Holidays are back on the agenda and we can’t wait to explore the beautiful attractions, nature sights and dining destinations of Sydney.
The time has finally arrived to visit beautiful places like Sydney, thanks to the Singapore-Australia Vaccinated Travel Lane. Add these awesome activities to your itinerary and you’ll be able to say you’ve eaten, played and stayed in one of the world’s coolest harbour cities. We’re stoked to share these pearls of wisdom that include must-visit attractions, hidden gems and fab accommodations for you to enjoy on your trip to the Emerald City.
Explore the best of Sydney: Attractions, things to do and places to eat
1. Climb the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge
This is the ultimate “Sydney experience”. There’s no better way to get to the top of Sydney’s harbour (literally) and survey the surroundings. Take a leisurely climb over 53,000 tonnes of steel and up 1,300 steps – while burning 500 calories – to the pinnacle of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. And can we talk about the breathtaking views? They’ll be captured by your guide for you to share with the world.
Choose from different journeys including the newly launched Burrawa Climb, led by an indigenous storyteller, and the Ultimate Climb, which allows you to experience a 3.3km south-to-north trek of the entire bridge and back. If you’re hungry for traditional Aussie fare afterwards, visit the neighbouring Glenmore Hotel for seasonal, fresh pub food, a bustling atmosphere and quintessential views of the Sydney Opera House.
2. Go on a wild shopping spree
Love to shop? Set aside a day to get your malling done and dusted at the historic Queen Victoria Building. Here’s where you can pick up all your favourite international brands and iconic Australian labels like Camilla, Country Road, Cue, Australian Aboriginal Arts, Lorna Jane, R.M Williams and Sportscraft. There’s also a host of stellar eateries, but make sure you book the special high tea experience at The Tea Room to dine in regal surroundings.
Just a short stroll away, the upscale Westfield Shopping Centre has everything you need for your shopping amusement. When sunset arrives, reward yourself with a cocktail at Bar83 in the iconic Sydney Tower. You’ll feel on top of the world with a glorious 360-degree view of Sydney’s cityscape from the highest bar in town!
3. Explore the dining scene Down Under
Sydney’s food scene is culturally diverse and served with quality produce. On the fancy side, the city’s top five hatted restaurants are Quay, Sixpenny, Bentley Restaurant, Tetsuya’s and Ormeggio at the Spit. Another fabulous on-the-money option? Spice Alley. It comprises a hawker-style open-air courtyard under hanging lanterns, serving a variety of Asian plates.
For an eclectic fusion of old and new, try Tramsheds, an old tram depot that’s been transformed into a modern dining destination combining a multitude of restaurant and cafe options. Oh, and for the best upmarket Thai in town, make your way to Long Chim, a slicker than slick urban haven tucked away in a quiet alleyway from the hustle and bustle of Sydney’s CBD. After your meal, make sure you check out the magical Insta-worthy art installation Forgotten Songs in Birdcage Alley.
4. Enjoy stunning waterfront views
A must on any to-do list when visiting Sydders? The scenic Circular Quay to Manly ferry. You get a bird’s eye view of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, plus other landmarks including Manly Cove. When you hop off, grab a bite at the ever-fashionable Hugo’s on Manly Wharf.
For those who want to get closer to the water action, you can’t go wrong with the excitement of the Explore Sydney Harbour tour. Grab your co-captain, hat and sunnies to explore one of the world’s most picturesque harbours in your own custom-built two-seater speed boat. After your tour, pitch up at Jez Ve for scrummy wholesome all-day dining options with a Turkish twist. Or head nearby to Rose Bay’s famous The Boathouse for a long, leisurely lunch.
5. Take an Aboriginal walking tour
Starting at Cadman Cottage in the heart of The Rocks, this 90-minute tour with Dreamtime Southern X won’t disappoint. Delve into Aboriginal heritage and history and learn about their spiritual connection to the adjoining waterways and foreshores as your guide shares ancient knowledge from the oldest experts on earth today. You’ll experience a local Aboriginal greeting and learn some of the language spoken while you hear about the Aboriginal Dreamtime origin, culture and history.
6. Calling all city nature lovers
Start with the Royal Botanic Garden which features breathtaking harbour views and plenty of activities to keep the whole family busy. Try the guided Wednesday walking tour to discover and appreciate different seasonal themes. Next, treat yourself to a modern Asian-inspired luncheon at the popular Botanic House helmed by Australian-Vietnamese restaurateur, Luke Nguyen.
For an unforgettable experience, spend a day at Taronga Zoo in Bradley Head. From savannahs to jungles, rivers to oceans, the place is a must-visit. It’s home to over 4,000 animals and 350 species, so you’ll want to make the most of your experience there.
7. Get a dose of culture for art’s sake
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to viewing free art in Sydney. Start at the Museum of Contemporary Art smack bang in the heart of Circular Quay, or the Art Gallery of NSW a short walk away. Otherwise, check out works by Australia’s big-name artists at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery or Ken Done.
Music photography of the rock ‘n’ roll variety more your vibe? Pop by the eternally cool Blender. Oh, and re-opening its doors in December is the contemporary White Rabbit Gallery showcasing a new installation called ‘Big in China’, with the extraordinary works of artists like Xu Zhen, Tang Nannan and Lin Yan.
8. Immerse yourself in nature at beaches and ocean pools
Sydney is an outdoor fitness playground with a vast amount of walking trails and swimming options (35 ocean pools!) dotting the coastline. There are a number of popular coastal walks, including iconic ones like the Manly to Spit Bridge and Bondi to Coogee treks. Our top tip: visit Bondi Baths for cheeky ocean pool laps with world-famous Insta views across Bondi Beach. Next, swing by Bronte Beach, one of Sydney’s best, to bask in the beauty of one of Australia’s most scenic coastal walks. Psst: mark your cals for the largest free sculpture exhibitions in the world, Sculpture by the Sea, coming in 2022!
9. Sleep like a queen
Looking to stay at a sanctuary right in the middle of Sydney Harbour? Experience the newest waterfront precinct Barangaroo and five-star sophistication of Crown Towers. Ticking all the boxes, it offers unrivalled views of Darling Harbour with more than 480 rooms starring spectacular sights. Plus, an open-air infinity pool, spa and fitness studios, tennis courts and more. You’ll also be situated right by some of the hottest dining offerings including Nobu, On Core by Clare Smyth and Woodcut.
10. Spend the morning karting around
This is a hidden gem for motor-heads who want to escape the scorching sun for an afternoon. Check out Australia’s largest all-weather go-karting tracks at Hyper Karting in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs. Whiz your way through the 410m-long track on cool electric karts which are environmentally friendly and produce zero emissions and fumes. There’s even a little track with nano karts for your tots!
11. Admire a bird’s eye view
Once you’ve experienced the best of Sydney by foot, car and sea, there’s no excuse not to take to the skies with Sydney Seaplanes. Soar like a bird over the famous coastline and head north to Palm Beach. Enjoy a 30-minute scenic tour from above before returning via the meandering waterways of Pittwater and a final circuit over Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. After that, enjoy a seafood feast and glasses of bubbly at Empire Lounge.
12. Head out on a two-wheeled adventure
If you’re looking for quintessential Aussie exercise under the cooling shade of nature, try a leisurely bike ride with Centennial Park Cycles. Families and friends can choose from four-seaters, tandem and solo bike options. Explore the park under gorgeous tree-lined roads and let your troubles dissipate as you take in the views of Sydney’s famous Centennial Park. To rest and replenish, there are a number of pit stops like The Greenhouse, Spruce Goose Diner and Centennial Homestead.
13. Explore a magnificent mountain range
To experience the wonders of Sydney’s nature playground, go west to the Unesco World Heritage site, Blue Mountains. Gazing at the beauty of tall forests, sandstone cliffs, canyons and waterfalls will blow the cobwebs off any city-dwelling soul. You’ll get uninterrupted views when you take a ride on the railway, cableway or skyway at Scenic World.
Want to stay the night? Lay your head down in style and comfort at Fairmont Resort and Spa. Enjoy the indoor and outdoor pools, spa, outdoor maze and adventure park, equestrian centre, fabulous eating options, adjoining golf course and whiskey bar. There’s even an ice-skating rink coming in 2022!
While you’re here, embark on the serenely beautiful Katoomba night walk after sunset. This 1.3km trail offers a majestic view of Orphan Rock, Witches Leap, Katoomba Falls and Katoomba Cascades. Plus, you’ll have a unique chance to see the Three Sisters lit at certain points.
Whether you’re experiencing Sydney’s attractions by land, sea or sky, the Harbour City is nothing short of spectacular. Get your VTL flights via Singapore Airlines or Scoot!