjoy surfing then you should head straight to Manly beach. You can take a ferry from Circular Quay to reach Manly beach. It is a 30 minutes ferry ride, which is absolutely spectacular as you can get an up-close look at the architecture of Opera House and Harbour Bridge from all angles.
Once you reach the beach, you will be stunned with the soft sand stretches and crystal clear waters. There are several restaurants and cafés in close proximity, so you can relish delicious food near the sea. Many tourists prefer swimming in the clean waters, while the area gets patrolled by lifeguards.
Surfing is a favorite pastime for visitors in Manly beach. In case you need help, there is a surfing school right along the beach and you will come across several vendors who provide boards and cover-ups for rent. Alternatively, you may buy surfing equipment or beach gear from ‘The Corso’, which is the main market that comprises of several shops and restaurants and is extremely close to Manly beach.
Recommended Tours And Activities In Sydney:
If you want to spend your holiday in viewing beautiful waterfalls, forested valleys, streams, and cliffs, then you should add the magnificent Blue Mountains to your itinerary. It is the world heritage site that has impressed innumerable travelers around the world. Some of the most popular sites that you should not miss visiting are the famous rock formation known as the Three Sisters, Scenic World at Katoomba, Botanic Garden, and Jenolan Caves, among others.
To explore the entire area properly, it is advisable to book an all-inclusive tour for Blue Mountains. So, I booked for a 9.5 hour tour to discover the Blue Mountains well. You can check the tour and book it if you want at Getyourguide. It was an adventurous trip as it consisted of a visit to the wildlife park for viewing kangaroos, riding the world’s steepest railway, stoppage for relishing authentic meal, and sailing back in a ferry. However, remember to wear comfortable walking shoes and a jacket or hat depending on the weather conditions.
The entire tour was priced for US$150.65 per person. First, I went to view the Three Sisters from Echo Point as that is the best place to admire the beauty and vast expanse of the Jamison Valley. My next visit was to the Scenic World where I experienced to ride the steepest railway in the world. The train drove with an incline of 52 to 64 degrees, which was quite scary in the beginning. However, the spectacular views of the Valley and Three Sisters from the top made the entire ride wonderful.
My next stoppage was at the Katoomba Falls Cascade, where I could capture some of the most beautiful pictures of the waterfall. With these amazing sceneries at the backdrop, I totally enjoyed the hot lunch served with drinks that was provided by the tour managers.
The final stop was at the Featherdale Wildlife Park, which has the largest collection of Australian native animals. It was extremely beautiful to watch several crocodiles, emus, wombats, and various species of birds. Don’t forget to feed baby wallabies after reaching here! Finally, the tour came to an end with a ferry ride on Parramatta River. The ferry ride in itself was an exhilarating experience as I had the opportunity to travel under the Harbour Bridge and pass the Opera House.
Viewing the famous icons of Sydney from a luxurious helicopter flight can surely be a wonderful feeling. On your trip to Sydney, you should check out the wide variety of scenic joy flights available for an affordable price by Sydney HeliTours. It is simply the best way to view Sydney in all its glory. The tours depart each day and a single journey can become an unforgettable experience forever. It was my first time flying with a helicopter and it was a truly amazing experience.
Organized by Sydney HeliTours, I booked for a 20-minute helicopter ride to experience aerial views of Sydney’s wonderful skyline. The tour was priced for US$159.34 per person and it was completely worth the money as I could enjoy aerial views of Sydney Harbour Bridge, Manly Cove, and Sydney Opera House. I was even provided with free minibus transfer to and fro from my hotel in Sydney CBD. The in-flight commentary from professional pilots was quite helpful. On landing, I was served with free refreshments at the heliport. It was a wonderful experience that I would cherish for my entire life.
Cambridge Hotel Sydney:
If you are searching for an affordable yet lavish hotel in Sydney then you can consider booking your room in Cambridge Hotel. It is a 4-star boutique hotel that consists of 173 rooms and suites. In close proximity, there are several designer boutiques, vibrant restaurants and cafés, and innumerable shopping complexes. So, you won’t have to travel much for shopping gifts or to buy stuffs for your daily requirements. Overall, your stay in the Cambridge Hotel will certainly be a memorable one.
Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney:
To have a luxurious stay in Sydney, you should book your room at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel. As it is located in the heart of the city, a 15 minutes’ walk would take you to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Bus stops and Wynyard Train Station is within 2 minutes’ walking distance, so traveling in and around Sydney would become easier for you.
The North Sydney Hotel:
If you are traveling to Sydney on a tight budget, then you can consider booking your room at The North Sydney Hotel. The hotel is about 2.3kms away from Sydney Harbour Bridge and 1.9kms away from Luna Park. Some of the amenities that you will get here are air-conditioning and heating, free Wi-Fi, toiletries, Smart TV, hairdryer, towels, and daily housekeeping. There is a communal living room, which has a kitchen with complimentary tea, coffee, bread, butter, jam, cereal, and milk. In short, your stay will be a pocket-friendly and comfortable one.
Traveling In Sydney:
There are several modes of public transport for traveling in Sydney like buses, ferries, metro, trains, taxis, and Uber, among others. To make your travel easy, you should acquire an Opal Card, which is a smartcard ticket that can be reused and topped up repeatedly. The card is available free of cost; you just need to load it with money.
With the Opal, you can pay your fares on buses, metro, trains, ferries, and light rail that fall under the Opal network. There are different kinds of Opal Cards available, so depending on your travel time and requirements, you can buy one. There are various benefits of using an Opal Card, so buy it and save money for traveling on public transport in Sydney. Check out the different ways to order your Opal Card for hassle free travel in Sydney here.
Taxis And Uber:
If you compare taxis with Uber then the latter would be a better choice. Ubers are much cheaper than taxis and can be easily booked by downloading the Uber App. The drivers of Uber exactly know where to go and payment is easy with cashless options. On the other hand, taxis can be hailed on the street or from the designated taxi ranks. You can even book a taxi directly through the private taxi companies that are operating across the city. Ensure that the taxi drivers use meters and do not charge extra.
Cycling And Walking:
There is nothing better than exploring a city by riding a bike or walking on the streets at your own pace. “I Am Free” runs a free walking tour of the city center on a daily basis, so you can check them out! Cycling is a fun and healthy way to view the beauty of a place. There are several dedicated bike paths in Sydney that separate riders from traffic and pedestrians. You can even gain information on bike riding, route planning, and buying a new bike easily in Sydney.
Some Of The Best Sydney Travel Tips For First-Time Travelers:
- Smoking, littering, putting feet on seats, traveling without a valid card or ticket, using abusive language, blocking doors, etc. in public mode of transport are an offence. You will have to pay huge penalties for such behaviors, so ensure that you do not make a mistake.
- To save traveling costs, you may consider using the Uber Pool option where you can share a ride with fellow travelers and save some bucks.
- Most of the restaurants open as early as 6am and shut by 9:30pm. So, if you enjoy your dinners late, then you will have to travel a lot for finding a late night restaurant.
- Similarly, the shopping complexes too close quite early by 6pm or 7pm. Usually, the shops stay open till 9pm only on Thursday. So, if you are planning to go for shopping in the evening then check in advance as most of the stores might be closed.
To conclude, Sydney is a lovely city with lot’s of things to do and it’s really easy to travel. I also highly suggest you to visit New Zealand which is only 3 hours away from Sydney. Enjoy your trip!