Sydney is a city with a lot to offer. No matter if you’re here for just a few days or you’re staying for weeks there is always something new to discover. I’ve made a list of 5 places and things to do that every Sydney-visitor needs to experience at least once.
1. Sydney Opera House
We are starting out with a classic! I know, no one has to be told or reminded of the big white house in Sydney Harbour that has hosted some of the greatest musicians in modern time. But (yes there is a but) everyone who has been to Sydney needs the obligatory touristy picture of themselves in front of the Opera House. Strike a pose, do the jumping-picture or get really close and take a picture of your hand touching the tiles, it’s a pretty amazing building. And even though the area are full of expensive tourist shops, take a moment to sit down and enjoy the view and watch as ferries leaves and enter the Sydney harbour. It’s kind of an amazing thing to experience.
2. Pancakes on the Rocks
This may be the best pancakes I’ve ever had in my entire life. Pancakes on the Rocks are located in the small city area called The Rocks. The Rocks was once a slum, occupied mostly by sailors and prostitutes but now days it’s a charming tourist area.
Pancakes on the Rocks have a large menu, not limited to pancakes although that’s the reason I would go there. They are open 24 hours a day so you can get a very nice midnight snack or a sugar filled lunch, depending on what you are looking for.
To be honest, it’s not the cheapest place to go and if you are on a tight budget it will make a pretty big, black hole in your wallet, as far as food budget goes. But if you want to celebrate something or just wants a bit of luxury in your everyday backpack life this is the place I would recommend.
3. Manly Beach
Sydney center can be busy and crowded a lot of the time and you might feel like you want to relax and chill for a day. Manly Beach is the place for you. If you think this is a very manly beach with a lot of handsome men to gaze at, as you take in the sun, you are correct. Although, that’s not all Manly Beach has to offer.
The easiest way to get there is by ferry, and the view from the ferry as you pass by Sydney will be an experience in itself. You don’t have to worry about the trip being time consuming, I would advice to set off a whole day for Manly Beach, or maybe even book a hostel room and stay a night or two. Not because the ferry takes a lot of time but because you will love the relaxed and laid back atmosphere of the area. Small restaurants and shops line the boardwalk and the pedestrian street, so if the sun gets to be too hot you can always walk around in the air conditioned stores or sit in the shadow of a restaurant while cooling off with a cold drink.
4. Royal Botanic Garden
This is the most crowded place during New Years Eve because it has the best view over Sydney Harbour Bridge where the fireworks are fired from. If you decide to celebrate New Years Eve in the Royal Botanic Garden you should be prepared for waking up early, getting a big packed lunch and head out to the Garden at the break of dawn, this way you might get a somewhat good place for the big spectacle midnight will bring. But even if it’s not New Years Eve when you visit Sydney, this place still has one of the best views over the Opera House and Sydney Bridge.
However, this is also a very nice place to spend a random sunny afternoon, just walking around and take in all the green colors around you. Sit down and relax in the shade of a tree or make the most of the sun and work on your tan (but don’t forget the sunscreen).
5. Paddys Markets.
Paddys Markets are located just on the outskirt of Chinatown and this is the place to be if you want to find souvenirs for friends and families. Just take an hour or two to walk around the place and take in the smells, the sounds and the atmosphere of the market. The best part, according to me, is the section where they sell fresh fruits and veggies. During my months in Sydney I often went here to buy kiwis, mangos, bananas and other fresh things. With almost no money at all you can make a kick ass fruit salad that will have your taste buds thank you for an eternity.
BONUS: Darling Harbour
A bonus?! You say what now? I know, it’s amazing when something like this happens. I couldn’t write a post like this and not mention Darling Harbour. Although the place is a big touristy spot I would still take my time to see this place, walk around for a bit and sit down by the dock, maybe with an ice cream or a chilling smoothie. If you decided to sit down with your lunch or some other food item, I would advice you to protect it with everything you’ve got because the seagulls are very unforgiving and they don’t care if you are done with your food or not. They will nick it right out of your hand if you’re not careful. I got a perfectly, barley started, kebab ruined this way.
From Darling Harbour you have an excellent view of the city skyline and if you decide to visit the area after dark you will have some spectacular photos to show off to friends and families when you get home.
Have you been to any of these places and would you recommend them to your fellow travelers? Tell me which places would be on your list? And if you haven’t been to Sydney yet, tell me if these are places you would like to visit or if there are other things in Sydney you’ve been dying to see.