Best Attractions in Sydney, Australia

January 8th – 12th, 2020 | January 22nd – 23rd, 2020

After I graduated college my mom and I went on a big trip. The first place we stopped was Sydney, Australia. The city was really nice though at first glance it didn’t seem like there was much to do. It took a few days to really appreciate the city. By the end of the trip it felt like somewhere I could live it felt similar to London in the summer only much, much warmer.

Highlights: 

Walk around the Circular Quay area – We walked around the harbor right by the opera house and the bridge. It was beautiful to see all of the major landmarks in person to get the best picture of the opera house walk around under the bridge and look for the break in the fence and visa versa for a picture of the harbor bridge.

Take a cruise around the harbor – One of our favorite things we did in Sydney was take a cruise around the harbor. It was the best way to see the entire harbor and really learn about the history since driving would have taken multiple days and the harbor is the major center of the city. You can see the beaches, where the navy operates from and some celebrity homes.

Walk around the shops in the rocks – there are a bunch of really nice shops in the rocks area. You can find a lot of items that you can only find in Australia. There are shops there that sell wool and alpaca clothing, opal jewelry and aboriginal art. There was a fun print shop that did pictures of dogs in various outfits and activities. It was called Pop on the Rocks and it was definitely worth a visit they had an Australian bulldog in the shop as well if you’re looking for a little dog time.

Hyde Park and St. Marys Cathedral – We visited St. Mary’s Cathedral for mass the Sunday we were in Sydney. It was a beautiful church with a very European look right next to Hyde Park. After the service we went to Hyde Park and then walked down Market Street which had some beautiful upscale stores and lead up to the Darling Harbour area. If I had more time in Sydney we definitely would have spent time there as well.

The Galleria – if you are looking for high ended shops and have some or a lot of money to spend the Galleria has probably everything you’re looking for from Gucci to Tiffanys. There are also a lot of high end shops near Hyde Park as well (where the space needle is) if that is your thing. A lot of the clothing stores there are in mall like structures or department stores so if you are looking to go shopping consider going to one of the many in Sydney (including the Galleria, Westfield, etc)

Walk from Bondi to Bronte Beach – Out of all of the things that we did in Sydney this was our favorite we loved it so much that we did it twice. We went to Bondi Beach which was crowded understandably since it was summer and warm. We walked to the pool right next to the beach (I am scared of sharks so I didn’t want to swim in the ocean in Sydney) which was beautiful. There is a path next to the pool that leads from Bondi Beach to Bronte Beach along the cliffs over looking the ocean it is a beautiful walk with beautiful ocean crashing on one side and amazing houses on the other. The first beach along the path is a dog beach (my heaven) with dogs running and playing in the ocean while their owners watched or swam. The next beach is Tamarama Beach which has a cafe and bathroom. The final beach on the path is Bronte Beach which is yet another beautiful beach with a park on the non-water side there are also restaurants right by the beach with smoothie bowls and snacks if you get hungry. If you still have energy and want to go for a swim check out the Bronte Baths, swimming pools on the edge of the water like at Bondi Beach.

Where we ate: 

  • Gateway – If you are looking for a quick lunch in Circular Quay check out Gateway it has all types of food and is like a giant food court with much better food. I really liked the Sushi at Hero Sushi. We ended up getting food there three times while we were in Sydney.
  • Nando’s – This is by far my favorite chain that and Pret were my favorite part of living in London and it was a highlight of Sydney as well.
  • The Dining Room – The dining rooms view might be amazing but the food is so so and the vibe is super uppity and judgy. I would recommend going there for a drink and stopping somewhere else for dinner if possible.

Where we stayed:

We spent two periods of time in Sydney while we were on that side of the world and ended up staying in two different hotels while there. The first hotel we stayed in was Pier One Sydney Harbour, Autograph Collection this was the hotel we liked the best out of the two it was right under the bridge and had a really beautiful view. It was the perfect walking distance from all of the major sites like the bridge and the opera house. The second hotel we stayed at was Rendezvous Hotel Sydney The Rocks we liked this hotel as well since it had a pool and a kitchen in the room but we probably wouldn’t have stayed there a second time since it seemed a little old and had construction right next door that started at 7 am. The location of the second one was also in a really good place however and it was less expensive than the one under the bridge.

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