How To See Sydney in One Day

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Sydney is Australia’s biggest and busiest city and though there’s so much to do and see in this spectacular part of the world, this list aims at cutting it down to the essentials!

So whether you’re pressed for time or you’re making a quick pit stop, here's you ultimate guide to enjoying the attractions of the Sydney city centre.

But don’t feel bad if something amazing grabs your attention and sucks up your time, as that’s all part of the fun!

If trying to see all of Sydney in one day we recommend relying on public transport as opposed to driving, as the traffic can get intense and parking can be impossible – as well as costly – to find.


Difficulty: Average​
Time Required: 14 hours​
Here's How:

1. Start at the Sydney Opera House.

The Sydney Opera House is the perfect place to begin your journey through Sydney. With its stellar views of the harbor and dozens of delightful café’s in and around this landmark – it is the perfect way to start your day.


2. Walk through East Circular Quay to the train/ferry terminal at Circular Quay.

Travelling via ferry alongside the city is the perfect way to see the city on sunny day. As the waves carry you along, it’s an ideal opportunity to take the camera out and to snap some selfies.


3. Proceed north to The Rocks district, passing by the Museum of Contemporary Art if desired.

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) is the hub of modern Australian artists’ at their finest. By showcasing their abilities via countless platforms, the MCA is the place for art lovers.


4. Visit the Sydney Visitor Centre for maps and guidance and enjoy your time at The Rocks.

By visiting this information centre, you’re able to find out all about the different places to see and explore in this rich historical area, so you can get the most out of your journey while customising your trip.


5. Backtrack to Circular Quay and proceed east to the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Walking through the botanical gardens is an experience not to be missed. Here, you can explore the natural beauty that the garden has to offer and just bask in nature.


6. Continue through The Domain to the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is fine art and class incarnate. With wide spaces, glorious art works from all schools of art and killer gift shop the Art gallery of New South Wales is a great feature.


7. Lunch stop at the Gallery or proceed west to St Mary's Cathedral, Hyde Park, and Sydney War Memorial.

Drop by this area and grab a quick bite in order to re-energise yourself. When in Hyde Park you’re bound to find something nearby that will make your stomach smile; there are restaurants nearby in the CBD, or you can pop into David Jones’ food market and create your own picnic to enjoy in the sun at Hyde Park.


8. Browse through central Sydney shops on Elizabeth, Castlereagh, Pitt or George Streets.

The shops around central Sydney are every bit as fantastic as you would expect in this cosmopolitan city! The grandeur of the area itself creates a glorious atmosphere to shop in.


9. At Sydney Tower, 100 Market St, go up to the observation deck for panoramic views of the city.

The observation deck of the city gives you a bird’s eye view of Sydney city proper.

So there you have it, this is the essential guide for anybody who is strapped for time. This is Sydney in a nutshell – and what a nutshell it was! If you have more time on your hands, you may want to plan your trip around the peak season.


Edited and updated by Sarah Megginson.

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