There is no place in the world like Sydney, from glamorous beaches and great nights, to the sublime Blue Mountains. Pack in the best the city has to offer by following a five-day itinerary. You will fall in love with this crown jewel of the Pacific.
There is no better way to kick-start your sojourn in Sydney than by visiting the iconic Sydney Opera House sitting majestically atop a raised platform in Circular Quay, with the azure waters of the harbor lapping below. It has four main auditoriums for dance, concerts, opera, and a studio for emerging artists.
You can experience the magic of the Opera House by either joining one of the daily tours, or by booking a seat at one of the evening shows. Afterwards, get some exercise with a walk around the well-maintained Royal Botanic Gardens next door, where you can see beautiful vegetation and stunning harbour views.
Make sure you slap on generous amounts of sunscreen as you hop onto the Bondi Explorer bus that will take you to some of Sydney’s most coveted beach spots. From Circular Quay you will be spirited away towards scenic Double Bay, which has stunning villas owned by the likes of Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe.
For lunch, enjoy fish and chips at a beachside kiosk. In the afternoon, do one of the world’s great water-view walks – a rambling two-hour scenic stroll from Bondi to Coogee Beach, (six km away from Bondi Beach) and watch the setting sun.
Indulge your adventurous side with a trip to the Blue Mountains, 90 minutes away by car. Experience the splendor of mountain towns like Leura and Katoomba; take a hike on one of the many trails; ride a horse; try a mountain bike; or simply stroll in the rugged and picturesque terrain of this National Park. When you get back to Sydney, go dancing at Tantra on Oxford Street, which often hosts some of the world’s best DJs playing some great music.
This day is devoted entirely to shopping, so kick-start your retail therapy at The Queen Victoria Building, completed in 1898 as a monument to the long-reigning monarch. The elaborate Romanesque architecture was specially planned so that the Government could employ many out-of-work craftsmen – stonemasons, plasterers, and stained window artists – in a worthwhile project. This renovated and beautiful piece of Sydney history now houses a collection of over 160 designer-label and specialty stores.
For a more basic shopping experience, go to Paddy’s Market (a few minutes from the famous Sydney Entertainment Centre if you hire a car in Sydney). Paddy’s has everything from bric-a-brac and discounted designer wear to trendy accessories. If you have not had your fill of shopping yet, visit The Rocks Market to buy locally-made crafts, home-ware, arts, and collectibles. The markets is also close to some of Sydney’s best pubs – like the Harbour View pub – where you can savor a meat pie and wash it down with a tall glass of beer.
Your trip to Australia would not be complete without a climb to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Reaching the upper arch, you get a 360-degree view of the city down below. Don the jumpsuit, helmet, and life rope to gear up for the bridge climb, the thrill of a lifetime. There are different climbs you can choose from, so you can suit yourself.
For your last night, saunter through King’s Cross and stop for a nightcap at the Good Bar, one of the many watering holes that lure you in with the promise of a good time.