With an abundance of diverse activities – surfing on brilliant beaches, going into the depths of the urban jungle or visiting world-renowned landmarks – it can be difficult to decide what to do first when arriving in Sydney. For a little head start, we’ve laid out the highlights, that cannot be missed on a visit to the biggest city of Australia:
1. Luna Park
Ride the Ferris Wheel, the Wild Mouse rollercoaster or just enjoy some people gazing at Sydney’s retro Luna Park. This colorful theme park originally opened in 1935 and has been open on and off since, with some of the attractions still in use this day. The general old-school vibe and its waterfront position are what makes Luna Park worth the visit even for those who are not planning on riding anything.
Entrance to the park is free, visitors solely have to pay for the rides they want to get on. Luna Park is open year round and can be easily accessed by ferry, which stops right in front of its literally smiling door. (Milsons Point Wharf)
Note: avoid going on school holidays as it tends to get extremely overcrowded.
For more information and opening hours visit www.lunaparksydney.com
2. Sydney Opera House
Perhaps the most symbolic to Sydney is the Opera House. Surprising for some is that, even though it looks like one gigantic building from a distance, the Sydney Opera House actually consists out of 7 individual venues. Each and everyone with their own iconic white roof built up out of over 1 million tiles. The Opera House still hosts over 40 shows a week and no, these aren’t only opera shows. Shows vary from cabaret to theater and dance; basically, anything that concerns performing arts so that visitors of all ages and backgrounds can enjoy a visit to the striking UNESCO world heritage site.
TIP: Have a drink at the Opera Bar whilst visiting the Opera house. This beer garden is situated right at the waters edge and offers a phenomal view of the harbour.
Visit www.sydneyoperahouse.com for more information and to discover the prices of a show to your liking.
3. Chinese Garden of Friendship
An oasis amidst the busy city center; the Chinese gardens of Sydney. This calming sight is open to the public for an entrance fee of 6 AUD (€3.7/$4.2 ). It takes roughly 30 minutes to an hour to make your way through the park
For more information visit www.darlingharbour.com
4. Walk the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney’s Harbour Bridge was originally build to make the Northern half of Sydney more accessible and has been in use for nearly a century now. The bridge is 1.149m long and 49m wide, allowing cars as well as pedestrians to cross the sea. For an exceptional walk in which you can spot several city highlights from above, access the bridge on Cumberland Stree in Circular Quay, and make your way over to the Northern end. The walk is particularly good during sunset and sunrise!
Sydney Harbour Bridge bonus activity:
Feeling a bit more adventurous than crossing the bridge by foot? It is also possible to actually climb the steel arch bridge, where an organized tour will bring you all the way up to the top. Hearsay has it that this experience, and the views from above, are ones to never-ever forget. As it is a once in a lifetime experience, climbing the bridge does not come cheap. Tour prices start at 168 AUD and run up to 388 AUD.
For more information visit www.bridgeclimb.com
5. Bondi Beach
A visit to the world’s most renowned beach can surely not be left off this list. Surfing, tanning, people watching, take a ton of photos, drinks with a view, outdoor workouts; there is something to do for everyone on this nearly 1 km stretch of sand. For a complete overview, click here to discover the best things to do in and around Bondi Beach.
6. Darling Harbour
7. Go to Manly
Perhaps one of the most surprising Sydney suburbs is Manly. This idyllic beach set town is located a half hour ferry ride away from Circular Quay, or 15-minutes if you hop on the fast ferry. Manly is a Sydneysiders favorite and many will go to Manly on the weekends, to either get their surf on or just to enjoy a nice meal along the palm-lined boulevard. There is more to Manly than just the long stretch of golden main beach, make sure to explore the area and visit Shelly beach whilst you’re there.
The ferry to Manly leaves every half hour from Circular Quay. The price of a ticket for the regular ferry is roughly 15 AUD per person. The fast ferry is priced at 18.20 AUD. Prepare yourself for some killer views along the way.
Tip: on Sundays, public transport fares are adjusted to a $2.70 travel cap within NSW. Making it by far the best day to explore farther out areas in Sydney, such as Manly.
8. The Rocks
‘The Rocks’ is the oldest neighborhood in Sydney’s inner city center and can be referred to nothing less than spectacular. Whilst the area is mainly popular with locals for its shopping and dining possibilities, it is the view that makes The Rocks into something truly unique. A walk through these vibrant streets is amusing at any time of day.
*All prices as of 8 January ’18 in US dollars & Euro, converted on xe.com