If you’re heading to Sydney and want to know how to make the most of your time there, then look no further!
I’ll be giving you the PERFECT 3 day itinerary for beautiful and bustling Sydney – it’s ready to go when you are and includes some cracking sights, fun and frolics such as:
- The secret spots for getting brilliant photos of the Opera House;
- One of the most stunning cliff walks you’ll ever go on;
- Getting up close and personal with charming wild parrots;
- Not to mention where to get all of the best vegan food along the way!
The HB and I recently went on a travelling stint which started on the Tongan island of Vav’u and finished with a tour of South America. One of our stop-offs was Sydney and with only 3 days to spare in a city we’d always wanted to visit, we didn’t want to waste a moment.
As far as cities go Sydney is well up there as one of my favourites. It is vibrant with a positivity and uniqueness about it. The public transport is also great, which is a bonus!
Where to stay ?
The Central Business District (CBD) is the perfect central location. We stayed in the Amora Hotel Jamison which is ideally located, is comfortable and had everything we needed.
DAY 1 – The Rocks and cocktails on the quay
Once you’ve made it through passport control at Sydney airport, head for the trains which are clearly signposted. You want a train that goes directly to the town centre – in particular you want Wynyard as your stop but Central Quay is also very close to the CBD.
Assuming your flight arrives in the morning, drop your bags off, freshen up and make your way out for a spot of lunch… or you can do what we did and order vegan Dominos Pizza to the hotel room whilst we unpacked #priorities
Spend the afternoon exploring The Rocks area and the waterfront by Central Quay, which is where the main ferry port is located. There are lots of lovely cafes and bars to stop for a drink and take in the views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.
If you fancy a walk follow the signs for the Sydney Harbour Bridge and walk across it for incredible views. I’d also recommend walking along the quay and following it around to Hickson Road Reserve where there are brilliant photo opportunities for the Opera House.
Today’s Vegan Foodie Tip: I think it’d be remiss of me not to insist you experience vegan Dominos Pizza whilst on your trip. By all means take it down to the Quay and eat it there but, whatever you do, don’t miss out if you’re like me and don’t have vegan Domino’s in your country!
I recommend the spicy veg trio and the melt-in-the-mouth garlic bread complete with oozy garlic butter. Mmmm.
If you’re in the mood for breakfast, burritos or coco-whip, head to The Met Centre (next to the Amora Hotel Jamison) where there are plenty of vegan-friendly options.
DAY 2 – The Opera House and Botanical Gardens
After a decent breakfast, head down to the Opera House to explore and take photos.
From the steps of the Opera House you will see the entrance to The Royal Botanic Garden, which you simply must not miss! Walk from the entrance around to Mrs Macquaries’s Chair, not for the chair itself (it’s not that interesting!) but for the stunning views.
Head through the botanical gardens on Mrs Macquarie’s Road towards St Mary’s Cathedral. The Calyx is worth a look and there are so many lovely sights along the way – wild flower gardens, parakeets drinking flower nectar, native trees and grass areas for a picnic if you fancy it. When you get to St Mary’s Cathedral be sure to look around, it’s truly stunning.
Hyde Park, where St Mary’s Cathedral is located, is also beautiful. Walk through the park back towards town and spend the late afternoon exploring Pitt Street and King Street to browse the shops.
From King Street you can walk to Darling Harbour which is worth a look and makes a wonderful spot for a sunset cocktail.
Today’s Vegan Foodie Tip: Half way between Hyde Park and Darling Harbour is a small vegan fast food outlet called Lord of the Fries (located on 537 George Street). Boy do they do good burgers and milkshakes! Woo hoo hoooo!
I recommend the ‘Mini Spicy’ which is a mock-beef patty (their own recipe), with vegan cheese, tobasco tomato sauce, jalapeños and chilli ‘mayo’. It was juicy, meaty and absolutely delicious; pure burger perfection. Get an Oreo Cookies and Cream Milkshake to wash it down with.
DAY 3 – Bondi Beach Cliff Walk
What a brilliant day you are about to have!
From St James station or Circular Quay take the 330 or 380 bus to Bondi Beach (not Bondi Junction).
At the south end of Bondi Beach there is a coastal walk that takes you past several beautiful coves and beaches such as Bronte and Clovelly where you can stop for a drink, spend time on the beach or go for a swim.
The walk is relatively easy, with a few steps but mainly even surfaces for a nice leisurely walk. After 1.5-2 hours of strolling you will reach Coogee, another stunning beach where you can relax for the afternoon, grab some lunch and soak up the scenery.
Catch the 380 from the beach front at Coogee or Carr Street back to Sydney, which will take around 30-45 minutes.
After a sunny, active day, freshen up at your hotel and head out for your evening meal. Take the train from Newtown to King Street on the Homebush line, which will take around 15-20 minutes. King Street is absolutely buzzing at night, especially on the weekends, and is full of restaurants and bars – including the best vegan restaurant of our trip!
Today’s Vegan Foodie Tip: Get to Bondi early and grab a hearty breakfast at Speedos Cafe before your walk. They’ve got some brilliant vegan options including pancakes and waffles, as well as Instagrammable-AF food styling.
For dinner you are in for a treat. King Street is home to an all-vegan Vietnamese restaurant called Golden Lotus. With an extensive vegan menu, your biggest problem is going to be choosing what to have!
I recommend the mock duck pancakes to start, sweet and our ‘fish’ for main and crispy banana fritters for dessert, complete with coconut cream and vanilla soya ice cream. Golden Lotus is hella popular, and for good reason, so I recommend booking in advance if you’re going on a weekend.
- Get an Opal card. As soon as you get to the underground get an Opal card and top it up with around $30 per person. The Opal card is by far the cheapest way to travel and can be used on both the trains and buses – just make sure that you tap on and off.
- Book in the Aussie winter. July or August is a great time to visit Sydney. The weather is cool and usually dry – perfect for exploring a city. If you go mid summer try and make your visit mid-week as the beaches get especially busy on the weekends. the CBD also closes down on the weekends so you won’t find many shops or restaurants open.