Travel Guide: The Best Way to Spend a Day in Sydney

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Often mistaken for its capital, Sydney is by far Australia‘s leading tourist destination and most populous city. Ideal to explore by foot while also boasting great public transport links, Sydney is a beautiful city with a perfect blend of old-meets-new.

Here’s our guide to spending a great day in Sydney…

Start your morning with a coffee in Darling Harbour

Arguably the most peaceful area of the city, Darling Harbour is the perfect place to start your day. Enjoy the early morning sunshine reflecting off the water with a coffee and pastry whilst taking in the impressive sight of Sydney’s skyscrapers as you plan the rest of your day’s activities.

Climb the Sydney Tower

The best way to get your bearings and see more of this city than you ever thought possible is to climb Sydney’s highest viewing point, the Sydney Tower. Offering spectacular 360 degree views of Sydney in its entirety, including the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, you’ll also be able to see Australia’s Blue Mountains in the distance.

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Cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Facing stiff competition from the Opera House and Ayers Rock, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is possibly the most famous landmark in Australia. Finished in 1932 and taking 8 years to build, no trip to Sydney is complete without making the journey across this impressive structure.

Explore the Royal Botanic Gardens

Situated nearby Sydney’s Central Business District, the Royal Botanic Gardens offer a lush variety of plant and wildlife, adding a much welcome splash of natural colour in the heart of this great city. The gardens are divided into specialised gardens which each house plant-life from different corners of the globe. You’ll be able to catch glimpses of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House whilst you stroll the lanes of this park, which is always immaculately kept and maintained.

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Catch a Harbour Ferry

For unparalleled views of sydney’s magnificent harbour and surrounding areas, make your way to the East Circular Quay departure terminal and join a short ferry cruise. You’ll be shown all the major sightseeing attractions, as well as get a perspective of the city otherwise impossible from land. The ferry system in Sydney is so impressive, you’ll also be able to use them as a convenient mean of getting from one part of the city to another. Get the best view from Mrs Macquarie’s Chair If you’ve still enough energy in your legs after a long days exploration, try heading back past the Opera House around the bay to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, where you’ll be able to take in the best view of the city. With both the Opera House and Harbour Bridge in the same shot, this is an ideal spot to relax and enjoy a panoramic view of the entire harbour.

Got more than one day?

If you choose to extend your stay in Sydney, why not make the short trip to the famous nearby beaches of Manly of Bondi? Whether you fancy the thrill of taking part in some of the many water sports, or if you’d just prefer a relaxing drink overlooking the stunning stretches of golden white sands, Manly and Bondi are great destinations if looking to explore a little of Sydney’s surrounding areas.

Get inspired by our full range of Australia and New Zealand cruises.

Image credits: Paul Arps, Syd Young and David Berkowitz

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About Author

Belinda Goodman

Cruise 1st veteran Belinda has a passion for travel, especially cruising. She has worked in the travel industry for over 20 years, including a 3-year stint working on cruise ships as a croupier. Belinda regularly writes for the Cruise 1st blog, with a focus on company news and advice for first-time cruise travellers.

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