Must-see in Sydney
Sydney, Australia is one of the most iconic cities in the world with millions of people flocking in to visit each year and it’s no surprise that they do.
With at least 9.2 million over night visitors in 2015, it’s no wonder the city is busy all year round. From an afternoon spent walking around the botanical gardens, to a lazy day at Bondi Beach, to climbing the world famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, there is something for everyone when visiting Australia.
Trips in and around Sydney vary in price, but all are worth doing in their own way, while not restricted to, many sights and activities worth seeing are:
- Sydney Harbour Bridge
- Opera House
- Harbour Bridge climb
- Sky Tower
- Blue Mountains
- Bondi Beach
- Manly Beach
- Coogee Beach
- Watsons Bay
- Rocks Market
- Paddy’s Market
- Fish Market
- Brighton Beach
- Hyde Park Barracks Museum
- Museum of Sydney
- Australia Museum
Harbour Bridge Climb
For those adrenaline seekers out there, the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb is definitely worth the money. While a little more on the expensive side compared to anything else in the city, it’s an experience you can compare to none, and then on top of that, the views across the harbour and over the opera house are worth cherishing. There are three types of climb; the sampler, the express, and the bridge climb, you then have the choice of day or night. Both the express, and bridge climb take you to the top of the harbour bridge, allowing you to see the magnificent views, with the main difference being, the express is 1 hour shorter, follows the inner arch of the bridge and takes you to the highest point. The bridge climb however, is three and half hours long, following the path on the outer edge of the bridge. While most would opt for the bridge climb, the express has a hidden level of adrenaline as you climb to the top of the bridge with the cars below you, giving you a real sense of height. The sampler climb however just takes you a quarter of the way, so while much more cost affective, the adrenaline and views aren’t quite the same, but still great for those on a budget. What is also great for those that do opt for one of the bridge climb experiences is that they also throw in a ticket to the original Pylon Lookout (usually $13) which you can also see some incredible views from as well as having the chance to take your own camera – something which is unfortunately prohibited on the bridge climb.
Those looking at a cheaper alternative to seeing Sydney from above can opt for a trip up the Sky Tower, giving you 360 degree views over the city. The experience gives you a chance to see the city from a new perspective, looking down over the harbour, bridge and opera house. Those that are seeking a little for adrenaline can opt for the skywalk where you take a 45 minute open air tour around the sky tower. Tickets start from around $18 dollars, $50 for those that also want to try the sky walk.
Sydney Opera House
Alongside the harbour bridge, a must-see in Sydney is the Opera House, even better if you can see a show. Views from the outside of the building alone are incredible, but the design, art and decoration inside is worth seeing. You can opt for a tour around the Opera House with costs starting at $37, or for those wanting the full experience, it’s worth buying tickets to a show. From world-famous performances, to shows that have been adapted for family viewing, it’s an experience all can enjoy.
Another must-do in Sydney is a trip to the Blue Mountains. This can be done on your own on a self-drive trip, by train or through a tour agency. With a wide range of tours operating, with varying prices, there is again something for every type of traveller. Situated on the western side of Sydney, the Blue Mountains offer a break from the city life and give you a chance to witness natures beauty in the form of waterfalls, steep cliffs and forests. You can opt to bush walk through the forest or ride the worlds steepest passenger railway at Scenic World, both of which giving you the chance to see Jamison Valley and Katoomba Falls with your own eyes. The Blue Mountains it’s a great way to spend the day whether you’re out for an adrenaline-fuelled trip, or one to share with the family.
There are a number of beaches surrounding Sydney that are easily accessible by ferry or bus, offering a cheaper option to spend the day. A ferry to Manly will set you back around $15, Watsons Bay $12, while a bus or train to Bondi is around $10. All of which offer something very different. Bondi Beach is one of the most well known beaches surrounding Sydney so it’s no wonder it gets busy. It’s a must-do when in Sydney, but isn’t so family friendly, however, the walk from Bondi Beach to Coogee is worth doing. Taking around 2 hours to do (while stopping off to take photographs and drink water) the views along the way are incredible and give you a sense of just how big Sydney is. Manly is similar to Bondi in that it is also busy most of the time, but does not have such a ‘backpacker’ feel to it, however, if you are planning on visiting Manly, it’s worth doing so over the weekend so you can tie it in with the local market. If you’re looking for a more relaxed and quiet way to spend the day, Watsons Bay is definitely worth a visit. Set along the eastern suburbs of Sydney, it offers smaller, family-friendly beaches as well as picturesque views of the harbour and city skyline. Around 17km south of the city is Brighton Beach. A great place to visit for families as there are a wide range of restaurants and dessert parlours as well as a number of hotel chains in the area.
When it comes to markets, Sydney has a good selection. Whether you’re after traditional, handmade items, clothing, or fish, there is a market for you. The Rocks Market, running on a Saturday and Sunday, offers a traditional style to shopping with handmade gifts from jewellery, to paintings, to cards; it’s a great place to witness the talent hidden within the city. Paddy’s Market, open every day apart from Monday and Tuesday, takes a more tourist approach with Australia memorabilia and high-street fashion and handbag stalls. Even if it’s not your usual past-time, visiting Sydney’s fish market in Pyrmont is definitely worth putting on the agenda. It’s a great way to see and understand the fishing heritage of the city.
There are a wide range of museums you can visit across the city all of which vary in price. From the Sydney Museum to the Hyde Park Barracks to the Museum of Contemporary Art, there is something for all interests. If opting for a slightly cheaper option, for $18 adults can gain access to four of Sydney’s biggest museums, saving over 50% the full price cost.
Whether you’re after an adrenaline-filled day, or a relaxed afternoon along the beach, Sydney has something for everyone and in every price range. It’s one of the most iconic cities in the world for a reason, and definitely worth a visit.