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Top five things to do in Sydney!

Updated on September 16, 2010

Sydney is Australia’s oldest and largest city. It is not however the capital, as many people think. It is a great place to go out and have some fun! The diversity of activities is endless. You could go relaxing at the beach or go for a surf, take a stroll through the botanical gardens, go out for the most amazing dinners or dance at the hottest clubs, climb the bridge or enjoy some opera at the Opera House, go on a harbour cruise or cruising for whales and dolphins. In a nutshell, there is something for everyone. Here are my five highlights, you cannot miss these while in Sydney!

The Sydney Harbour Bridge

Together with the Opera House, they are Australia’s national symbols. This bridge connect the Central Business District (CBD) with the Northern shores. It was finally finished in 1932, and cost 20 million Australian dollars. It took Sydney 60 years to pay off this debt.

You can drive over it, or take the metro, but the best way is to just cross it on foot. On both sides of the harbour, you can climb up staircases leading to the foothpath on the eastern side (there is a cycle path on the western side). Once there you can go even higher by climbing to the Pylon Lookout on the southeastern side. And for real lovers of heights and daredevils there is also the possibility of a bridge climb. You get dressed up in overalls and chained to the bridge while you climb al the way to the top. Spectacular views over the harbour and the Opera House are your reward.

The Sydney Opera House

The Opera House is the other national symbol, and everyone knows it from photos. To see it in real life is a whole other thing. It is amazing, and when the standard picture is usually taken from one angle, walking around it, changes the look of it with every step. The best view is from the water though. So go out and catch a ferry or a boat tour of the harbour.

The Opera House was designed by the Danish architect Jørn Utzon. The roof is 67 metres high and consists of 1,056,000 Swedish tiles (27,230 tons of them). There are four main auditoriums used for concerts, opera’s, theatre pieces, and dance performances. The acoustics are said to be amazing, and it is definitely worth it to catch a show here. Check their website to see what is going on when you are there. If you do not want to go to an opera, you can just take a tour of the building. They run every day, several times a day and you don’t need a reservation. Just show up and buy your tickets on the spot.

Darling harbour

Darling Harbour is right next to the CBD, on its western side, and at lunch time you will find many suits overrun the place. It is a typical waterfront little harbour. It is filled with many high-class restaurants and great bars. It is very easy on the eyes, and perfect to relax on a bench or in the little park behind it. In the weekends there are usually many street artists who put on diverse shows. Of course there is also a little shopping centre to match your every needs.

There are some great museums as well. Like the Australian national Maritime Museum, and the Sydney Aquarium. The Maritime museum has an old sailing ship anchored there, which is well worth a look at. The Imax cinema has also found a home here, and it has the biggest cinema screen in the southern hemisphere. So if you have a spare night, go watch your favourite movie here in 3D.

If you are all dined out, take a stroll across the Pyrmont Bridge, which connect the CBD and Pyrmont. This was the first electric bridge in the world. In Pyrmont you will find an amazing little fish market and the Star City Casino.

The Sydney Tower

The Sydney Tower is in the middle of the CBD, and you can see it from almost anywhere in Sydney. The view from the top is spectacular. You can walk all the way around to look out over the whole of Sydney. And of course, like every self-respecting major tower in a cosmopolitan city, it has a restaurant that slowly spins around, so you can get the whole view while you eat.

You can also go extra tough, and take a walk around outside on top of the tower. You will be chained to a fence, and dressed up in pretty blue and orange overalls. For the even more daring, how about abseiling down?

Bondi Beach

This is Sydney’s most famous beach, and with good reason. The surf is great, and the little boulevard looking out over the beach is even better. This place is stylish, and this is where you have to be seen. Go out for an ice cream or have a drink at one of the great bars or restaurants.

You can go surfing here, and it is perfect for beginners. But also the more seasoned surfers will enjoy themselves here. And if you are lucky, some dolphins might show up to accompany you while you’re out in the water.

There is a 5km walk from Bondi to Coogee, which is amazing. It will take you about two hours, and make sure you bring enough water and sun screen on hot days. The walk is along beautiful beaches and on beautiful cliffs. The day I did it, a group of dolphins followed our little group from Bondi to Coogee and the weather was as bright as ever. Every November several artists liven up the walk with great pieces of work along the first part of the route.

Every Sunday they hold the Bondi Markets at the Public School. Young designers show off their stuff for reasonable prizes and this is a great place to score some quality one-of-a-kind jewellery and clothes. Also check this out for pre-loved books and clothes.


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    • Mieka profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Yeah the Harbour Bridge was one of my favourite spots too! I lived in Sydney for half a year. I also liked to hang out in one of the many parks on my days off, like the Botanical Gardens or Hyde Park!

    • ginabuss profile image


      8 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      Oh I love Sydney! I went there a few years ago and its by far my favorite city.

      Going up to the to of Sydney Harbour Bridge is an absolute must - its such a breathtaking view of the city.


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