Beautiful sandy beaches and an energetic nightlife make Sydney one of the most popular destinations in Australia. There's heaps to do in the Emerald City, but just in case you only had a few days of sightseeing, see below for a three-day guide to the city:
Circular Quay and City Centre
After breakfast, head down to Circular Quay to see the two city icons: the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. You could take a tour of the Opera House, or take a walk further to the peninsular of the nearby Royal Botanic Gardens along Mrs Macquarie’s Road to the famous carved rock bench Mrs Macquarie’s Chair where you can take great pictures of the Opera House.
Nearby to the Opera House, you can stroll through The Rocks area along quaint streets to where European Sydney started out. The area is covered with alleyways, terraced houses, old pubs, and former maritime storehouses. You can also take a guided walk with an operator like The Rocks Walking Tours.
If you head up to walkway that spans the Sydney Harbour Bridge you can walk right across the bridge, returning back to the city centre by local commuter train. Or gain a memorable experience by climbing the Harbour Bridge with BridgeClimb.
Next up, you can head back to Circular Quay to take a boat trip on Sydney’s glorious harbour. There are guided tours such as the Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Culture Cruise or you can simply catch the public transport ferry to Manly for a pre-lunch swim followed by fish and chips on the beach.
In the afternoon you can head into the city centre and see the Sydney Tower, the tallest building in Sydney. The tower offers stunning 360-degree views across the city and beyond to the Blue Mountains and the brave can walk around the outside of the tower on a Skywalk.
Darling Harbour, Darling
Spend the morning in Darling Harbour, Sydney’s main entertainment precinct and an area packed with plenty of bars, pubs and restaurants with al fresco dining.
Darling Harbour is also home to the Sydney Aquarium where you can see the stunning Barrier Reef exhibit, dugong habitat, and an underwater walkway through an enormous tank full of giant sharks and rays. You can also feed the sharks from a glass bottom boat.
In the afternoon you could check out the native Australian animals at Taronga Zoo or make your way to one of Sydney’s many golden beaches. The most famous is Bondi Beach, where you might even be lucky enough to see home-grown celebs. You can also learn to surf on Bondi.
Blue Mountains exploration
Today it’s time to head to the hills and get away from the city into the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains, which are less than two hours from Sydney. You can get there by train and join a tour, take a tour from Sydney, or wander around alone.
Visa Bureau Platinum Card holders can take day trip out to the Blue Mountains with Adventure Tours Australia at 50% off. You can see more about this and other single-day trips on the Adventure Tours Australia single-day tours page on the Platinum Card site.
In the Blue Mountains you can ride the world’s steepest incline railway and enjoy spectacular rainforest views from a cable car at Scenic World. Stretching for over one million hectares the Blue Mountains is an inspiring mix of rainforest, canyons, tall forests and heathlands, combining eight individual conservation reserves. There are lots of incredible bushwalks, majestic waterfalls, and the sandstone escarpments and canyons are awesome.
Take a bushwalk, or a bike ride, down a few of the tracks and see for yourself some of the many cascades and waterfalls through the area.
Stay the night if you wish to extend your trip, or head back to the cosmopolitan lifestyle of Sydney.
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