So you’ve landed in Sydney, the most populous city of Australia, and you’re ready to indulge in the trip of a lifetime exploring its attractions. However, the only problem is you have just 48 hours in the area – surely that’s barely enough time to even scrape the surface of what this bustling city has to offer?
If you do it right, a limited time frame is no problem when it comes to discovering Sydney’s charms. Here’s our 48 hour itinerary for the Harbour City:
Wake up and smell the coffee
If you’re going to make the most of your time in Sydney, you’ll need a bright and early start to fit in as many activities as possible from your base in the heart of the city.
Start your day out right with a strong hot coffee and scrumptious breakfast from one of Sydney’s boutique cafes within the city or beside Sydney Harbour, where you can admire cruising boats on the rippling water while you wake up. Guylian Cafe is perfect for those with a sweet tooth and a taste for great chocolate and coffee, while Bills Darlinghurst is an inner-city hotspot with a delicious menu.
Explore the heart of the city
Once you’re feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, take your pick of the many inner city attractions to fill your day. Start out with a stop at two of Sydney’s most famous shopping hotspots – the Queen Victoria Building and the Strand Arcade. Here, you’ll find designer fashion, art, antiques and food, and the Queen Victoria Building has the added bonus of being gorgeous with stained glass windows and Roman-inspired architecture.
After picking up a few bargains, explore the city’s art galleries, such as the Art Gallery of New South Wales or the Australian Museum, or take a stroll through the lush flora of the Sydney Botanic Gardens.
Spend an afternoon sightseeing
Sydney is home to some of the world’s most recognised landmarks and gorgeous scenery, so your trip simply has to include a little touristy sightseeing! Pack a camera and do the rounds of Sydney’s most famous attractions, including Darling Harbour, the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, before heading to one of the many lookouts around the city.
Mrs Macquarie’s Chair is one of the best lookouts in Sydney, and is just 20 minutes stroll from Circular Quay. From this historic rock chair, you can enjoy panoramic views out over the harbour, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Kirribilli House and Pinchgut Island.
Let your hair down for an evening
The Sydney nightlife is something special, so once the sun begins to set, it’s still perfectly possible to play. Get dressed up with your partner or group and start the night out at one of the upmarket restaurants the city has to offer, such as Black by Ezard, where you’ll find delicious and contemporary Aussie-inspired fare and thirst-quenching cocktails.
From there, take your pick of the hundreds of bars Sydney has to offer. Waterfront bars Wildfire and The Argyle won’t disappoint, or catch a ferry to Manly for fruity cocktails at Sugar Lounge. Live music lovers will adore The Basement, where swing dancing and well-known artists ensure a great night spent on the dance floor.
Wind down and relax
To offset an action-packed day in the city, day two of your Sydney experience should be dedicated to all things relaxing. If you’re feeling a little worse for wear after your night out on the town, a massage will be the perfect remedy – so indulge in a spa treatment at your hotel, or visit one of the spas within the city.
Once you’re feeling relaxed, head down to Sydney’s most-loved and iconic Bondi Beach to take a dip in the clear blue water, relax on the sand and people-watch. If you happen to be visiting on a Sunday, you might like to wander the Bondi Markets for clothing from fresh new talent, arts, crafts and jewellery on the beachfront.
To complete your day of relaxation, take to one of Sydney’s hiking trails for a refreshing look at nature. The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk is an easy 6km track, and offers simply beautiful views out over the Aussie coastline.