Now before we start, Sydney in New South Wales, Australia surprised us. We didn’t think we would love exploring Sydney as much as we did. When you come to a major city you expect the hustle and bustle that is people, variety of food, roadworks, and construction to help with demand for the future, crazy traffic and everyone in a rush to get somewhere. How to make the most of your time in Sydney, it is surprisingly easy. We will run you through what we did and offer some other suggestions for you to consider. There is never enough time to soak up all that Sydney has to offer, but it gives you a reason to come back in the future.
Where to Stay
We based ourselves in Central Business District (CBD) and stayed just off Martin Place, Train Station. Our Hotel was Travel Lodge Martin Place. There were 2 reasons why we chose to stay here, firstly was cost. It was the cheapest we could find at $175 a night and it was central. The second was the convenience of being close to a train station.
There is a number of places to stay in Sydney that can suit all budgets. Check out Booking.com for your next stay! If you book a room, enjoy $25 Cash Back from us!
Our 48 Hours in Sydney
Sydney Tower Eye Observation Deck
At 250 meters above street level, Sydney Tower Eye is the highest point in Sydney and its perfect for finding your bearings! With informative screens that tell you information on some iconic landmarks in the sky, there is no better place to come when you first arrive!
Explore Hyde Park
Hyde Park is one of Australia’s oldest parks, with 16 hectares of wide open space in the heart of Sydney. It’s a must see. There are several monuments and the most notable is the Archibald Fountain. It’s stunning and the whole area reminds us of Central Park in New York City!
Hyde Park is one of Australia’s oldest parks, with 16 hectares of wide open space in the heart of Sydney it’s a must see. There are several monuments and the most notable is the Archibald Fountain. Its stunning and the whole area reminds me of Central Park in New York City!
Be in awe of St Mary’s Cathedral
We have a love for historic churches and whilst we are not religious people, if we can visit one and see these marvellous landmarks we will. St Mary’s Cathedral is for those who share the Catholic Faith. This place attracts thousands of tourists daily and it’s located opposite the equally iconic Hyde Park. Donations are welcome and this is very convenient with $5 Donations available via tap and pay at the entrance. You can pay an additional $10 to explore the Crypt that is underneath the Cathedral. We recommend checking this out, the floor is unbelievable!
Anzac War Memorial
The Anzac War Memorial is a work of art and a remarkable piece of architecture. But it’s solely an incredible place to come reflect on the courage of our fallen soldiers. Whilst you are here explore the exterior of the memorial, the Hall of Memory, The Hall of Silence and the Hall of Service. Its a beautiful place to explore!
Lindt Chocolate Cafe
If your a chocolate lover this cafe is a must. Whilst we did want to treat ourselves, we also wanted to come and pay our respect here after this cafe was involved in a terrorist attack years ago. The cafe offers a range of food and drinks to choose from and we highly recommend the ice chocolates! They were amazing!
Sydney Opera House
One of the most iconic buildings in the world, the Sydney Opera House is an architectural masterpiece and vibrant performance space. Guided tours are available however we opted for walking around and snapping this incredible Aussie landmark.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a wide steel arch bridge known for its beauty as well as function. Providing a crossing for cars, trains, bikes, and pedestrians. If you dare to be different and want to challenge yourself, have a go at doing the Bridge Climb to the top of the structure.
Another all American inspired Coffee House to visit. It has free wifi and plenty of food and drink available to sit and relax. There are many Starbucks locations across Sydney CBD.
Commonwealth Bank 48 Martin Place – The Vault
Martin Place is the epicenter of the CBD with the Reserve Banking and other major and international banks situated. Being an employee of the CBA, the building of 48 Martin Place Sydney is pretty iconic. We are glad we ventured indoors to see this historic and architecturally beautiful building, but we do highly recommend taking the stairs or lift downstairs to view the Vault. It’s where all customers personal valuables are held securely. Here you can read the history of how the vault was installed into the building.
Hard Rock Cafe
Dine in with this American Inspired Restaurant, located on the waterfront of Darling Harbour. The meal size portions are big, but it’s just like being in America. Love Rocking Out in the Hard Rock Cafe!
Filming of the Morning Show and Sunrise
Another positive of staying at Travel Lodge Martin Place is the 7 Network Studio is the same distance to what the Lindt Chocolate Cafe is. An approximately 20meter walk. Here you can see through the windows of the shows being filmed and you might even catch yourself LIVE on TV!
Circular Quay – Ferry Central
Circular Quay is a colorful port where ferries and cruise ships board and depart. And boat watching can be as good a pastime as people watching. While street performers entertain outside, those wanting a more cultural experience can head into the Museum of Contemporary Art where a sculpture garden on the roof is as much a view as the waterways below.
Visited Darling Harbour at Night
A beautiful place to come and watch the city lights, this scenic entertainment complex features shops, restaurants, museums, and other tourist attractions.
Stroll through Pitt Street- Shop till you drop!
Sydney’s number 1 shopping destination for clothing, designer brands, retail shopping centers and restaurants spanning over 2 blocks in the heart of Sydney. This place can get extremely busy with locals and tourists. However it has something for everyone, you just need to find it!
If you plan to use Public Transport in Sydney you will need to hook yourself up with an Opal Card. This is your key to public transportation across Sydney. It is as simple as tapping on and off as you go. We asked for help when we were in Martin Place Train Station on how to purchase and its very simple. If in doubt ask another commuter, or you can read up further on Opal Cards here.
Another alternative is the use of Taxis or Uber. Best to download the app, 13 CABS in order to book a cab or just hail one down, or you can use Uber. Looking for a free ride with Uber – Sign up here!
We did find that taxis mostly charge approximately under $20 to get you from the CBD to Darling Harbour.
Other Things to Do in Sydney
-Australian Maritime Museum
-Sydney Bridge Climb
-Royal Botanical Gardens
-Mrs. Macquarie Chair
-Sydney Luna Park
What are your favorite things to do in Sydney? Have any other recommendations you would like to share with us? We would love to hear from you!
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Thank you for all those awesome tips!!