Sydney is Australia’s iconic “city meets the sea” destination that visitors travel to from far, far away to enjoy that once in a lifetime trip to Australia. For Aussies, Sydney is one of their favourite cities – up there with the likes of Melbourne and Brisbane.
But with so much to see in Australia, you’re likely to want to jampack as much into your trip as possible – visiting the Great Barrier Reef, have an Outback adventure, and spend just a couple of nights in each of the big cities. So if it’s just a couple of nights you have, here’s what you can’t miss in 48 hours in Sydney!
48 hours in Sydney: Day 1
First things first, you’ve got to get yourself from the airport to the city. The easiest and most cost effective is to hop on the Sydney Airport Link Train, which will get you into the city in 13 minutes for just $17.
Once in the city, your best bet will be to book a centrally located hotel as time is precious. I chose the Shangri-La Sydney, for it is renowned for having the best views of the Sydney Harbour. And as it were, those rumours were right! Here’s a peek at the view from my room:
With your bags dropped off, its time to explore the city! You have a range of activities on offer, depending on your preferences:
Tour the Sydney Opera House – Many visitors to the city of Sydney will be keen to snap shots in front of the Sydney Opera House, but not all visitors go inside to experience the building’s interior. There are a great range of concerts on year-round, giving visitors a chance to see inside the building and experience the acoustics. Check the site for more info on upcoming performances.
Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge – The iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb is one of Sydney’s biggest draw cards. Year after year travellers come from afar to climb the iconic bridge… just be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment!
Explore “The Rocks” – The area below the Sydney Harbour Bridge, known as “the rocks”, is one of the oldest parts of Sydney and perhaps one of the trendiest. This area is buzzing with great cafes and small boutiques, so be sure to walk around and see what hidden treasures you can find.
Catch a Ferry to Taronga Zoo – If you’re interested in snapping a selfie with a kangaroo or cuddling a koala, look no further than Taronga Zoo. To get there, head to Circular Quay and buy a ferry ticket – giving you the chance to see the harbour from the water as well!
Now to finish the day on a high note – 36 levels high to be exact! Altitude Restaurant is located 36 levels above Sydney, offering the absolute best views of the city in the evenings. There is a 6pm and 8.30pm seating, and tables must be booked in advance as the restaurant is popular year-round. If you’re up for a splurge, don’t go past the chance to indulge in a 6-course degestation menu with matching wines — bliss!
48 Hours in Sydney: Day 2
Wake early, fill up on a buffet breakfast, and make your way via public transport to Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach. If you’re visiting Australia in the summer, a visit to Bondi is an absolute must. Also consider making your way over to Bondi Icebergs for a dip in the iconic oceanfront pool (see below).
image: with some grace
Now that you’re here, why not spend the day exploring Bondi – one of Sydney’s most celebrated “trend setter” hotspots. You’ll find many great cafes, oodles of boutiques, and a great local culture you won’t get in the city itself. Before hopping on a train back to the city centre, be sure to drop into Gelato Messina Bondi for a party in your mouth via gelati – there’s no way you won’t be impressed!
Back in the city for the evening, there’s a range of dining options on offer. As you’re beginning to wind down and get ready to start the next leg of your journey, you might want to opt for something casual and low-key, without sacrificing flavours and great service. My favourite restaurant for such an evening meal is to enjoy the casual dining on offer at Tokonoma – a Japanese restaurant located at 44 Bridge Road (enter via Loftus Lane).
Over to you! Where are your favourite places in Sydney!?