As the parent of a student studying abroad, I take great pleasure in vicariously living through my daughters' travel experiences. But, truly nothing beats an in-person visit. Here's an itinerary which allows you to get a taste of Sydney's history, art, outdoor and food scene in a few short days before exploring other parts of the land down under!
The Sydney Opera house is one of the most architecturally iconic buildings in the world. Take the 1 hour behind the scenes tour to learn the history and story of Sydney's most famous building
After the tour consider a stroll in the botanical gardens, Sydney's 200 year old garden of splendor with 75 acres of lush greenery. If you are a bit tired or jet lagged, take choo choo express for a guided orientation of this spectacle.
Circular quay is a 5 minute walk from the botanical gardens, so hop on the ferry to Manly for lunch. Eat at The Pantry on the ocean. Consider a surfing lesson or just enjoy a leisurely stroll. Take the express ferry-it's the same price and takes 1/2 the time.
Sydney has many lovely and charming neighborhoods a short cab ride from the CBD. Consider exploring Surrey hills, Wooloomooloo, Paddington or Potts Point.
The restaurant scene in Sydney and the surrounding neighborhoods can't be beat. Dinner at Rockpol Bar and Grill is incredible. While known for their steak, which is delicious, I highly recommend the chicken soup!
No visit to Sydney is complete without the Sydney Bridge climb. This 3 hour tour is worth every minute and you certainly won't find better views!
You'll have worked work up an appetite after the tour, so head on over to The Rocks for lunch at Fish at the Rocks. Their signature dish of barramundi does not disappoint.
Explore The Rocks after lunch. This is Sydney's oldest neighborhood filled with historic landmarks, shops and pubs.
Consider The Paddington for dinner. This spot is perfect for large parties. Don't miss the crushed edamame.
Another highlight is the Coogee to Bondi walk. This magnificent coastal walk takes approximately 1 1/2 hours depending upon how often you stop for pictures! You simply cannot miss this experience which not only has incredible vistas, but is a great work out as well! Brunch is a common dining experience in Sydney, so head on over to Trio in Bondi Beach to indulge after your walk.
Consider visiting the grounds of Alexandria after brunch dining there instead at The Bakery. This is a charming market with many restaurants and vendors. It's best to go on the weekend but is worth a trip during the week too.
Head back to the CBD for a quick tour of the Hyde Park Barracks. Here you will learn about Australia's early history and the role convicts played in developing Sydney.
Take in one of Sydney's many museums.
Enjoy dinner at The Apollo in Potts point. This chic Greek venue in one of Sydney's trendy neighborhoods is outstanding.