Things to do with 48 hours in Sydney

How do you fit one of the world’s most intriguing cities into two days? Here’s the perfect itinerary outlining major sites with a splash of local insider knowledge if you only have 48 hours to travel in Sydney. 

Day 1

Start your day by grabbing a coffee and fresh pastries at Sydney’s iconic Opera Kitchen, nestled in the skirts of the Opera House, then head inside to take a tour – they run daily between 9am and 5pm. A path behind the Opera House leads to the Royal Botanic Gardens. This short walk will give you a view of the harbour across towards Luna Park and Fort Denison.

Opera Kitchen Opera Kitchen

A 15-minute walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens will take you to the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Here you can take in the extensive Australian, Asian and Indigenous collections and, for the permanent galleries, entry is free. Visitors feeling peckish at this point can head to the cafe CHISWICK at the Gallery, which is a great spot to have lunch while admiring the views over Woolloomooloo.

Archibald Fountain & St Marys Cathedral at Hyde Park Archibald Fountain & St Marys Cathedral at Hyde Park

When you’ve had your Brett Whiteley and Picasso fix, just up the road you’ll find one of Sydney’s most beautiful cathedrals, St Mary’s. After exploring here, stroll through Hyde Park past the sparkling Archibald Fountain to Pitt Street Mall and Westfield Sydney, the CBD’s major shopping hub where you can enjoy your fill of upmarket and casual shopping all in one place. After that, jump in the lift and go to the top of Sydney Tower where you get a real feel for the layout of the city at Skywalk’s open air experience, over 1000 feet above the Sydney CBD.

Travel secret: Buy your tickets to the Sydney Tower online – it’s significantly cheaper than purchasing them on the spot.

No trip would be complete without a visit to the Sydney Opera House at sunset, so if time allows, head back to Circular Quay, grab a gelato from Gelatissimo (try the affogato flavour for a late afternoon pick-me-up), and enjoy spectacular views of the harbour as the sun goes down.

Pubs in The Rocks Pubs in The Rocks

Grab dinner where the locals do at any of the historic pubs lining George Street in The Rocks. A personal favourite is the Fortune of War renowned for its great food and fantastic history. If you’re not worn out yet, head over to The Basement in Macquarie Place where you can relax to some jazz tunes and great live music.

Need to rest your tired feet after a big day of exploring? Stay overnight at a TFE Hotel, conveniently located in great spots across the city. Book online at TFEhotels.com.

Day 2

It’s time to take in Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach, but first some breakfast at the iconic Bills restaurant on Hall Street. There’s something on the brunch menu to appeal to everyone, but a must-try is the sweet corn fritters – they’re a local favourite.

Bondi Coastal Walk Bondi Coastal Walk

If you’re feeling outdoorsy, tackle the 4km Bondi to Bronte walk, a favourite with fitness-seeking Sydneysiders. Grab lunch at the Bogey-Hole Café, a quaint family-fun bistro located on Bronte Road. The Miso Beef Eye Fillet with Wasabi Potato Mash comes highly recommended.

For the afternoon of your last day, there is no better place than Taronga Zoo, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in the world. The ferry ride over from Circular Quay is a treat in itself and we challenge you to find elephants the world over with a better view than this.

Ferry ride to Taronga Zoo Ferry ride to Taronga Zoo

When you’ve finished Day 2 of sightseeing, complete your trip with dinner in Cockle Bay or Darling Harbour where you’ll find seafood dinners to delight every palate.

By Rebecca Lawson

Rebecca Lawson is a passionate traveller, writer and photographer whose love affair with travel began at 19 when she started living the
‘backpackers dream’. Still calling Sydney home, Rebecca likes reading, trying out exotic food and is always on the hunt for her next adventure.

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