24 Fun Things to Do in Sydney for 2023

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Are you planning a trip to the most iconic city in Australia? Lucky for you, there are so many things to do in Sydney you’ll find it impossible to be bored.

sydney harbor bridge lit up at night
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Whether you’re interested in climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge or visiting the pristine beaches, no matter who you are or who you’re travelling with, there are plenty of attractions in Sydney to last you a week or more.

As Australians, we know Sydney pretty well. So we’ve not only shared some of the top Sydney attractions but included some of our hidden gems, too. We’ll also share our insider tips on where to stay, shop and how to get around.

Why visit Sydney?

If you are going to visit Australia then you can’t miss Sydney. For one thing, most international flights will either fly in to here or Melbourne if you’re planning on exploring the East Coast.

Besides being Australia’s largest city, there are many reasons why it’s also the most visited.

It has a stunning harbourside location, iconic beaches, excellent restaurants, fantastic cafes and pubs, world heritage sites, terrific shopping, incredible festivals, a multicultural population, and good year-round weather.

Plus, its strategic location makes it possible to take day trips from Sydney, meaning you can spend your vacation time in Sydney alone without needing to move around.

Don’t just use Sydney as a gateway to Oz, with so much to see and experience, give yourself a week. Trust me, Sydney won’t let you down.

Is 2, 3, 4 days in Sydney enough?

If you’re wondering how long to spend in Sydney, then we feel that a week is the most appropriate amount of time to explore all the top attractions.

You could cram everything into four days if you are short on time, but it’s good to have a few chill days when you’re vacationing too.

Three days is possible if you’re very organized and hire a car to get around.

2 days is not enough time to see Sydney. The city is huge and it takes a while to get from A to B. Realistically, you will only be able to fit 2 or 3 attractions per day, so if you only have a weekend to spend, you’re going to need to miss some things off your list.

Things to Do in Sydney

Now you know how much time to spend in the city, it’s time to take a look at the top Sydney attractions!

1. Free Walking Tour

girl sitting in stroller on Sydney Harbour Bridge
Walking over Sydney Harbor Bridge

Why not start your visit to Sydney with a free walking tour with a knowledgeable local guide? Rain, hail or shine the guys from I’m Free Walking Tours walk every day at 10.30am and 6.00pm.

They have two tours available; The Sydney Sights tour takes you around some of the top landmarks in the city. This is ideal for those who are short on time in the city and want to see as much as they can.

The second tour is The Rocks tour, which takes you off the beaten path to discover the historic district. This is a fascinating tour where you can learn all about the convicts who were sent here from the West, as well as indigenous history.

The 3-hour easy walking tours will not only show you the sights but also give you your bearings so you can then go it alone.

Top tip: The Sights walking tour leaves at 10.30am, and The Rocks walking tour leaves at 6.00pm, so it’s possible to do both in one day if you’re interested and not too tired.

2. Walk the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk

girls on a hillside
The beautiful Bondi to Coogee coastal walk

If you’re looking for things to do in Sydney with kids, we highly recommend The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk.

This is a stunning coastal walk with plenty of coves and beaches to visit along the way for a swim. There are also some cafes along the way for a drink and a bite to eat. 

The walk starts behind Bondi Icebergs Club at Bondi Beach. It usually takes us 2 hours to reach Coogee Beach with the kids.

To get there, catch the train from Central to Bondi Junction, then a bus to Bondi Beach.

Make sure you spend some time at Bondi Beach, which is one of the most famous beaches in the world.

3. Ferry to Manly from Circular Quay

ferry cruising past sydney opera house

A ferry ride to Manly is a great and cheap way to experience Sydney Harbour with stunning views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

Many people visit Manly for its beaches. Manly Beach has a relaxed vibe and soft sand beaches with great surf. The beaches are also lined with trees so you can escape the beating sun.

You can also walk along the oceanfront walk to the sheltered Shelly Beach, or visit The Corso, a vibrant pedestrianized strip lined with restaurants and bars.

If you walk along to North Head, you can catch some incredible views of the harbour and Sydney skyline. This is a great spot for sunset.

4. Wander The Royal Botanic Gardens

view of the sydney opera houes and sydney harbor bridge from botanic gardens
Royal Botanic Gardens

You can’t beat the serenity and harbour views from the Royal Botanic Gardens. It’s a great free thing to do in Sydney and a way to spend a few hours enjoying peace and relaxation.

The gardens opened in 1816, making them the oldest botanic garden and scientific institution in Australia. The gardens run daily tours of the gardens where you can learn more about its plants and fauna.

The Aboriginal tours are particularly special, as they teach you about indiginous bush food and also about the culture and heritage of the area.

Or you can simply just wander and admire the gardens. Walk from the Opera House to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair for one of the best vantage points in Sydney. Take a picnic lunch, a blanket and a bottle of wine.

5. Learn to Surf at Bondi Beach

woman surfing at Bondi beach

You can’t get any more Australian than learning to surf at Bondi, Sydney’s most iconic beach. Bondi is perfect for any beginner as the beach faces south, meaning the surf isn’t so wild and you are protected by the bay.

If you’re not sure where to book lessons, Let’s Go Surfing is the original learn to surf company in Bondi and has a great reputation.

Even if you don’t surf, you should spend a day relaxing on the beach or swim in the outdoor swimming pool overlooking this iconic beach.

6. Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge

people climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge with views of the opera house and harbour

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city after the Opera House. This giant steel arch bridge connected the CBD to the North Shore, and is nicknamed ‘The Coathanger’ by the Aussies because of its design.

It was built in 1932 and is the eighth longest arch bridge in the world, and the tallest steel arch bridges in the world.

Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a once in a lifetime experience. The view from the top of the bridge spans for miles, and is one of the best views of the opera House in the city.

The climb is more of a walk as you simply walk up steps, but don’t worry, you’re strapped in and given a safety briefing beforehand. You can choose to climb at either a dawn, in the middle of the day, twilight, or even a night climb.

This is one of the biggest attractions in Sydney so you need to book your climb in advance. Visit BridgeClimb.com to book.

7. Walk Across the Sydney Harbour Bridge

man and child in stroller walking across the sydney harbor bridge

A much cheaper option (FREE) is to simply walk across the Harbour Bridge and take in the same panoramic views on the lower level.

This is a much better (and safer) option for those who are afraid of heights.

But if you want to get off the ground and get a better view of the Opera House, then we recommend you visit the Pylon Lookout.

For just $19, you get fantastic views plus 3 levels of exhibits on the history of the bridge and its creation.

8. Walk through Hyde Park

The Archibald Memorial Fountain and St. Mary's Cathedral, Sydney Australia
The Archibald Memorial Fountain and St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney Australia

Hyde Park is Australia’s oldest park and the city’s central open green space. Located in the CBD, the park spans across 16.2 hectares and is full of amazing sites to see.

The park contains St Mary’s Cathedral plus numerous monuments and statues, and the central pathway through the park is an impressive fig lined road.

It also contains the ANZAC Memorial building and a pool of reflection. It’s most well known for the Archibald Fountain in the northern side of the park, as well as its smaller theme gardens which are filled with public art works.

The park is also the venue for sveral events and festivals, so be sure to check out what’s on before visiting.

9. Visit the Sydney Tower

sydney tower in the middle of high rises
Sydney Tower

Sydney Tower is Sydney’s tallest free-standing structure at a height of 309 meters above the CBD. It has an observation deck, and a revolving restaurant that offers 360 panoramic views of the city.

If you want to take your adrenaline levels up a notch, you can also walk the Skywalk at The Sydney Tower Eye, which is the highest outdoor activity in Sydney.

Located 268 metres above the city streets below, you can see the city from a new angle as you look down through a glass floor.

This is definitely not for the faint-hearted!

10. Sunset Cruise on the Harbour

Things to do in Sydney
Sunset Cruise

How about taking a small private cruise of Sydney Harbour? If your legs are tired from all the walking around the CBD and climbing bridges, then a relaxing harbour cruise is the perfect activity to do next.

Each sail has a maximum of 12 people, so you can enjoy the experience without throngs of people. It feels more like a sailing day out with friends than a tour.

Sailing cruises happen throughout the day, but I recommend taking one at sunset. This way you get iconic Sydney views both in the day time, at Golden Hour and at night.

Looking for romantic things to do in Sydney? How about a sunset cruise with a three-course meal?

11. Tall Ship Cruise on the Harbour

man and woman drinking champagn behind the steering wheel of tall ship in sydney harbor

Need a slower pace whilst also learning about history? Then perhaps you’d like to tour Sydney Harbour on a replica of a timber tall ship. These are replica ships of the 1850s tall ships that left England for Australia with their convicts onboard.

The tall ships sail under Harbour Bridge, past the Opera House and Fort Denison, and for 90-minutes around the harbour.

Whilst sailing, you can also get involved and become part of the crew (if you want to). Learn to heave the rope or try hoisting the sails. You can even have a go at steering.

Or just sit back and relax.

We took a cruise that also served up fresh oysters, barbecued prawns, crab rolls, and a glass of champagne. Not bad, right?

12. Explore the Museums and Art Galleries

Sydney is full of museums and galleries, and they are packed full of unique and exciting history and artwork.

Some of the most notable museums are the Australian Museum, which showcases everything related to natural history.

For art lovers, head to the Art Gallery of New South Wales (NSW), one of Australia’s leading art museums with five levels of art with extensive collections of Australian, Aboriginal, European, Asian and contemporary art. It’s located adjacent to the Royal Botanic Gardens, so it’s hard not to miss it.

The Museum of Contemporary Art is also a great art museum for those who love modern art.

13. Check Out Taronga Zoo

things to do in sydney

The World Class Taronga Zoo is situated on Sydney Harbour in a natural bushland setting with spectacular views out over the Harbour.

With a wide variety of animals from around the world, shows, keeper talks, and animal encounters all day make it a great family outing.

As well as this, the zoo is putting in its best conservation efforts. The wildlife hospitals care for and rehabilitate animals that have been injured in the wild.

14. Kayak in Middle Harbour

people kayaking in sydney habour

I’ve known Sydney Harbour all my life, but experiencing it by a kayak, is something else. You get an incredible view of the monuments from the water, and because it’s a harbour, the water is calm and easy to paddle on.

You do need to be mindful of boats, but luckily the harbour has plenty of space for everyone!

I discovered a different side to Sydney from a kayak: quiet, calm, and natural. If you think kayaking the harbour sounds like a fun thing to do in Sydney, then check out The Middle Harbour Eco Tour with Sydney Harbour Kayaks.

15. Hit the Beaches

Norfol pines, green coastline and Coogee Beach Sydney
Coogee Beach

Sydney’s beaches are famous and free to enjoy (besides the parking fees). It wouldn’t be a trip to Sydney if there wasn’t at least one day on the beach!

From the Northern Beaches to the Eastern Suburbs you have many great beaches to explore.

Our favourites include: Palm Beach, Freshwater, Dee Why, Manly, Queenscliff, Balmoral, Bronte, Clovelly, Coogee.

And you must visit Bondi at least once.

16. See the City by Helicopter

views overlooking sydney harbour from helicopter

For another unique and interesting perspective of the city, why not take flight in a helicopter? Helicopter tours are one of the most unique attractions in Sydney and a great way to see the iconic monuments, beaches, coves, harbour precincts, and city skyline.

This is especially cool for any photographers visiting the city. Be quick with your photos though, as helicopter flights generally only last for 20 minutes.

17. Walk Around Sydney’s CBD

street with trams running down it

The Sydney CBD is very walkable and it’s where you’ll find a large proportion of Sydney’s attractions. I often like to walk down George or Pitt streets from Central Station to Circular Quay to feel the beat of the city.

Then wander around Circular, Quay, The Rocks District, and The Botanical Gardens.

If you’re short on time and only have a day or two to spend in Sydney, then I recommend you put on your best walking shoes and wander this district.

18. Visit the Royal National Park

Tourists gaze at the splendour of the waterfall as it tumbles down the mountainside crashing on the rocks  National FAlls
National Falls

Unbelievably it took me 36 years to visit this place, but the Royal National Park, Australia’s oldest and the world’s second-oldest National Park behind Yellowstone, is a hidden gem.

Located within an hour’s drive south of the Sydney CBD, the park’s diversity is in its coastal cliffs surrounded by sandy beaches and mountainous sandstone ridges with deep river valleys.

It offers great coastal and bush walks, picnic spots, camping, cycling, swimming, and drives. If your timing is right consider a full moonwalk

19. Whale Watch for Humpback Whales

Humpback whale waving hello in the Whitsundays
Humpback whale waving hello

If you’re visiting between May and November, then the good news is that’s humpback whale migration season!

See these majestic mammals in their natural habitat as they make their way to the Arctic. The best way to see them is on a boat cruise, which sails from Circular Quay to a safe distance where you can see the whales swimming and breaching (if you’re lucky).

The cruises are small which means they are more comfortable. Some cruises even come with meals, so you can dine with a whale backdrop.

It’s estimated that 30,000+ whales pass by Sydney each year, so sightings are extremely likely.

20. See Behind-The-Scenes at the Sydney Opera House

View of the Sydney Opera House from walking over the Harbour Bridge
Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House is the most iconic landmark in Sydney and you simply have to see it. But though the architecture is stunning and world-famous from the outside, the inside should not be ignored.

Take a behind-the-scenes tour to learn about how this incredible theatre was designed to improve acoustics and allow every visitor to see an incredible performance.

If you have time, you can come back later in the evening to watch a show and appreciate the information you learned earlier in the day.

21. Take a Day Trip to the Blue Mountains

the three sisters The Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains are a stunning mountain range just a short hour’s drive outside of Sydney. The mountains are known for being home to aboriginal tribes, who used the forests for hunting grounds. They also used them as trade routes, and many of those trails are still used today.

There is a lot to see and do in the Blue Mountains, so you really do need a full day here to appreciate them. You can go hiking or ride the Scenic Railway, which has the Guinness Book of Record’s title for the steepest railway in the world.

You can also visit Featherdale Wildlife Park and see some native Australian wildlife such as wombats, koalas and crocodiles. Here you can hand-feed kangaroos and wallabies!

Don’t forget to stop by Echo Point to enjoy incredible views of the Three Sisters rock formation and the expansive Jamison Valley. 

Top tip: If you’re planning on taking a tour, book a day trip to the Blue Mountains in advance, as it’s likely to sell out!

22. Take the Kids to Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

jellyfish in the water
Jellyfish in the aquarium

For another fun thing to do in Sydney with kids, check out the Sea Life Aquarium. The aquarium houses over 13,000 animals, from 700 species. You can see everything from sharks, dugongs, stingrays, turtles, jellyfish, platypuses, penguins and sea dragons.

If your kids are too small to dive the barrier reef, this is the place where they can experience it at its best, with an enormous Great Barrier Reef display.

One of the best things to see at the aquarium is the Japanese Spider Crabs, whose legs can grow up to 12 feet!

23. Ride The Rollercoasters at Luna Park

The big smiling face at the entrance to Luna Park in Sydney, Australia

Possibly the most enjoyable amusement park in Sydney is Luna Park. The park has rollercoasters and rides for the whole family, from thrill-seeking sides to gentle rides for toddlers.

Ride the Ferris Wheel, play sideshow games or share a huge candy floss! There’s a lot of fun to be had at Luna Park.

Make sure to check out the events page, as they often have events, especially around Halloween and Christmas.

24. Enjoy High Tea at Gunners Barracks

A former barracks turned into a tea room is possibly the most unusual setting for high tea, so if you’re looking for unique things to do in Sydney, this is it.

But don’t worry, this former military base is anything but dank and dirty. The victorian-inspired decor speaks nothing but elegance and luxury.

Enjoy sipping tea whilst overlooking the cliffs, whilst slapping clotted cream and jam on freshly baked scones paired with cute little sandwiches and pastries.

Sounds romantic, right?

Video of Things to Do in Sydney

If you need more inspiration about what to do in Sydney, check out our video of exploring the top attractions in Sydney with kids!

Best Markets and Shopping in Sydney

historic waterfront buildings and church in the Rocks
Rocks District, Sydney

If you’re visiting Sydney to do some shopping, then you’ve come to the right place. Shopping is one of the top things to do in Sydney and the city is not short on places to spend your dollars.

Here are the best markets and shopping districts in Sydney.

Markets in Sydney:

  • Paddington Markets – Open Saturdays with 150 unique stalls offering creative fashion and accessories.
  • Bondi Markets – Open Sundays offering original designer clothing, handmade jewellery, arts, crafts, retro furniture, vintage clothes and more.
  • The Rocks Market – Open on Saturdays and Sundays, with vendors offering fashion, arts & crafts, jewellery, books, health and beauty, and souvenirs.
  • Paddy’s Markets – Huge market near Chinatown selling fruit and vegetables, clothing, flowers, sunglasses, jewellery, tourist souvenirs, and much more.
  • Sydney Fish Market – authentic working fish market.

Shopping Precincts:

  • Queen Victoria Building – Located on George street. The place to go for the finest fashion boutiques, jewellery and homeware, plus cafes and restaurants.
  • Pitt Street Mall – Described as ‘Sydney’s Fashion Centre” boasting retail giants and speciality stores in the heart of the CBD.
  • Westfields – Over seven levels of famous department stores, Australian designers, and world-class dining located on Pitt Street Mall.

Shopping Streets:

Darlinghurst’s Oxford Street is probably Sydney’s most famous shopping street offering designer brands including Australian designers, funky boutiques, retro, vintage, dancewear, gift stores, and people-watching.

Paddington, or “Paddo” to the locals, is another suburb offering designer brands and sophistication on the Paddington designer strip.

Newtown’s King Street offers unique and quirky stores, retro and vintage fashion, music and books, furniture and homeware, and collectables.

Events & Festivals in Sydney

light projections on a building
Vivid Light Festival

Sydney puts on some of the best festivals and events anywhere in the world. If you’re planning on visiting Sydney for a festival or party, consider planning your trip around the following events.

New Year’s Eve – Is there a better setting and fireworks display in the world? Only seeing them from a glass boat in Sydney Harbor! Book this magical experience before it sells out.

Sydney Mardi Gras – One of the largest LGBT pride parades and festivals in the world. The highlight of the Festival is the Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade which is an eye-catching demonstration of LGBTQI pride as thousands of people make their way down Oxford and Flinders St on colourful floats.

Vivid Sydney – month-long after-dark festival where Sydney is transformed into a spectacular canvas of light, music and ideas.

The Sydney Festival – Every January a festival of music, theatre, dance, visual arts and installations, talks, as well as free and family events.

Carols in the Domain – Australia’s largest free Christmas concert where 100,000 people enjoy singing the carols and a musical variety show.

Watch our Video of Vivid Sydney

Want to see what Vivid Sydney is all about? Check out our video here:

Where to Stay in Sydney

man and girl looking at view of sydney harbour bridge from Observatory Hill, Sydney, Australia
View from Observatory Hill in the Rocks District

Of course, the city is so big it’s hard to know where you should base yourself. If you’re not sure which neighborhood to book your hotel in, here are some areas we recommend.

Circular Quay: This area is perfect for exploring the top landmarks in Sydney, such as The Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, and the Royal Botanical Gardens. It has a busy transport hub with outdoor cafes and restaurants lining the harbour.

The Rocks District: A historic area of Sydney near Circular Quay, and possibly my favourite part of Sydney. There’s a story around every corner when you walk the cobblestoned streets and explore the Rocks. Browse the weekend markets or go on a pub crawl at some of Sydney’s oldest pubs.

Surry Hills: A top inner-city neighbourhood and one of Sydney’s most artistically vibrant with old terrace homes. A great mix of cafes, restaurants, wine bars and pubs serving a wide variety of cooking styles and cultures. Wander Crown Street, Bourke street and Cleveland Street.

Darling Harbour: A lively harbourside precinct just a 10-minute walk from the CBD. Waterside restaurants, cafes, nightlife, a large kids playground, Chinese Gardens and also plays host to the IMAX theatre, the Convention Centre, and the Aquarium.

The Chinese Gardens of Friendship in Darling Harbour, Sydney
Darling Harbour, Sydney

Paddington: A fashionable neighbourhood for boutique shopping on and around Oxford street, and the famous Paddington markets held on Saturdays. Also known for art galleries, cafes, restaurants and rows of pretty Victorian terraces.

Darlinghurst: Interesting by day and night. The main drag Oxford street plays host to the internationally famous Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mard Gras. Darlinghurst is great for dining out, small bars, and fashion boutique stores.

Manly: One of Sydney’s premier seaside suburbs for all the family. Wander the palm tree-lined corso, then hit the promenade on the beach. There’s sheltered swimming in an ocean pool, an aquarium, great fish and chips, ice cream shops, pubs, and a sophisticated dining scene.

Newtown: Alternative and colourful inner-west neighbourhood. Wander King street for great coffee, over 140 restaurants offering ethnic cuisines, funky bars, beer gardens and interesting people-watching.

Accommodation in Sydney:

Now you know which neighbourhoods are the best to stay in, it’s time to share with you some of our top places to stay in Sydney. 

If you’re transiting in Sydney and need a place near the airport, check out our review of the Holiday Inn Sydney Airport Hotel.

Budget Accommodation in Sydney

For hostels and budget accommodation, you can’t beat these cool digs:

  • Sydney Harbour YHA  – Top location in The Rocks District, built over the remnants of an archaeological dig of white Australia’s first settlement, awesome rooftop terrace, modern and great for solo, couples, and family travellers.
  • Sydney Central YHA – Terrific location within walking distance to Central Station, Chinatown, Darling Harbour, CBD, Surry Hills, and. Newtown. Large, spacious and modern. Also great for solo, couples, and families.
  • Wake Up! – Another top choice next to Central Station. Clean, modern, cool vibe, street cafe, sidebar, one of the best hostels in Sydney.
  • ibis Styles Sydney Central – Don’t want to stay in a hostel? Try the ibis Styles Sydney Central instead which is located in a great neighbourhood near Surry Hills and within walking distance to Central Train Station, CBD, Circular Quay and more.
things to do in sydney
Amazing rooftop views from Sydney Harbour YHA The Rocks

Mid-Level Accommodation in Sydney:

  • Vibe Hotel CBD – This chic and modern hotel is in the heart of the city, walk to Central Station, Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Chinatown, Circular Quay, Sydney Tower, Hyde Park, The Rocks.
  • Rydges World Square Hotel – conveniently located near CBD in the top neighbourhood of Surry Hills.
  • Mercure Sydney – a short walk to Central Station and a range of eateries for those on a budget.

Luxury Accommodation in Sydney:

  • Park Hyatt Sydney – contemporary luxury with an un-rivalled Sydney Harbour location.
  • Shangri-La – A luxury hotel in the Rocks District.
  • QT Sydney – a designer boutique hotel in the centre of the Sydney CBD.
  • Hilton – great location on famous George street with award-winning restaurants and bars.

Camping in Sydney

For a unique Sydney experience, consider camping on Cockatoo Island, a heritage-listed island in the middle of Sydney Harbour.

things to do in sydney

This is definitely one of the most unique, and cheaper, places to stay in Sydney.

Not a camper? The island also boasts houses and apartments. Read our post on Cockatoo Island here.

Tips for Visiting Sydney

Visit Bondi Beach, Sydney's most famous beach
Bondi Beach, Sydney’s most famous beach. Image: Shutterstock.com

Below we’ll share some of our top tips for visiting Sydney, such as when to visit, how to get around and how to get yourself free WiFi.

Best Time to Visit Sydney

Sydney is a destination you can enjoy all year round. There’s always something going on and it doesn’t get too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter with rainfall spread throughout the year.

But, if I had to suggest the BEST time to visit Sydney is the summer for sure. That is, Australian summer of December, January and February. Being a harbour and beach city the summer is the best time to experience all that Sydney has to offer.

Why not do something different and experience a summer Christmas and Boxing day? Plus, in the summer you have three other huge events: New Year’s Eve, the Sydney Festival and Australia Day.

Finding Free WiFi in Sydney

More and more free wireless Wi-Fi hotspots are being installed all over Sydney (and about time!!), in cafes, restaurants, food courts and hotels.

Free wireless internet is also available at:

Also, Urban Spoon is a good resource to search for cafes and restaurants offering free wireless internet.

Getting To and Around Sydney

Sydney is Australia’s biggest city and the gateway to the country with all major airlines running services.

From North America, you have many options including Qantas, Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, Emirates, and all the major US airlines.

From Asia consider Jetstar, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, and budget carriers like Air Asia, and Scoot.

Getting to Sydney Airport

Airport Link – trains run directly from Central Station to the airport and are around $18.39 – $19.53 one way, depending on the time of day. It takes approx 12 minutes.

Airport Connect – a Door To Door shuttle service to and from Sydney Domestic and International Airport and to and from the Sydney CBD

Sometimes we find Uber is cheaper to get to and from Sydney Airport, especially if there are a few of you.

Walking in Sydney

The CBD is very walkable and for the most part flat. From Central Station to Circular Quay down George or Pitt streets should take approximately 30-40 minutes.

Free Bus Shuttle

A free CBD shuttle (route 555) runs every 10 minutes on a loop from Central Station to Circular Quay via Elizabeth and George Streets.

Hop-On-Hop-Off-Bus Tour

The Hop on Hop Off Bus offers commentary tours of the CBD and Bondi at 34 different stops including all the major Sydney attractions.

City Rail Trains

The City Circle loop will take you around the CBD area with stops at Central, Town Hall, Wynyard, Circular Quay, St James and Museum.

Bondi Beach – take the eastern suburbs line to Bondi Junction then connect with buses to Bondi Beach.

My Multi Passes – unlimited travel on all government trains, buses and ferries for just $24 per day or $48-$56 per week.

Family Funday Sunday – Travelling with a family? Every Sunday for $2.50 per person you get unlimited travel on all trains, buses, ferries and light rail.

Before You Go

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50 thoughts on “24 Fun Things to Do in Sydney for 2023”

  1. Great sum-up of Sydney for a visitor! I did the bridge climb (and lived to write about it!) and it was a great way to get a good view of the harbor from up high. Balmoral Beach was a great “getaway” from the heart of Sydney to just be in a more residential yet beautiful part of Sydney. I also recommend the standard hop-on/off buses, especially right after arriving to get a good sense of the lay of the town.,

    1. Thanks Raul.

      Agree, Balmoral Beach is very nice. And yes, the hop-on-hop-off buses are a good intro to most cities to get your bearings and learn some history!

    2. Sydney is one of my favorite city in the world !!

      There are so many outdoor activities and beautiful sceneries to see!

      I have made a quick top 10 recommendations of the best cheap/free activities in the city! check it out This is truly an iconic landmark of Sydney.
      The best thing to do is to come and relax around the Opera House, admire the Harbour bridge at the same time, and have a drink or coffee at the Opera Bar.

      I have made a recommendation of the top 10 activities in Sydney ! Check them out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WTDvASldcY

      Let me know if you have any question !

  2. Wow, Craig, this post is AMAZING!! It’s my dream to visit Sydney (and Australia in general) and this just really made me even more hungry to go! 😀
    I saw your post on visiting Australia for two weeks, but my boyfriend and I are hoping to take some years off to travel the world, and we would really like to spend som months in Australia. It seems like there’s lots to see… But if you have time or want to, a post about roadtripping all of Australia or some other tips would be awesome.

    I do realise that you can’t write a post on everything we ask for, but I can’t seem to find good posts on this subject, and your blog and writing is so amazing…

    Anyways! Thanks for this amazing post! I will definately use it as a guide when we finally go to Sydney. For now, I will dream about it… Damn, it’s beautiful 🙂 THANK YOU!

    Best, Celia

    1. Hi Celia,

      Glad you found it informative. Below are a few links to some of our other posts on Australia. Hope they help?

      Sydney to Brisbane Road Trip Highlights:

      What to Do in Melbourne:

      What to Do in Brisbane:

      How to Work and Travel Australia:

      Working Holiday Australia Visa:

      How to Visit Australia on a 2 week vacation:

  3. I remember my first ever visit to Sydney, it was for 5 days and totally full. It is true that there is a lot of great things to do around Sydney. I also enjoyed a day trip to the Blue Mountains with a stop off at the Olympic Stadium.

    When I visited Bondi I must admit to being quite disappointed, I found it quite tacky. I would rather go and visit the Northern Beaches.

    Do you guys write about Melbourne? I’ve been there many times too and totally fallen in love with the place.

  4. Where was this thorough guide when I went to Sydney last year? I definitely enjoyed the beaches and the amazing weather in Sydney. The only thing was the different prices for when you ate inside the restaurant or took the food to go; I didn’t pick up on that up until my last few days in Sydney when my friend pointed it out to me. The other thing I enjoyed was the weekend Glebe Flea Market. I thought Sydney was overall expensive but was surprised at how much cheaper the prices were in there, compared to the same kind of flea markets here in NYC.

    1. Sorry it’s a year late Antoinette 🙂

      Means you will have to re-visit. Yeah, it’s no secret Sydney is expensive. But things like the markets, the beaches, ferry to Manly, walking around and visiting parks, eating in Chinatown and having picnics don’t costs that much.

  5. Love this round-up of Sydney – it makes me miss it so much. Glad to see Sydney Harbour Tallships on the list. looking at your previous post on the mast climb, it was a surprise to see myself working at the bar dressed as a pirate. Remember this sail well!

  6. We ‘re just planned our trip to Australia and New Zealand for February 2014 and found here the best tips for our trip. We have the same style as travelers and we are very pleased to have found your website to share experiences. Thanks, Alvaro and Vanessa (Brasil)

  7. Wow, what amazing tips! That really is the best guide EVER!

    Thank you! I’m hopefully going back to Sydney next year so will definitely be bookmarking this!


  8. Wow…that’s a great list! Anyone planning to visit Sydney must check out this list. Well, I have been Sydney once and it was a fabulous experience! I didn’t do each and everything that you mentioned, but it was still a great trip!

  9. This is THE BEST Sydney Travel Guide on the internet. I was wondering what i can recommend to my mates from overseas and I found this gem. You have covered every aspects and I am gonna send it to my mates and ready to have a great time. Thanks Craig!

  10. i couldn’t happier more found this awesome web, definetly will be my guide during my first solo trip to Sydney…thanks from Indonesia Craig 🙂

  11. Wow, I’m coming to Sydney in a few weeks and this has made me even more excited! Cant wait to try out so many things you have listed. A map with all the places you have mentioned would be a great addition to this blog, I like to get my head round where things are in comparison to each other! Thanks for the fantastic guide

    1. Thank you for the tip. We do tend to add maps into our posts now but something like this would probably be too time-consuming and cost a lot to do in resources. Although, I agree it would be a great idea and I also love maps to help me see how it all works.

  12. I cant visit Sydney because of hectic schedule. But I can go online shopping and choose the best shopping centers in Sydney. Choosing the nest couriers Sydney will also help.

  13. Ah, Sydney. Love the city! I’ve been there couple of times. Still, can’t say that I’ve seen all of it. Each time I discover new things. The last time I had the opportunity to travel a bit around the city, and found that there’s places outside of the city worth visiting. Found a pretty nice list of suggestion I plan to follow next time when I’m there http://www.radialtravel.com/city/sydney

    1. Great list, thank you! I especially liked the pictures of each destination you’ve listed. I like the Sydney place and its amazing trip

  14. Great post! I’m coming to Sydney as a solo backpacker after a business trip in Melbourne. I’ll also check your Melbourne city guide for the side trips on weekends. Thanks heaps!

  15. You know it’s nice to look into tourist pages like this once in a while even if you’re born and still staying in Sydney. Seems like there’s always an activity that you’ve forgotten was around and it’s a good idea to revisit some of the places that you haven’t been too since you were a kid.

  16. I have been following you guys on Facebook for awhile now, and now that my hubs and I have finally booked our trip to Australia your guides and to-do lists are gold for planning our visit. Thank-you!

  17. When you are in bondi you should check out the bondi beach markets. We are not the biggest in Sydney, but we are a local not for profit market that has donated thousands to local charities over the years. Great range of Sunglasses, hats and Jewellery. Near Hurricanes restaurant.

  18. What time of the year were you in Sydney? I see you wearing shorts and shirts, but another picture shows a coat and scarf with knee boots. The children wearing fleece, so is it elevation or cold in the morning and warming during the day?

  19. I love this list. My husband grew up in Manly but we live in the US now. We’ve done a few things on this list but there’s so much more – I can’t wait to go back!

  20. Wow! I just loved reading the blog. I would consider it as best piece of content anyone coming to Sydney can get. I am a regular reader of such blogs which tells and informs about new place I am about to visit. These blogs are really helpful for people. You are doing a good job! I live in Sydney and works at Tropical Immigration in Lane cove. I will be glad to serve. Thanks for sharing this blog.


  21. Hey thank you so much for this informative blog. I wil be starting my university in Sydney next year and I think this will be of great help for me to go on long weekends.

    1. Wonderful! So glad we could help. WE have a lot more content on Sydney which will be useful as well. Enjoy your studies!

  22. Hey, thank you so much for this informative blog. I will be starting my university in Sydney next year and I think this will be of great help for me to go on long weekends and I wish they would be near my student accommodation.

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