There's no shortage of things to do in Sydney. Between the beach and the city, you'll have more than enough to keep you occupied for days. Nevertheless, there are a few 'must-do' things you won't want to miss!
1. WALK ACROSS THE SYDNEY HARBOR BRIDGE
Locals use the bridge for their daily commute and as a part of their exercise route. With breathtaking views of the Sydney Harbor and the Sydney Opera House, you'll the perfect vantage point for watching the ferries and small boats dance across the water. Here's how to get to the pedestrian path from Circular Quay.
2. LAY OUT AT BONDI BEACH
It's where Sydney's young, bronze and beautiful congregate in an intimidating display of bodies and bikinis. Whether you relax on the sand and watch the herds of surfers catching waves or wade in the beautifully blue water, a day at Bondi Beach is a can't miss Sydney experience.
3. DO THE BONDI TO COOGEE WALK
When you make the short trek out to Bondi (bus is the easiest way to get there), don't forget to make time to do the beautiful coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee Beach. The full walk is 6km in distance along a cliff-top footpath which starts just past the famous Bondi Icebergs Club. It has stunning ocean views and cuts through several beautiful beaches and secluded coves. If you can't do the full 6km, try smaller sections instead, like the stretch from Bondi Beach to Bronte Beach, which is about 2km.
4. WANDER CIRCULAR QUAY AND THE ROCKS
If your looking to enjoy some amazing views, scattered with small shops and good restaurants, the neighborhoods just west of the Sydney Opera House offer some relaxing views away from the immediate tourist rush.
5. RIDE THE FERRY TO MANLY
The best way to experience the Sydney Harbor is to take a ferry ride across to the beautiful Manly Beach. The ride is relaxing, complete with unbeatable, up-close views of the Sydney Opera House. The ferries to Manly are part of the city's public transport system so all you need to hop on is your Opal Card. Ferries shuttle to and from Manly frequently and take ~30 minutes.
6. GET UP CLOSE TO THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
Australia's most iconic building can only be truly appreciated from up close. Just like the Statue of Liberty in New York City, the icon gives visitors instant recognition that they have arrived
7. INDULGE IN SOME EXTRAVAGANT TREATS
Sydney is home to some of the best international fare and decadent treats in NSW; all of which are more than Instagram-worthy! Just see for yourself...
For beautiful (and delicious) desserts and treats, check out Brewristas, Doughnut Time, Speedos Cafe, Aqua S, and The Grounds of Alexandria. Need more food porn or inspiration? Check out more of Philip Lee's (@philsosophyy) Instagram feed or this list of Insta-worthy Sydney cafes.
8. GET UP CLOSE TO KOALAS & KANGAROOS
First time visitors to Australia are usually eager to get their first glimpse of the country's furry friends - the koala and the kangaroo. Taronga Zoo offers the chance to interact with all of the country's native animals - but depending on your personal views about zoos and animal captivity, you may opt to join treks or safari-like tours that allow you to view the beautiful creatures in their natural habitats. Another option is private wildlife parks, which are arguably better maintained (although this is highly debatable). Some, like Featherdale Wildlife Park, don't charge you extra to get up close to the koalas or kangaroos (but on the flip side, supervision on behalf of the animals seems minimal). If you are eager to see these animals up close, do your research ahead of time so that you feel comfortable with your choice.
9. EXPLORE SURRY HILLS
This vibrant neighborhood off the edge of Sydney's CBD is home to a homey array of restaurants, boutique shops, warehouses and adorable residences (oddly reminiscent of the French Quarter in New Orleans). It's quieter than neighboring Chinatown but the streets are graces with the city's hip and trendy crowd.
10. GO SHOPPING IN CBD
Sydney's Central Business District is home to the big name shopping. Between the Westfield and Strand Arcade you're guaranteed to find exactly what you're looking for. Most major international brands have a home here but you'll also find unique international vendors and locally sourced products that you can't find in the U.S. or Europe.
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