Sydney. Australia’s largest city.
Probably also the most interesting, naturally and culturally diverse. Because Sydney is not only a city with its famous Opera, it’s also dreamy beaches, parks and the surrounding countryside! I think Sydney is the perfect destination if you want to enjoy a varied holiday! ￼
In this article, I suggest an itinerary discovering the city over 3 days. I made this city-trip partly alone but you can enjoy it as a couple, with family or friends.
For my first day,
I was in the company of Inò and Josh, a colleague from the restaurant. We arrived around 1pm in the CBD (city center) of Sydney.
There are many covered and paying car parks all over the city. If you choose this option (fast, convenient and secure I must be admit), you have to know that it’s rather expensive (about $ 20 an hour, $ 80 a day). If you’d prefer to park your car in the street, plan time to find a parking space (unless you are very lucky!). The ideal, in my opinion, is to park outside the CBD and then take the bus or even the train (faster). ￼
We had lunch in an excellent oyster bar. The restaurant looks refined with an industrial decoration, it’s really nice. Located in the CBD, I recommend this address MORRISSON BAR & OYSTER. ￼
After nice lunch, I was wondered in the CBD alone. I had no landmark in this huge city, I have been living for a few years away from the city (and it’s been over a year since I have been in such a big place!), I end up feeling invigorated from these streets and atmosphere. I dive in with delight, observing monuments, buildings and passersby. After these years of loneliness – appreciated – I want to see people and feel the world moving. Finally some life!
A little further west of the center is DARLING HARBOR. It’s a place where you can easily spend hours thanks to the various attractions and activities and also to the many cafes & restaurants all along the pier and more.
The Sydney Aquarium is home to more than 11,000 animals (including some rare coral reef species) and a glass tunnel where you can walk around with sharks and rays. ￼
Nearby, you can also visit Sydney Wildlife World, a mini zoo dedicated to the Outback Wildlife, where you can learn more about Aboriginal culture. You can even watch little free didgeridoo concerts.
Just next to it, you find the museum of Mrs. Tussaud.
Personally, I chose not to do this attraction. I enjoyed the end of the afternoon with a stroll on the dock and a little further. It was nice.
In the evening, I stayed to admire the ilights of the port in the company of a girl met on a travel forum (Hi Aude!^^). We enjoyed the lively atmosphere of a music bar along the pier.
For information: Happy Hour from 16h to 19h! 😉 ￼
The next morning, ￼
I went to the Fish Market with Inò and Josh. Two chefs at Sydney’s biggest fish market, that means seafood tasting and I like the idea! The Giant Oyster Pacific, sold for $ 7 each (yes, anyway!), it’s a treat! Many other things too …
In the early afternoon, Inò drops me at my hostel where I booked the next two nights. The hostel, Siesta Inn, is ideally located in the heart of the city. Kent Street, just steps from Darling Harbor, about 17 minutes walk from Circular Bay and its famous Opera House (thanks Google map!).
After a quick check-in, I go out exploring the city.
I appreciate both a delicious thrill of freedom and the fear of being alone in this immensity of buildings and people in a hurry (or not). But the taste of adventure instantly takes over and here I am to walk more beautiful through the City, heading to the historic district The Rocks.
The Rocks is Australia’s oldest district with buildings dating back to the 18th century. For the record: it was the first inhabited area where English settlers took place in January 1788. It is today the last heritage to testify of colonization. Today, some houses have been restored and the area is home to art galleries, shops and pretty cafes & restaurants. The small cobbled streets have completely charmed me, with its atmosphere both historical and contemporary. I advise you to stroll and stop in a pastry shop or the colonial courtyard of a cafe.
I continued my expedition (just that yes!), to the Harbour Bridge which is simply down the street.
From here you have a direct view of the Opera House on the other side of the bay. If you wish, you can climb the famous bridge to admire the sunset, about 130 meters above sea level. ￼ ￼ ￼
I decided to continue my walk … sorry … my expedition^^ along the wharf to the Art Contemporary Museum. The museum exhibits a large collection of contemporary Australian and international works. The building also offers a shop, a small library and, on the 4th and last floor, a roof top with bar-restaurant and an incredible view of the Sydney Opera House. The museum entrance is free.
In the evening, I ate on the go in one of the many food trucks found along Circular Quay.
And as luck would have it, I was able to admire the magnificent lights show at the VIVID FESTIVAL, celebrated every year at this time (May-June). ￼ So it was with a delicious ice cream that I continued my walk… hum… my expedition! … along the quay with stars in my eyes, and in my mouth!
The next day,
I start my day by going to Chinatown ￼located south of the city, close to Darling Harbor, you can’t miss the many Asian restaurants and the various shops in the typical streets of the neighborhood. I suggest you to go to the Chinese garden, a little haven of peace and enjoy a delicious Chinese tea at the small restaurant located in the middle of the park.
From here, I joined the Fish Market (yes again, I’m a big gourmet and lack of seafood! I told you that I lived in a small town in the land ?!) which is in the district of Pyrmont, about 20 min walk. The walk, going through Darling Harbour is nice. ￼
For me, the Fish Market is the perfect place to enjoy tasty seafood, fresh and varied. The place is alive, busy and crowded … I love this street atmosphere! You can do your shopping there to prepare the “best barbie ever” (or best barbecue of your life) but also to taste at your pleasure the dishes cooked on the spot. Crab, salmon, oysters, lobsters, mussels, squid, sea urchins … and many more things that seriously make you hungry! I challenge you to resist! Once you have chosen your menu (you can not take everything eh!), You will only have to choose a good bottle of wine and find a table on the terrace and enjoy the sea breeze.
Beware, seagulls and ibises have an unfortunate tendency to want to steal your food: stay more than ever attentive to what is happening in your plate! : p ￼
Ah! I was almost going to forget! There is also a French cheese shop in the Fish Market … and bread! No need to detail the range of cheeses found there (hard when you left the country for over 2 years) but advice to fans! On the other hand, just like everywhere in Australia, this little pleasure has a price! I can’t wait to go back …
If you prefer, you can go to the most popular beach in Sydney: Bondi Beach. Very easily accessible by train (about 20min) from the center of Sydney (Central Station, Circular Bay …).
Renowned dynamic, Bondi Beach is the place where we spend good moments relaxing with family and good evenings with friends. Don’t miss the famous seawater pool just steps from here and the sunset on the horizon. If you are motivated, you can also join Coogee Beach on a trail of about 6kms. Nice!
As for me, after a tasty lunch, I went back to Circular Bay where I was having a drink in a pub with another girlfriend met on a travel forum and her American friend (Hi Tiphanie! ^^).
On the way, I stopped at the Sydney Tower, a narrow tower over 300 meters high. At its summit, you can admire the panoramic view of the City from its observation post. Open to the public, I suggest you go there at sunset for a remarkable view. ￼
My “new friends” recommended to me a French pastry in the district “The Rocks”, precisely the neighborhood that I love! It was a great idea, so I went there just after to get a snack that I’d not had in a long time! I recommend the address to 100%: Pâtisserie Cafe LA RENAISSANCE.
In the early evening, I went again on Circular Bay until the Opera, the most emblematic monument of the city. Did you know that this impressive shell-shaped architecture for some or sails architecture for others, was built following a major international competition organized by the government in 1940 ?! The big winner was the architect Danish Jorn Utzon whose original project (it must be recognized!) was selected in 1955 among 233 applications … A gigantic project that cost more than 12 times the originally planned budget of 7 million Australian dollars, so $ 102 million. Crazy stuff, no?
Before I left, I had dinner in a French crêperie (#I miss French food but you’ll notice!^^), where I tasted a delicious galette (like a savoury pancake with a dark flour) with a cider. Yum! Address: Four Frogs, located on Circular Quay.
3rd and last morning,
I couldn’t leave the city without going to the Botanic Garden, Sydney’s largest garden! The Sydney Botanical Garden is great! A green space in the heart of the city, located close to the Opera House!
Did you know that it was founded in 1816 and that you can discover a remarkable collection of exotic plants ?! Ideal for resting a few hours, you can picnic or sit on the lawn to rest (you can smell the flowers and touch the trees). After a nice sunset on the skyline, you can hear and see the (huge) bats waking up … at your own risk! ￼ ￼ ￼ ￼
Then, at lunch time, I left by train from Central Station to Newcastle, direction my small town Cessnock …
That’s it, my expedition is over! 3 days solo in Sydney!
In conclusion, I could say that the noise and pollution of the city seemed a little oppressive at first but I still managed to enjoy every minute of my time and I managed to enjoy everything and that is the main thing!
I was very happy with this weekend spent at my own pace, without pressure of any kind, and listening to myself.
I seriously think of organizing regularly, like a ritual, a meeting of this kind with myself.
Because it still seems important to realize that even when you are in a relationship, you have desires for freedom, autonomy and independence!
I suggest that our gentlemen organize city-trip with friends while we play adventurers! Good idea, no? 😉