Top 5 things to do in Sydney

Top 5 things to do in Sydney

Sydney is the most well-known city in Australia. An impressive skyline, beautiful parks, and beaches, it’s a place you shouldn’t skip when you’re traveling to Australia. In this article, I’ll share my top 5 favorite things to do in Sydney.

Do the Bondi to Coogee Beach coastal walk

Top 5 Sydney - Bondi to Coogee walk

Many people will know Bondi Beach from the tv show Bondi Rescue, filled with footage of a full beach and lifeguards. When I visited Australia in July, I was completely alone at Bondi Beach. The beach is situated in a beautiful bay and the waves are big. There is a beautiful coastal pathway from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach (about 6 kilometers, 3.7 miles). During your walk, you will see some amazing cliffs, beautiful bays, and surfers catching some waves.

Visit Sydney Opera House

Top 5 things to do in Sydney

The Sydney Opera House is the icon of Sydney and for sure one of the most famous landmarks in Australia. You will see it in every tourist shop. When I first saw this iconic building, I realized for the first time: I’m standing on the other side of the world. The building looks magnificent from every angle (and there are many awesome angles). The best place to see the Sydney Opera House is from a ferry (many of them depart from Circular Quay). If you have some extra time in Sydney, make sure to visit a concert in the Opera House, because the building also looks fantastic on the inside.

Take the ferry to Manly

Top 5 Sydney - Manly

One of the places in Sydney you can visit by taking a ferry is Manly. This is one of the most expensive and one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Sydney. It’s a peninsula with lovely beaches and a beautiful coastline. Fun fact: the movie The Great Gatsby (2013, the one with Leonardo DiCaprio) is filmed in Manly. After filming they edited it digitally to make it look American.

Relax in the Royal Botanic Gardens

Top 5 Sydney - Royal Botanic Gardens

When you’re done with all the walking around Sydney, it’s nice to relax in one of the great parks. The largest park is the Royal Botanic Gardens. It opened in 1816 and consists of dozens of different gardens. At a lot of places in the park, you’ll have great views of the skyline of Sydney, the Opera House, and the harbor. If you’re into wildlife this is also a great place to walk around, because you might see some (huge) flying foxes and cockatoos.

Explore Blue Mountains National Park

Blue Mountains - wolkendek

I know, Blue Mountains National Park is technically not in Sydney. But it’s so easy to get there from Sydney! You can even go there for a day trip (but I would recommend staying at least for one night in Katoomba). If you like hiking, Blue Mountains National Park is the place to be. The cliffs are steep and de views are amazing (especially when the valley is covered with clouds, like in my photograph. It takes about two hours to reach Katoomba from Sydney and the train ride offers some amazing views as well.

These were my 5 favorite things to do in Sydney. What would you recommend?

Would you like to read more about Australia?

Get one of these great guides if you’d like to learn more about Sydney:

DK Eyewitness Sydney

Lonely Planet Sydney

Or check out these articles if you’d like to know more about traveling in Australia:
Top 5 things to do in Melbourne
Tours in Australia you don’t want to miss
Itinerary Australia: the highlights of the East Coast in 3,5 weeks


As a girl from a small town in the Netherlands, I always dreamed of traveling. I thought it would always be a dream, but nowadays, I travel 6 to 8 months a year and I hike thousands of miles on the most beautiful hiking trails. On this website you can read all about my favorite destinations.

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