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The Ultimate One Day Sydney Itinerary

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Photos Credit: Shutterstock.com

Short on time but don’t want to miss anything the Harbor City has to offer? This ultimate one day itinerary will take you through the best bits of Sydney from the iconic sights to the mouthwatering food—all in under 24 hours.

9:00 am - Breakfast and a Walk Around Circular Quay

Start the day right with breakfast at Bowery Lane, right in the CBD. The New York-inspired menu provides extensive options to fuel up for a busy day, but our top pick is the smashed avocado. It’s a twist on the classic with the welcome addition of pomegranate and quinoa. It may put home ownership out of reach, but it’s well worth it.

After breakfast, make the short walk down to Circular Quay, where you can take in all the classic sights. Wander up to the steps to the Sydney Opera House, look across to the Harbour Bridge, and take in the hustle and bustle of commuter ferries coming and going. A stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens is a must, and if you make it as far as Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views across Sydney Harbor.

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11:30 am - Get Up Close and Personal with Wildlife

Take the 12 minute ferry ride from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo and jump in the Sky Safari cable car to the zoo’s entrance. A walk around the zoo offers more than just encounters with wildlife – Taronga Zoo boasts some of the best views of Sydney Harbour so you can take in Giraffes and the Opera House in one go.

1:00 pm - Lunch and a Wander Around Bondi Beach

It’s a bit of hike out to Bondi so you might want to look into local car sharing options. Car Next Door lets you rent a real person’s car by the hour or the day, and a return trip from central Sydney to Bondi (plus the convenience of having wheels for a few hours) will set you back about $25. Head to Matt Moran’s North Bondi Fish for lunch. Black truffle and parmesan gnocchi or king prawn sliders make for a more inspiring meal than your traditional beachside fish and chips. 

Once you’ve had your fill of local seafood, spend some time at Sydney’s most famous beach, including a dip in the most photographed ocean pool in the country, the Bondi Icebergs. Take the return Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk (or all the way to Coogee if you’re feeling especially energetic) for some beautiful beachside views, any time of year.

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4:00 pm - Take it All in from High in the Sky

Head back to the CBD and to the Sydney Tower for 360-degree views across the city. You can take it all in from the observation deck, or if you’re up for something more adventurous step outside for the Skywalk. Make sure you stay long enough to catch the sunset from the best vantage point in Sydney.

6:30 pm - Dinner at Hotel Palisade

Wander through the cobblestone streets of The Rocks to Hotel Palisade, where great food and stunning views combine to make the perfect dinner spot. Here you’ll find grown-up pub grub, with the honey-glazed ham sanga and braised Riverina lamb leading the standouts. Get a table outside if you can—you don’t want to miss that view.

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8:00 pm - A Show on Australia’s Most Famous Stage

Check out what’s on at the Sydney Opera House and take in a performance in this iconic venue. The Australian Chamber Orchestra, Opera Australia, Sydney Theatre Company and The Australian Ballet all perform here, as well as a rotating schedule of other events, so you’re sure you find something you’ll enjoy.

10:30 pm - Drinks with a View

Finish your day sipping cocktails at Hacienda, arguably the cocktail bar with the best view in the city. The internal space is just as beautiful, and takes on a Caribbean theme that is also reflected in the cocktail menu. End your day in the best way possible: looking out at the harbor views with cocktail in hand.

Rachel Kennedy

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