July 30, 2018

City Guide: What to Do in Sydney in 48 Hours

How do you spend 48 hours in Sydney?

Sydney is a city that certainly deserves a week-long visit. Widely regarded as one of Australia’s most beautiful cities, the harbour city is not only a great base for visiting the Australian Outback or the Great Barrier Reef, it is a vibrant travel destination that will delight your senses.

The capital of New South Wales capital seamlessly combines the excitement expected of a modern metropolis with the unmistakable charm of a destination that’s packed with nature spots and cultural attractions. You’ll also get to visit some really gorgeous beaches, try out exciting bars, and explore foodie suburbs.

One of the most likeable things about Sydney is that you can easily see and experience many of its highlights on foot. Here’s how you can spend an incredible 48 hours in the city without wandering too far from the city centre.

Day 1: Circular Quay, Breakfast in Sydney CBD, Royal Botanic Garden, The Rocks

Sydney City Guide - What to Do in Sydney in 48 Hours - Circular Quay

To make the most of out of your short stay in Sydney, begin your adventure by exploring Circular Quay. The colourful harbour is located on the northern edge of the city’s CBD, on the Sydney Cove. It is the best starting point if you want to see the Land Down Under’s most iconic attractions like the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.

Sydney City Guide - What to Do in Sydney in 48 Hours - Opera House

Amble around the Quay and soak up the wonderful views and the activity in the city’s bustling transport hub. Grab a quick breakfast at any of the harbourfront cafes and restaurants before taking a tour inside the Opera House and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Sydney City Guide - What to Do in Sydney in 48 Hours - Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

Next, walk towards the Royal Botanic Garden , definitely one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. Walk about the gardens and appreciate the peaceful atmosphere and stunning harbour views. You can also have a picnic lunch at the gardens if you choose.

Sydney City Guide - What to Do in Sydney in 48 Hours - Mrs. Macquaries Chair

After your sumptuous meal, stretch out your legs and walk through the gardens until you reach Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, one of the best lookouts points in Sydney. Here you will surely revel in the best vantage views of the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Sydney City Guide - What to Do in Sydney in 48 Hours - Sydney Harbour Bridge

While you can just walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, climbing the world’s largest steel-arch bridge that’s fondly called ‘The Coathanger” is still one of the best ways to relish the panoramic views of the city. Book tours that will allow you to experience the city’s highlights from the summit of the bridge while Sydney is in full swing.

Sydney City Guide - What to Do in Sydney in 48 Hours - The Rocks Historic District

After your day climb, continue to the historic The Rocks District, just around the corner from Circular Quay. Now a tourist district, The Rocks was founded in 1788 as the first European settlement in Australia. Once a slum, every nook and cranny of this attraction is teeming with character so take a stroll along its many cobblestone streets and visit the Rocks Discovery Museum to learn about the precinct’s convict past.

The area is also home to many good old-fashioned pubs so if you’re feeling famished and thirsty after your walking tour, you’ll easily find a place offering delectable pub grub. End your day with a pint of handcrafted beer as you enjoy amazing views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Sydney City Guide - What to Do in Sydney in 48 Hours - New South Wales

The Big Bus Sydney Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour, with over 30 stops, is a great option for travellers looking to experience Sydney’s highlights at their own pace. Or, you can take the guided Spectacular Sydney Full Day Tour and spend 8 wonderful hours exploring the city’s iconic sights, attractions, and famous suburbs.

Day 2 – Queen Victoria, Bondi Beach, Dinner Cruise

Sydney City Guide - What to Do in Sydney in 48 Hours - Queen Victoria Building

Sydney is also known for its shopping scene. There are many shopping precincts and weekend markets to explore. But if visiting the New South Wales capital for the first time, start with the Queen Victoria  Building. Located in the heart of Sydney CBD, the iconic late 19th century building combines food and fashion and features top-end dining and shopping options that promise a premium experience.

Sydney City Guide - What to Do in Sydney in 48 Hours - Bondi Beach

After shopping up a storm at QVB, it is time to make an essential stop at Bondi Beach – Australia’s most popular stretch of sand. Getting to Bondi Beach is easy, you only need to take the train from Central Station and hop off at the Bondi Junction, then catch the bus that will take you to Bondi Beach.

But before spending a whole afternoon getting your much-needed dose of sun, surf, and sand, have lunch at the famous Trio Cafe. Marvel at the  sweeping views of the Sydney coastline as you indulge in scrumptious food. Must-trys are the smoked salmon bruschetta and Reuben sandwich!

You might also want to try taking a coastal walk  from Bondi to Coogee. The walk, approximately 6 kilometres, will take you about 2.5 hours to complete. It will be a different sightseeing experience and you will be treated to some spectacular scenery.

Sydney City Guide - What to Do in Sydney in 48 Hours - Sydney Harbour

For your final activity in Sydney, we suggest a dinner cruise because Sydney and its iconic landmarks and attractions are even more gorgeous when viewed from the water. There are a number of great value Sydney dinner cruises available so you will surely find one that suits your budget. Book early and try to get a window table to luxuriate in your freshly prepared evening meal amid live music and spectacular views of Sydney Harbour.

Experience the best of what  Sydney has to offer by taking a half-day tour that will take you to Bondi Beach plus other noteworthy places around the city. Complement your daytime city and Bondi Beach adventure with the Sydney Harbour Sunset Dinner Cruise and savour great food and drinks as you take in the million-dollar views. Should you decide to extend your stay, a trip to the Jenolan Caves – one of the most fascinating cave systems in the world – deep in the Blue Mountains is a must!

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