24 hours in Sydney

Vitoria Spoorenberg, University of Sydney 

Although I was lucky enough to spend way more than 24 hours in Sydney, I thought this blog post could be a useful guide for those students who are studying abroad elsewhere in Australia or nearby who only have a couple of days (or hours) in the city!

I also thought it would be a fun way of compiling all my favorite spots in Sydney!

9:00am : Catch the bus to Coogee Beach and set off on the Coogee to Bondi Walk! 

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The start of the costal walk; Coogee Beach

The Coogee to Bondi Walk is a 6km stretch of breath-taking costal views. It takes just a little under an hour and a half but if you’re anything like me – and like to stop at the beaches along the way to admire all the beauty – it may take a while longer.

I personally found the bus to be the quickest way to get to Coogee beach if you’re in the city centre/Newtown area.

11:00am : Reward yourself with a brunch at Bondi. 

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Brunch at Preach Cafe 😍

Although Bondi gets a lot of slack from the Aussie locals for being too ‘touristy’, Bondi is a must in my opinion and the brunch there is, hands down, the best.

Some of my brunch favourites:

1: Preach Café – great for healthy, guilt-free yet absolutely delicious food; a popular choice among the Bondi locals and definitely one where making a reservation in advance wouldn’t hurt! If you’re stuck on what to order (their entire menu is amazing), I can confirm that the pancakes and the avocado burger are amazing.

2: Speedos café – brunch with a beautiful Bondi view

3: Bill’s (Although the same name as the restaurant in England they have some different things on the Aussie menu and it has a completely different vibe !)

12:00pm: Bask in the Bondi sun 

Watch the surfers, let life pass by and pinch yourself –  because you’ll think your life it’s not real!

12:30pm : Take a dip in the iconic Bondi icebergs.

There’s a small entry fee but it’s totally worth it – there’s a also a free sauna inside! Bring your own towel if you have one, to avoid having to pay extra to hire one!

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The Bondi Iceberg Pool !

1:00pm: Head to circular quay by train (Bondi station goes straight there) to admire the iconic Sydney Opera House.

I would also highly recommend stopping by the Contemporary Art Museum in Circular Quay. Entry is free and the exhibitions are always changing.

It’s also worth walking along the Royal Botanical Gardens until you reach the Calyx (which has some really unique flowers and is a really pretty building in general) and Ms Macquire’s seat (a popular lookout spot).

2:30pm: Grab yourself the best scoop of gelato you will ever taste in your life at Messina Gelato.

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I know that’s a big claim – but it’s one I make confidently because it’s so delicious. They have 4 new flavours every day and every single flavour they sell is out of this world; Dulce De Leche and Tiramisu are my faves! T

3:00pm: Catch the ferry to Watson’s Bay!

As the ferry starts heading to Watson’s, you get this beautiful view of the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Once you arrive in Watsons, follow the path and the marked directions to the light house. It’s only a short walk with yet again stunning views of Sydney (this is clearly a recurring theme).

On the way to the lighthouse, you pass by a small beach where it’s worth taking a dip into the sea because you literally swim facing the opera house from the sea!!

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The Watson’s Bay Lighthouse
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The view of the Opera House from the Ferry

5:00pm: Head back to Circular Quay or if it’s winter (sun sets earlier); stay in Watson’s to watch the sunset from the lighthouse!

Walk around the city centre or take the train quickly to Newtown to explore that area (it’s 3 stops by train) and such a cool area!

7:00pm: Time for the best part of the day – drinks and dinner! 

If you’re in Newtown check out The Corridor, Newtown Hotel or Deep Groove.

Newtown Hotel has $5 pizzas whilst Deep Groove has $5 house wine and a huge portion of chips on the side for $2 with an array of dipping sauces! (You’ll come to discover Sydney isn’t the cheapest, so deals like these are incredibly exciting and perfect if you’re travelling on a budget!)

You’re spoilt for dinner options in Newtown. For Thai, head to Thai Pothong. For Italian, treat yourself to fresh pasta at Italian Bowl or Favola! And for the best burger, go to Mary’s!

If you’re in the City and have some extra spending money, I would definitely recommend the bar on the top floor of the Shangri-La. It’s such a special vibe and you see Sydney from 36 floors up!

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The view from Shangri-La Bar!

For a cheaper but equally cool option, head to El Camino near the Rocks/Circular Quay on a Tuesday! They have $2 tacos and $7 margaritas! It’s gets really busy to call ahead to book a table if you’re going with a larger group! It’s so much fun and was definitely one of my favourite nights in Sydney.

Sadly, as the day comes to a close – you’ll come to find out that 24 hours is no where near enough time in Sydney!  If you can squeeze in some extra time and want some more recommendations, feel free to message me on Facebook (Vitoria Spoorenberg) or email me at spoorenbergv_bsp@me.com !

Also feel free to message me if you have any other Australia/Study Abroad related questions – no question is too small/silly and it would be my pleasure to help!

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