48 Hours in Sydney: Here's what you need to do

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Sydney in 48 hours

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So you have only 48 hours in Sydney and thinking what to do. Sydney is one of the most beautiful cities with a wonderful harbour. Sea, sand and surf, the beaches of Sydney boasts of all. The bustling city centre, cool bars and fascinating foodie joints, Sydney is a joy ride for the senses. Sydney is full of actions and if this is your first time in this wonderful city, a little planning will help you to see the attractions in a much better way. 48 hours will be just enough to see the most important spots, taste amazing food and experience some of the best of this amazing city.

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Day 1

Day 1

Early Morning

There is a lot to do, so I would suggest you to start early. The best way to start the day is to view an amazing sunrise. Head out towards Hickson Road, one of the best places to see the sunrise. You will see the sun rise behind the Opera House. Palm Beach and Bondi beach are other places from where you can watch a beautiful sunrise.

Photo of Circular Quay, Sydney NSW, Australia by Amrita

Morning

Brunch is quite important in Australia, so you will get a lot of cafés busy at the morning. There are a plenty of places to eat around the Hickson Road and the Circular Quay where you can have your fill.

You can start the day with a self-guided walking tour. To discover Sydney for free, you can take one of the free tours starting at 10: 20 AM near Sydney CBD Area. There are also the Hop On Hop Off buses, offering 2 tours with 35 stops for $22.50.

Sydney Opera House

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Circular Quay

After breakfast, start your first day at the Circular Quay near The Rocks. It is the oldest part of Sydney. The Quay is the main transport hub of Sydney Harbour. Start at the Opera House for a close up view of Australia's most iconic building. From here you will also get a grand view of the Harbour bridge, another famous landmark of Sydney.

Royal Botanic Gardens

From the eastern side of the Opera House, you can easily access the Royal Botanic Gardens. The place is worth of some time to stroll around.

Royal Botanic Gardens | Courtesy: Wikimedia

Photo of Royal Botanic Gardens, Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney NSW, Australia by Amrita

Lunch Time

There are several options to eat around the Quay area. You can either have a picnic lunch at Botanic Gardens or can frequent one of the restaurants. Café Sydney is an institution having a great location on the rooftop of Custom’s House. It provides spectacular views of the harbour, the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

Photo of 48 Hours in Sydney: Here's what you need to do by Amrita
Photo of 48 Hours in Sydney: Here's what you need to do by Amrita

Afternoon

In the afternoon combine a trip to the beach with a harbor cruise to Manly. From the harbor, take a ticket to ride the iconic Sydney ferry to seaside town of Manly. This 30-minute journey provides breathtaking views of the iconic Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, Kirribilli House (the prime minister’s house). Once you are at Manly, explore the town and the three beaches.

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Evening

The best place to see the sunset is the Opera Bar. Nestled under the Sydney Opera House, the place offers great views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is the perfect place to end the first day of exploring Sydney. Opera Bar also has great options for food, but you can also head towards Chinatown, Chophouse, Fratelli Parlamento (great Italian cuisine), Mejico (Mexican option) as per your choice.

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Day 2

Day 2

Morning

Head towards the Bondi Beach, Sydney’s most famous beach. If you wish to catch another beautiful sunrise, then Bondi Beach is the perfect place. At this early, the beach remains relatively empty also. You can get on a number 380 bus form Circular Quay to Bondi Beach.

Photo of Bondi Beach NSW, Australia by Amrita

Have your breakfast at Trio’s Café or Bill’s. next head towards the Bondi Icebergs Club located at the southern end of Bondi Beach. Enjoy the white sandy beach and the panoramic views of the ocean.

Bondi to Coogee Walk

Bondi to Coogee Walk is one of the best things that you will do at Sydney. The trail start at Icebergs and then goes across towards the cliff tops. It is only a 5 km easy trail, but take your time on the walk. Stop at places taking photographs and can also take a dip in the waters of the beaches that you will come across in the trail. Have your lunch at Coogee. Take a bus numbers 372 or 373 or call an Uber to return back to Quay.

Coast walk from Bondi to Coogee | Courtesy: Flickr

Photo of Coogee Beach, Coogee NSW, Australia by Amrita

Afternoon

Walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge

You can walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge in two ways. The free way is to just walk along the pedestrian path which takes about 15 minutes and offers amazing views of the eastern side of the harbour. It will be a great experience. Or else, if you want to have the ultimate Sydney experience, then book yourself a Sydney BridgeClimb. If you want to climb over the Sydney Harbour bridge, then you definitely need to book ahead. But remember, no cameras allowed on this one.

Courtesy: Wikimedia

Photo of 48 Hours in Sydney: Here's what you need to do by Amrita
Photo of 48 Hours in Sydney: Here's what you need to do by Amrita

BridgeClimb on the Sydney Harbor Bridge | Courtesy: Wikimedia

Photo of 48 Hours in Sydney: Here's what you need to do by Amrita
Photo of 48 Hours in Sydney: Here's what you need to do by Amrita
Photo of 48 Hours in Sydney: Here's what you need to do by Amrita

If you have time, then you can also visit a Museum or Gallery. Sydney has some wonderful Museums and Galleries most of them are free. For modern art visit the Museum of Contemporary Art or Art Gallery of New South Wales for classic pieces. Maritime Museum is great place for families.

Restaurant at The Rocks

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Evening

Explore the other options from Day 1. Or you can stroll down at The Rocks and enjoy dinner at the famous Rockpool Restaurant.

Photo of 48 Hours in Sydney: Here's what you need to do by Amrita

Stay at

For a short stay in Sydney, it is better to stay at the Quay area. There are budget and mid-level and luxury accommodation options in the area.

If you have more time

If you have more time in Sydney, then you can also explore Watson’s Bay (a swanky suburb and favourite weekend hub), Darling Harbour or the Chinese Friendship Garden.

Waterfall at Chinese Friendship Garden

Photo of Chinese Garden of Friendship, Pier Street, Sydney NSW, Australia by Amrita
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