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Sydney Itinerary – How To Spend 1 – 3 Days In Sydney

One of Australia’s largest cities, Sydney is the capital of the state of New South Wales and sits on the south-east coast of Australia.

Home to over 5 million people, this large city has some iconic landmarks, including the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It’s also home to some superb beaches like Bondi, Coogee and Manly, to name just a few.

Apart from spectacular coastal views, this cosmopolitan city also offers plenty of great attractions from museums to parks, shopping experiences, delicious cuisines and much more.

So here’s our easy to follow 3 day Sydney itinerary to help plan your visit.

How To Get Around Sydney

Getting around Sydney couldn’t be easier. There are generally 3 options:

Public Transport

If you are visiting Sydney and the surrounding regions, an Opal card is the most convenient and affordable way to pay for your fares on public transport.

You can use an Opal card on the metro, train, bus, ferry and light rail services. 

The card acts just like a ticket, except you keep it, top it up and simply tap on and tap off at either end of the journey.

Opal cards are available to purchase at many convenience stores and newsagents around Sydney.

There is no charge for an Opal card, however the minimum top up is $10 for an Adult Opal card and $5 for a Child/Youth Opal card.

Hop On Hop Off Bus

There are also standard buses and bus routes that can get you just about anywhere in the city.

However, there is also of course the famous Sydney & Bondi: Big Bus Open-Top Hop-on, Hop-off Tour.

This is always popular among tourists, and a is great way to see many famous landmarks around the city at ease.

Tour

Some of the best days out we’ve had in Sydney have been on private tours.

So for those short on time, or those that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.

From food tours, to river cruises and pub crawls, there’s plenty to keep you busy in the capital of New South Wales!

Best Time To Visit Sydney

Summer falls between December and February, so if you fancy Christmas on the beach, Sydney is the place to be.

However, this is obviously the busiest and time of year so, if you want it a little less crowded, either side of the summer season is great.

March to May and September to November, Sydney holds various festivals including sports festivals, writing and art festivals and of course the famous Mardis Gras Pride Festival.

Remember, this is just a guide, so you may want to mix it up and add/subtract different attractions.

What To Pack

Photography Camera

Tripod

Day Bag

Power Bank

Reusable Water Bottle

Sunscreen

Lightweight Rain Jacket

Quick Dry Towel

GoPro

Lifeproof Phone Case

Dry Bag

Coogee Beach Bondi To Coogee Walk Bondi To Coogee Coastal Walk
Lauren hanging out at Coogee Beach

Sydney Itinerary Day 1

Sydney Opera House

Where better place to begin your 3 day Sydney itinerary, than the famous Sydney Opera House.

Located at Circular Quay, the Sydney Opera House is an iconic landmark of Sydney, and Australia itself.

We recommend using your Opal card to visit early in the morning. This way you can enjoy a moment away from the crowds, in front of one of the most iconic monuments in the world.

At sunrise, a moment of peace and quiet before the hustle and bustle comes in is certainly something you’ll remember forever. 

If you want to get the most out of your visit, I recommend the Guided Opera House Tour with Entrance Ticket.

Otherwise you can either attend one of the 40 shows available per week, or wine and dine in the beautiful restaurant overlooking all the best parts of Sydney.

Sydney Opera House Fun Things To Do In Sydney For Couples

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Turn to your left and you’ll have already spotted the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background!

For most, the Opera House is the best place to take a photo of the Harbour Bridge from.

Simply head to the Opera Bar and you’ll be presented with one of the most famous backdrops in the world.

If you’re looking for something specific, or a special way to remember your Harbour Bridge experience, check out Sydney Harbour Bridge tours.

For us, we decided to create an experience to remember by taking a slow stroll across the very famous landmark.

There is a pedestrian walkway on the eastern side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge that offers some of the best views of Sydney Harbour.

Access to the walkway is completely free!

It’s 1.5km one way, and takes roughly 15-30 minutes, depending on how many times you stop to take photos.

We walked the from one side of the bridge to the other, stopping to admire the Opera House and Circular Quay on the way.

However, if you want to push it even further, you can try the bridge climbing experience!

Sydney Harbour Bridge Fun Things To Do In Sydney For Couples

Catch The Ferry To Manly Beach

Following on from Circular Quay, naturally the next place to head on to on your 3 day Sydney itinerary is Manly.

Manly is one of the most touristy beaches in Sydney after Bondi.

It can be reached from the CBD by ferry across the Sydney Harbour and it has a relaxed holiday vibe.

Ferries depart to Manly from Circular Quay daily, at wharf No. 3!

Tickets can be paid for on your Opal card, and trust us when we say that this ferry journey is a scenic one.

On the ferry journey over to Manly, you get to see Sydney in a completely different way. If you want to take it to the next level you could even book a Sydney Harbour helicopter tour!

It looks even more beautiful from the water, and if you can catch a sunset on the way home, it will certainly be a perfect finish your first day in Sydney!

Sydney Opera House Sydney Bucket List Sydney Itinerary Best Things To Do In Sydney

Luna Park

If you have time in the evening after Manly, Luna park is another popular destination located just on the North side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge!

Popular for people of all ages, Luna Park is the most iconic amusement park in Australia.

Full of rides and attractions, you’re guaranteed an evening of fun. Plus, come sundown you’ll have spectacular views of Sydney Harbour lit up at night.

So if you’re young at heart, this is certainly a place to try and squeeze into your 3 day Sydney itinerary.

You can also book a Luna Park Sydney Unlimited Rides Pass in advance, and get unlimited access to all the rides and attractions of Luna Park!

Just be sure to check the closing times before you make the journey. It’s usually 4pm Mon-Thur, and 10pm Fri-Sat.

Luna Park Sydney Bucket List

Sydney Itinerary Day 2

Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach is arguably the most famous beach in the world. So day 2 of the 3 day Sydney itinerary begins here.

We recommend taking public transport to Bondi. From the city the easiest way to get to Bondi Beach is to catch the train to Bondi junction (from Central, Town Hall, Martin Place) then change to the 380, 381, 382 or 333 bus at Bondi Junction for a 15 minute ride to the beach.

You’ll have to get up early if you want to experience some quiet time at the empty beach, because during the day, this stretch of coastline completely packs out.

Bondi Beach is popular for surfers, morning joggers and of course tourists as soon as the sun comes out! You may even want to book a Bondi Beach Surf Lesson!

There’s so much to see and do in the Bondi area, which makes it undoubtedly one of most important things to add to your Sydney bucket list.

We recommend spending a full morning here and enjoying some holiday time. However, if you’re not a fan of sitting still then our next recommendation is for you.

Bondi Beach Sunrise Sydney Bucket List

Bondi To Coogee Coastal Trail

After relaxing on the beach if you fancy getting up and getting active then this walk is for you!

The Bondi to Coogee walk is one of the most popular scenic routes in the country. With locals and tourists flocking daily, it makes for an awesome day out with breathtaking views.

We started the walk bright and early to avoid the tourist rush throughout. It was an enjoyable way to start the day, passing only joggers and early morning dog walkers. 

It’s a fairly flat and straight forward walk, sticking to the coast with slight up hill walks in parts.

It takes roughly 2 hours without stops! Although you’ll probably want to dip in the baths/ocean along the way and take plenty of photos.

We saw Sydney in a completely different light on the Bondi To Coogee coastal walk, and we definitely recommend you experience this side of Sydney.

Bondi To Coogee Walk Bondi To Coogee Coastal Walk Sydney Bucket List

George Street & Darling Harbour

In the afternoon on day 2 of your 3 day Sydney Itinerary we recommend heading back into the city.

Aside from the beaches, and iconic landmarks, Sydney is also know for it’s huge city and stunning skyscrapers.

We believe there’s nothing more epic than wandering beneath mile high buildings with no end in sight. A Sydney itinerary wouldn’t be complete without taking in the beauty of the city.

George Street is the main street leading through the centre of Sydney’s CBD. There are an abundance of shops, malls and souvenirs stalls.

However, just around the corner is Darling Harbour. Easily walkable to, it’s more of the fine dining area of Sydney and is another beautiful spot to enjoy dinner with a view.

George Street Sydney City Sydney Bucket List

Mrs Macquaries Chair

Depending on timing, this spot may come before or after your walk around the city.

Either way though, Mrs Macquaries Chair is a great spot for sunset!

To reach Mrs Macquaries Chair you’ll want to head back towards Circular Quay. From Circular Quay there’s a beautiful walk through the Botanical Gardens that you follow to get there.

It’s normal to find a gathering of people around the rocks at golden hour, because it gives a great view of both the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

It’s also super popular destination for photographers and one of the most Instagrammable places in Sydney.

Mrs Macquarie's Chair Sunset Sydney Bucket List

Sydney Itinerary Day 3

Blue Mountains

To being our third and final day of the 3 day Sydney itinerary we’ve left space for the Blue Mountains!

The Blue Mountains National Park is an absolutely huge region of mountain ranges and even villages. There are endless trails, waterfalls and viewpoints scattered throughout.

The best option for visiting the Blue Mountains is to rent a car for the day. That way you can explore the region at ease as there’s a lot of grounds that you can cover.

It is possible to take a train from the city – the train from Central Station in Sydney takes approximately 2 hours to reach the mountains, and costs roughly $6.80 each way using an Opal card.

Another popular way of visiting the Blue Mountains is on a Blue Mountains Full-Day Trip with Cruise.

There’s also the option of the Blue Mountains Hop on Hop off pass.

The most famous tourist attraction are the three sisters, which you’ll likely want to take photos of. However, Lincoln’s Rock is also an unbelievably breathtaking viewpoint.

Although it’s a good hour drive from the city, it’s definitely top of most tourists bucket lists.

Lincoln's Rock Blue Mountains Sydney Bucket List

Relax At The Beaches

For the final afternoon on your 3 day Sydney itinerary we’ve left it open to down time.

Being a first time tourist in such a hectic, exciting city will completely take it out of you.  So obviously, one of the top things to do in Sydney is to treat yourself to some beach time!

There’s no doubt that by the time you’ve conquered your Sydney quest, you’ll want to find a beach and soak up the beautiful Australian sun. Any single beach in Sydney will be perfect for just that.

One of our favourite, less touristy beaches was definitely Bronte.

Not only does it have the incredible beach and ocean, but Bronte Baths and its awesome secret viewpoint is a hidden gem!

Bronte Baths Sydney Bronte Beach Viewpoint Sydney Bucket List

Where To Stay In Sydney

Luxury

Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

Overlooking Sydney’s historic Rocks area, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney offers free WiFi, a bar, restaurant, fitness center and swimming pool.

Located in Sydney’s CBD Central Business District, it features luxurious rooms with panoramic views over the iconic Sydney Opera House and Circular Quay. 

Each room offers an LCD TV, an iPod docking station and free toiletries.

There’s also a 350 square fitness centre that includes a relaxing sauna.

Guests can unwind in the hotel’s therapeutic spa and wellness center, which offers skin treatments and relaxing massages. Airport transfers are available upon request.

Mid-Budget

The Fullerton Hotel Sydney

Located in Sydney CBD, The Fullerton Hotel features an a la carte restaurant, a bar and access to a fitness centre.

It boasts luxurious rooms with unique decor as well as a flat-screen TV.

Some rooms offer the most stunning city views and guests can enjoy free WiFi in public areas. 

The Fullerton Hotel Sydney is 15 a minute walk from both Darling Harbour and Sydney Opera House.

Budget

The Village Bondi Beach

The Village Bondi Beach is just just a 2 minute walk from the world famous Bondi Beach and offers comfortable air-conditioned rooms. 

The hostel is a 20 minute drive from Sydney Harbour and a 25 minutes drive from Sydney Airport.

Markets, shops, restaurants and cafes are all within a 2 minute walk from the property. 

Facilities include guest laundry, kitchen, TV room, lounge room and a private bathroom.

There is a bus stop located at the end of the street with easy access to the city.

Free WiFi also is available with a limit of 500mb per day. You can pay for extra wifi too!

For more places to stay in Sydney, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.

Planning Your Trip

Book Your Flight

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. 

They search websites and airlines around the globe to find you the best possible routes and prices.

Book Your Accommodation

Use Booking.com to find the best accommodation deals.

They consistently return the cheapest rates on everything from guesthouses to hotels for all of your budget needs.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Use SafetyWing to find the best travel insurance for you.

They provide travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Book Your Tours & Activities

Use GetYourGuide to book your activities in advance.

They sell the best tours, excursions and activities to attractions around the world.

Conveniently book, download and access your tickets on the move all from your mobile. 

Book Your Rental Car

Use RentalCars.com to find the best deals on rental cars in the area.

They compare all major car rental companies and allow you to easily book the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Buy Those Last Minute Bits

Use Amazon to buy everything you need for your adventure.

They offer next day delivery and you can use my travel packing checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.


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The Perfect 3 Day Sydney Itinerary

Antonio Gabric

Wednesday 18th of December 2019

Wow, Sydney looks stunning - a perfect combination of the natural and urban worlds. I'm heading there next week and can't wait. Thank you very much for your detailed itinerary, it will definitely help! :)

Charlie Pauly

Thursday 19th of December 2019

Ahh that's awesome to hear! Thanks so much and have an amazing trip!