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Must See Sights in Sydney
Experience Oz Presents

Sydney Itineraries

by Experience Oz staff

There is so much to see and do on a visit to Australia's largest city, Sydney, that coming up with a suitable itinerary can be a difficult task.

As a holiday destination brimming with attractions, activities, famous landmarks and various other things to do, the options are wide and varied, and for the visitor who is short on time and wanting to get the best value for their money, choosing an itinerary can be daunting.

In an attempt to make things easier for planning your Sydney holiday, we’ve put together a recommended itinerary for stays of lengths of 2, 3, 4 and 5 days in Sydney. Our aim with these recommendations is to provide the first-time visitor with a combination of seeing and experiencing the essential things to do in Sydney.

If you’re short on time and looking to visit Sydney in one day, check out our detailed guide


Day 1

Sydney Hop On Hop Off Ferry & Taronga Zoo

Offering an independent and easy way to get around Sydney and view its best attractions, Captain Cook Cruises' hop on hop off 24-hour ferry pass will take you on a journey for the whole day. Visiting 8 of the cities best locations including Darling Harbour, Circular Quay, Manly and Taronga Zoo, you'll have the chance to visit the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House, which are two of the must-see sights in the city.

Suggested Post: Sydney's Must-See Sights

With a timetable offering services throughout the day, you can get off the vessel and explore the area for as little or as long as you like before jumping back on board to venture to another Sydney hot spot.

Captain Cook Cruises Hop on Hop off ferry with Taronga zoo entry

You can combine your 24-hour ferry pass with a visit to the famous Taronga Zoo. Overlooking Sydney Harbour, this is one of the most popular zoos in the country, and for good reason. Home to a selection of different animals including elephants, giraffes, zebras, monkeys and goats, you can easily spend the majority of the day wandering around the show, watching the various handler presentations and feeding sessions and simply admiring the view.

This pass is a great option for visitors to Sydney looking to see all of the city's best sights and attractions in just one day, as well as visitors looking to get a taste of the city before exploring it in more depth later in the week.

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Day 2

Sydney Harbour Sightseeing, Lunch or Dinner Cruise

Board a Sydney Harbour sightseeing cruise and soak in some impressive views of the city’s icons and landmarks including the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, all of which combine to make Sydney Harbour one of the most famous and beautiful in the world.

There are a host of different cruise itineraries available – each of differing prices, vessel type and cruise options – with some including on-board buffet lunches, others featuring authentic timber tall ships, and much more.

Suggested Post: Sydney Tall Ships Lunch Cruise Review

Sydney Harbour Sightseeing or Lunch Cruise

Sydney Harbour looks wonderful from the land, but it’s even more impressive when viewed from the water.

If your visit coincides with the world famous Vivid Sydney, a festival of lights, be sure to book your cruises in advance as they fill up quickly, especially the evening cruises.

Browse Cruises

Day 3

Blue Mountains Day Tour

Adding on to the 2-day itinerary, on the third day we suggest a tour to the picturesque Blue Mountains which have long been one of New South Wales’ biggest sightseeing drawcards.

A tour to the Blue Mountains will let you experience the epic and rugged scenery and stone formations of the region firsthand. With such highlights and spectacles to be seen including the Three Sisters and an array of Aussie bushland and wildlife, a visit to the Blue Mountains makes for a truly memorable experience

Blue Mountains Day Tour

The Blue Mountains takes a couple hours’ drive to visit from Sydney, with the most popular base for viewing being the township of Katoomba. While this is reachable from Sydney’s Central Station via train, day tours are both a convenient and viable option for making getting there easier and providing further insight into the region.

Suggested Post: AAT Kings Blue Mountains & Jenolan Caves Day Tour Review

Browse Tours

Day 4

Queen Victoria Building and Beaches

Sydney is a city renowned for its shopping, and there are few more famous icons of this than the historic Queen Victoria Building in the heart of the city.

Featuring a huge array of high-end shops and eateries, the QVB features some beautiful Victorian style design and intricate wood and metal carvings and decorations throughout which make it a true standout from the typical bland retail experience.

Sydney Queen Victoria Building and Beaches

In the afternoon, get a dose of sand and sunshine at the beach. There are a number of tours that will take you around the city visiting the best beaches for the day, taking the hassle out of navigating your way around on your own.

Sydney’s various beaches have become famous for their many TV shows that use them as a backdrop, and with such locations as Bondi, Manly, and the various other Northern Beaches, they form an essential part of any Sydney sightseeing experience and provide a chance to soak up the sun and explore the Sydney coastline.

Browse Tours

Day 5

Sydney Tower & Family Attractions

On the final day, travel up to the top viewing platform of Sydney Tower Eye for the best views of the city – from its perch high above the skyline, you’ll be able to see aerial views of many of the places you’ve already visited from an entirely different vantage point!

Suggested Post: Sydney SEA LIFE Aquarium Review

Cap things off with a visit to several popular Sydney attractions all within walking distance of one another – including Madame Tussauds Sydney Wax Museum, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and WILD LIFE Sydney – for a coupling of experiences that are ideal for families.

Sydney Tower & Family Attractions

See all your favourite and ultra-lifelike depictions of famous people at Madame Tussaud’s, get up close with a massive array of marine life at Sydney Aquarium, and go hands-on with Aussie wildlife at WILD LIFE Sydney.

If you're planning to visit numerous of these popular Sydney attractions, then to get the best value for money we suggest purchasing a multi-attraction pass. There are a number of different passes available to purchase, including the Super Saver Pass, the Pick Your Own Pass, the Ultimate Sydney Experience Pass, and the Flexi Attraction Pass to name a few.

Suggested Post: WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo Koala Breakfast Review

Browse Passes

In addition, if you're looking for more things to do in Sydney, be sure to check out our main region page for details on all the best attractions, activities, tours and more!

Browse Sydney Experiences