11 Great Places to visit in Sydney

with No Comments

Having spent 2 years in Sydney (1999/2000) for my engineering degree, I am often asked for travel suggestions of the city. Below is the compilation of the 11 places in Sydney that I hugely enjoyed visiting during my undergraduate days. Hope you’ll enjoy them too!



– List is not in any particular order

– Unless otherwise stated, most of the sites listed below are within walking distance from each other in downtown Sydney.

– At the time of writing this post, I’ve not revisited Sydney for a number of years. Thus, some info might have changed; though I do not expect much. Feel free to correct me if any info is outdated.


  • #1: Sydney Harbour Bridge (map) (website)
    • Excellent photographic opportunity (Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House are probably the most photographed sites in Australia.)
    • There are a few good locations to snap scenic pictures of the Harbour Bridge. Some of the popular locations include:
      • Sydney Opera House
      • Mrs Macquarie’s Chair at the Royal Botanic Garden (map). This location is particularly scenic as you can see the Opera House with the Harbour Bridge as the background.
    • It is possible to join a guided climb of the Harbour Bridge. (details here)
      • Note: Children below 10 years old are not allowed on the climb.


  • #2: Sydney Opera House (map) (website)
    • Excellent photographic opportunity (Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House are probably the most photographed sites in Australia.)
    • Good locations to snap pictures of the Opera House includes the promenade area in front of the Opera House and Mrs Macquarie’s Chair at the Royal Botanic Garden (map).


  • #3: The Rocks (map) (website)
    • The Rocks is a laid-back and artistic area near the southern end of the Harbour Bridge. There’re plenty of unique shops dealing in arts items, food, fashion, jewellery etc.
    •  The Rocks Arts Market (website)
      • During weekends, you can find roadside stalls selling interesting art items. Highly recommended to visit.
      • Date/time: 10am – 5pm, Saturdays and Sundays


  • #4: Sydney Tower Eye (map) (website)
    • Tower with an observation deck that offers a 360degree view of the entire city. Great for photography enthusiasts and those looking for great views.


  • #5: Queen Victoria Building (map) (website)
    • QVB was build in 1898 as a market. Nowadays, it is an up-market shopping mall with its beautiful architecture well-preserved. Definitely worth visiting to witness its architecture.


  • #6: Darling Harbour (map) (website)
    • A fascinating harbour with promenade full of pubs, restaurants and entertainment.
    • While there, you’ll never miss the eye-catching Pyrmont Bridge, which is still operational. If lucky, you might have the chance to witness it opening for ships to pass.
    • “Pyrmont Bridge is one of the world’s oldest surviving electrically operated swingspan bridges. The first bridge began operating in 1857.” (Source: www.darlingharbour.com)


  • #7: The Star Hotel and Casino (map) (website)
    • Formerly known as Star City. Just beside Darling Harbour.
    • The premier casino in Sydney. The Star is the second largest casino in Australia (largest being Crown Casino in Melbourne).


  • #8: Sydney Fish Market (map) (website)
    • “SFM is the largest market of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and the third largest seafood market in terms of variety in the world.” (Source: www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au)

    • Located just a short walk from The Star and Darling Harbour. Alternatively, the easiest way is to take the Sydney Light Rail (trams) from Central station, Haymarket or Darling Harbour (website).
    • Best place to get fresh seafood. There’re plenty of stalls that serves fresh and cheap seafood, both for take-away and eat-in.
    • Definitely the place for seafood fanatics. A must-go for me. 


  • #9: Paddy’s Market @Haymarket (map) (website)
    • Short walk from Darling Harbour. Right in the heart of Sydney’s Chinatown.
    • One of the biggest market of its kind in Australia. Much like a big flea market selling a wide variety of goods like fresh produces, art items, clothes, gifts and souvenirs.
    • It is an immensely interesting place to visit; if not to shop, at least to soak in the atmosphere.
    • Open Wednesday to Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm. (source)



Recommended beaches in Sydney

  •  #10: Bondi Beach (map) (Wikipedia)
    • Probably the most well-known beach in Australia, and for very good reasons! The site of the Beach Volleyball competition during Sydney Olympics.
    • Excellent place for swimming/surfing and the surrounding cliffs offers great views of the entire beach. (Caution: Swim only in the safe areas marked by the yellow/red flags)
    • Plenty of cafes, hotels and restaurants around the area.
    • Approximately 40minutes by public bus from downtown Sydney.
Bondi Beach @2003
Bondi Beach @2003


  • #11: Manly Beach (map) (website)
    • If you prefer a more laid-back beach with less hype, try Manly.
    • The neighbourhood is more charming while it still has the great beachfront and view as Bondi.
    • Approximately 30minutes by public ferry from Circular Quay (beside Opera House).



Bonus: Beyond Sydney

If you have a full day (or more) available to spend outside Sydney, consider:

  • Blue Mountain (map) (website)
    • A scenic mountainous region west of Sydney.
    • Blue Mountain offers many breath-taking nature sights including the famous Three Sisters sandstone formation (map), limestone caves (Jenolan Caves), waterfalls and the steepest passenger railway in the world (Scenic Railway).
    • Scenic World offers a number of interesting rides which include:
      • Steepest passenger railway in the world (Scenic Railway).
      • ScenicCableway.
      • ScenicSkyway.
        • Cable car service that plys between cliff tops offering great views. (website)
    • Scenic World is located in Katoomba, as with Three Sisters.
    • Approximately 1.5hours by car (~100km) from downtown Sydney to Katoomba.


  • Port Stephens (map) (website)
    • The place to go for dolphin and whale watching.
    • Port Stephens is the base for many dolphin and whale watching cruise companies. Sand boarding activities are also available at the Stockton Sand Dunes. (website)
    • Approximately 2.5hours by car (~200km) from downtown Sydney.


Find this article (free) in GPSmyCity app

Download this article to your mobile device for FREE. This article is available within the GPSmyCity travel app. Once the app is installed, search for the article name and save it for your offline usage! You could also upgrade (small fee) the article to get a map with GPS navigation to the sights. The map + GPS navigation can be used offline. Thus saving you money from mobile data!

Disclosure: We do receive a small royalty fee whenever someone upgrades our travel article. This fee goes a long way in helping us to maintain this travel blog. So that we can continue to do what we do best; inspiring the traveler in YOU!

Subscribe to us

Like what you've just read? Subscribe to our blog via registering your email below! You will receive email notification when there are any new posts.


Leave a Reply