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Sydney Bucket List: 14 Best Things To Do 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, if you’re looking for things to do in Sydney and want to visit all of the iconic spots, then here is a Sydney bucket list guide.

1. Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House is an iconic image of Sydney, and Australia itself.

We recommend you visit early in the morning, so you can enjoy a moment of peace in front of one of the most famous monuments in the world.

This should certainly be number one on your things to do in Sydney bucket list.

If you want to get the most out of the Sydney Opera House, you can either attend one of the 40 shows per week or wine and dine in the beautiful restaurant overlooking all the best parts of Sydney.

Alternatively, if you want to get all the information, I recommend the Guided Opera House Tour with Entrance Ticket.

Sydney Opera House Sydney Bucket List

2. Sydney Harbour Bridge

Create an experience to remember by taking a slow stroll across the very famous Harbour Bridge.

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!

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

We walked the from one side of the bridge to the other, stopping to admire the Opera House and Circular Quay on the way. On our return, the sun had began to set, making it certainly one of our most memorable moments in Sydney.

However, if you want to push it even further, you can add the bridge climbing experience to your Sydney itinerary!

Sydney Harbour Bridge Sydney Bucket List

3. Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach is arguably the most famous beach in the world.

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

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 places to add to your things to do in Sydney bucket list.

Bondi Beach Sunrise Sydney Bucket List

4. Bondi to Coogee Coastal Trail

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

We started the walk bright and early to avoid the tourist rush and it was an enjoyable way to start the day. Passing only joggers and early morning dog walkers along the way.

It’s a fairly flat and straight forward walk that sticks 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

5. Bronte Baths

Bronte Baths is sheltered from the ocean, yet still filled with its salty waves. It’s an ideal place to go for dip anytime from sunrise through to sunset.

The pool is big enough for any advanced swimmers to practise their lengths and also shallow enough in parts for families to take youngsters.

If you take the plunge at Bronte Baths, we must warn you that the temperature may just take your breath away. It’s pretty damn cold but too inviting not to take a dip.

Bronte Baths Sydney Bucket List

6. Bronte Baths Viewpoint

Stop for a spot of lunch overlooking the whole of Bronte Beach. It was one of our favourite places in Sydney, which is why we highly recommend you to add it to your Sydney bucket list.

The colours of blue compliment the coastline from above and this viewpoint seems to be a pretty popular Instagram spot in Sydney. 

Simply head to the end of the walk-way past the Bronte Baths and climb up the rocks to find it!

Bronte Baths is similar to the very popular Bondi Icebergs Pool, although this gem is completely free.

It’s also a great alternative way to spend the day with friends and watch the waves crash against the rocks, whilst soaking in the Australian sun.

Bronte Baths Sydney Bronte Beach Viewpoint Sydney Bucket List

7. 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 a super popular destination for photographers on their things to do in Sydney bucket list.

Mrs Macquarie's Chair Sunset Sydney Bucket List

8. Visit George Street

Aside from the beaches and iconic landmarks, Sydney is also know for its 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 bucket list wouldn’t be complete without taking in the beauty of the architecture..

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, 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

9. Luna Park

Popular with 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 one of the most important things to add to your Sydney bucket list.

Book your Luna Park 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

10. 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 ground 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 Sydney bucket list.

Lincoln's Rock Blue Mountains Sydney Bucket List

11. Get The Ferry To Manly Beach

This is a two-in-one tick off your Sydney bucket list.

It may sound like a pretty boring addition, but trust us when we say that this ferry journey is a scenic one.

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.

On the ferry journey over to Manly, you get to see Sydney in a completely different way.

It looks way more beautiful from the water and if you can catch a sunset on the way home, it will certainly be a perfect finish to your Sydney bucket list.

If you want to take it to the next level you could even book a Sydney Harbour: 20-Minute Coast & Skyline Helicopter Flight!

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

12. Dudley Page Reserve

Dudley Page Reserve is a park in the eastern suburbs with breathtaking, panoramic views of Australia’s favourite icons; the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

At Dudley Page Reserve, you can experience a peaceful moment outside of the city, all made fun by a picnic and a sunset.

It might not be on your usual Sydney bucket list, but it’s a great local spot that we happened to find, thanks to our Australian friends.

Not many first-time Sydney tourists will know about Dudley Page Reserve, so definitely take up on the opportunity to get the perfect Sydney backdrop photo.

Dudley's Page Reserve Sydney Bucket List

13. Barrenjoey Lighthouse Trail

Barrenjoey Lighthouse is an epic viewpoint and well worth a journey if you have some spare time in Sydney.

You get to see the amazing viewpoint of Palm Beach if you take the plunge and conquer this easy peasy trek.

Fun fact: Palm Beach is the area in which the Australian television series ‘Home And Away’ is filmed. The town before the Barrenjoey Lighthouse walk is instantly recognisable as ‘Summer Bay’ from the show.

Those that are big fans of the show can even book the Official Home and Away Tour to Summer Bay.

If you’re lucky, you may even catch some filming take place on the day you visit. Unfortunately we didn’t, BUT fortunately we had the place to ourselves.

Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk Palm Beach Sydney Bucket List

14. Relax At The Beaches

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 city quest, you’ll want to find a beach and soak up the beautiful Australian sun. Any beach in Sydney will be perfect for just that!

If you scan through the photos in our Bondi to Coogee coastal walk blog you’ll see many different beaches on the stunning coastline of Sydney. It’s hard to pick just one!

Bronte Beach 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 Ultimate Sydney Bucket List