Sydney is Australia’s largest city, home to beautiful beaches and multiple landmarks, from the Sydney Opera House to the Queen Victoria Building. We’ve done the digging and have come up with 15 reasons why you need a Sydney getaway. Yes, there are the main attractions, but we’ve also included extra insights from my many Sydney getaways and friends who are Bondi locals.
Therefore, as the capital of New South Wales and one of the most famous cities globally, Sydney should be at the top of your bucket list and here’s why. Whether you can travel to Sydney now or are waiting on restrictions to ease and a safer climate, this city should still be on your bucket list.
Photo by Clarinta Subrata on Unsplash.
15 Things to Do in Sydney in 2021
1. Explore all that Bondi has to offer.
Swim at Australia’s famous Bondi Beach.
Bondi Beach is one of the most well-known beaches worldwide, made even more famous by the TV show Bondi Rescue. The 1km long crescent-shaped beach offers ideal waves for surfers and plenty of space for tanning for those looking for more relaxing options.
Being so close to the Sydney CBD with easy public transport, like bus and train, it’s no wonder Bondi attracts more than 2.6 million visitors each year. However, Bondi beach can be dangerous due to its access to the Pacific Ocean, which can sweep people out. If you go to Bondi Beach, make sure to only swim between the flags and follow all notices.
Swim and eat at Bondi Icebergs Club.
If you’re going to Sydney, be sure to go to the iconic Bondi Icebergs Club. The bistro offers a range of delicious meals and drinks, which can be enjoyed with a spectacular view of Bondi Beach and the ocean.
For only $6.50, you can access the club’s public swimming pool and sauna, a Bondi landmark for more than a century.
Enjoy the scenery and views from the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk.
The beautiful walk from Bondi to Coogee (or turn around at Bronte if you’re feeling tired) stretches for 6km, taking about 2 hours to complete. This walk goes along the ocean, following the highs and lows of the cliffs, offering incredible views and passing by beaches, parks, rock pools and man-made pools.
You can make a day out of this walk, stopping to swim at the beautiful rock pools, man-made pools and/or beaches you’ll pass by on this walk. Additionally, stop for a break to grab something to eat from nearby cafés and restaurants. Furthermore, there are public bathrooms, electric barbecues, grassland for picnics, etc. scattered along this walk.
We recommend bringing a backpack with water, snacks, sunscreen, a cap, sunglasses, swimmers, a towel, comfortable clothes and shoes to this walk.
2. Climb the Harbour Bridge.
For those seeking more thrill, try climbing one of Australia’s most recognisable landmarks, the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The bridge is measured to stand at 134 metres above sea level, stretching for 1,149 metres in length and has been open since 1932.
BridgeClimb Sydney offers a range of climb options, from the ultimate climb to sampler climbs, depending how far and high you want to climb.
3. Ride roller coasters at the famous Luna Park.
Luna Park is one of the most famous theme parks in Australia. Situated on the eastern side of the Sydney Harbour, Luna Park is free to enter, but the rides will cost you. You can catch a water ferry or taxi to Luna Park, which also offers beautiful views of the Harbour from the other side.
4. Enjoy dinner with views of the Sydney Harbour.
You can enjoy dinner with a view at many restaurants and bars in Sydney. The most iconic is the Opera Bar, where you can grab a meal or drinks with the Sydney Harbour Bridge behind you, and the Opera House just above you.
Another favourite is Hyde Hacienda Sydney Bar + Lounge, with indoor seating and large glass windows looking out to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Book here for delicious food and cocktails while watching the sun go down over the bridge.
5. Explore the Darling Harbour.
The Darling Harbour is another iconic Sydney landmark, featuring the Chinese Garden of Friendship, pop-up bars and stores, a playground with water features, restaurants and bars. Additionally, Darling Harbour often has alternating pop-ups and events, with a gigantic floating cinema in place from 3 Dec 2020 to 14 Feb 2021.
6. Spend a day at one of Sydney’s top stadiums.
Enjoy a game of footy, cricket, soccer or whatever sport you favour at one of Sydney’s stadiums.
ANZ Stadium (Stadium Australia).
The ANZ Stadium, AKA Stadium Australia, is one of Australia’s state-of-the-art stadiums. With a capacity of 83,500, the stadium is home to teams including the Rabbitohs, Bulldogs, Waratahs, NSW Rugby League Team and Cricket NSW.
*Allianz Stadium has been demolished and will be replaced by the Sydney Football Stadium in 2022, which is currently under construction.
Originally Sydney Football Stadium, opened in 1998, Allianz Stadium (since 2012) was one of Sydney’s most loved stadiums. Home to concerts, cultural events, rugby league, rugby union and soccer, this Sydney stadium was also the home stadium of the Sydney Roosters, NSW Waratahs and the FC Sydney football team.
With a capacity of 45,000 people, it’s no surprise many concerts have been held here, gracing the stadium and Australia with stars like Taylor Swift and Coldplay. Furthermore, the stadium has had international matches held here, welcoming teams from the UK, New Zealand, Ireland and more.
With plans to reopen in mid-2022, this stadium will continue to be one of Sydney’s best stadiums.
The Sydney Cricket Ground is home to lovers of cricket. As an internationally renowned cricket venue used for Test, One Day International and Twenty20 cricket, it’s no wonder 1.5 million people fill up this stadium each year. This stadium also welcomes other sports, entertainment and cultural events here, offering Aussies and tourists a range of experiences to see.
7. Catch a ferry to Manly.
Manly is a northern Sydney suburb, offering visitors incredible beaches and restaurants. Similar to most places in Sydney, Manly can be reached from the CBD by ferry and is an ideal place for a trip to the beach for a relaxed day of surf.
Manly Beach is another iconic surf spot, offering great waves for those ready to catch them. Sydney is full of beautiful beaches, which is why it’s no surprise, like Bondi, there are also beautiful coastal walks along the coast of Manly.
The 11km walk from Spit Bridge to Manly Beach takes you through beaches, parks and cliffs, offering beautiful views of the ocean throughout. This walk also takes you by a thousand year old Aboriginal rock engravings, the Grotto Point Aboriginal Engraving Site.
After completing some recreational activities, stop to eat at one of Manly’s lovely restaurants to finish off the day.
8. Stroll through Cronulla.
Cronulla is a smaller Sydney beach town, attracting both tourists and Sydney locals. A great bonus is that unlike other Sydney beaches, Cronulla’s beach can be easily reached by train. This relaxed beach town is perfect for a weekend getaway. With beachfront restaurants and bars, Cronulla offers visitors a great selection of dining options with a view.
Stroll along the esplanade for a beautiful and laidback walk seeing the beautiful beach scenery.
9. CBD shopping.
There are plenty of shopping opportunities in Sydney’s CBD. Westfield Sydney, Pitt Street Mall and Queen Victoria Building hold hundreds of shops, giving you a variety of stores to peruse. If you head down George Street, you’ll see many of Sydney’s top shops lining the street.
10. Bars and clubs.
As Australia’s largest city, it’s no surprise Sydney also has some of the coolest bars and clubs. From plenty with rooftops and incredible views, a night out in Sydney should be on your bucket list. My personal favourite when I visited Sydney was Ivy Precinct, a multi-storey venue with a rooftop pool.
11. Enjoy the sunset views from Watson Bay Boutique Hotel.
Another iconic Sydney restaurant is the Watson Bay Boutique Hotel, giving stunning sunset views under their iconic umbrellas, with plenty of food and drinks options. Again, don’t stress about Ubering here as you can take a ferry, which drops you off right in front of the restaurant.
We’d recommend making a booking, as it gets quite busy, especially during warmer months…
12. Take a relaxing trip to Palm Beach.
Palm Beach is just over 40km north of Sydney, stretching for over 2km and is famous for being the set for Home and Away. With water surrounding Palm Beach on 3 sides, it’s a beautiful holiday spot for many, including celebs like Nicole Kidman and Chris Hemsworth.
This laidback suburb offers not only great dining options, but pristine beaches, beautiful views and is the perfect place to swim, surf or just chill on the beach.
13. Admire the views from the Blue Mountains National Park.
Another thing Sydney locals love doing is hiking the Blue Mountains. Only an hour inland from Sydney CBD, there are plenty of outdoor activities to do at the national park, from canoeing to climbing. One of the highlights is the Echo Point Lookout, which offers panoramic views of the Three Sisters and Jamison Valley.
14. Walk around Barangaroo.
Barangaroo is Sydney’s new water-front precinct. With stunning views and newly designed walkways, it’s fun to explore and walk around Barangaroo. With its urban yet modern style, check out its parks, seating areas and other venues which can even be hired out.
15. Admire The Sydney Opera House.
No getaway to Sydney is complete without seeing the Opera House. Even if you’re not a keen fan of Opera, it’s still incredible to walk around the buildings and gawk at the incredible architectural design.