28 Hours in Sydney

I spent a day in Sydney a few years back and it was one of the most accessible and fun major cities I’ve ever visited. It’s one of those cities where from the moment you arrive, you feel like you could move there.

I hope to go back soon to explore more of Australia, but for now, here’s a few highlights of my quick Sydney stopover…

Since it was a short visit, I splurged and stayed at the Four Seasons, which was priced more reasonably than I imagined! It’s a great base for exploring the city and offers rooms with views of the Sydney Opera House. The Opera House is impressive– and it’s one of those things you have to see in person even if only because it’s so famous. (P.S. — now is probably a good time to note my goal of never using the word “iconic” to describe anything in this blog — except actual icons.) If you’re aiming to see a performance at the famous Opera House, it’s best to get tickets in advance. Otherwise, the surrounding area outside has plenty of waterfront restaurants and bars — I enjoyed spending a couple hours just relaxing out there and taking in the lively scene.

You already know what this is!

The nearby Sydney Harbor Bridge is another famous site, which offers bridge climbs along the steel arch — for those who don’t want to just cross it horizontally.

I had breakfast at a cafe in the Rocks Market, a hip open-air market set in an historic district of Sydney. Being a nature lover, I then wandered across town and spent an hour or so exploring the Royal Botanic Gardens, which are quite expansive and host a variety of exotic plants. While it’s just a stone’s throw away from the Opera House, you really feel like you’re separated from big city life while wandering around the thick, lush vegetation.

Exiting the south side of the gardens, I recommend stopping by the Gothic-style St. Mary’s Cathedral and the nearby Anzac War Memorial, which commemorates the lives lost during WWI.

Downtown Sydney has thousands of restaurants and shopping options; I spent a few hours wandering around taking in the sights before moving on to the King Street Wharf, where I had a delicious medium-rare kangaroo steak before venturing on to the Jones Bay Wharf. The Sydney Fish Market is a great spot to buy fresh seafood or eat it at a restaurant on site. They also offer seafood school for those who want to take a short class while in town.

For sundowners, I walked down to the Pier at Dawes Point. The Sydney Theater Company and the nearby bar on the pier had a great wine selection and nice view of the Harbor Bridge. It got a bit crowded as the evening rolled around, but I highly recommend this spot as part of an evening out!

My brief stay in Sydney was enough to acknowledge that I only scratched the surface of this great city. I hope it provides a few useful pointers for others passing through town!


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