I’m a little biased after living there for 3 years, but Sydney is my favourite city in Australia – just look at it! It’s easy to have a good time in Sydney simply by exploring its cafe culture and the 100-odd beaches that line the harbour. But for a truly memorable holiday, I’ve rounded up the best tours and fun activities to do in Sydney.
What to do in Sydney
21 Best Tours & Activities In Sydney
1. For the cheapest introduction to Sydney take a stroll across the Harbour Bridge. It’s costs nothing to walk across the pedestrian lane, accessed via steps either from Milsons Point or The Rocks, and you’ll get some incredible photos too.
2. For thrill-seekers who love boast-worthy claims book yourself on the Sydney Bridge Climb and walk the steel beams to the summit of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. If your budget doesn’t stretch to the climb you can also ascend one of the bridge pylons to a lookout for just $15.
3. Another splurgy activity that I totally recommend is a ride in a Sydney seaplane. Taking off from the water near Rose Bay, these scenic flights take you over the harbour and all the way up to Palm Beach aka Home & Away territory. We did it for my 30th birthday, read more here.
4. You can also take to the water for an exhilarating 30 minute jet boat ride around the harbour. This works well for a hot day as you will get soaked!
5. A more sedate way to cruise the harbour is on a Tall Ship Dinner Cruise. A sunset over Sydney Harbour is something everyone should see at least once.
6. Speaking of watery activities, why not try your hand at surfing with surf lessons at the world famous Bondi Beach. Hopefully you won’t end up on an episode of Bondi Rescue!
7. Do as the locals do and partake in a Sunday session at one of the waterfront hotels (pubs to my Pommy mates.) The Coogee Pavilion has an awesome pizza oven and rooftop bar overlooking the ocean. Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel is another fave for its city and ocean views. It’s also a great place to stay if you like beachside boutique hotels.
8. Discover some of Sydney’s best old boozers on a historic pub crawl through The Rocks, the harbourside quarter where European settlement began.
Bag your places now!
9. Learn about some of Sydney’s less salubrious history on a Kings Cross Crime and Passion Tour. If you’re a fan of the Underbelly TV show – this one is for you!
10. Hop on the ferry to Manly from Circular Quay and discover the popular beachside suburb loved by expats in Sydney. Head to Shelly Beach for snorkelling and fill up on an Acai bowl at Bare Naked Bowls on the way.
11. If you’re visiting during the summer season be sure to nab a ticket to the St George open-air cinema, which pops up in the Royal Botanical Gardens during the months of January and February. The programme features a mixture of previews and recent releases, there’s a bar and snacks available on site, and the harbour views are an absolute showstopper.
12. Shop up a storm at some of Sydney’s best markets. Kirribilli Markets are great if you like a car boot style rummage. There’s an Art/Design and Fashion market on the second Sunday of every month and the General Market on every 4th Saturday. (Check the website for details.) Over in Bondi, you’ll find a farmers market every Saturday and the general market with a medley of art, vintage clothes, homemade candles, second hand books and blooming gorgeous flowers on a Sunday.
13. Soap fans will love visiting the location of Summer Bay. The Official Home & Away Tour picks fans up in Circular Quay and takes you on the 1hr drive to Palm Beach while sharing show gossip along the way. It also features a couple of additional filming locations that are hard to spot on your own but you aren’t guaranteed to meet the cast as it depends if they are filming outdoor scenes that day.
You can also visit Palm Beach on your own steam, we took my parents there during the Easter hols and spotted the cast and crew filming. Don’t miss the chance to dine at the super chic Boathouse Palm Beach, a gorgeous waterfront eatery you may recognise from the soap opera.
15. Enjoy Afternoon Tea at the elegant Park Hyatt Sydney, nestled under the Harbour Bridge.
16. Or visit Opera Bar for affordable drinks with some of the best views in the city.
17. Head to one of the hippest spots in Sydney, the Grounds of Alexandria, which is a cafe, restaurant, garden, coffee roaster and market in one.
18. Take a daytrip to the misty Blue Mountains and meet the famous Three Sisters.
19. Visit the Insta-famous Figure 8 Pools in Royal National Park.
20. Sample boutique wine and smelly cheese on a food and wine tour of the Hunter Valley.
21. Enjoy one of Sydney’s incredible coastal walks, such as the Coogee to Bondi or Manly to Split Bridge.
Phew, so that should keep you busy. But if you’d like to know more about visiting Sydney feel free to ask me a question in the comments.
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