Weirdly, I’ve had a lot of signs pointing towards Sydney, Australia lately. Good friends of my parents were visiting the city while I was home in NY, sending tons of photos and updates on their travels. A few friends have recently made the trip there, and I’ve even been contacted by two fellow bloggers asking to guest post about Sydney on my blog.
I realize that Sydney, Australia couldn’t possibly be further from Santiago, Chile, and so, to put it frankly, this content may seem a bit random, but I can’t help it. Sydney’s on my mind.
If tuned in a few weeks ago, you may have caught Marie’s foodie guide guest post on where to dine in Sydney and today we have Alex, an Aussie himself and blogger behind Inspire a Better Life, here to outline his perfect one-day itinerary in Australia’s largest city.
Hopefully one day soon, I’ll be able to put this guide to use myself!!
After many years of contemplating the amount of time and effort it would take to get to Australia, you finally jumped on some cheap flight deals. Chances are you’ve landed in Sydney, Australia’s largest city. If it’s your first time in Sydney, you’re probably facing the same dilemma I face when I first land in a city; “What now?” Admit it, we’ve all been there, taking your first steps out of the airport and now what? You’re definitely spoilt for choice when it comes to stunning Sydney, but it can be overwhelming when you first land. Don’t worry I’ve got you covered with your first-day itinerary!
Oh- and if you’re traveling to Sydney with kids, the following guide can be easily adapted!
When arriving at Sydney’s Airport you’ll see that you have multiple options for getting to the city. If you’re travelling by yourself and on a budget, I would suggest taking the Airport Link. The trip will cost $18 one way to the City and only takes 12 minutes to get to Central. It also goes all the way to North Sydney station. If you need to get to any other parts of Sydney, use Transport NSW to plan your trip via public transport. Simply enter your location and where you want to go and the app will create a route for you. If you’re travelling with more people, a cheaper option would be to catch a taxi or order an Uber.
YOUR MORNING CUP-O-JOE
No doubt after a night (or multiple nights) of traveling, and then getting to your hotel to drop your bags off (or if you’re lucky they can offer an early check-in!), you’re going to need a coffee. You’ll soon find that Australians are so crazy about coffee. We have a massive coffee culture, and we sure know how to make a damn good one!
It doesn’t particularly matter where you get your coffee as anywhere is pretty good. If you’re a coffee enthusiast check out Timeout’s Best Coffee in Sydney list. To complete the Sydney experience, order a flat white coffee, grab an outdoor seat and enjoy some brunch (a Sydney favourite is “Smashed Avo on Toast”).
Your next stop after breakfast will take you to the stunning Circular Quay, easily accessible by train. If you’re looking for a postcard moment, this is it. From Circular Quay you’ll be able to take in stunning views of the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, and the sun glistening on the harbour. What’s great about Circular Quay as a tourist destination is there are so many things to see and do.
If you’re an art enthusiast be sure to take yourself to the Museum of Contemporary Art right on the water! Additionally, if you’re keen to explore Sydney’s convict past take yourself on a self-guided walk around The Rocks.
A Picnic Lunch in the Botanical Gardens
After you’ve taken in the views of the harbour, it’s time to make your way to your next destination. Easily accessible from Circular Quay by walking around the Sydney Opera House (if you want to take the scenic route), lays the Royal Botanical Gardens of Sydney. The botanical garden is the oldest botanical region and scientific institution in Australia and houses thousands of different species of plants, trees, and flowers.
This beautiful garden is the perfect pit stop for lunch. So get yourself a bite to eat at one of the various cafes and eateries on the grounds. I would recommend buying one of the picnic baskets, and picking a beautiful spot in the sun! If you’re keen to find out more about the botanic gardens, the garden offers free guided walks.
An Afternoon of Art
After you’ve taken in the views and sunshine of the botanical gardens, it’s time to take yourself to the next activity; the Art Gallery of New South Wales located only a 15-minute walk from the gardens. Even if you’re not a huge fan of art, the stunning architecture of the gallery will be enough to entice you to enter.
The gallery is one of Australia’s oldest and largest galleries and is home to a magnitude of Australian and international art. Entry into the gallery is free, and with that, you’ll be able to view a large collection of the permanent collection that features art from colonial Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, and contemporary Australian art. The gallery also plays host to international exhibitions, where entry will incur a fee.
An EVENING High
No doubt that after a long day of travelling, exploring, and sightseeing you’ll want to take it easy this evening and get into bed early to sleep off the jet lag. If you’ve got a higher budget for your trip, and aren’t afraid of heights I would recommend dining at 360 Bar and Dining.
In this restaurant you’ll be dining at around 300 meters and the rotating restaurant will offer you uninterrupted 360° panoramic views of Sydney. But keep in mind that this meal will set you back around $90/person.
If you’re looking for budget eats I would recommend checking out Spice Alley in Chippendale, and Mamak in Sydney. If you’re not quite sure and want to walk around and stumble upon a great eatery, Newtown, Surry Hills, and Bondi, are culinary hotspots.
Like you, I’ve been in your shoes, stepping off a plane in a new place and thinking to myself “what now?” contemplating whether I want to spend the day sleeping away the jetlag or making the most and seeing the city. Well, with this article I hope to have cleared some things up and made your planning just a bit easier. Of course, there are so many more things to do in Sydney than the above, and you’ll need at least a three days to really get a feel of what Sydney is about! So go on, get out there!
Which of the above activities would you want to try? Have you ever been to Sydney, Australia? If not, is it on your list?
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