When I think of Australia I think of Sydney! Sydney was one of those places that left us star struck. It’s the kind of place you always dream of going to but never know if you actually will. We had an ‘is this real?!’ moment as we stood with our mouths wide open looking at the great Opera House. It’s worth going just for that feeling!
We stayed in a fantastic little Airbnb apartment in Glebe when we were in Sydney. It was in an amazing location set out of the hustle and bustle of the city, but only half an hours walk or so into the city, along a lovely riverside. If you don’t want to spend as much money, and don’t mind using public transport, then we highly recommend considering staying in Glebe. It’s a vibrant little place and feels very elite, but also quaint and homely. AirBnB is a great way to get insider knowledge about a place and to meet the locals. Our host was amazing and gave us lots of info about places to go and lots of tips to make sure we made the most of our stay in Sydney. If you want to try out airbnb then you can click here to get $40 off your first stay through AirBnb. It’s so worth it!
There are lots and lots of hostels in Sydney, some better than others and some more expensive than others! Sydney is not a place you can go to save money, but if you play your cards right you won’t spend all of your savings on a week of accommodation! Our number one tip is to make sure you plan your visit around the less touristy times. Look out for low season as prices can be literally double during high season. Around Christmas time, hostels hiked their prices up as high as high as $80 per person, per night, for an 8-bed share, and we even heard stories from other travellers that they were paying $500 a week, with a mandatory week minimum stay. Madness!! Here are some of our top picks for hostels in Sydney:
- Sydney Harbour YHA
- Jolly Swagman Backpackers
- Eva’s Backpackers
- Bondi Beachhouse YHA
- Sydney Glebe YHA
What to do in Sydney
You will not be lost for things to do in the city, there is everything you could ever imagine and more! One of the most famous and iconic attractions is the Sydney opera house, go for a wander and look around the beautiful architecture and soak up the electric atmosphere around the place. We never knew before we went but did you know that the opera house is actually made from thousands of little tiles! If you have a big budget you could even go and watch a show at the opera house or go for a fancy lunch inside! We weren’t lucky enough to do either of those but I bet it’s amazing.
Sydney harbour bridge is another huge tourist attraction, there are various spots all over Sydney boasting great views to see both the bridge and the opera house it’s worth seeking them out. While we were there we found out that it’s actually free to drive over the bridge it’s self which is such a cool thing to experience if you have a car. If you’re a bit of a dare devil then you should look into doing the bridge walk it has amazing views from the top and is sure to get the adrenaline pumping!
In our opinion one of the best places to watch the sunset is called Mrs Macquarie’s Chair it boasts amazing views of both the opera house and the harbour bridge and gives an amazing sunset over the river. Lots of people know about this place but not too many, which means you get prime view and not hundreds of peoples heads in the way!
If you do happen to stay in Sydney after sunset or wander in the city at night then check out the night markets, they are mainly on Thursday and Friday nights but sometimes new ones pop up on other nights of the week! It’s a brilliant atmosphere seeing a whole range of people socialising and letting their hair down, plus there is heaps of yummy food to try.
Sydney is extremely popular for it’s nightlife, there are heaps of popular bars and restaurants. From fancy bars to trashy night clubs, Sydney has you covered.
Kings Cross has quite the reputation for being absolutely crazy! It’s a great place to go if you want a messy night out with your friends, there are lots of bars like the Empire which have cheap drinks and great music or nightclubs such as world bar which holds backpacker nights with discounted drinks and
Surry hills is a great place to go if you want a bit more of a classy night out, there is a huge selection of bars and clubs some of which are even themed. Make sure you lookout for live bands as most bars hold nights with great local artists, it makes for a great night out, you won’t be lost for places to go that’s for sure!
Newtown is a cute little place with a really quirky vibe, it’s got heaps of health food cafes and unique cafes. For any veggies or vegans out there is an amazing vegan ice cream shop called Gelato Blue and even a vegan fish and chip shop called bliss and chips, make sure you check them out they are divine! Newtown has a little market with lots of cute little trinkets. It’s a nice place to go for a wander or meet up with friends for a coffee as well as being able to leave the chose of the city behind.
If you find yourself In glebe then go for a wander to the tram-sheds, it is a repurposed old tram shed that is now a busy little hive filled with shops and cafes, it’s cool to see the contrast of modern day and graffiti mixed together. Some of the restaurants even incorporate the old trams into their restaurants giving a really grungy but unique feel. Apparently before the renovation it was a photographers dream and a really cool derelict building, but it was nice to see that they had left some of the old building enact and repurposed it into something new.
If you’re in Glebe at the right time then check out the markets! Glebe is well known for it’s amazing market, it has a really chilled out atmosphere and some really unique things for sale. The markets are on every Saturday 10am-4pm with live bands and delicious food stalls, it’s worth a visit I promise.
Take a trip to Hornby Lighthouse, it’s a picturesque little lighthouse on a lovely circuit walk. The beaches near there are fantastic, the water is so clear and inviting!
Last but not least make sure you fit in the Bondi – Coogee walk! The walk takes a few hours but it so lovely, make sure you pack your swimmers and some food and you’ll be good to go. The walk takes you down down the coast where you can stop off at some beautiful private beaches, ocean pools, the Bondi Ice bergs and the famous beaches in Coogee and Bondi. If you get a sunny day you will be blown away by the views and the changing coast line of each different place that you walk to.
I’m sure there are a million more things that you and do in Sydney that I’ve missed off this list but that’s the beauty of travel, you’ve gotta go and experience it yourself! These were most certainly some of the highlights of our time in Sydney and we enjoyed every second.
So there you have it. Your full and complete guide to Sydney and all the things you can get up to, so what are you waiting for… get booking! If you’ve been to Sydney before and think we’ve missed anything off or want to tell us your favourite things to do then please leave us a comment below.
Kay and Dom
* All views and opinions are our own, we are not sponsored by any company(s) we just want to create great guides for people to enjoy their time travelling in Australia.