48 Hours in Sydney

Backpackers, holiday makers and adventure seekers have been heading down under for years. With some of the most iconic sights in the world on offer, no trip to Australia would be complete without seeing Sydney. Even if you’re just passing through at the beginning of your East coast road trip, you have to spend at least 48 hours in Sydney!

48 hours in Sydney - Title

Check out this awesome itinerary for your three days in the Harbour City.


You’ve arrived in Sydney, it’s time to go and explore the city! The best way to do this is on one of the ‘I’m Free’ City Sightseeing walking tours. They start at 10:30 am and 2:30 pm and leave from Town Hall Square. Just look for the guides in bright green t-shirts. The tours last between two and a half to three hours and are a gold mine of history, culture and a bit of comedy (depending on the guide).

48 hours in Sydney - walking tour

The tour finishes in an area of Sydney called the Rocks. This is one of my favourite parts of the city as it contains so much history. If there’s time, pop into the little Rocks museum which is really interesting. I’m Free do also run walking tours of the Rocks starting at 6 pm, so if you’re up for more walking, go on this too. Alternatively, just sit back and enjoy the evening at one of the Rocks many bars or restaurants.

Day 2 – am

48 hours in Sydney - BridgeGet up nice and early for a morning stroll across one of the world’s most recognised icons, the Sydney Harbour Bridge. If you’ve got the stomach (and the wallet) for it you can climb the bridge for fantastic views of the city, but as you’ve only got 48 hours in Sydney this time, just walk across it.

When you reach the other side, head underneath the bridge to Luna Park. Luna Park is a small amusement park dating back to 1935 which is now listed on the State Heritage Register. It’s super interesting reading the various sign boards and learning about the park’s history. It’s free to enter and look but it costs to go on the rides. Why not grab a doughnut or an ice cream?48 hours in Sydney - Luna Park entrance

Either walk back across the bridge, or if you’re feeling lazy or tired, jump on the train back to Circular Quay. It’s time to visit Sydney’s most famous landmark, the Opera House. You can book on to a walking tour, however we have heard mixed reviews. For us just walking around the outside and getting up close is enough. It looks so different from a few centimeters away!

Next stop is the Royal Botannic Gardens; visited by over 3.5m people per year this is a great place for some chilled out relaxation. Jump on the choo-choo express train for a scenic tour with live commentary. Watch out for some exotically coloured birds or even flying foxes!

day 2 – pm

48 hours in Sydney - Coogee BeachOnce you’ve found some food to re-energise yourself, jump on a train/bus down to Coogee. Coogee beach is lovely and a great place for a swim, surf or snorkel. It’s also the starting point for a brilliant coastal walk all the way up to Bondi Beach. Spread over six km, it offers stunning views and takes in four additional beaches. There are playgrounds for kids, sculptures for the art lover and plenty of water sports on offer at each of the beaches along the way. Spend your afternoon enjoying the best the Sydney coastline has to offer.48 hours in Sydney - Darling Harbour

Put your glad rags on and head to Darling Harbour for the evening. This area is choc-a-bloc with fine dining and bars, perfect for a Saturday evening. Enjoy a wonderful meal and knock back some cocktails whilst looking out over the water.


If your final day is a Sunday then count yourself lucky. All day travel on the buses, trains and ferries is just AUD$2.50! So make the most of it and jump on the ferry to Manly from Circular Quay. You get awesome views of the harbour without the price tag of a private tour. When you arrive in Manly one option is to plonk yourself down on Manly beach and soak up some sun. However, that would mean missing out on everything else on offer. As water babies our recommendation is to put on a mask and fins and so some snorkelling  in Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve at Shelly Beach.

48 hours in Sydney - Opera House

When you return on the ferry you’ll be greeted by spectacular views of Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.

so much more…

There is so much more to do that we couldn’t fit in and I would recommend staying for longer than 48 hours in Sydney. There’s Centennial Park for picnics, museums and shopping malls galore and the Westfield Tower. If you’re one for aerial views and don’t mind paying for it, take a trip up the tower for views across the city.

Have you been to Sydney? How long did you stay for and what did you get up to? Are there any ‘must-do’s’ we have missed? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.

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11 thoughts on “48 Hours in Sydney

    • D of Love C and D says:

      Yes Fillia you should definitely visit when you’re back. There is so much to do and see. I’d love to come and visit your country too, I was gutted to missed out on seeing Indonesia.

  1. Riely says:

    I have yet to travel to Australia, but Sydney would definitely be on my list of places to see. I don’t think I would be brave enough to climb the Sydney bridge, but a walk across would do. It sound like there is plenty to see and do and a lovely bonus for travel on Sundays! I will have to keep your tip in mind and head over to Manly and enjoy that beach!

  2. Ami Bhat says:

    Now that is a really effective guide to spending 2 days in Sydney. You have covered all the main points of interest so. Well. I like the sound do those free walking tours… I wonder though, how do they make Money?

    • D of Love C and D says:

      Hi Ami. Thanks for stopping by. The tours are run by volunteers and it is on a tips basis. However there is no requirement to tip and no pressure from the guides either.

  3. Sandy N Vyjay says:

    Sydney is a charming place and though I would love to spend a week here, I am fine if I can get 48 hours and be able to experience everything that you have listed out so meticulously. For me the defining moment would definitely be an early morning stroll across the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

  4. quirkywanderer says:

    A friend recently visited Sydney on an official tour and she was raving about the planned city with its fascinating cityscapes. Superb guide! The walking tours look awesome! <3

  5. Nisha says:

    Your post reminded me of my own stay in Sydney. We just loved the Circular Quay area and the Darling Harbour . It was also fun taking the ferry from one point to another and of course to Taronga Zoo as well.

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