24 hours in any city is hard to do. There’s never enough time to do and see everything and when you’ve only got a day, there’s no point trying. But it’s surprising how much you can see in such a short period of time.
The most important thing to remember about this post is that it really is only a taster. It’s a bit like a trailer for a movie. It’s a snippet to give you an idea of how much more fun you’ll have the next time you’re here.
And believe me, you will be back.
Anyway, here’s our whip-crack fast 24 hours in Sydney. We have added a few more things to do for the following day – or you can chop and change to suit yourself.
24 hours in Sydney
First off, if you want to do this properly, you have to arrive the night before and have had a good night’s sleep.
We didn’t realise how important a good bed straight off a long flight was until we did it in LA recently. It also means you can be up and about early to make the most of your 1 day here in Sydney. The Establishment Hotel is pretty good.
Paramount Coffee Project – one of our favourite city cafés with an adventurous menu, great coffee and killer shakes.
Walk through the city down via Hyde Park and then down past the Art Gallery of NSW into the Botanic Gardens.
Check out the views of the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Fort Dennison from Mrs Macquarie’s Chair.
Carry on round the foreshore to the Opera House and then on to Circular Quay and join in the hustle and bustle of Sydney’s busiest ferry terminal.
Check out Customs House and the model of the city in the floor.
Pop into the Museum of Contemporary Art for some culture then grab a coffee in The Rocks.
Go back to Circular Quay and hop on a ferry to Watsons Bay (Wharf 4).
Enjoy lunch the Watsons Bay Hotel with a view of the harbour (Doyle’s Restaurant next door is more fine dining but skip the takeaway stall).
If you have the time (and energy), walk out towards the heads east at the end of Watsons Bay. Alternatively, go up to the cliffs where you can see The Gap, where the entrance to the harbour begins.
Catch the ferry back to Circular Quay then catch the city loop free bus (555) to the QVB (Queen Victoria Building) on George Street and explore the shops in this beautiful, historic building.
Check out some of the small bars popping up around the city for a slick after-dinner cocktail. Baxters has a remarkable whisky menu, Stitch Bar, the Barbershop or The Grasshopper are just a few serving very cool drinks and craft beers and spirits in the CBD.
If you want something a bit flashier with a killer view, go to the Shangri La’s Blu Bar cocktail lounge on the 36th floor overlooking the harbour.
Depending on how much time you have left, there are a few essential things you’ve got to do before you leave.
Catch the 373 to Coogee, grab a smoothie or a coffee (or both!) and do the Coogee to Bondi coastal walk. It’s iconic and gives you an incredible view of some of Australia’s most famous beaches.
If you’re short of time, get the 378 bus to Bronte Beach and walk to Bondi from there. The cafés at Bronte all do pretty good coffee.
But if you’re seriously short of time, catch the 333 bus straight to Bondi Beach.
Head back into town by catching either the 333 or 380 bus. If you have time, hop off in Paddington to explore one of Sydney’s prettiest city suburbs.
There’s so much to do here, you could be exploring for a year and still find new things to do. It’s a beautiful city with so much to offer.
Do you have any other tips for a 24-hour dash around the Harbour City? Where’s your favourite place to go in Sydney? Tell us in the comments!