With its beautiful coastline and infamous architecture, Sydney is one of the most recognisable cities in the world. Whilst it’s easy to spend a week living your best life between the city and the sea, there’s good news for those on a flying visit. With the right itinerary, our guide shares how to spend 24 hours in Sydney and still make the most of your visit.
Coogee to Bondi Coastal Walk
Kick your day off with the Coogee to Bondi coastal walk. Simply jump on a bus from Central Station to Sydney’s Eastern Suburb and begin the 6km walk to the infamous Bondi beach. You can do the walk in either direction, but the view as you round the corner to Bondi is what makes the walk even more special. The route is hugely popular with locals and tourists alike, don’t be surprised to bump into dog walkers and joggers along the way.
When you finish, why not reward yourself with the Australian staple of coffee and avo toast at one of Bondi’s many cafes.
Almost every bus from Bondi will take you to Bondi Junction, the suburb’s metro station. From there, you can either jump on another bus or the metro get to Circular Quay station. Before you hit up the Opera House, take a left and head towards the Harbour Bridge. Its starting location is in the unmistakable Georgian-inspired architecture of The Rocks, one of the most popular – and picturesque – areas of the city. Grab a drink at Squires Landing for panoramic views of the harbour, or head up to The Glenmore Hotel’s rooftop bar and look out towards the Opera House.
When choosing how to spend 24 hours in Sydney, it would be impossible to ignore Circular Quay. After you’ve killed a couple of hours wandering around The Rocks, head back towards the harbour and snap that Instagram on the steps of Sydney Opera House. Feeling peckish? There are a number of great restaurants along the promenade overlooking the wharf. For a more affordable option in Australia’s most expensive city, Buckley’s offers daily deals and promotions.
Once you’ve refuelled and are ready to go again, it’s time to jump on one of the city’s many ferries – because the best way to see Sydney, is from the water.
Take your time by catching one of the large, yellow ferries across to the Northern Beaches suburb of Manly. Whichever side you sit on, you’ll be rewarded with amazing views. You’ll see either the Opera House or the bridge as the ferry makes its way across the harbour.
When the boat docks, take a walk up the concourse where you can pick up souvenirs. Be sure to also grab yourself an ice cream before reaching one of the best beaches Sydney has to offer. With miles of unspoilt sand and incredible waves, it would be rude not to take a dip. For those visiting in the colder months, turn right and head towards Shelley Beach. From there, take a stroll up to Manly’s north head and be rewarded with views across the Northern Beaches.
Head back to Circular Quay
If you plan your day well, there’s a chance you can time your ferry back to the city with the sun setting across the harbour. However, even if this doesn’t happen there’s plenty of time when you get back to enjoy the evening.
Dinner over the harbour
There’s really only one place you should finish a trip to Sydney – and that’s with a meal overlooking Sydney Harbour. Book a table in advance at the Opera Bar and enjoy a bustling atmosphere and great food as you look out onto one of the most famous views in the world.