Sydney is the largest city in Australia and a vibrant, buzzing place full of so many things to see that it might leave a first time visitor’s head spinning. From the iconic Opera House to hitting up a beach or two, cruising down the harbor, and hanging with kangaroos and koalas, where do you even start? With this 48-hour guide we hope to highlight some of the “must-sees” down under.
8 AM PANCAKES ON THE ROCKS
4 HICKSON RD. THE ROCKS, NSW 2000
With several locations around the city, Pancakes on the Rocks is one of the best places to grab a tasty stack of ‘cakes anytime of day. Open 24/7, with a variety of sweet treats like Coco Berry, Bavarian Apple, Black Forest Cherry, the hard part will be picking just one
9 AM SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE CLIMB
3 CUMBERLAND ST. THE ROCKS, NSW 2000
Constructed in 1932, the Sydney Harbour Bridge offers one of the most sweeping views of the city and for the perfect vantage point, what better way than to climb it? With tours offered at dawn, daytime, twilight, and night, each provides a slightly different perspective, but for first timers, there’s really nothing like seeing it’s vastness in the day light. The experience is totally safe and run by professionals, but if you’re afraid of heights or on a budget, you may prefer to walk along the main observation deck and/or visit the Pylon Lookout Museum for a detailed account of the bridge’s history.
12 PM AUSTRALIAN HERITAGE HOTEL
100 CUMBERLAND ST. THE ROCKS, NSW 2000
One of the best pubs in the city, grab a seat outside in the sun and enjoy one of the many beers and ciders on tap. Tuck into some classic Aussie food like potato wedges with sour cream and sweet chili sauce, a local favorite, or get adventurous and try the saltwater crocodile or Pepper Kangaroo pizza that is simply to die for.
2 PM THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
The most iconic building in all of Australia, the Sydney Opera House isn’t just home to the opera, but 1,500+ other performances a year of various art forms like ballets, theater, and orchestra. You can see a show to marvel at it’s grandeur or take a behind the scenes tour of this incredible structure.
4 PM WILD LIFE SYDNEY ZOO
1-5 WHEAT RD. DARLING HARBOUR, NSW 2000
No trip to Australia is complete without an up close encounter with some of Sydney’s best wildlife. See koalas, kangaroos, crocs, and Tasmanian Devils right on Darling Harbour. Located next to the Aquarium and Madame Tussauds, the WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo is a great place to see Australia’s native species without needing to leave the city.
6 PM THE MEAT & WINE CO.
L1, 31 WHEAT RD. COCKLE BAY DARLING HARBOUR, NSW 2000
A tasty steak with a reasonably priced menu, the Darling Harbor location of the Meat and Wine Co. spans three levels, offering fantastic views of the harbor and twinkling Sydney skyline at sunset. An African heritage restaurant with Australian tastes, it’s a meat-lovers paradise.
8 PM HARBOURSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE
2-10 DARLING DR. DARLING HARBOUR, NSW 2000
Following dinner, digest with a stroll around Darling Harbour before stopping at the food court for gelato, freshly made fudge or one of the many other tasty treats for dessert. Known as the “heartbeat of Sydney,” for more than 7,000 years Darling Harbour was a frontier; a boundary for the tribal people to transport food and supplies up the Parramatta River.
11 PM KINGS CROSS
WILLIAM ST., VICTORIA ST. AND DARLINGHURST RD. POTTS POINT, NSW
The Kings Cross/Oxford Street area of Sydney is where the majority of the clubs and dance bars are. The best way to enjoy the nightlife is simply to make your own bar crawl, follow the crowds and hop from spot to spot until you find one that suits your fancy. Recommended: Oxford Art Factory, The Cliff Dive, and Shady Pines Saloon.
9 AM 1888 EATERY & BAR
139 MURRAY ST. PYRMONT, NSW 2009
Start the day off right at your hotel with a tasty and opulent breakfast buffet at the hotel’s Eatery & Bar. Rustic and locally sourced, you can also opt for the a la carte 1888 Big Breakfast, which is similar to an English breakfast that’s also popular in Australia.
10 AM PADDY’S MARKET
MARKET CITY, CNR HAY ST. & THOMAS ST. SYDNEY, NSW 2000
Located in Chinatown below the Market City Mall, Paddy’s Market is a great Asian market where you can grab fresh fruits, veggies and seafood along with everything from Crocodile Dundee hats to hair extensions, socks, jewelry, UGG knockoffs, and all of the Australian souvenirs that you could ever imagine at a great price.
12 PM SYDNEY FISH MARKET
CNR PYRMONT BRIDGE RD. & BANK ST. SYDNEY, NSW 2009
The Sydney Fish Market is a wholesale fish market, sushi bar, and cooking school all in one. It is also a great place to grab some fresh seafood for lunch, with everything from the fish and chips to the Australian version of dim sum on offer.
2 PM BONDI BEACH
QUEEN ELIZABETH DR. SYDNEY, NSW 2026
It’s not a true visit to Sydney until you’ve spent some time at the beach and Bondi is the most popular in all of Australia. A great place to hang out with friends, grab some rays, people watch, or learn to surf, Bondi Beach even has it’s own TV show called Bondi Rescue, the real-life equivalent of Baywatch. Located just east of the city, the easiest way to get there is by taking the 333 Express bus from Circular Quay or Liverpool Street.
7 PM ROCKPOOL
11 BRIDGE ST. SYDNEY, NSW 2000
Regularly voted one of the top 10 restaurants in Sydney, the award-winning Rockpool has been serving up high quality, locally sourced Asian-inspired Australian cuisine for 25+ years. Paired with a mind-boggling wine list, treat yourself with the nine or ten course meal to end your last night on a high note.
9 PM THE ARGYLE
Located in one of Australia’s oldest buildings, the Argyle Bar has so much history and is so pretty that people even come here to get their wedding photographs taken. Casual bites and drinks can be found at serving stations throughout the venue, both inside and in the breathtaking courtyard. There is often a DJ with room to dance, but also ample seating if you’d prefer a quieter night out on the town.