OVERVIEW

One of the most beautifully located cities in the world, Sydney is all about life by the water and it's chock full of things to do. Iconic buildings, history, capital city attractions and "enjoying life" combine to create an unforgettable destination to visit.

Capital of New South Wales and home to approximately 5million people, Sydney is the biggest city in Australia. It's divided in two by the beautiful harbour, with most of the action(and CBD) on the southern side of the magnificent bridge.

You could do the main attractions in a couple of days, but you wouldn't get bored if you spent 2 weeks here. Take a look through the ranked list below to decide which 'things to do' in Sydney you want to do.

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Nearby Destinations

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All Things To Do In Sydney

Ranked by popularity

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See below for the section on Suburbs and Islands to visit in Sydney

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Check Hotel rates or availability

Booking.com is one of the most popular hotel booking websites, they have a wide range of accommodation types and they often have free cancellation, so you can always book and lock in your room with the option to cancel it later. Click the image to see what amazing hotel you could be staying at soon.

We also like Hotels.com who offer an excellent user friendly website, good service, and a good loyalty program where you get a free night for every 10 nights you book through them.

Check Flight rates or availability

Virgin Australia are up there with Qantas in terms of quality of service and they have an extensive number of routes across Australia. Click the image to see what options they have for you to experience an exemplary start to your trip.

If you want to check up on Jetstar, it is best to book through their site directly at jetstar.com as this gives you the best price and full availability. Just remember that checked luggage costs extra.

For flights with Qantas, try looking at auntbetty.com which is operated by Flight Centre. It's an easy to use flight search website that gives you the true price (unlike others, that show dodgy prices) and back-up support from your local Flight Centre store.

This site is supported financially by affiliate links. This means that, should you click on a link to a hotel or airline website, for example, we receive a small commission. The price that you pay is not affected by this. Find out more about this on our About page.

"These links are recommended because I use them myself. They are easy to use sites, offer excellent service, and are sites that I would suggest to my friends and family if they asked."

Christopher Jubb, Travel Unpacked Founder

Need info on 'How to get to Sydney?' or 'Where to stay?'

Go to the second page of our travel guide for the full run down.

Or, go to the third page for all the 'Essential info' like getting around, food, shopping, and much more.

Who's your travel buddy? If you've found this guide useful, share it with them and ask which 'things to do' comes top of their list.

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Inner City Suburbs To Visit In Sydney

 

Aside from the suburbs like Woolloomooloo and Manly mentioned above, there are a few others not too far from the CBD that you may wish to visit.

INNER CITY - SOUTH

Darlinghurst

Here you will find an area focused very much on entertainment. If you want a drink, bite to eat, live music or clubbing, you will find it here. This is also the main gay and lesbian area of Sydney and host of the annual mardi gras on Oxford Street.

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Surry Hills

South of Darlinghurst, this area is full of interesting shops and more good nightlife and food options.

The Belvoir Street Theatre is well respected. There are some art galleries to check out here too.

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Redfern + Waterloo

Further south still, these two areas used to be no-go areas. They are still a little rough, but have been gentrified by creatives with galleries, shops, a comedy club, restaurants, a market and an aboriginal dance theatre.

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INNER CITY - WEST

Pyrmont

The main attractions - the fish market and star casino - have been mentioned already.

You may also find of interest, Pyrmont point park, beautiful historic buildings in Union square, colonial heritage spread around the area and the historic Jones Bay Wharf.

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Chippendale

Just west of Central train station is this small area with a couple of interesting points. The modern and sustainable Central Park building features greenery up the building and an overhanging "mirror", plus a mall at the bottom. White Rabbit is a multi level art gallery.

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Balmain

Located on the peninsula directly west of the harbour bridge, Balmain has some great views along Darling Street that leads down to a small park and the ferry wharf.

It has a village like feel and features many boutique shops, lovely pubs and Balmain markets.

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Newtown

Just after Sydney Uni and Carriageworks, Newtown is a thriving creative centre. King street is where is all happens and you'll find great places to eat and shop, including a book arcade, and the two theatres.

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Leichhardt

This area is Sydney's little Italy. Head here if you want some fine food or a cultural tour.

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EAST OF THE CBD

Paddington

Just east of Darlinghurst and Surry Hills, this area is known for it's shopping along Oxford Street and in the Paddington Markets on Saturdays. There are lots of nice streets and old houses to have a wander past in this 'heritage village'.

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Double Bay

North east of Paddington is Double Bay, a harbourside area with more shops and cafe's, plus the added benefit of being between Darling point and Point Piper, where you can find expensive mansions to be jealous of and parts of the walk that starts at the nearby Rushcutters park. Seven Shillings beach is a good place for swim in the enclosed tidal swimming pool.

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Neilson Park

Beside Vaucluse is this waterside park which sits perfectly facing back across the entire harbour. Aside from the spectacular views, it features the historic Greycliffe House, picnic areas, shark beach and a cafe.

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Watson's Bay

Right at the end of the peninsula is the historic centre that started as a fishing village (Australia's oldest) not long after colonial settlement. It's a short walk from the harbourside to the ocean side, at the Gap lookout. The southern head heritage trail and national park is just north(see above). There is an aboriginal culture tour available, waterside restaurants and the secluded camp cove beach.

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Coogee

Heading south from Watson's bay will bring you to Bondi, which then leads onto Bronte and Coogee (see above for the walk). Coogee is smaller and quieter than Bondi but still with some life and party to it and a worthwhile place to visit for the quaint beach, swimming baths and laidback vibe.

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NORTH OF THE HARBOUR

Middle Harbour

This is the largest inlet of the harbour and can be explored on foot from middle head and on the Spit to Manly walk or is also great if you can get on a boat or kayak.

 

Balmoral Beach

Here you will find a great beach that's as big as a lot of Sydney's coastal beaches, but here it's sheltered from the waves. There is a netted section of water with swimming lanes at the southern end. You can hire kayaks, take a sailing lesson or hire stand-up paddle boards.

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IN THE HARBOUR

Islands

Beside Cockatoo Island mentioned above, there are some smaller spots you can try and get too: -

Goat Island

Closest to Balmain but a stones throw from Barangaroo and the CBD, this historic island is perfectly positioned for fantastic views. You can visit on a heritage tour from Circular Quay to discover the convict history and incredible views.

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Fort Denison

On the opposite side of the bridge and perfectly positioned for defence, this tiny island fort can usually be visited on a tour but it is currently closed for conservation work until the end of 2021.

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Shark Island

Positioned between Bradleys head and Neilson park, this is the last island before the ocean. The island is largely empty(a gazebo and toilets) and provides an incredibly unique place for a picnic. Get here via a tour operator from circular quay, such as captain cook cruises.

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Clark Island

This island is located between Shark island and Fort Denison. It is another picnic spot but rockier and with more foliage. It can only be reached by private vessel or water taxi.

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AUTHORED BY

Christopher Jubb, Founder of Travel Unpacked

More information available on our About page

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