Ahh Sydney, by far my favourite city I visited during my trip to Australia, so there’s no better place to start my posts about Oz than here.
Even though I was in Sydney for 4 days on my trip, we did have one day of torrential rain. I’ve decided to smush everything I did and would recommend into a handy 48 hours, to try and show you the best of the city in that handy chunk of time!
Day 1 – The City
Providing you’re not fighting off jetlag, get yourself out of bed and head to Bill’s. Owned by the creator of Granger & Co (and not the same Bill’s that we have here in the UK), it’s a beautiful, cool and chic little café that serves brunch throughout the day. Similar to Granger & Co, the focus is on organically sourced food, fruit juices, well made coffee and absolutely gorgeous eggs on toast. The pricing here is average for Sydney, and no shock if you’re a London resident, but the food is so gorgeous it’s definitely worth it. Start your day off here and you’re starting it right, and it’s not too far from Central station if you just want to hop on a train straight to the Harbour.
If you’re in a walking mood then head up to Hyde Park to take advantage of the huge and gorgeous park, which definitely gives its London namesake a run for its money. Obviously if you have the opportunity to join a walking tour then do this to see the sights, as we did – and they’ll bring you on a route that covers this. Head on to the Sydney Botanical Gardens which is a beautiful place to get lost, or just lay back and catch some sun. Feel tropical walking through the palm trees and keep an eye out for the spiders that spin their webs in the branches above. I mean, Australians are so blasé about the dangerous animals they co-habitate with (quote from our taxi driver – “It’s absolutely fine, just be wary of the white or red ones – in England I’m pretty sure they only come in one colour?!???).
One of the best things about the Botanical Gardens is Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, which gives you a view of the Opera House and Bridge in one beautiful, picturesque view – perfect for your profile pic photo ops. Once you’ve taken in the view, walk around to the Opera House and if you can, take the opportunity to go on a tour of the inside if you have the time – this is something we didn’t do but has been recommended to me several times since.
After all that walking, sunbathing and sightseeing you’ll be in need of something to eat, so head to The Rocks – a beautiful little area that was the first European settlement in Sydney. Filled with restaurants and bars, it’s a chilled and relaxing way to spend your evening. If you’re up for a relaxing and reasonably priced meal then Ribs & Burgers (seriously) are a perfect stop with a very decent menu, that has a good view of the harbour. If you’re looking for somewhere to go for drinks and a bit of a party, then check out Munich Brauhaus (I saw them sing Happy Birthday to a customer with a full brass band so there’s that) or Sake bar and restaurant if you’re feeling slightly more classy than that. Once you’re fed, watered and partied out, head back to wherever you’re staying and get ready for a day at the beach.
Day 2 – The Beach
Sydney has plenty of beaches to choose from, but for me it was a no-brainer with only one day to choose – go for Bondi. The famous beach has everything you would want – sea, sand and sun – and also a great selection of places to eat. Quite a few Australians advised us not to go and pick out some lesser known beaches instead – which I understand, but Bondi is Bondi. Stroll down the strip and pick out your souvenirs before grabbing brunch at Speedo’s Café, a little café at the top of the beach which has some great views. Pick out something healthy from their lustrous menu to counteract the damage done the night before – I had the best smoked salmon and avocado I think I’ve ever had, and just look at the pancakes my friend chose – absolutely gorgeous.
Once you’re sufficiently fed and watered with some fresh, homemade mango juice, head onto the beach and catch the Vitamin D you need. It is a busy beach, because it’s such a tourist destination, but there’s plenty of room for sunbathing, and also surfing if it takes your fancy. Use the free Bondi Beach wifi (Australia is really good at free communal wifi) to google your way about, and any questions you might have, like how do they know if there are sharks about?!?? A shark alarm apparently, seriously… google it.
If you want to go shopping on your trip, check out Westfield Bondi Junction which is absolutely huge and has all the shops you might need for whatever circumstance. Check out Australian shops (especially Bonds, the underwear brand for some reasonable and comfy pants, can we get that in the UK please?) and pick up some iced coffee (Sydney is really good at iced coffee) before heading back on the tube to Sydney central.
Head back to your accommodation to shower off the sea and sand and apply any after sun you may need – there’s no O-Zone layer after all! Once you’re looking and feeling your best, head back to Sydney Central station and hop on a train that’ll take you to Milson’s Point, across the Harbour Bridge. Hop off and walk down to Luna Park, one of the most terrifying theme parks I’ve veer seen – and not because of the rides.
Look out over the harbour and take in the view of the bridge and opera house from a different angle. Use your Opal card to hop on to a ferry that will take you back across to the main terminal and finish off your evening with a drink at the Opera House bar before getting lost in the Rocks again for something to eat.
So there we have it! 2 jam-packed days in Sydney, with a bit of sight-seeing and beach tripping all in one city, what more could you want? Please comment below if you have any other suggestions (I’m sure I’ll be corrected by actual Sydney residents on where better to spend your time) and also let me know if you’ve tried anything from the post above.
Until next time! Thanks for reading.