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Things to do in Sydney

Itineraries for Your Trip to Sydney

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2 Days in Sydney for First Timers

Curated by Karen Gardinera Scottish travel writer based in the US.

Two days in Sydney allow you time to thoroughly explore its spectacular harbor—with its iconic opera house and bridge—and the rest of the city center, as well as venture to its world-famous beaches. Here’s how to spend two days in Australia’s most glamorous city.

Day 1: Morning

Check off Sydney’s major sights with a private or group city sightseeing tour. Journey through the streets in a bus or cruise the harbor in a boat to see such landmarks as the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. If you prefer some flexibility, hop-on hop-off bus and boat tours allow you to create your own itinerary.

Day 1: Afternoon

Having gotten the classic views of the bridge and opera house, get a closer look. Guided Sydney Opera House tours offer exclusive access to normally off-limits areas of the building and provide enlightening information about its remarkable architecture. Alternatively, a guided climb up the Sydney Harbour Bridge offers a bird’s-eye view of the harbor below.

Day 1: Night

Better than just visiting the Sydney Opera House is seeing an opera or ballet in the legendary venue. A variety of seating options are available to suit your budget, and special packages often include dinner and a backstage tour.

Day 2: Morning

Get a taste of Australian beach culture by heading for Manly and the Northern Beaches in Sydney’s coastal suburbs. Some longer Sydney sightseeing tours include visits on their itineraries and give you free time to soak up the sun and explore Manly Beach.

Day 2: Afternoon

Only five miles (eight kilometers) from the city center is Bondi Beach, one of Australia’s most renowned beaches. It’s a stop on most hop-on hop-off bus tours, and a visit is often also included on sightseeing bus and boat tours.

Day 2: Night

Conclude your Sydney visit with a sunset harbor cruise. Early evening departures typically cruise by the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, and other top sights, with many including dinner and drinks. Sydney Tower offers another dinner option with its revolving restaurant where you can enjoy a meal with 360-degree views of the city.

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