Due to the recent bush fires and now coronavirus, I am focused on writing about my current home base Sydney. Starting today with Sydney bucketlist. Whether it’s raining, winter or summer, here are some cool things to do in Sydney at least once in your life. No more “I’m bored” statement when you have so much to explore and experience in your own backyard!
In no particular order, let me present you
28 Sydney bucket list things to do
- 28 Sydney bucket list things to do
- 1. Walk off your lonesomeness
- 2. Cruise around the Sydney Harbour
- 3. Check out Bondi Icebergs Pool
- 4. Parasail in Manly
- 5. Learn surfing on Sydney beaches
- 6. Skydive in Sydney
- 7. Have fun Kite/Wind Surfing
- 8. Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge
- 9. Horse ride in Centennial Parklands
- Sydney Australia Travel Blog
- 10. Rock Climb in the Blue Mountains
- 11. Feed Kangaroos and Koalas
- 12. Sweat out at an Outdoor Gym
- 13. Go watch an Opera or concert
- 14. Watch a musical in the Capitol Square or in the Opera House
- 15. Visit Museums and Art Galleries
- 16. Find peace at the libraries
- 17. Laugh out loud at a comedy show
- 18. Admire the Street Art
- 19. Make a Picnic
- 20. Go Shopping
- 21. Visit the food and fashion markets
- 22. Eat at the cool cafes in Sydney
- 23. Dinner at Sydney finest or cheapest restaurants
- 24. Take a Speed Boat
- 25. Visit a rock pool
- 26. Find the instagrammable places in Sydney
- 27. Watch Sydney Sunsets
- 28. High Tea By the Sea
- Let me know in the comments –
1. Walk off your lonesomeness
Maybe you just landed or maybe you want to spend some time exploring on your own before meeting friends. There is nothing better than going for a walk around Sydney. You can mix the famous things to do in the city, and experiencing the outdoors, the culture, the things that happen along the streets and take it all in.
When you walk around on foot and see what’s happening around you, you will feel the vibe and discover many things. Just start walking around and who knows what you will find! There are many beautiful walks and hikes that you can do in and around Sydney. I have created a list of my personal favorite secret Sydney walks
2. Cruise around the Sydney Harbour
One of the best things to do in Sydney is getting on the hop on and hop off cruise. But that is pretty common right!
So instead, you can go on a dinner cruise while floating overlooking the Sydney Opera House with champagne on your hands!
Read dinner cruise sydney here.
On saying that if you haven’t been on a hop on hop off cruise, try it while you are in this harbor city.
Consider booking this hop on hop off cruise here.
You can cover 9 beautiful locations hopping on and hopping off the comfortable captain cook cruise. Tickets are reasonably priced and you get 2 consecutive days to use it!
Whether you just arrived or a local, it is a fun thing to do in Sydney at least once in your life! If you have friends and family visiting from overseas and you want to show off Sydney in the best way possible, this would be an easy decision. Whether it be a gloomy day in winter or Sunny day in summer, captain cook cruise got you covered when it comes to discovering Sydney’s iconic attractions. They can also arrange a cruise for your special occasions and celebration.
3. Check out Bondi Icebergs Pool
Bondi Icebergs Pool is the most photographed ocean pool in Australia. The 50-meter saltwater pool is a popular spot for swimmers, photographers, sunbathers and a starting spot on the Bondi to Coogee walk. There is a fee of $7 to enter and you can enjoy the pool, and sauna all day.
Check out the Sydney pass that covers up to 7 attractions. valid for 90 days!
4. Parasail in Manly
If you want to experience flying like a bird, but don’t want to attach yourself to another human being then Parasailing in Sydney is for you. There would only be a rope between you and a boat and a parachute above. Then slowly you go up in the air. I was thrilled to experience parasailing in Manly, Sydney, and wouldn’t mind doing it again. Their website gives an error atm! I will put up the link here for you guys once they fix it. In the meantime, try your hands at kayaking. Check them out here.
5. Learn surfing on Sydney beaches
Sydney boasts some of the beautiful beaches in the world. It makes sense many people have an agenda to learn how to surf. You can book a lesson to experience it and see how you like it.
6. Skydive in Sydney
One of the must-do Australian experiences I can recommend is the Skydive in Sydney! You would be jumping off the plane or if you are lucky like me off the helicopter (with no doors) from 15000 feet above the ground! I couldn’t sleep much night before with excitement and ended up sleeping more in the morning. That resulted in missing my ride and I had to take a taxi to get to the skydiving place on time. Just remember there is no refund policy. So, plan accordingly and don’t forget to put the alarm on!
Once I was inside the helicopter, my heart was racing with nervousness! But I was also a little bit relieved to know my instructor had 10 years of skydiving experience and he basically threw us out of the door! The free fall that gives you bird-like feeling is the best in the world and then after a few minutes, we came down to the earth. It is by far one of the best experiences I have had in Sydney. I recommend getting a DVD of your dive. It costs a little more but I think memories you can share with your friends and family in the long term make it worth it. Book Skydive in Sydney
7. Have fun Kite/Wind Surfing
Sydney is famous for its beaches but if you are like me and get bored on the beach after 30 mins then flying a kite can be fun. You can buy these ones from IGA. Flying kite on a beach? Ticked
If you want to take it one step further then, kitesurfing can be for you. Kitesurfing requires a strong fitness level though, as you will be paddling underwater and balancing the kite in the air! And just when you need someone to take your photo in the water, no one was there. So, here’s I am on the beach!
8. Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge
This was my bucket list and I finally had the chance to do it last year! I recommend booking it for sunsets climb because you will see a day view of Sydney, sunsets, evening and a bit of night view as well.
9. Horse ride in Centennial Parklands
This was something I always wanted to try. You don’t need to have experience as there were trainers helping beginners. You can buy a horse riding lesson from the Sydney horse official website here.
Sydney Australia Travel Blog
10. Rock Climb in the Blue Mountains
I would say rock climbing is more adventurous than skydiving! Skydiving you are relying on someone expert and are attached to him/her. No doubt free fall is an amazing experience but in rock climbing, you are attached to a rope and if you miss 1 step, you are way down the mountain! I don’t know I found this to be more of a scary thing. Perhaps because the thrilling feeling lasted the whole day whereas skydiving was over in 30mins. If you are looking for things to do once in your life in Sydney, consider rock climbing for a day which comes with abseiling too ( I love abseiling and since the first time in Sydney, I have now done it in multiple countries). You can ask your hotel to book the day tour for you.
11. Feed Kangaroos and Koalas
Who wouldn’t want to see the Kangaroos and Koalas! You get the fun experience of watching kangaroos and Koalas in Taronga Zoo Sydney and Wild Life Sydney. They are in the heart of the city and easy to get to. However, if you fancy breakfast with the Koalas then 45 mins drive to Featherdale wildlife could be the answer. Then Morisset Park is where you see the Kangaroos up close, they usually come out more in the evenings or morning. No fee to see them. You can also enjoy a picnic by the riverside.
12. Sweat out at an Outdoor Gym
I hated running on a treadmill. So, when I saw the work out spots in the outdoors area like Observatory Hill or Bondi Beach. I had to go. At least once! So if the sun is still shining, head to an outdoor gym for further self-development. These open gyms have most of the equipment and instruction manuals you could ask for and are conveniently located and under-used. If you go on the weekdays, most likely you will have the place to your self and won’t have to constantly face off muscle men for the pull-up rings. There’s also a public bathroom and drinking water nearby.
13. Go watch an Opera or concert
If all the buzz of the city is getting too much and you are craving some wide-open Music Festivals and Concerts
Book the Opera House Tour here.
Sydney hosts some of the best music festivals in the world. Whether it’s a summer music festival or festival by the beach for the New year. It is one of the perks of living in a beautiful city like Sydney as you get to watch some of your favorite artists locally. Usually these show run in ANZ Stadium, showground in Olympic Park or Enmore Theatre and Fox Quarters in Moore Park. I have seen bonobo, ACDC, Linkin Park, Guns n’ Roses, Jayz, and some more. If you are looking to do once in a lifetime things in Sydney, you should go to a live concert in Sydney. Google if one of your favorite artists is playing this weekend in Sydney!
14. Watch a musical in the Capitol Square or in the Opera House
Capital Square is at the south end of the city and easy to get to from Central or townhall station. There are Thai restaurants around for the after-show dinners. I recommend Siam Chat Thai. Musicals in the Opera house is another level! Though the musicals change all the time, it is always packed in the Opera House. The artists, the location and vibe will make you want to stay longer. Then you can head to the Opera bar and Opera Kitchen which is conveniently located downstairs. It is a must-do if you are in Sydney. spaces. The Royal Botanical Gardens is right behind the Opera House. You can relax with the birds, native flowers, and enjoy people watching. If you are in the Central area, you can walk around Belmore Park. All that requires is putting on your walking shoes and head to a park. If you are addicted to Instagram like me. There is FREE WIFI in the park.
15. Visit Museums and Art Galleries
If you have never been to Art Galleries, try one in Sydney. I especially like going to The Art Gallery of NSW and Museum of Contemporary Art. They usually have interesting exhibitions happening. You can be an art critic as you see the gallery unfold different artists’ meaning of art!
16. Find peace at the libraries
Libraries can be a fun place to go if you are into books, peace, and quietness. If you are in Sydney, pop in to have a look around the State Library in Macquarie Street. There is FREE WIFI to upload your Instagram pictures. You can also rub a statue Pig’s nose a couple of blocks down for good luck!
17. Laugh out loud at a comedy show
You will be laughing with the crowd at Sydney’s many comedy clubs and open mic nights. There are some bars dedicated to comedy night like the stars bar in George St, Cheers, Paddington RSL.
18. Admire the Street Art
It is easy to find creative street arts in Newtown and Erenensville. But if you look around, there are some good ones in the CBD, Central, and Petersham too. It can be a fun activity to do if you haven’t witness street art before.
19. Make a Picnic
One of the best ways to admire this beautiful city is by organizing a picnic and watch the world go by. I like the Bradfield park for a picnic as you can see both the opera house and harbor bridge from this area. There are other gorgeous settings too and I may create another blog post about that. Subscribe here to know when it’s out.
20. Go Shopping
Sydney is shoppers heaven! There are many places where you can shop for top brands. Such as Westfields (there one in almost every suburb), World Square, Arcades, Malls and your usual supermarkets Woolworths, IGA and Coles for everyday groceries. Some busy shopping centers like Westfield and world square, usually have something fun going on as well. So, you can do your shopping and enjoy the place at the same time. The other day after shopping in the world square, I went to watch a silent movie with the cherry blossoms inspired cocktails and pizza!
21. Visit the food and fashion markets
If shopping in the mall is not your style and market is what you are all about. You won’t be disappointed as there are many markets to choose from. Such as Glebe markets every Saturday, Northside produce market, Paddy’s Market Haymarket, Paddington Markets, Rozella markets, Brewery Yard Markets in Chippendale, Surry Hills market, The Rocks Friday Foodie Markets, Sydney Fish Market, Chinatown Friday market, Bondi Markets, Kirribilli Markets, The Market EQ, Balmain Markets, Harris Farm Markets, Organic Food Markets (double bay and Lilyfield)
22. Eat at the cool cafes in Sydney
What better way to start your morning than a good cup of coffee and freshly baked pastries or breakfast! There are a certain charm and fun spending the better part of the day in a cafe. Not just any cafe though. Cafe with creativity, good coffee, and good food which draws the good vibes automatically! I find cafes like the grounds of Alexandria or cuppa flower give a slice of inspiration and you just want to discover more of the cafe. Although cuppa flower is small their pancakes are the bomb and the grounds are one of my personal favorites in town for brunch or brekky. If Alexandria is too far for you, you can also get their staples goods in the city location.
23. Dinner at Sydney finest or cheapest restaurants
Sydney is expensive but it is one of the most livable cities in the world. It’s no surprise it comes with some of the best restaurants, and bars. Out of the 38 countries I have traveled to, and thousands of places I have eaten. Some of my favorite places to eat are still in Sydney. Such as Quay, Crinitis, Sake, Satang Thai, Casa Asturiana, Mejico, Mustang, Hacienda, & Blu Bar. One thing common between all these places is they have their own uniqueness in the decor and the menu. Treat yourself at least once when you are in Sydney, you won’t be disappointed!
24. Take a Speed Boat
This was one of the first activities I did when I first arrived in Sydney. Jetting around the harbor on a speedboat is one of the thrills you can enjoy so close to the Opera House – and the wetter you get, the better! The 30 minute Shark Attack Thrill Ride, Oz jet boating provides the red ponchos for the ride but I was soaked through and in need of a hot shower afterward But, when I look at the photos captured on the boat’s GoPro, I am glad I made the decision to experience it. If you are in Sydney and want to experience something adventurous but not skydive, this can be it. You can book the tickets online on their official website.
25. Visit a rock pool
Another thing that must be in your Sydney bucketlist is the Aussie ocean pools! Sydney offers some of the unique swimming holes in the world. It would be a shame if you didn’t visit one. It is a must-see in Sydney. Recommend to go early in the morning when the tides are low. Coogee rock pool or figure 8 pool at the Royal national park are my favorite.
26. Find the instagrammable places in Sydney
I have written down a whole blog post on this subject. You can find all the most instagrammable places in Sydney here.
27. Watch Sydney Sunsets
Nothing clears the mind like a brisk walk and sunset with a million-dollar view! You have the best Sydney sunset view from the Mrs. Macquaire Chair in the Royal Botanical Garden, the Blackwattle Bay in Glebe and also from the Harbour Bridge. I may create a separate blog post listing the best places for sunsets. So, subscribe to that at the end of this post. I believe watching Sunsets brings perspective and a great photography opportunity. If you haven’t done it yet, consider it now as spring is here and before the good weather disappears.
28. High Tea By the Sea
It was a great way to spend an afternoon watching the sunsets just after the tasty high tea. As you can see, the ticket came with a glass of Champagne, a choice of tea, and a triple plate tower! It tasted great and the stunning Sydney harbor view was just the cherry on top! There are some hotels and restaurants that organize high tea or you can simply go to the captain cook website and book it there. I went through them too. Reasonable price, delicious food, and attentive staff. I can’t wait to go for another one soon!
How many activities have you done so far?
The following activities also come highly recommended. Lager Tag, Virtual Room, Escape Room, Dart Room, GO Kart, Snorkeling and High Rope Adventure in Sydney.
Let me know in the comments –
- If you’ve any other questions about this Sydney bucketlist post.
- Sydney itinerary 5 days is here.
- Check out Melbourne bucket list here
- Interested in 10 hidden beaches and bays in Sydney?
- 99% of readers found must see on the east coast of Australia helpful.
- Check out how you can explore Adelaide South Australia the best way.
- Heading to iconic Alice Springs for that unique Uluru trip?
- Here I share must do in Darwin, Australia.
- Solo travel guide to Brisbane (Insta worthy places included!)
- Heading to Melbourne next, check out Melbourne travel guide for first timers.
- Heading to Perth, read things to do in Perth
- Next Stop? check out the most beautiful places in New Zealand South Island.
- Going to Vietnam after Australia? Check out the 7 days Hanoi travel guide.
- Check hotel prices and book it through trusted Agoda, or Booking.com
- Read the most wanted travel resource here.
- If you like this article, follow my adventures on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest, but most importantly sign up to my e-mail list to keep up with updates and travel posts!
31 thoughts on “28 Sydney Bucketlist that you can’t miss”
Loved your article, Sydney is definitely on my bucket list for the next years <3
You are the inspiration for thousands of people who can’t dare to go out of their comfort zone. I loved your every story, every blog and every post you do. You are the the true explorer, true traveler and the icon for those people who want start explore this beautiful planet,earth. Keep it up.
– big FAN
Thank you for your kind words. I can only do it with the support like this. Appreciate it very much!
We just had a short layover in Sydney. Would love to go back!
Oh my goodness! Sydney looks amazing. I would love to go to the iceberg pools and visit that stunning library!
I loooooove Sydney! It’s one of my favorite cities. That’s so cool that you went parasailing and caught an outdoor concert when you were there! You’ve given me some more ideas of things to do when I go back.
Sydney looks like a blast, with so much to do, see and eat! I’m curious why they call it the Icebergs pool, though? No icebergs, right?!
It is one of my bucket list places to visit. It is awesome to know about so many activities can be done in one city itself. Beautiful writeup.
Wow! This is a very compact to-do list. I did some of the things listed above and I was truly an unforgettable experience for me in Sydney. Hopefully, I get another chance to re(visit) the city because I would love to explore and see more of Sydney.
Just wow…Sydney looks amazing through your lens and you look beautiful in every frame.Looks like you had a great time. And, this post is an exhaustive one.Never knew that Sydney has so many things to offer 🙂
Sadly I have only spent 24 hours in Sydney which was not enough time to do much of anything. I did see the Opera house and was able to walk around the city, but I will have to return again to cross off more of your list.
Sydney looks gorgeous through your pictures! I love to sail through the harbour and the iceberg pool got a space in my list, of course the others are pretty amazing too. Cafe hopping is my favourite things to do.
I’m from Australia, Melbourne to be exact, but lived in Sydney for five years and my favourite thing to do was the Bondi to Coogee walk and eat at the Grounds of Alexandria. I can’t wait to go back for a visit in between my travels. I’ve never visited the state library though, so I’ll have to do that when I’m next there.
So many great suggestions here! Seems like Sydney is a great place to get your fix of outdoor activities while still enjoying the comforts of city life. Plus, did you say great pancakes? Sign me up for those!
Your blog post is absolutely delightful and exhausting, Anna. You are such an energy bunny! I found your Table of Contents quite ingenious. The only activity I didn’t see that’s top of my Australia Bucket List is scuba diving.
As a Cruisetour Planner, I found your segment on cruising around the Sydney Harbour especially intriguing. Sydney is a large, modern and multicultural city, with citizens hailing from all over the world. The city has become a popular destination for tourists. The city’s many attractions and seaboard location have made it a top cruise ship port – both as a port of departure where you can begin and/or end your cruise vacation, and as a port of call on cruise itineraries. Today the number of cruises from Sydney each year is well over 150.
Sydney has two main cruise terminals: the Overseas Passenger Terminal (OPT) and White Bay Cruise Terminal (WBCT). Located in the world-renowned amphitheatre of Circular Quay, the OPT is flanked by the Sydney Opera House on one side and The Rocks Precinct and Sydney Harbour Bridge on the other. The OPT is a modern building with a complete variety of functions for passengers including an hotel, restaurants, magnificent views of Sydney Harbour, and being within walking distance of Sydney’s main sights. The WBCT is one of Sydney’s newest waterfront venues and is only five minutes by car or ferry from the Sydney central business district (also Sydney CBD, “the Town” or “the City”). The city’s underground railway makes it easy to get around, with shopping, restaurants, cafe’s, lots of attractions and sightseeing.
A cruise vacationer can choose between a wide range of cruises from Sydney. A number of popular 7 day itineraries include sunny subtropical Queensland, or verdant Tasmania. Slightly longer 9 or 10 day cruises visit the stunning Pacific islands of New Caledonia, Vanuatu, and Fiji. The 14 day itineraries take in the circumnavigation of New Zealand. Longer cruises include trips to the oriental wonders of China and Japan, or the ambitious circumnavigation of the Australian continent.
If your ship is only in port for the day, Sydney makes a wonderful tourist destination, with several ‘must-see’ sights near its cruise port including The Rocks – a historic site near where the first settlers landed); the iconic Sydney Opera House; the Sydney Harbour Bridge; the white sandy Bondi Beach – world renowned for being the home of surfing; and an oasis of greenery in the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens.
Anna, I’ve already pinned this post to share with cruise clients considering Sydney as a port of call or departure. I’ll also share it in my Facebook travel group. Thanks for making my job easier! I invite you to follow the backlink to my blog and share in the Comments, for posterity’s sake, your insights as to why a cruise vacationer should consider extending their stay in Sydney. Best wishes and happy travels!
Thank you for your kind words. You are right, Scuba diving is a must do in Sydney but the reason why I didn’t include is that I am only sharing the tips and guides I have personally experienced and can write about. Perhaps in the future I will do scuba diving and include it in the list. If you would like please email me directly, so we can discuss further in regards to the cruise vacationer. Thanks again for dropping by, I appreciate your comment.
What a great list of activities to do in Sydney. Visiting Australia is high on my list and everything to do is amazing. Love the outdoor activities like rock climbing, parasailing and flying a kite. The food and shopping looks good too. I hope to get a chance to visit Australia soon and experience it as you describe it.
I would like to go for para-sailing in Sydney, to have a view of the magnificent city. The images looks stunning.
Awesome Guide! The pictures are beautiful and are a proof that you had a lovely time there. There is so much in Sydney that I still have to explore.
I have saved your post to my Australia trip planning, it is really helpful!
Australia and Sydney have been on my bucket list for way too long…. I really wish early next year I finally manage to visit and try as many as possible of your tips!
Thanks for sharing. Didn’t know Sydney had so many exciting and adventurous things to do.
Thanks for all the great ways to Enjoy Sydney. They inspire one to consider visiting.
I just came back from Sydney 2 months ago! I agree it’s a beautiful city indeed. How I wish I had time to do the parasailing because it looks really fun! You’ve got really pretty pictures, by the way.
Great read! We are heading to Sydney in a few months so we took a ton of great tips from this post. Thank you for sharing.
That looks like quite the trip. Great pictures. My #1 thing to do would be visit the kangaroos and koalas.
I loved reading this post, it’s so detailed and very informative. I am definitely going to book mark it for future reference.
Oh my goodness, it’s been on our bucket list to go to Australia for a while now, but after reading this, I really want to head to Sydney. Post is very well written and informative!
I would love to visit Sydney! Thank you so much for sharing. This is amazing!
I’ve never been to Sydney but omg what an extensive list of things to do!
Australia is always in our bucket list but after reading your blog will definitely visit Sydney this new year. And this things to do in Sydney will definitely help us.