Two Days in Sydney: The Ultimate Guide

Two Days in Sydney

You’re in one of Australia’s most iconic cities and you’ve only got 48 hours? Here’s what you’re going to need to prioritise.

No time to dawdle, get on that airport train and head straight for the biggest landmarks in town. The Sydney Opera House is an absolute must-see, and once you’ve gotten your snaps of the outside, you can head in for a free one-hour tour. If you have time there’s often last-minute tickets available for one of the numerous shows going on there which would be a pleasant way to spend an evening in Sydney, so check in with the box office if that sounds appealing. The other iconic behemoth of Sydney’s skyline is the Harbour Bridge. You’ll need to book well in advance if you want to do the Sydney Bridge Climb, but walking along the bridge as a pedestrian is free, accessible all year round and also offers spectacular views of the city and the harbour. It’s a wonderful way to stretch your legs as you take in all the sights of the city. There’s a Pylon Lookout too so you can get some panoramic shots for your holiday album.

Once you’re over the bridge you’re in Sydney’s most historic districts – The Rocks. This is where it all began with the European settlement of Australia and there are lots of heritage buildings, interesting boutiques, enticing restaurants and plenty of tourist-pleasing attractions to explore here. The Rocks Dreaming Aboriginal Heritage Tour is well worth your time, and if you’d like to mix some modernity with all the history and culture then the Museum of Contemporary Arts is in this area too – there are always new exhibitions to see here.

Sydney has a vivid nightlife, so whether it’s a cocktail bar, a jazz lounge, or a pumping nightclub that takes your fancy, you have no shortage of choices here. For day two, the city is yours to explore. You could go shopping in the city and head up Sydney Tower for panoramic views. If subculture is more your scene a day wandering the funky shops of Newtown is sure to please. Perhaps you’d rather head for the beach – Bondi and Manly are both solid choices and have rightfully earned their place as two of the world’s most famous beaches – even with the inevitable crowds the sun, sand and surf never fail to charm.

If you want some more of the water there are cheap public transport ferries that provide lovely views of the harbour while it takes you to your next destination – the ferry to Taronga Zoo is an especially nice trip and the zoo itself is world-class, so if you have animal lovers in your party this is going to be a strong contender for your time. Of course, there’s any number of harbour cruises to enjoy as well, from quick jaunts out on a speedboat to a leisurely dinner cruise taking in the sunset on one of the Tall Ships, which is a beautiful way to toast the end of your day and your trip in Sydney