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Take a cruise of Sydney Harbour, see the iconic Opera House, visit Bondi Beach, go for a scenic coastal walk, stroll across Harbour Bridge, and enjoy the view from the Sydney Tower Eye…these are all things you can do with 3 days in Sydney.

In this Sydney itinerary, we provide an extensive 3-day plan for visiting Sydney. Included are the best things to do, restaurant recommendations, where to stay and more, all to help provide you with the best experience possible.

About this Sydney Itinerary

Three days gives you the perfect amount of time to visit all of Sydney’s top attractions, restaurants, and bars at a comfortable pace. The first two days will have you fully tour through Sydney Harbour and Sydney’s Central Business District (CBD). Your final day is a bit more relaxed, including a coastal walk between two of Sydney’s most iconic beaches, and plenty of downtime at Bondi Beach.

If you have less than 3 days in Sydney, don’t miss our itineraries for One Day in Sydney and Two Days in Sydney.

All of the times in the daily schedules are rough estimates, just to give you an idea about timing throughout the day. Your times may differ, based on queues and how much time you decide to spend at each place. I did my best to anticipate waiting times and visiting times, but on very busy days (or very quiet days) these times can differ.

We do our best to keep the hours of operation and pricing up to date for each attraction, however, these can change at any time. I recommend getting updated hours and pricing for your dates of travel. The link to the official website is provided for each site.

We have tons more information about Sydney (and Australia) which you can see in our Australia Travel Guide.

Best Things to Do with 3 Days in Sydney

Below is a list of the top spots to visit if you only have three days in Sydney. For the full list, take a look at our article Best Things to Do in Sydney.

  • Sydney Opera House
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Explore Circular Quay and The Rocks
  • Take a cruise or ferry ride of Sydney Harbour
  • Bondi Beach
  • Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair
  • Taronga Zoo
  • Complete a coastal walk
  • Queen Victoria Building (QVB)
  • Sydney Tower Eye
  • Luna Park
  • Darling Harbour

3 Days in Sydney Itinerary

Sydney Itinerary Day 1

Sydney Harbour

For your first day in Sydney, you’ll enjoy a complete tour of the Sydney Harbour area. You’ll undoubtedly check off most, if not all, of the top attractions on your list, from the Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Rocks, and much more.

From both the land and the sea, you’ll visit the best sites within Sydney Harbour.

8:00 am: Breakfast
9:00 am: Opera House
9:45 am: Ride the ferry to Taronga Zoo
10:00 am: Taronga Zoo
1:00 pm: The Rocks
2:30 pm: Dawes Point Reserve
3:00 pm: South Pylon Lookout
4:00 pm: Luna Park
5:30 pm: Ferry back to Circular Quay
6:00 pm: Dinner
8:00 pm: Grab a drink at one of the world’s top bars (optional)

How to Use This Map: Click the icons on the map to get more information about each point of interest. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

8:00 am: Breakfast

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel or one of the many cafés throughout Sydney. We recommend The Rocks Cafe or Four Frogs Crêperie – Circular Quay. These cafés get great reviews and are in the perfect location to start your day. If you have a sweet tooth, consider grabbing a bite at Pancakes on The Rocks.

9:00 am: Opera House

The most famous attraction in Sydney, the Opera House is a must-see. This performance center draws millions of visitors every year and is known for its distinct sail-like structure, which is an incredible feat of architecture and engineering.

To get to the Opera House, walk up the eastern side of the harbour, past the wharf. Take a walk around the Opera House, pose for a photo on the steps, and admire picturesque views of Sydney Harbour. You can even consider taking a backstage tour of the Opera House (but do note that tours run for about 2 hours, so you will need to alter this itinerary). For information regarding tours or shows, look here.

Sydney Opera House from Ferry 

Sydney Opera House (photo taken on the ferry cruise to Taronga Zoo)

9:45 am: Ride the Ferry to Taronga Zoo

The ferry ride to the Taronga Zoo is iconic and offers one of the best views of Sydney. On your way out to the zoo, you’ll cruise right past the Opera House and Fort Denison.

The views are unforgettable, with an incredible look out at the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, and the Sydney skyline. Enjoy this 15-minute ride past some of Sydney’s most iconic attractions. 

Ride the ferry from Circular Quay to F2 (Taronga Zoo). Tickets can be purchased at the wharf. For information on ferry tickets and timetables, refer to the official website.

10:00 am: Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo is one of the largest zoos in Australia, home to over 4000 animals. From a great range of local Australian wildlife as well as giraffes, elephants, and komodo dragons, there is an exhibit for everyone to enjoy. You’ll also be treated to more wonderful views of the Sydney skyline.

Taronga Zoo | 2 Days in Sydney Itinerary

Taronga Zoo | 3 Days in Sydney Itinerary


Taronga Zoo View of Sydney

The view from the Taronga Zoo | 3 Days in Sydney Itinerary

You have a little over 2 hours to fully explore Taronga Zoo. To return to downtown Sydney, simply take the ferry back to Circular Quay, in the opposite direction as earlier in the morning.

Hours: Open every day from 9:30am – 4:30pm
Cost (gate price): AUD $51 (adult) | $30 (4-15 years) | free for children under 4. When booking online, you can save AUD $5.
Website: taronga.org.au

1:00 pm: Explore the Rocks

The Rocks is the perfect place in Sydney to spend an afternoon. This colonial neighborhood of pubs and shops is situated right between Circular Quay and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. On the weekends you’ll find a colorful open-air market where vendors sell homemade crafts and street food.

This is the perfect area to grab a bite for lunch. Consider enjoying a meal at The Glenmore Hotel, a historic rooftop bar and pub. If you’re looking for a taste of history, try the Fortune of War, Sydney’s oldest pub. If you want to dine with a view, visit the MCA Cafe in the Museum of Contemporary Art. From here you will have a view of Circular Quay and the Opera House.

The Rocks Sydney

The Rocks | 3 Days in Sydney Itinerary

2:30 pm: Dawes Point Reserve

The Dawes Point Reserve is a small park that sits just north of The Rocks, and directly underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge’s South Pylon. You’ll find several notable viewpoints here as well as the remains of an old artillery fort.

On the east side of this small peninsula, next to the Park Hyatt Sydney, you can look across the harbor to the Opera House.

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House | 3 Days in Sydney Itinerary

On the opposite side of the reserve, at Ives Steps Wharf, you can look up at the Harbour Bridge and across the harbor to Luna Park.

Dawes Point Sydney Harbour Bridge

Photo taken near the Ives Steps Wharf

Dawes Point Reserve is open 24 hours a day and free to visit.

3:00 pm: South Pylon Lookout

The South Pylon Lookout offers an elevated view from the Sydney Harbour Bridge without the time and money spent doing the Bridge Climb. This lookout is also one of the most iconic views of Sydney.

From the South Pylon Lookout, you get a breathtaking view of the Opera House, Sydney Harbour, and Sydney Harbour Bridge. There’s a good chance you will also see climbers on the bridge.

Opera House South Pylon Lookout | 2 Days in Sydney Itinerary

The Opera House from the South Pylon Lookout


Sydney Bridge Climb

To get here from Dawes Point Reserve, you’ll walk back through The Rocks neighborhood to the Glenmore Hotel. There is an elevator across the street from the Glenmore Hotel that will take you up to Sydney Harbour Bridge’s pedestrian walkway. There are also steps a short way beyond the elevator if you’d prefer to take them up.

Once on the pedestrian walkway, it’s a 5-minute walk to the South Pylon Lookout entrance. You’ll climb 68 steps to get to the ticket office. From here, purchase your ticket and it’s 132 steps to the top, for a grand total of 200 steps. There is no elevator to the top.

You can purchase your ticket in advance or at the door. We purchased ours at the door and there was no line (midday in May). Get hours and pricing on the official website.

If you’re traveling on a budget, we recommend skipping the South Pylon Lookout. Instead, enjoy the views from the Sydney Harbour Bridge for free as you walk out to Luna Park. The pedestrian walkway offers similar views, is open 24 hours a day, and you don’t have to spend a dime.

4:00 pm: Luna Park

Luna Park is a colorful amusement park located across the harbour from Circular Quay. Featured are thrilling attractions, roller coasters, a Ferris wheel, and arcade games.

The park is famous for the giant smiling face that acts as the entrance to the amusement park. The face is almost unsettling, especially at night when illuminated. It’s been rebuilt 7 times and the history behind the faces is interesting, where some of the past iterations are downright terrifying.

Luna Park | 2 Days in Sydney Itinerary

Luna Park | 3 Days in Sydney Itinerary

At the entrance to Luna Park, you also can enjoy an incredible view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, and the Sydney skyline.

Best Views of Sydney Photo

The view at sunset

To get to Luna Park from the South Pylon Lookout, continue across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. You’ll find an elevator down to the road below, and from there it’s a 5-minute walk to the park’s entrance.

Website: Hours are subject to change due to events held in the park. Get hours and pricing on the official website.

6:30 pm: Ride the Ferry Back to Circular Quay

There is a small wharf at the entrance to Luna Park (Milsons Point Wharf). To return for dinner, take the ferry directly to Circular Quay. You also have the option to walk back across the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: If you are into photography or want to capture an iconic view of Sydney at sunset, you can do so from the wharf in front of Luna Park. This is one of our favorite photography locations in Sydney. Get sunset hours for the date of your visit here.

7:00 pm: Dinner at Café Sydney

For spectacular, sunset views of Sydney Harbour, as well as delicious cuisine, we recommend enjoying dinner at Café Sydney, located within Circular Quay.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

The view from Cafe Sydney

The menu has a little bit of everything, with salads, oysters, seafood and meat dishes, small plates, and vegan options. They also have a long list of Australian wines that can be purchased by the bottle or by the glass. Do expect a pricey meal, but what you’re paying for is absolutely worth it, with spectacular food and an even better view. We also highly recommend making reservations in advance, as this can be a very crowded spot for a meal.

If you’d like our full list of dinner recommendations, read our Best Restaurants and Bars in Sydney guide.

8:00 pm: Enjoy a Drink at One of the World’s Top Bars (Optional)

Maybe Sammy is one of Australia’s most famous cocktail bars. In 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023, this bar made the World’s 50 Best Bars list. With décor inspired by the 1950’s, creative cocktails, and bartenders who put on a show, put Maybe Sammy at the top of your list. Note that they do not accept reservations, so there is a chance you may not be able to grab a table. They are also closed on Sunday and Monday.

Alternative options include Grain, The Glenmore, and The Doss House, all of which are located within The Rocks. You can find our full list of recommendations here.

Maybe Sammy

Maybe Sammy | 3 Days in Sydney Itinerary

Sydney Itinerary Day 2

Downtown Sydney

Today you’ll continue your time in Sydney with a walking tour through the city’s CBD (Central Business District). You’ll visit some of the nearby parks, museums, and harbors, while also being treated to a birds-eye view of the city.

8:00 am: Breakfast
9:00 am: Royal Botanic Gardens
9:45 am: Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair
10:30 am: Art Gallery of New South Wales
12:00 pm: St. Mary’s Cathedral
12:15 pm: Hyde Park
12:45 pm: Lunch
1:30 pm: Sydney Tower Eye
3:00 pm: QVB (Queen Victoria Building)
4:00 pm: Enjoy a drink at The Baxter Inn
5:15 pm: Darling Harbour
6:00 pm: Dinner and Drinks

8:00 am: Breakfast

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel or one of the many cafés throughout Sydney. For recommendations, refer to Day One on this list.

9:00 am: Royal Botanic Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens of Sydney is a beautiful park found at the eastern edge of Circular Quay. The gardens make a perfect spot for views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. This is an ideal spot to stretch your legs in the morning and enjoy the beauty of Sydney Harbour. You’ll find one of the park’s entrances at the Opera House.

Located in the park is the Calyx, which is a public exhibition space. There is a small restaurant here, the Leaf Department, a shop, and floral exhibitions. This is a popular place in Sydney to host weddings and other special events.

The Calyx

The Calyx | 3 Days in Sydney Itinerary

9:45 am: Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair

For one of the best views of the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, visit Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair. This viewpoint is located in the Royal Botanic Garden, on a peninsula that juts out into the harbour. The viewpoint is only a 10-minute walk from the center of the gardens. The views from this spot are spectacular all day long.

Mrs Macquaries Chair

10:30 am: Art Gallery of New South Wales

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is one of Australia’s largest art museums. It features a wide range of exhibits that focus primarily on Aboriginal culture, depicted through paintings and sculptures. The vibrant artwork is a joy to admire and the diverse exhibits will continue to provide something new. Entrance to the art gallery is free, but a few special exhibits require an entrance fee.

Art Gallery of New South Wales

Inside the Art Gallery of New South Wales

You can walk to the Art Gallery directly from Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair. It’s a 15-minute walk south, just beyond the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Website: Get updated hours on the official website.

12:00 pm: St. Mary’s Cathedral

This cathedral dates back to 1821, when the first stone was laid. The first church was small and simple but over the years, it was rebuilt and expanded several times, in an English Gothic architectural style. It is now one of the largest cathedrals in Australia and it is said to be the birthplace of Catholicism in Australia.

St Marys Cathedral

St. Mary’s Cathedral

The cathedral is just a short walk from the Art Gallery and is located on the outskirts of Hyde Park. You can choose to marvel at the architecture as you walk past or spend some extra time and tour the interior.

12:15 pm: Hyde Park

The oldest public park in Australia, a quick visit to Hyde Park is well worth your time. Take a stroll past the Archibald Memorial Fountain or stop to rest your legs on a nearby park bench. Hyde Park makes a great spot for a picnic lunch today. Those with an interest in history can also visit the Hyde Park Barracks.

12:45 pm: Lunch

With limited time for lunch today, we recommend grabbing a quick bite at one of the nearby cafés or pubs.

1:30 pm: Sydney Tower Eye

The Sydney Tower is the tallest structure in Sydney and the second tallest observation tower in the Southern Hemisphere. At a staggering 309m (1,014ft) tall, the Sydney Tower’s observation deck offers the ultimate 360° view of the city.

Sydney Tower Eye

Sydney Tower Eye View

View from the Sydney Tower Eye | 3 Days in Sydney Itinerary

If you are feeling adventurous, you can walk outside on the skywalk above the observation deck. The Skywalk adventure is filled with amazing views, great photo opportunities, and a couple glass floors to remind you just how high up you truly are. Both the Observation Deck and Skywalk require tickets.

Booking a Skywalk experience is the best way to enjoy the views of Sydney’s skyline from the Sydney Tower Eye. On this 30-minute guided tour, you’ll circle the outside of the tower on metal walkways and walk over a few glass floors to remind you just how high up you truly are. Before stepping outside, you’ll change into a stylish jumpsuit with a built-in clip system that attaches to the outside railings.

Although you’re only a few stories higher than the Tower Eye Observation deck, you’ll get a lot more out of this experience. Your guides will provide you with plenty of background information regarding what you see and are well equipped to answer any questions you may have.

There are several spots for photo opportunities that you can take with the skyline in the background.

Also, the views themselves just seem to be a lot better once you’re out in the air. We loved this experience and highly recommend it for someone who is willing to spend the extra money.

Website:Get updated hours and pricing on the official website.

3:00 pm: QVB (Queen Victoria Building) & The Strand

The Strand is a Victorian building is filled with small boutique shops. It’s a delight to stroll through and go window shopping. 

The Strand

The Strand

The QVB is a historic building and it is one of the best places to go shopping in Sydney. It is located in the Central Business District, just a short walk from the Strand and the Sydney Tower Eye.

Shops range from popular chain stores, such as Coach, Pandora, and Country Road, as well as art galleries and boutique shops. Our favorite shop in the QVB is the Aboriginal Art Galleries, where you can shop for Aboriginal artifacts and artworks, including didgeridoos, ceramics, and paintings.

QVB Sydney

The Queen Victoria Building dates back to 1898. It was named to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. This beautiful Victorian building contains three stories of retail shops and small restaurants. Two mechanical clocks form focal points from the arcades.

Shops range from popular chain stores, such as Coach, Pandora, and Country Road, as well as art galleries and boutique shops. Our favorite shop in the QVB is the Aboriginal Art Galleries, where you can shop for Aboriginal artifacts and artworks, including didgeridoos, ceramics, and paintings.

4:00 pm: Enjoy a Drink at the Baxter Inn

Just two blocks away from the QVB is the Baxter Inn, one of the best “hidden bars” within Sydney’s CBD. This underground cocktail bar has a warm, cozy atmosphere and an admiration for blues music. Their whiskey cocktails are what they’re known for, but they also have a great selection of cocktails, beer, and wine.

Baxter Inn Sydney

Baxter Inn

Finding the Baxter Inn is the fun part, and we recommend having this pinned on Google Maps (we also have it marked on our map above). The path itself seems sketchy, but you’d be surprised at how safe this area is.

The entrance is located on a large, unmarked alley. You’ll find The Duke of Clarence next to it, which is a pub that gets great reviews. To your right, look for a door that seems like a fire escape. This is actually the entrance to the Baxter Inn. The challenge of finding a spot like this only adds to the fun!

5:00 pm: Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour is full of waterfront fine-dining, culture, beauty, and entertainment. Here you’ll find the Australian National Maritime Museum, the Sydney Aquarium & Zoo, and several large venues dedicated for concerts.

As it’s less popular with first-time tourists, you’ll find fewer crowds in Darling Harbour than at Sydney Harbour. While here, make sure to cross over the Pyrmont Bridge and enjoy views of the Sydney skyline.

Darling Harbour Photo

Darling Harbour

While walking through Darling Harbour, chances are you’ve noticed a few large battleships docked in the water. At the Australian National Maritime Museum, you can board several historical ships and take a step into Australia’s history at sea.

You’ll find great variety in the ships you can visit, as well as the indoor exhibits inside the museum’s main building. The ships are full of history, and one of them, the Tall Ship James Craig, is still operated for special tours.

ADJUSTING THIS ITINERARY: The museum is open from 10 am – 4 pm every day. With how today is planned out, you will have to swap this museum for another attraction to make time. For families, we recommend a visit here. If interested, skip both the Art Gallery of New South Wales and a drink at The Baxter Inn.

A self-guided tour of the Maritime Museum could take upwards of 3 hours. For those that want to enjoy a shorter tour, we recommend the HMAS Vampire (a battleship) and the Tall Ship James Craig, a 19th century barque. Get updated hours and pricing on the official website.

6:00 pm: Dinner and Drinks

Darling Harbour is surrounded by plenty of great restaurants and bars to cap off your second day in Sydney. Nearby you’ll find The Star, a hotel and casino that hosts several of our top picks for dinner. These include Sokyo, one of Sydney’s top Japanese restaurants, BLACK Bar & Grill, and Cucina Porto, a fantastic Italian restaurant.

On the other side of the harbour, you’ll find The Sporting Globe, a waterfront sports bar. At the end of the harbour is The Bar at Oncore by Clare Smyth, found within The Crown hotel. This is an excellent spot to enjoy a drink with a view, but do expect a more pricey menu.

Black Restaurant

BLACK Bar & Grill | 3 Days in Sydney itinerary

Sydney Itinerary Day 3

Coastal Walk & Bondi Beach

Today is a much more relaxed day compared to the previous two. Beginning with breakfast in Coogee, you’ll walk along the coast to Bondi Beach, where you’ll have all afternoon to enjoy the sun, sand, and surf. Your evening is also pretty open, with a drink at the Opera Bar before dinner.

8:00 am: Breakfast in Coogee
9:00 am: Coogee to Bondi Coastal Walk
12:00 pm: Lunch at Bondi Icebergs
2:00 pm: Bondi Beach
5:30 pm: Opera Bar
7:00 pm: Dinner

8:00 am: Breakfast in Coogee

Today you’ll be starting at Coogee Beach, one of the most popular beaches in Sydney. Coogee is surrounded by a quaint suburb full of great cafés and restaurants, as well as plenty of open park space for picnics.

For breakfast today, we recommend either Coogee Courtyard or Little Jack Horner. Both offer delicious breakfasts for a cheap price and are found on the main road that runs along the beach.

9:00 am: Coogee to Bondi Coastal Walk

Let’s start the day off on a high note. The Coogee to Bondi Coastal Walk is a 4 mile (6.4 km) walk along Sydney’s eastern shores. You’ll pass some of the most iconic beaches in Sydney as well as a collection of more local bays, beaches, and parks.

Coogee to Bondi Map

Coogee to Bondi Coastal Walk map

 Coogee Beach

Coogee Beach


Marks Park Coogee to Bondi

Tamarama Beach Sydney

Tamarama Beach | 3 Days in Sydney Itinerary

This relaxing coastal walk is a great way to start a morning. You’ll be open to enjoy the ocean breeze, grab some sun, and relish in the views along the way. Plus the weather tends to be much more comfortable, and crowds are lower.

The Coogee to Bondi walk takes about 2 to 3 hours. Depending on when you finish, you’ll have free time to enjoy Bondi before lunch at 12:00.

Learn more in our Guide to the Coogee to Bondi Coastal Walk.

12:00 pm: Lunch at Bondi Icebergs

For an iconic lunch overlooking Bondi Beach, we recommend the Bondi Icebergs. Not only is Icebergs an iconic swimming pool, but it’s also a high-end restaurant and bar that overlooks Bondi Beach. Come here for a delicious meal, enjoy a cocktail in the sun, and watch the surfers.

A cheaper, but still moderately pricey alternative is Bondi Trattoria. This Italian restaurant is located at the southern corner of Bondi Beach, and offers a lovely setting, beach views, and even better food. There are also plenty of cafes that line the beach that make a perfect spot for a quick meal.

Bondi Beach Icebergs Pool

Bondi Beach and Icebergs Pool


Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach | 3 Days in Sydney Itinerary

2:00 pm: Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach is consistently rated as one of the most popular beaches in the world due to both its natural beauty and collection of restaurants. It’s a must see on a visit to Sydney.

You have the rest of the afternoon today to enjoy Bondi’s beauty. Later in the evening you’ll have the option to grab a drink at the Opera Bar before heading out to dinner. While at Bondi, take a walk along the beach, sunbathe on the sand, or learn how to surf.

With Let’s Go Surfing, one of the best surf schools in Australia, you can rent boards as well as book surf lessons. The staff are amazing, they’re super friendly and offer great advice for both first time surfers and those who are more experienced.

Be warned that, especially in the summer, the UV index can reach values of up to 13. Be mindful of your sun exposure, and sunscreen is a must here.

To return to Sydney Harbour, take the 333 bus line directly from Bondi Beach. This will take about 45 minutes. You can also use Uber.

6:00 pm: Opera Bar

We’re back again at Sydney’s most recognizable landmark. This time, we’ll be grabbing a drink at the Opera Bar, an outdoor bar located just below the Opera House. This is a great spot to get a table, a glass of wine or a cocktail, and enjoy sunset views of Sydney. From here, you get up close views of the Opera House and a stunning view of the Harbour Bridge.

Opera Bar

Opera Bar | 3 Days in Sydney Itinerary

We have dinner planned at 7:00 pm today. If you find that you’re loving the Opera Bar, you can stay here for dinner. Their menu includes a mix of sides, seafood, and meat dishes.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: The Opera Bar is busy all afternoon and evening, particularly on the weekends. Our favorite time to be here is late afternoon, just as the sun begins its descent. For the best experience, book a table in advance.

7:00 pm: Dinner

For your last night in Sydney, we recommend eating in The Rocks or near Circular Quay. With plenty of restaurants and pubs that offer different cuisines, there’s something for everyone.

Quay Restaurant is a fine dining restaurant with a breathtaking view of the Opera House. Bennelong is a fine dining restaurant inside of the Opera House (it looks amazing but be aware that it is very expensive).

El Camino Cantina, in the Rocks is a good place to get good, inexpensive Mexican food. Also in the Rocks is the Glenmore Hotel, a bar and restaurant with a rooftop terrace with views of the Opera House.

See a longer list of recommended restaurants in our Sydney Dining Guide.

How to Get Around Sydney

There’s a great variety of public transit options for you to utilize on your one day in Sydney. Whether it’s by land or by sea, the city has you covered.

To get to sites such as Luna Park or Taronga Zoo, take the ferry. They run consistently throughout the day, and you’re treated to some fantastic views on your journey. For information on ferry tickets and timetables, refer to the official website.

Sydney’s light rail is great for transportation within the downtown area. Arriving every 5-10 minutes throughout the day (and offering delayed hours at night), this is a perfect option for those traveling within the city but preferring to save their steps. To board you’ll either need to purchase an Opal Card or use a credit/debit card capable of “tap-to-pay”.

Sydney also has a wide-ranging bus system capable of taking you to sites a bit further away from the downtown area, such as Bondi Beach. Just hop on, tap your Opal Card or credit/debit card (same as with the light rail system), and enjoy the ride. You can find timetables on their website, as well as at all bus stops throughout the city.

Finally, you can also use Uber to get around Sydney. We don’t recommend driving, as traffic can be a nightmare and finding parking is challenging.

Sydney is also a very walkable city. All of the downtown sites can be easily accessed just by walking no more than 20 to 30 minutes. Even at night, we all felt safe walking the city streets.

Where to Eat/Drink in Sydney

With so many options for fine dining, rooftop cafes, hidden bars, and waterfront restaurants that boast incredible views of Sydney’s harbors and beaches, your choices may seem overwhelming. Luckily, we’ve prepared an article featuring the 20 best bars and restaurants in Sydney to help complement your trip.


Where to Stay in Sydney

The CBD (Central Business District) is the best place to stay for this itinerary, followed by Bondi, if you don’t mind a small commute back and forth to the city center.

We have a list of recommended hotels in Sydney in our Sydney Hotel Guide.

Tours of Sydney

Joining a tour can help save you time waiting in line, get tickets to a site that may have sold out in advance, or allow you to experience Sydney in a unique way. Here are some of the best tours in Sydney. With a few tweaks, these can be added to your itinerary.

Taking a guided tour of the Opera House is one of the most popular tours in Sydney.

Visit the Sydney Tower Eye for a bird’s eye view of Sydney (this can be added on before or after you visit the QVB).

Take a morning or afternoon sightseeing cruise of Sydney Harbour.

In the evening, take a tall ship cruise of the harbour which includes dinner.

Go whale watching (this is best May to November).

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More Information for Your Trip to Sydney

THINGS TO DO: For a full list of things to do in Sydney, check out our Sydney Bucket List.

ITINERARIES: If you have less than 3 days in Sydney, don’t miss our One Day in Sydney and Two Days in Sydney itineraries.

RESTAURANTS & BARS: In this guide, we list 20 of our favorite restaurants and bars in Sydney.

BRIDGE CLIMB: In our guide to the Sydney Bridge Climb, we list your tour options and whether or not it is worth the big price tag.

BEST VIEWS: Here are 20 amazing views of Sydney.

BEST BEACHES: Here are 10 stunning beaches to visit in Sydney.

SCENIC WALKS: The Coogee to Bondi Walk is Sydney’s most famous coastal walk but walking from Spit to Manly is also very scenic.

BLUE MOUNTAINS: Get started with our article Best Things to Do in the Blue Mountains. We also have a guide on how to visit Scenic World, how to hike the Wentworth Falls Track Loop, and a detailed trail guide for the Grand Canyon Track.

If you have any questions about this 3 days in Sydney itinerary, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Australia

MELBOURNE: Melbourne is one of our favorite cities in Australia. Learn about the Best Things to Do in Melbourne and get a recap of our experiences here.

QUEENSLAND: Get started with our article Best Things to Do in Cairns and our Cairns Itinerary. Visit the Great Barrier Reef, either on a multi-day liveaboard tour or on a cruise out to Lady Musgrave Island. Spend the day in Daintree Rainforest and two of Australia’s best zoos.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: One of the best things to do in South Australia is to visit the wine regions near Adelaide. Plan your visit with our Guide to McLaren Vale, our Guide to Barossa Valley, and our Guide to Clare Valley.

ULURU: In our Guide to Uluru and Kata-Tjuta, learn how to get here, what to do, and how to plan your time. We also have information on a great hike in Kings Canyon and a recap of our experience in the Red Centre of Australia.

Read all of our articles about Australia in our Australia Travel Guide.


3 Day Sydney Australia Itinerary


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