Lucky enough to find yourself with a 48 hour stopover in Sydney? Visiting the city for a wedding and have yourself a couple of extra days? Maybe you’re heading to the NSW capital for work but don’t like the idea of all business and no play? Whatever your reasons for a short stay in Sydney, there’s plenty to see and do.
Here’s our guide to 48 hours in Sydney:
(To base your stay, we’ve decided to pop you into the Meriton Serviced Apartments on Pitt Street, which boasts 178 spacious apartments of impressive design, just moments from Hyde Park, Darling Harbour, Queen Victoria Building, and the heart of the CBD.)
9am – 10am Breakfast in the QVB
To start your day well and prepare your body for all the walking you’re about to do, head straight for the historic gem The Queen Victoria Building (QVB) and to the Kikko Cafe on the ground level. Kikko Cafe is an oasis of calm within the QVB, and is situated right below the spectacular clock and vaulted ceiling.
10am – 11.30am Sydney Tower Eye
Next stop is the Sydney Tower Eye, which will help you get your bearings of the city. The Observation Deck offers the ultimate view of Sydney and beyond, and features state-of-the-art touchscreens that give information and directions to the city’s most famous landmarks.
11.30am – 12.30pm Enjoy the CBD
Take a stroll down George Street, taking a moment to enjoy the city centre. While there, why not stop in at Peter Alexander and pick yourself up a pair of souvenir pajamas.
12.30pm-1.30pm Lunch at Din Tai Fung
If you’re starting to feel a little peckish at this point, you can’t beat the delicious dumplings at Din Tai Fung in World Square. They’re been touted as the world’s tastiest dumplings by Ken Hom, an internationally famous chef.
1.30pm – 2.30pm The Rocks
Follow George Street down far enough and you’ll find yourself in the region of The Rocks, the birthplace of modern Sydney. Get a sense of Sydney’s past as you stroll the cobblestone laneways, admire the historic buildings including Cadman’s Cottage, or shop at the weekend markets for jewellery and souvenir gifts.
2.30pm – 3.15pm Museum of Contemporary Art
The Museum of Contemporary Art houses both Australian and International Exhibitions, as well as workshops, kids classes, talks and performances. The perfect place to absorb a little art and culture on your whirlwind tour of Sydney.
3.15pm – 4pm Circular Quay and The Opera House
Circular Quay is the hub of the Harbour, and is the best place to organise travel around the city. Consider purchase a Sydney Transportation Card, which can save you money on bus, train and ferry fares. Make sure to have a glass of champers and some Sydney rock oysters at the spectacular Opera Bar before scaling the Opera House steps and taking in the view of the Harbour Bridge.
4pm – 5pm Royal Botanical Gardens
The Royal Botanical Gardens is a place of natural beauty, where people come to read, relax, learn about plants and enjoy the serenity. Be sure to take a walk past Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, which offers one of the best views in the city. Strolling through these beautifully landscaped gardens is the perfect way to enjoy the setting sun.
5pm – 6.30pm Take a break
You can now take a moment to rest your feet in the spacious living room of your apartment before getting changed for the evening. All that walking can be exhausting!
6.30pm – 7.30pm Drink at Helm Bar
Take a walk down to Darling Harbour and stop for a pre-dinner drink at the Helm Bar. Featuring a luxury fit-out and spectacular harbour views, Helm Bar is the perfect place to unwind.
7.3pm – 9.30pm Dinner at Hurricane’s Grill
For the ultimate Aussie dinner, head to Hurricane’s Grill, a fully licensed steakhouse restaurant. As well as the great view over the water, you can enjoy dishes such as pork ribs, prime rib steak, and fresh Fish of the Day. It’s also the perfect spot to watch the fireworks that are so often lighting up the sky above.
9.30pm – 12am Play blackjack at the Star Casino
The Star Casino is Australia’s second largest casino, and features two gaming floors. It’s also home to nightly entertainment and the relatively new Marquee Nightclub. Don’t stay up too late though, you’ve still got another day of Sydney sightseeing to do.
9am – 12pm Morning at Bondi
Day 1 was pretty exhausting, so take it easy this morning and hop on a train to Sydney’s most iconic beach, Bondi. Enjoy breakfast at Porch and Parlour, a beautifully quaint cafe that specialises in locally sourced ingredients. Try a delicious Green Breaky Bowl, and then hit the beach for a lazy morning in the sun.
12pm – 1pm Take a coastal walk
You may not be up for the entire Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk (4km), but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a small part of this spectacular coastal walk. Enjoy the Bondi Promenade, a comfortable 30 minute round trip.
1pm – 2pm Fish and chips by the sea
What day at the beach would be complete without fish and chips? Check out the fresh seafood available at Bondi’s Best Seafood. And don’t forget the tartare sauce!
2pm – 3pm Hop on a bus
A bus is a great way to get a good look at the city and getting one back to the CBD will take around 40 minutes. For bus timetables in Sydney check out the government transport site www.131500.com.au.
3pm – 5pm Shop til you drop
Shop up a storm at the iconic Sydney Paddy’s Markets. This is the perfect place to pick up some souvenirs for those back home.
5pm – 6.30pm Apartment rest
Just like the previous day, it’s important to take a moment and rest, as well as get out of your beach clothes and into something more suitable for dinner.
6.30pm – 8.30pm Surry Hills
If you’re starting to feel hungry, it’s time to head to dinner. Surry Hills is a fantastic mix of cultures, heritage and entrepreneurial spirit and offers a strong sense of community. While you’re there, you can enjoy a delicious dinner at Japanese restaurant Izakaya Fujiyama. If you’re feeling courageous, try the tuna jaw, which is truly scrumptious, or head to the sashimi bar for fresh salmon, mackerel and kingfish.
8.30pm – 10.30pm Local flavour
To hang with the locals, finish your night with a beer at the Dove and Olive pub. And what a choice of beers they have! With both international and Australian craft beers available, 20 on tap and large number in bottles, this is the place to stop by for a brew.
In just 48 hours you will have seen a large number of Sydney attractions, had a bit of time to chat with locals, be taking away more bags than you came with, and experienced the variety of cuisines that Sydney has to offer.