After almost two full days of traveling (on a free flight, might I add) – I had finally arrived to Sydney International Airport. The sun was hot, the people were friendly, and I was so very ready to (cough, shower) get out and explore the city I had heard so much about — especially after opening up my airplane window to see this view.
I spent a short five days in and around Sydney. My days were filled with white sand beaches, coastal walks, lots of food, touristy adventures and all around good times.
I landed, picked up my bag and connected to airport wifi to call an Uber. First destination? Bondi Beach.
Tip: When you call an Uber to pick you up from Sydney International Airport, you’ll be given a specific pickup location on where your driver will meet you (i.e. parking garage yellow, stand C). This is super helpful because you don’t have to spend extra time trying to figure out where your driver is (airports = big, duh).
Stay And Soak: Bondi Beach
I decided to stay on Bondi Beach because I had been away from the ocean too long. As a neighborhood, Bondi is a very walkable area, and although it’s not in the city center, everything you need is in the vicinity. And in my opinion, there’s nothing better and more convenient than a beach with the city closeby.
Do This : Bondi To Coogee Coastal Walk
The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk is one of Sydney’s postcard experiences. The entire walk will take around 2-3 hours, and is situated around the coastline through six kilometers of Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
You’ll discover sparkling bays, secret rock pools, stunning cliff top views sprinkled with outdoor cafes, all hugging five of Sydney’s beautiful beaches — Bondi to Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly and Coogee.
Shop: The Rocks
The Rocks is a historic neighborhood in the shadow of Sydney Harbour Bridge. It’s a tourist-filled yet charming area and very much worth the visit.
The streets are beautiful, with an older world charm. It’s a not-so-hidden gem.
Stroll through the open-air Rocks Markets to find street food and sweet boutiques filled with wearable and giftable items – from high-end goods to cheap thrills.
You can walk into both one of Sydney’s oldest pubs or dine at many of the upscale restaurants with sweet harbour views.
The Museum of Contemporary Art is close by and worth a visit.
There are endless corners to photograph, cafe menus to explore and gift shops to spend your money on. 🙂
Stroll Through : Royal Botanic Garden
Very possibly the most zen to be found in the middle of a bustling city — I found a quiet moment of peace when strolling through the Royal Botanical Garden.
You will not be able to cover all of this place in one day. It’s 74 acres of wide open, beautifully-pruned open space.
Explore the multiple gardens or just chill out and watch the Australian White Ibis graze around.
I had never seen these birds before, so it was a bit of a surprise for me to see them so frequently.
They keep to themselves, are not aggressive and widespread throughout the gardens.
Quick Bite: Tapavino
I randomly strolled into this corner of restaurants and stopped at Tapavino in the CBD (Central Business District) of Sydney.
I ordered the jamón, mushroom & black truffled tart, topped with shaved manchego for $16 AUD and a glass of house red vino for $5 during happy hour.
Your taste buds will love you for it.
For The Views: The Sydney Harbor Bridge
After living in New York City for six years, I can’t shake this fascination with bridges. I decided to find the entrance to walk alongside it and soak in some Sydney city views from above.
The ‘Bridge Walk’ is a tourist attraction where you can actually scale the bridge. It’s pricey but the views have to be unreal. I chose not to do it, but opted for the overlook instead.
For $15 AUD you can get to the top of the overlook and see the incredible views of the entire city, northern beaches, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the busy waterways.
Quick Escape: Manly Beach
I had received loads of recommendations to visit Manly Beach, which is located further north. I called an Uber to take me from Bondi Beach to the ferry docked in Circular Quay. Then took the ferry to Manly Beach.
Circular Quay is super busy, but there are some amazing buskers (street performers) who often play right outside the ferry entrances, and it’s worth checking out.
When you take the ferry, head to the top deck so you can get a good view.
Sea breeze and bridge views, basking in sunshine. This is the life. 🙂
The Corso in Manly Beach is a sweet little street filled with shops, cafes and boutiques. Walk down the street and shop until you reach the very end — where you’ll find the beach.
Sydney’s northern beaches are a lot less busy, easily accessible and perfect for a quick little getaway.
I didn’t get too much time to spend in Sydney, but two other neighborhoods I was recommended were Newtown and Surry Hills. Be sure to give those a go when you visit! If you have any other recommendations or places to visit, things to do or places to eat — please leave a comment below!
Thank you to my friends at Uber for sponsoring + inspiring this post, as well as getting me around Sydney safely and quickly. I only had a few days so I didn’t want to waste a single second. My drivers were awesome, and because they were locals – they gave me loads of recommendations on places to visit (and the best ways to get there). All opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for reading this post!