Want to know what the best things to do in Sydney are? Well, we have asked the top bloggers in Sydney for some insider information. We asked them for their top recommendations on the best activities, sights, food, drink and more, all within easy reach of the overseas passenger terminal.
As one of the top destinations in the world, Sydney is a cruisers paradise. With so many options on things to do, Sydney is an amazing place to spend a day or two. If you have your own recommendations on things to do in Sydney, why not let us know in the comments section below.
Don’t forget to check out the bloggers’ websites to find more great recommendations.
1. Sydney Bridge Climb 2. Opera house 3. Glenmore Hotel 4. Wendy’s Secret Garden 5. Lex & Ruby’s Gardens 6. Gumption Coffee 7. Edition Coffee Roasters 8. Artificer 9. Bills – Surrey Hills 10. Chiswick Restaurant 11. Supper Club – Intercontinental Hotel 12. Museum of Contemporary Art 13. Bennelong Restaurant 14. Opera Bar 15. Botanical Gardens
Introduction to Sydney – By happinessandthings.com
If you visit Australia on a cruise then Sydney is the perfect choice for a truly Australian experience. Just a couple of steps or a short ride away you will find all the iconic Australian experiences: native animals and ocean creatures can be found at Sydney SeaLife Aquarium and Wild Life Sydney Zoo.
Sydney’s history can be explored with a walking tour in The Rocks, and the typical fauna is just one of the things why the Royal Botanic Gardens are such a great destination.
For a thrilling experience, climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge, or take a tour of the Sydney Opera House. Cheap souvenirs can be found in Paddy’s Market, and the Market City shopping centre on top is perfect for outlet fashion shopping.
Luxury brands and world-renown jewellery stores have found their home all around Circular Quay, at the Queen Victoria Building and around Castlereagh and Pitt Streets.
Enjoy a harbour front dinner in Darling Harbour or in one of the brand-new eateries at Barangaroo, and have a rooftop pint with views of the Opera House at the Glenmore Hotel in The Rocks.
For the sweet tooth try Pancakes on the Rocks in The Rocks and Darling Harbour, or N2 Extreme Gelato in Chinatown.
Silke from happinessandthings.com is a Sydney resident and local travel blogger. More information and reviews take a look at happinessandthings.com
1. SYDNEY BRIDGE CLIMB – THE ULTIMATE VIEW
Here is Leigh from Bridge Climb Sydney to explain more, “See Sydney at its best – take the Climb of Your Life with BridgeClimb Sydney.
With our Climb Leaders as your guide, you will suit-up in our specially designed outdoor gear and ascend. From its fascinating underbelly to its summit, 134m above the Harbour, the Bridge is the pride of Sydney.
From dawn until dusk, the view from the top is always different. Climbs are available at dawn (limited departures), during the day, twilight or night. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable, and uniquely “Sydney” experience.”
2. The ROCKS – BY YOURSYDNEYGUIDE.COM.AU
Alternatively, to find sweeping views of the harbour, Opera House and city skyline, as well as get a great sense of the scale and layout of Sydney then it’s hard to beat a walk up the south east pylon of the iconic Harbour Bridge.
To get there, stroll up through the historic Rocks precinct to Cumberland Street and head up the stairs opposite the Glenmore Hotel and soon you will be on the pedestrian access for the bridge with a short 200 metre walk to the pylon.
The pylon is the museum for the bridge so pay your admission of AUD$13 before climbing the stairs to the top.
Best time is the late afternoon and allow about 1.5 hours return from the main cruise ship terminal.
Another of the other most beautiful parts of Sydney that very few international guests see is the Northern Beaches and Ku-Ring-Gai National Park. This is the most accessible national park in Sydney and allows visitors to see what’s beyond the city. With stunning beaches, waterways and vast bushland to enjoy it’s well worth exploring.
Your Sydney Guide can build this into a spectacular full day private tour that also showcases the citiy’s iconic sights. Enjoy lunch over the water with locals and be spellbound by the city’s natural beauty.
Your Sydney Guide can build this and any other Sydney sites into an exceptional tailored private tour. Scott Ricketts from Your Sydney Guide
3. SECRET GARDENS – BY LONDONERINSYDNEY.COM
If you’re a bit beached out and looking to do a bit of exploring around Sydney, I recommend two of my favourite secret gardens in Sydney.
Starting off with Wendy’s Secret Garden, this is probably the one secret garden that you’ll be blown away by the location. Set next to the famous Luna Park on the North side of the harbour, you’ll just need to walk up a few steps to find the most stunning garden. Built by Wendy in memory of her late husband artist Brett Whiteley in 1992, the garden has gone from strength to strength packed full of sculptures, picnic benches and lots of paths to walk around. It also has a view of the harbour and it’s perfect to spend the afternoon at.
Over in Cremorne Point (again on the northern side of the Harbour) lies Lex & Ruby’s Garden. Just beyond the walking path sits a magical garden which Lex Grahame started in 1959 after finding an elephant’s ear bulb he fished out from his morning swim.
Lex had never planted anything before and after he saw it growing, he and his partner Ruby began adding other plants to what previously was land filled with weeds, rubbish and logs. They went on to fill the 2 acres of the garden over the duration of 50 years.
I had walked past this garden hundreds of times and never realised it existed until recently. It really is amazing!
Annabel is the founder of londonerinsydney.com a great website to do with all things Sydney!
Covering many topics icluding food, fashion, lifestyle and more. Check out londonerinsydney.com
4. COFFEE HEAVEN – BY SYDNEYCOFFEENERD.COM
While we may not be as obsessed as our Melbourne friends with coffee. It’s hard not to almost fall into a coffee shop while in Sydney’s CBD.
As you’ll soon discover most coffee options in the city are vaguely better than a Starbucks. However, there are plenty of great (if a little bit over-the-top-obsessed) coffee shops that are well worth seeking out.
If I had to pick one in the city I would head right for Gumption Coffee, found in the Strand Arcade. Be warned, they only do coffee.
Want a real Sydney coffee nerd experience? You’ll have to head out of the city a bit up to the hipster suburbs of Darlinghurst and Surry Hills. If you are willing to make the journey check out: Edition Coffee Roasters in Darlinghurst and Artificer in Surry Hills.
Both well worth a look I reckon.
Rob Harding-Smith is Sydney’s Coffee Nerd.
Love coffee? Check out the Coffee Nerd’s blog for great recommendations and reviews on all the best places to have a coffee in Sydney.
5. FOOD AND CULTURE – BY 2HUNGRYGUYS.COM.AU
Easily the best thing to do in Sydney is eat! We have some of the best food offerings in the world and all in a stunning location.
Our best tip for the day would be to start fresh with breakfast at Bills in the uber trendy suburb of Surry Hills. I’d highly recommend ordering the ricotta pancakes with honeycomb butter. After your bellies are full and you’re bursting with energy take a walk down Pitt Street Mall for some much needed retail therapy.
Lunch at Chiswick at the Gallery is a must, followed by a leisurely stroll in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Circular Quay to really soak in some culture.
After that, take a step (or a few) up one of our greatest attractions the Sydney Harbour Bridge to catch the sunset and harbour like you’ve never seen it before.
Finish with a light dinner and cocktails at one of Sydney’s best kept secrets, the Supper Club at the InterContinental Sydney, boasting enchanting views of both the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House from it’s rooftop location.
Joe and Luke are Sydney based food, travel and lifestyle bloggers with “a serious case of famished wanderlust.”
Find out more about Joe and Luke on their website 2hungryguys.com.au.
6. BENNELONG RESTAURANT – BY IMSTILLHUNGRY.NET
While Quay Restaurant might be Sydney’s most famous restaurant to both international visitors and Sydneysiders alike, Peter Gilmore’s true ace up the sleeve is located right across the water.
The not-so-secret Bennelong Restaurant is firmly ensconced in the heart of Opera House’s sails, and serves some of the finest contemporary Australian cuisine and wine in all of Sydney.
Being surrounded by Jørn Utzon’s world-famous architecture, taking in the views of Sydney harbour all the while savouring cuisine of the utmost finesse is a quintessential Sydney haute-dining experience, one that is like no other.
Michael from imstillhungry.net started his food blogging in 2012. He visits a range of restaurants from cafes to fine dining experiences.
For more in-depth reviews and great food photography take a look through imstillhungry.net
7. BEST EVENING – BY MYPRETTYSYDNEY.COM
I think the most important things to highlight to any visitor are the stunning views of Sydney Harbour, the beaches, excellent coffee and delicious food.
I would recommend exploring the Rocks area for Sydney’s rich history and cafes for coffee and avocado on toast (a Sydney specialty).
If you like art, you can also wander around the Museum of Contemporary Art in the area. Afterwards, stroll towards Circular Quay and make your way to the Sydney Opera House while admiring the spectacular views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
After visiting the Opera House, you can go for a walk in the adjoining Botanic Gardens or, stop for a drink and a bite to eat while admiring the spectacular views at the Opera Bar.
Next, I recommend catching the ferry to Darling Harbour from Circular Quay Station which will take you under the iconic bridge and spoil you with stunning water views. Sit on the upper deck with your camera ready for the best photographic shots of this city.
Once you’re in Darling Harbor, you can enjoy more restaurants, shopping and tourist attractions before making your way back to Circular Quay by ferry, bus, train or simply on foot.
I really hope you enjoy Sydney!
My Pretty Sydney, written by Maadhi Ramanayake, is a Sydney based lifestyle blog that uncovers Sydney and all it has to offer.
Coupled with snapshots of picturesque Sydney, delicious food and scenery from around the world, this lifestyle blog aims to present readers with a variety of inspirational, yet informative stories to enjoy.
8. OPERA HOUSE AND BOTANICAL GARDENS
And one final one from me. My favourite place in Sydney has to be the Opera House. Walking around the inside of this iconic building is a must.
You can take a great tour inside the amazing concert halls and hear all about the history of this great building. If you have the time, and there are available dates, going to a concert performance is a great way to round off a trip to Sydney.
Once you have been to the Opera House another great option is a walk through the Botanical Gardens. This 30 hectare site in the city is a beautiful and quiet place for a stroll through some of the themed gardens. Also, a walk to the Mrs Macquaries Chair will reward you with an iconic view of the city.
I hope you have found some inspiration on things to do in Sydney. For all the best options on cruises to Sydney take a look at our website or give our cruise experts a call on 1300 887 590.
Thank you to all the bloggers who took the time to give us their recommendations. Remember, for everything Sydney, take a look through the bloggers websites.
Comment below if you have any more recommendations on things to do in Sydney.
If you’re travelling internationally from Sydney, you can find official travel advice from Smartraveller.gov.au.
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