How to See Sydney Australia in 3 Days
A 3 Day Itinerary For Your Visit To Sydney
While it would be nice to have a week to spend visiting all of Sydney's great attractions reality is most people only have 3 days in this beautiful harbour city.
This goal of this page is to help you plan the best use of that time so you can see as much as possible without too much stress.
I live in Sydney and have spent almost 20 years working with visitors and helping them make the most of their time.
All of the images on this page are my own. Please email if you would like permission to reuse any of them.
The Harbour and the Sydney Opera House - Our 2 main attractions
Sydney is all about the Harbour and to get that pinch yourself moment you are going to have to get down to the Opera House and the Bridge and take in the view. After what was probably a long flight it will make it all seem worthwhile.
I would begin with a walk along the Harbour foreshore, where you begin really depends on how tired you are after your trip here and where you are staying.
If energy is lacking you can just stick to the area around Circular Quay and the Opera House and then finish up by jumping on a ferry for a ride on Sydney Harbour.
If you are beginning your first day well rested and refreshed a walk to Mrs Macquarie's Chair at the edge of the Botanic Gardens is a must. I also suggest spending a couple of hours walking around the Rocks, Sydney's historic heart.
Great little guide that will save you money
I live in Sydney and still bought this book. Lots of great ideas and really helpful tips on saving money on your visit to Sydney.
Today is Beach Day - Your choice Manly or Bondi
Sydney has so many great beaches but Manly and Bondi are the closest to the City. Bondi is our best known beach but actually not my favourite. If time permits I think you should see them both but if you are really short of time then Manly is a good option as it allows you to combine a trip on a Sydney ferry with your visit to the beach.
To get to Manly you take a ferry or fast cat from Circular Quay. The trip across the harbour takes about half an hour.
If you would rather see Bondi then take the express bus from Alfred Street - the street facing the wharf - straight to Bondi Beach. The journey will take about 35 minutes but you get to see some interesting parts of the city along the way.
These 2 posts on my Sydney Blog will help you plan your beach day.
Exploring the Rocks and Darling Harbour - Sydney's Old and New in one day
The Rocks is my favourite part of Sydney. It's our old quarter and there is plenty here to keep you busy for a couple of hours. It's also a photographer's paradise with old sandstone buildings and harbour glimpses around every corner.
Visit The Rocks Discovery Museum - it's free and will give you an idea of life in Old Sydney Town. Right upstairs from the museum you will find the Sydney Visitors Centre, well worth a visit for maps, guides and helpful staff as well as a great souvenir shop. If you are here on the weekend The Rocks Market is also worth a look.
After you have explored the Rocks either on a self-guided tour or a guided walking tour it's time to head to Darling Harbour, Sydney's newest tourist area. Built in 1988 to celebrate our Bicentenary is has been added to and modified over the years and there is plenty here to see and do.
Highlights for visitors are the museums and animal attractions. You can choose from Wildlife World, Sealife Sydney, Madame Tussauds, The Maritime Museum and the Powerhouse Museum. None of these are free but check out the maps and guidebooks at the visitors centre or your hotel for discount coupons.
Have you visited Sydney yet?
Have you been to Sydney?
More links to help you plan your Sydney visit
- Sydney Visitors Centre
Drop in to grab some free brochures and maps
- Sydney Expert on Pinterest
My Sydney Boards on Pinterest
- Sydney Transport Information
Trip planner and ticket information
- Sydney City Council downloads
Sydney City Council has produced a number of great walking maps and even an app you can download.