Spending a weekend in Sydney, a city that’s equally exotic as it is cultured, is time well spent.
I live in Australia and I love everything about it. I’ve seen its gorgeous and its ugly sides, and I can only imagine how weirdly mysterious but exciting it may seem to first-time travellers.
My husband and I have the habit of often hosting our friends from Europe and so far we’ve come up with so many amazing ways to make their stay spectacular. That is why I’ve decided to give some advice to all the Aussie-newbies out there. Whether you are coming for the weekend, a month, a year or a lifetime – you’ll definitely have the best time in the world as long as you have everything organised properly.
Here, I am going to give you a few tips my hubby and I have put together. With these tips not only will you get to see some of the most important Sydney sights, but you’ll even get a chance to taste the local food, hang out with the locals, and take plenty of photos to remember your fabulous journey.
Anyhow, let’s not drag things out; given that you are limited to only 48 hours in the gorgeous city of Sydney, here is a short (but very useful!) list of things to do and in what order (you can, obviously, change the order of things after your own liking).
A Few Things to Know About a Weekend in Sydney
When it comes to its climate, Sydney is perfect for whenever you decide to visit. No, really. With slight variations to the Northern Hemisphere climate (if that’s where you are coming from), you’ll rarely ever get caught up in a storm, rain shower or any other unfortunate weather occurrence.
Although the temperatures are cooling down from June to August, it is still incredibly pleasant to walk around in this weather. The perfect time for a beach holiday is from December to February – this is Sydney’s summer and the weather is hot and humid. However, if you are somewhat struggling with your budget and want to save up a little, avoid December and New Year’s Eve.
The official currency is the Australian dollar and – similarly to most metropolises – things are pretty expensive. Expect to spend a considerable amount of money on food and accommodation. Knowing the costs of accommodations are quite expensive, my husband and I always recommend our visitors to do the best thing of all – check if there are any free house sitting deals and sign up.
Staying at an apartment may be an absolutely amazing experience – you will have all the amenities needed and feel like you’re at home. Honestly, I’d recommend this to everyone, regardless of how long you are planning to stay.
Public transport is inexpensive and organised pretty well. You’ll need a smart card that you will use for buses, trains, and ferries.
When You are in the Mood for Culture
What you will love about Sydney is that no matter the time of day, there will always be something going on. Even better, most things are free!
Please don’t miss out going to Bondi Beach; the Sculpture by the Sea Festival is absolutely amazing – the entire beach transforms into an open-air gallery, making this one of the most visually stimulating experiences we’ve ever had. Everything about it is stunning.
If you are into spontaneity at all, reach the beach (okay, this rhymed unintentionally) by walking around, carelessly. You’ll get to enjoy plenty of the city’s gorgeous areas and get familiar with the culture. And, if you do get lost – you can always ask someone for directions.
Plan your 48 hours around visiting the Rocks or enjoy Sydney’s gorgeous nature by taking the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk. As for the beaches, the best way to reach the evergreen-lined Manly is by taking a ferry.
And then, obviously, you must have a romantic breakfast for two at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cafe and see the world-famous sites of the Harbour. Sit on the terrace and enjoy a breathtaking view of the Bridge and the Opera House.
As the night starts to fall, hop on a ferry to Darling Harbour with your beloved; I guarantee you’ll be amazed by all the splendid lights of the harbour, Luna Park boosting its light display and all the lit up ferries. You’ll also get to see fireworks illuminate the sky – an experience out of this world!
Or Good Food
In the respect of cuisine – Sydney is no different than other multicultural cities. Currently, it is going through a bit of a foodie revolution, so finding unusual dishes on the menu shouldn’t surprise you (the price will, though). It’s worth mentioning that Australia’s cuisine is a fusion of a western base and Asian influences rather than a distinct cuisine of its own.
Fear not, though; not all food is crazy-expensive. There are plenty of fine eateries with amazing food! We loved Mamak – a Malay restaurant in the CBD (they have the absolute best, mouth-watering curries) and Mr Crackles in Darlinghurst (perfect pulled pork sandwiches). If you happen to be house sitting, you can also cook for yourself; in that case, make sure you try some of Australia’s authentic ingredients!
But then, there’s the guava Snow Egg at The Quay. This is the most iconic Aussie desert and they say it tastes heavenly (we’ve never tried it). If you have enough (read: a lot!) money and wouldn’t mind going through the trouble of booking table months in advance, go for it. How’s that for a sweet tooth!
Walking around Sydney, even if it’s only for two days, will surely serve as the perfect starting point of your love for this amazing country!
Olivia is a psychologist, traveller, and entrepreneur from Brisbane. Mother of two beautiful children and proud owner of two silly boxer dogs, Teo and Mia. She is passionate about writing and always inspiring her readers to be clever in their lives. Her motto is “Be the change you want to see in the world”.