Sydney, Australia is one of those destinations that needs no introductions. There is a dizzying array of things to do in this famed megacity that can be daunting for the beginner traveller to navigate. That’s why we’ve come up with this guide for you to get the best out of your first trip to Sydney.
When’s the best time or season to go to Sydney?
Sydney is known for its beautiful beaches, astounding nature and vast wildlife amongst many other things. One of the best seasons to visit Sydney is during winter, where it’s mild and sunny with temperatures between 9 to 17°C, and water temperatures around 19°C. Go ahead and toss those swimsuits into your bags! On top of that, you’ll also get to experience a myriad of winter-exclusive festivals, markets, and activities bound to make your Sydney itinerary an unforgettable one!
What should I bring in my packing list for Sydney?
Pack some of your favourite shirts, pullovers, jeans, and dresses as there are lots of Instagram-worthy places for you to snap your #OOTD. Of course, you’ll have to layer your outfits with warm outerwear like a denim or bomber jacket. Even though it doesn’t get bitingly cold, it still gets a tad more chilly in the evening when the sun goes down. A pair of comfortable shoes are also a must as you’ll probably do quite a bit of walking, be it hiking through a national park or weaving through markets. Remember to pack a power plug adapter as Sydney uses a Type I power socket. Other than that, have your plane tickets, passport, and visa on hand and you’re good to go!
How to Get There: Flights to Sydney
Sydney is a holiday hotspot all year round, so there’s always bountiful flight deals up for grabs! Airlines like Scoot are popular for Sydney flights, and they often have promotions that goes as low as SGD $209 one-way. Keep your eyes peeled on the latest budget airlines, Singapore Airlines, and Emirates promotion pages (or just follow @SGTravelHacks on Telegram).
Where to Stay: Hotels in Sydney
Sydney has a vast variety of accommodation – from affordable stays to lavish hotels, there’s always a good deal to be bagged. Crowned the 2019 Traveller’s Choice on TripAdvisor, Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel is a 5-star hotel that boasts luxurious rooms and facilities bound to make you feel like royalty. Rooms start from SGD $228 a night.
Meriton Suites, on the other hand, is a modern 5-star hotel at an economical price. Priced as low as SGD $71, Meriton Suites is extremely well-received, clean, and equipped with amenities like swimming pools, saunas and gyms. It’s also located in several central locations, making it very accessible no matter where your itinerary takes you.
If you’re looking for more discounts on hotels, head over to Cheapest Hotels Promotion Sale for an extensive list of promo codes and sales.
How Much to Bring: Money Matters in Sydney
You could bring a couple of hundred dollars in cash for emergencies but other than that, most places accept card payments (bring along your YouTrip card to enjoy Wholesale Exchange Rates). Tipping is not a common practice in Sydney, so you won’t have to worry about that. Also, money changers in Australia are known to give poor currency exchange rates especially at the airport, so do keep a lookout!
Things to Do & Attractions in Sydney
1. Bondi Winter Magic
Every winter, Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach transforms into a winter wonderland with the Bondi Winter Magic festival.
From ice skating by the majestic ocean to riding on Bondi’s iconic 32-metre ferris wheel (don’t forget the exhilarating cabaret shows), there’s definitely something for everyone at the Bondi Winter Magic festival!
Where: Bondi Beach, NSW 2026, Australia
When: 28 June to 28 July 2019
2. The Rocks Christmas in July Market
Picture white Christmas in Europe. Sounds like a dream? Well, at The Rocks, you’ll be able to experience just that without breaking the bank!
The Rocks Christmas in July market, running concurrently with the Bastille Festival, provides a magical experience of authentic French-style food, art and wine under the stars and fairy lights. The Rocks Christmas in July market happens annually, so if you miss it this time, be sure to add it to your Sydney itinerary for your next trip!
Where: 100 George St, The Rocks NSW 2000, Australia
When: 11 to 14 July 2019, 10am – 11pm (Closes 9pm on 14 July)
3. Whale-watching Tours
Whales migrate along Sydney from May to November, but lucky for you, the best time to catch them is during the winter solstice!
Be captivated by the wonders of wildlife in Sydney as you ride the waves together with these gentle giants on whale-watching tours along the New South Wales coastline. Oz Whale Watching is among the most popular tour companies providing cruises with brunch. Oh, and did you know? They also offer free cancellation with full refunds in case of emergencies!
Where: 37 Bank St, Pyrmont NSW 2009, Australia
When: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
4. Swimming at Bondi Icebergs
Take a dip in Bondi Icebergs, one of the most famous pools in the world!
Splash away in an outdoor ocean pool as you enjoy the ocean breeze for an unforgettable experience. If you’re not a fan of the cold, you can opt to sip a warm coffee in their cafe or melt away your stress at the sauna too!
Where: 1 Notts Ave, Bondi NSW 2026, Australia
When: Everyday, 6.30am to 6pm (Closed on Thursdays)
5. Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb is an all-time favourite attraction for tourists, but doing it in winter will definitely give you an unparalleled climbing experience!
Take in the harbour city’s spectacular views on the summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and rejuvenate yourself with the crisp winter air. Many say the sunsets here are even more ethereal during winter. Now this is a must-have activity in your Sydney itinerary!
Where: 3 Cumberland St, The Rocks NSW 2000, Australia
When: Everyday, 9am to 8pm
6. Luna Park
Get transported back in time at Sydney’s Luna Park!
Bearing all the charms of the original park from 1903, Luna Park brings you a plethora of carnival rides and games – both classic and novel. During the winter months, you’ll also get to enjoy Winterfest, which includes a seasonal ice skating rink and tasty treats!
Where: 1 Olympic Dr, Milsons Point NSW 2061, Australia
When: Monday, 11am to 4pm; Friday, 11am to 10pm; Saturday, 10am to 10pm; Sunday, 10am to 6pm
7. Sydney Fish Market
Enjoy fresh seafood by the ocean at the Sydney Fish Market! It does get pretty crowded here, and rightfully so, but you might not be able to get a table inside the market.
However, thanks to the pleasant winter weather in Sydney, many travellers and locals opt to have their seafood out in the pier while enjoying the winter breeze. Be careful of the seagulls though!
Where: Corner Pyrmont Bridge Rd &, Bank St, Pyrmont NSW 2009, Australia
When: Everyday, 7am to 4pm
8. Celsius Coffee Co.
Australians love their coffee, and Melbourne isn’t the only place that has good coffee! Nestled in the quaint neighbourhood of Kirribilli, Celsius Coffee Co. sits on a ferry wharf by the water and serves extraordinary floral pancakes, coffee and many more. Trust me, this is one for the ‘gram.
Where: Commuter Wharf, Holbrook Ave, Kirribilli NSW 2061, Australia
When: Monday to Friday, 7.30am to 2.30pm; Saturday and Sunday, 8am to 3pm
9. Mecca Coffee
Piping hot coffee is absolutely an essential – more so in the winter. Head to Mecca Coffee for a good cuppa in an industrial style cafe, loved by both tourists and locals alike.
If you’re not staying for the chic interiors, you can grab their coffee on the go and continue about on your Sydney itinerary!
Where: 26 Bourke Rd, Alexandria NSW 2015, Australia (Mecca Coffee Alexandria) / 67 King St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia (Mecca Coffee CBD)
When: Monday to Friday, 7am to 3pm; Saturday and Sunday, 8am to 3pm (Mecca Coffee Alexandria) / Monday to Friday, 6am to 4.30pm (Mecca Coffee CBD)
Turn up at Marquee, Sydney’s most prestigious night club if you’re looking for a good time!
Let your hair down to the music served by both Australian, and international acts like Tiesto, Drake, Steve Aoki, and many more! But remember to dress up, they’re pretty strict with the dress code.
Where: Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont NSW 2009, Australia
When: Friday and Saturday, 10.30pm to 4.30am; Sunday, 7pm to 1am
11. The Scary Canary
If you’re looking for a cosier place to chill and mingle, The Scary Canary is a popular spot for travellers. With ever-changing themed nights from silent discos to foam parties and ‘Make-Out Mondays’, this bar is certainly far from dull.
However, as much as there are tourists who swear by this bar hang-out, it has also received some negative reviews like inconsistent dress code rules and unpleasant staff. Yikes!
But still, it’s probably still worth checking out if you’re in the area! It’s located at Town Hall, a very accessible area so if you don’t like the vibes here, you can always hop to another bar nearby.
Where: 469 Kent St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
When: 12PM – 3AM, Monday to Saturday, 12PM – 4AM, Sunday
If you can’t make it to Sydney, we’ve got tons of stuff for you to do in Singapore. Head over to BeScene.sg!
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