Few cities can be described as beautiful, but with its iconic landmarks and rugged coastline, Sydney is the exception to the rule.

That beauty has seen the popular tourist destination become one of the most in-demand places to live in the world. As a result, prices have continued to rise at record rates, making a vacation Down Under rather costly.

So, is it worth saving up your hard-earned dollars for a trip to Australia’s largest city? You bet it is. Whether you’re after relaxation or adventure, this cosmopolitan paradise has it all. And to make sure you see the best of what it has to offer, we’ve drawn up a list of seven must-do activities, below.


Relax on the Best Beaches

While Sydney has plenty of beautiful beaches on its doorstep, two of its finest are arguably located an hour’s drive outside of the city. Palm Beach, which can be seen in the Australia soap Home and Away, is a mile-long horseshoe of pristine sand. Just a five-minute drive down the road will take you to the equally impressive Whale Beach. Enclosed by vertical cliff faces and nearly always deserted, this is the perfect spot to unwind.


Climb to the Top of the Harbour Bridge

One sure-fire way of adding some excitement to your holiday is a walk across the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge. The two-to-three-hour trek will see you climb vertical ladders and walk across narrow catwalks to reach the bridge’s summit. Although the $200-300 price tag will be too steep for some, the postcard-worthy views of the city make this an activity not to be missed.


Jump on the Ferry to Manly

The northern suburb of Manly is one of Sydney’s most popular tourist destinations thanks to its mixture of beaches, shopping, and fine dining. The town is reachable by road but most take the scenic ferry from Circular Quay. If at any point you become bored with soaking up the laidback atmosphere, you can always try your hand at cliff jumping at Manly Rock.


Watch the Sunset at Dr. Mary Booth Lookout Reserve

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There’s no better to spot to take in the beauty of Sydney than the Dr. Mary Booth Lookout Reserve. This hidden gem is unknown to many tourists, but it features some of the best panoramic views of the harbor. Visit in the early evening and watch on in awe as the city lights up in a conglomeration of color.


Visit the Blue Mountains

Two-hours away from the bustling center of Sydney lies the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Blue Mountains, a beautiful array of limestone cliffs that surge high above the forest floor. The area is home to some of the best bushwalks in the state, with untouched waterfalls and underground caves greeting you at every bend. You can take a full-day tour that leaves directly from the city or choose to make your own way there via train or vehicle.


Take in the Views on the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk

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A visit to Sydney is not complete without a trip to the world-famous Bondi Beach. Take the time to unwind before grabbing a coffee at one of the numerous cafes that overlook the beachfront. In the afternoon, walk the scenic coastal route to Coogee Beach, which features an array of lookout points and snorkeling opportunities.


Dine Atop of the Sydney Tower

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Finish off your trip in style with a visit to the 360 Bar and Dining Restaurant at the top of the iconic Sydney Tower. The eatery offers a culinary experience unlike any other, with the spectacular menu matched by the revolving views of the city. Prices are largely dependent on the time of day that you book, but you can expect to pay a minimum of $70 for a three-course meal.


Honourable Mentions…

Luna Park

Classic rides and attractions make this city-center fairground good fun for all ages.


The North Sydney Olympic Pool

With the stunning backdrop of Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Olympic Pool is the ideal spot for a quick cooldown.


The Royal Botanic Gardens

If you ever need a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, the tranquil setting of Royal Botanic Gardens is the place to go.


Taronga Zoo

Just a short ferry ride away from the Opera House, Taronga Zoo is home to over 4,000 animals. Kids will adore the entertaining shows while adults will never bore of the cityscape backdrop.