The city of Sydney is, for most people, the showpiece city of Australia. With its exceptional coastline and attractive beaches, it’s always a popular choice with the watersports and sunbathing aficionados, while the nightlife and shopping opportunities are unmatched throughout the nation. It’s hard to break the city down into just two days’ worth of things to see and do, but we’re certainly going to try. If you’re planning to take a quick trip to the Emerald City, you can check out this itinerary and see what to do for 36 hours in Sydney, Australia.
Day 1: Afternoon
Start with a tasty bite at Mode Kitchen and Bar
Mode Kitchen and Bar is a truly amazing restaurant in Sydney, with a particularly good reputation for its focus on fresh produce and ensuring a pleasant, enjoyable atmosphere for guests. The food is straightforward but interesting and exquisitely prepared; menu highlights include grilled spring chicken from the lunch menu and grilled baby calamari from the fantastic evening menu. If you don’t have time for a full sit-down meal, you can visit the bar to try a signature cocktail such as the Herbaijito and sample the snacks, which include oysters and crispy polenta chips.
Mode Kitchen and Bar
Address: 199 George Street Ground Floor, Sydney NSW 2000
Website: Mode Kitchen and Bar
Opening hours: 12pm - 10pm (daily)
Absorb a little knowledge at State Library of New South Wales
State Library of New South Wales is actually the oldest library in the whole of Australia, so any bibliophile will definitely want to see it for themselves when visiting Sydney. The library is home to a wide volume of collections, such as Donald MacPherson Collection of Art and Literature and the Indigenous Languages Collection. This attraction provides a quiet, tranquil setting that any visitor will love. The library also offers exhibitions, workshops, and tours, and even has a cafe on-site for maximum convenience.
State Library of New South Wales
Address: Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000
Website: State Library of New South Wales
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 9am - 8pm; Fri: 9am - 5pm; Sat - Sun: 11am - 5pm
Sydney Opera House is one of the most iconic sites in the world, a fact that is confirmed by the structure’s UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. If you’re planning to visit Sydney, then visiting this impressive opera house is an absolute must. You can take a guided walking tour that lets you learn more about the history of the site and, with a tour, you can also glimpse the parts that are usually off-limits to the general public. This is a real treat of an experience that is sure to live long in your memory.
Sydney Opera House Official Guided Walking Tour
Duration: 1 hour
Day 1: Evening
The Rocks is a part of Sydney that is steeped in history and should be considered an essential stop for anyone visiting the city. You can explore the fantastic shopping and dining options in the area and immerse yourself in the unique, mellow atmosphere, or instead choose to take a ghost tour that offers a chance to learn more about the difficult past this city has seen. The Rocks is an absolute gem where, regardless of how you choose to spend your time, you can be sure of a fantastic experience.
Sydney: The Rocks Haunted Walking Tour
Duration: 90 to 120 minutes
Sydney Harbour Bridge is a popular choice for any visitor to the city. This fantastic structure that opened in 1932 is famous throughout the world and provides a great chance to see Sydney at its very best. You can walk across the entire length of the bridge if you wish, or instead choose to take a bicycle tour. Both activities provide the opportunity to make the most of the amazing views this attraction can provide.
Scenic Sydney Harbour Bridge Bicycle Ride
Duration: 5 hour
Enjoy a top culinary experience at William Blue Dining
Sydney is a city that has long enjoyed popularity with foodies, and William Blue Dining should prove to be a great choice for those seeking an amazing culinary experience. The establishment is actually a training centre of sorts, but this just adds to the overall sense of adventure. If you decide to dine here, you can definitely expect the food to be of the highest of quality. The staff is excellent and you’ll be able to sample from the delicious menu options while relaxing in the bright, cheerful atmosphere.
William Blue Dining
Address: 107 George St, The Rocks NSW 2000
Website: William Blue Dining
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 12pm - 3pm, 6pm - 10pm (closed on Sun & Mon)
Day 1: Night
Enjoy a glass with a fragrant bouquet at Urban Winery
Australia is famed for the quality of its wine, and a visit to Urban Winery Sydney provides the perfect opportunity to sample some of the country’s most famous wares for yourself. However, this is more than just a place to enjoy a beverage - you can also take this opportunity to learn more about winemaking too. While here, you can blend your own concoctions, take a tour of the entire winery, and even try grape stomping if you’re looking for a particularly unusual experience!
Address: Moore Park NSW 2021
Website: Urban Winery
Have a few laughs at Comedy Store Sydney
Comedy Store Sydney is, as one might have guessed, a comedy venue that hosts a raft of amazing and well-known comedians. Some of the famous names that have performed here include Micky Bartlett, Anthony Locascio, and Geraldine Hickey, and there are also events where a number of acts take the stage to impress the audience with their wit. You can enjoy a direct-to-table drink service during your time at this venue and even nibble on some snacks for a complete trip.
Comedy Store Sydney
Address: 122 Lang Rd, Moore Park NSW 2021
Website: Comedy Store Sydney
Opening hours: Thu - Sat: 6pm - 11pm (closed from Sun - Wed)
Day 2: Morning
Stop for a snack at the Sandwich Factory
The Hole In The Wall Sandwich Factory is the perfect stopping point for anyone visiting the city. If you want to take a quick pause for some great food while sightseeing, this is one of the best options. The establishment does not allow people to dine-in, and instead, they offer an incredible array of options to take away. This is ideal if you’re looking to grab something while on the move. Sandwiches are the main focal point of the menu, but there are also options such as pastries and cheese platters, plus a range of drinks available to try.
Address: 229 Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000
Website: Sandwich Factory
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 7am - 3:30pm (closed on Sat & Sun)
Botanic gardens are always a highlight, and the Royal Botanic Garden at Sydney is particularly impressive. Spread over 30 acres (12.14 hectares), the entire site is dedicated to providing information about plants and the natural world, including a number of birds. There are numerous exhibitions, tours, and events such as the present Aboriginal Heritage Tour that looks into how the indigenous people used local plant life to thrive in the Outback. The city centre location is incredibly convenient, the gardens themselves are perfectly maintained and, overall, you can while away a pleasant few hours at this fantastic site.
Aboriginal Heritage Tour at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Check out works of genius at Art Gallery of NSW
Art Gallery of New South Wales (NSW) dates back to the 19th century and has plenty of wonders that will surely delight any visitor. Located in the Domain - a spectacular building worth seeing in and of itself - the gallery includes a wide variety of art types, including Australian, Asian, Pacific, and Western art, all of which can be explored at your leisure or by booking a tour with one of the expert guides.
Art Gallery of NSW
Address: Art Gallery Rd, The Domain, Sydney NSW 2000
Website: Art Gallery of NSW
Opening hours: 10 am - 5pm (daily)
Day 2: Afternoon
Treat yourself to the food at Brown Sugar
Brown Sugar is a quaint bistro situated close to Bondi Beach. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, the menu is impressive, and each dish is prepared to perfection. During the day, you can enjoy an all-day brunch or a salad for lunch after spending some time at the nearby beach. Visit at night and you’ll have the choice of sophisticated options such as dijon-marinated lamb rump or chargrilled rib eye, as well as a dark chocolate crème brûlée with lemon sorbet for dessert.
Address: 106 Curlewis St, Bondi Beach NSW 2026
Website: Brown Sugar
Opening hours: Tue - Thu: 6pm - 11pm; Fri - Sun: 8:30am - 2:30pm, 6pm - 11pm
Admire the view at Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk
Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk is a fantastic choice for anyone who wants to see the might of the incredible Australian coastline in person. This popular trail is just over 3 kilometres (1.86 miles) in length, so it’s long enough to give you a chance to see the majesty of the natural scenery, but not so long that completing the walk will take an entire day. Along the route, you’ll be able to admire the cliffs and peer down over the stunning beaches below.
Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk
Address: 1 Notts Ave, Bondi Beach NSW 2026
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
Of all the many reasons people choose to visit Australia, the beaches are amongst the most popular - and there’s one beach that stands above the rest as the most instantly recognisable: Bondi Beach. The semi-circle of white golden sand combined with the stunning blue waters combine to create a stunning vista. There’s plenty to do and see in the area, too: water sports such as surfing are common, or you can unwind in one of the nearby eateries and enjoy the view of the ocean.
Bondi Beach: 2-Hour Surf Lesson Experience for Any Level
Duration: 1 hour
Day 2: Evening
If you’re a fan of opera, then a trip to Sydney Opera House to see a live performance guarantees an experience unlike any other. From La Boheme and Carmen to Don Giovanni, the performance choices are wide-ranging enough to ensure that there is something for every personal preference. Besides enjoying the performance itself, you’ll also have the chance to enjoy the splendour of its incredible interior.
Opera Performance at the Sydney Opera House
Duration: 2 to 4 hours
See the remarkable Man O'War Steps
Originally built in 1810, the Man O'War Steps have become popular with visitors to Sydney both for their historical significance and their close proximity to some of the most famous sites in the city. The “steps” were originally used as a jetty, where the crew would join docked ships or load supplies. This site is now included in the New South Wales State Heritage Register. If intending to visit the Opera House or the Royal Botanic Gardens, visiting the Steps is very straightforward - they can be found on the eastern side of the headland, and they are definitely worth seeing.
Man O' War Steps
Address: Farm Cove Street, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
Taste seafood delicacies at Sydney Cove Oyster Bar
Sydney Cove Oyster Bar has developed a reputation as one of the best seafood restaurants in Sydney. This establishment is located close to the water and offers spectacular views to diners. The atmosphere is light, pleasant, and thoroughly enjoyable. The food, however, takes centre stage for good reason: the menu is expansive, and every dish - such as the Cone Bay barramundi or the incredible “surf and turf” option - is prepared to perfection. The decadent desserts are the perfect finishing touch to an amazing evening.
Sydney Cove Oyster Bar
Address: 1 Circular Quay East, Sydney NSW 2000
Website: Sydney Cove Oyster Bar
Opening hours: 11am - 10:30pm (daily)
Day 2: Night
Eat, drink, and dance at The Scary Canary
The Scary Canary in Sydney has, over the years, cultivated a reputation as the best place for backpackers to party the night away - but the establishment and the amazing evening it can provide is open to all and absolutely worth a visit. There’s food available if you want to grab a bite to eat. Expect fares such as simple but delicious burgers, salads and chicken wings, plus a good range of drink options. This is the place to revel in the amazing music and the electric party atmosphere.
The Scary Canary
Address: 469 Kent St, Sydney NSW 2000
Website: The Scary Canary
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 12pm - 3am; Sun: 12pm - 4am
Boogie on down at Rock Lily
Rock Lily is a live event venue that hosts a variety of different performances, from comedy to live music, across a variety of different genres. If you’re in Sydney, you can be sure there’s always something entertaining going on here. Located within the renowned Star Sydney hotel, the venue offers an exciting atmosphere and a great interior space that ensures whatever type of act you’re going to see, you’ll have a fantastic time while doing so.
Address: Level 1, The Star Sydney, 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont NSW 2009
Website: Rock Lily
Opening hours: Wed - Thu: 6pm - 12am; Fri - Sun: 5pm - 3am (closed on Mon & Tue)
Scintillating Sydney is the perfect place to have a quick getaway
Sydney is Australia’s largest city in terms of population and in terms of personality. There is always something going on here, something to see and do - and more importantly, something good to eat and drink. You’ll never tire of this remarkable Australian metropolis, the so-called Emerald City of the East Coast. If you’ve got just a few days to spare here, these are some of the places you absolutely must visit on your trip.
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