Sydney is a staggering metropolis of stunning architecture, delicious food, a vibrant night life and kaleidoscopic art and culture. There’s so much more to the city than the beaches and the bushwalks and we’re here to list out the authentic side of Sydney with essential activities you must do if you’re in the Harbour City.
This bucket list includes 200 awesome things to do at least once in your life, so let’s get to it!
1. Wake up at the crack of dawn and do the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk. One of the most picturesque walking trails in the world.
2. Get lost in the magical world of The Grounds of Alexandria.
3. Soak in the warm sun and take in the panoramic city views from Observatory Hill Park.
4. Stock up on souvenirs for family and friends from the Paddington Markets.
5. While you’re there, don’t forget to explore Chinatown.
6. Take a breather and enjoy some dumplings at Chinatown Noodle Restaurant.
7. Enjoy the buzz at Darling Square.
8. While out and about at Darling Square, a bubble tea at the ever-popular Bubble Nini is an absolute must.
9. Visit the Jenny Munro wall art around the corner.
10. Tick off the ultimate bucket list item by watching a play at the Sydney Opera House.
11. Get up close and personal with the ruler of the seas by going on a whale watching cruise.
12. Explore all the innovative street art around the city.
13. Go beach hopping at the Northern Beaches.
14. Start from Collaroy Beach…
15. …to the stunning Dee Why Beach.
16. Get that perfect drone shot at Mona Vale Beach.
17. Visit the Bondi Icebergs, because how could you possibly not?
18. Take a moment to soak in the vibe of Circular Quay.
19. And the architectural wonder that is the Sydney Opera House.
20. Grab lunch at Pancakes On The Rocks.
21. Or enjoy an elegant high tea at The Tea Room at QVB.
22. Take a break from the city and go down to the Blue Mountains.
23. Grab brunch at Speedos — it’s been deemed the most beautiful café in the world.
24. Or visit any of these other equally gorgeous and Instagrammable cafes in Sydney.
25. Cosy up with a classic read at Gertrude and Alice.
26. Explore the legendary Bondi Beach around the corner.
27. Get your art fix at Redfern.
28. Wander around Carriageworks.
29. The White Rabbit Gallery is right around the corner.
30. Head for a relaxing swim at Bilgola Beach.
31. Witness an epic sunrise at Bradley’s Head.
32. Or an equally mesmerising sunset at Jeffrey Street, Milsons Point.
33. Experience life as a local and take part in the Sydney fun run, City2Surf.
34. Tantalise your taste buds at this unique Dining in the Dark event.
35. Visit Luna Park and take advantage of an unlimited rides pass. A great time for all ages.
36. Find THAT spot near Luna Park for an amazing Instagram picture.
37. Take one of these fantastic day trips from Sydney using public transport.
38. Become one with our expansive universe at the Sydney Observatory.
39. Visit Kiama and experience the famous blow hole up close.
40. Watch a movie at the vintage and atmospheric Hayden Orpheum.
41. Its also host to these captivating Candlelight Concerts.
42. Go to the very top of Sydney Harbour for city views as far as the eye can see.
43. Take a breather on Saturday and wander around the hip and trendy Glebe Markets.
44. Visit the Macquarie Ice Rink for a fun time.
45. Explore the many hidden gardens scattered around the city.
46. Plan a ramen spree at some of the best ramen spots around the city.
47. Visit the Breehold Gardens to experience every possible hue and colour there is.
48. Experience Japan right at home at the Auburn Botanical Gardens.
49. See a live gig at the always buzzing Enmore Theatre.
50. Or one of the many live gigs happening around the city. There are over 500 to choose from.
51. Try and find the Manly Wormhole for your perfect Insta shot.
52. Explore every book lover’s dream: Green Square Library.
53. Or take in the vibes at the NSW State Library.
54. Hop on a ferry from Circular Quay to Manly and enjoy some spectacular harbour views.
55. While you’re at Manly, don’t forget to walk around The Corso.
56. Visit Vivid Sydney, the annual light festival for some exceptional light shows and installations.
57. Order lunch by the lake at The Boathouse at Palm Beach.
58. Do the hike up to Barrenjoey Lighthouse for some extraordinary views.
59. Eat your way through some epic Malaysian food at Mamak.
60. Wash it down with a margarita at El Camino Cantina.
61. Get your daily dose of Vitamin D while also sight-seeing at the Royal Botanic Gardens.
62. Sample the best seafood the city has to offer at the Sydney Fish Market.
63. Head over to Koi Dessert Bar for some of the most photogenic and delectable desserts you’ll ever taste.
64. Visit the Pylon Lookout for some fantastic views.
65. Take a romantic stroll around Circular Quay.
66. Discover Sydney from up in the air with Sydney Seaplanes. Its a bit hard on the pocket but the experience is totally worth it.
67. Enjoy the grungy vibe at Mary’s Newtown.
68. Explore Sydney’s classic rock n roll haunt, Frankie’s Pizza.
69. Get up close and personal with some adorable furry friends at the Taronga Zoo.
70. If you enjoy a drink and good vibes, The Baxter Inn is unmissable. Don’t just take our word for it, it’s been voted the 3rd best bar in the world.
71. Visit Black Star Pastry for Sydney’s favourite watermelon cake.
72. Go on a shopping spree at QVB.
73. And get some insane deals at Birkenhead Point.
74. Get your scare on at the Ghost Tours at The Rocks.
75. Take a nostalgic trip down memory lane by visiting Disney’s Drive In cinemas.
76. Complete the dreamy Spit Bridge to Manly coastal walk.
77. The Bondi to Bronte walk is the stuff of dreams, too.
78. Shop some of the finest brands in the world at The Strand Arcade.
79. And take in the beautiful symmetry of the place.
80. Unwind at the Wylie’s Baths.
81. Watch your favourite classic at the glamorous Ritz Cinemas.
82. Or, for a more intimate experience, head over to Dendy Cinemas in Newtown.
83. Indulge the artist in you at Cork and Canvas.
84. Take a breather and visit the Ampersand Café & Bookstore.
85. Wander the halls of the MCA and get completely captivated by amazing art all year round.
86. Enjoy the magnificent fireworks from Darling Harbour.
87. Take a picnic to Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden and soak in the scenic views all around.
88. Do a pub crawl around Newtown and Marrickville.
89. Head over to the Bronte ocean pool for a bit of downtime.
90. Enjoy sundowners and nibbles at Bather’s Pavilion at Balmoral.
91. Enjoy a show at the State Theatre.
92. Head over to Harris Park for some of the best Indian eateries around town.
93. Take a stroll around Parramatta River.
94. Eat your weight in fluffy pancakes at Gram Cafe & Pancakes in Chatswood.
95. Head over for a swim at one of the city’s famous Instagram hotspots: Maccallum Pool.
96. Head over to Milk Beach for scenic views of the Harbour from the opposite end.
97. Add the Night Noodle Markets at Hyde Park in your itinerary for some seriously amazing food and atmosphere.
98. Visit the vibrant Scotland Island, just an hour away from the city.
99. A visit to the Royal National Park is an absolute must.
100. Tackle the Bundeena Drive to Marley walk while you’re there.
101. Head over to Instagram’s favourite Figure 8 Pools.
102. If you’re after a quiet picnic with family, the gorgeous Wattamolla beach is close by.
103. Grab our favourite snack, the classic fish and chips combo, at Vinegar and Brown Paper.
104. Get lost in art and soak in the culture at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
105. Enjoy a birds eye view of Palm Beach from the super hidden Bible Garden.
106. Also explore the lesser known Lisgar Garden in Hornsby.
107. Head over to Barangaroo Reserve for some serious cityscapes and views.
108. Discover vintage and antique finds at the Kirribilli Markets.
109. Speaking of Kirribilli, a visit to McDougall Street during jacaranda season is essential.
110. Order the super photogenic and equally delicious waffles besides the water at Celsius Coffee Co.
111. Do a trek (or two) at the Kurungai Chase National Park.
112. Enjoy some delectable treats during Ramadan season at Lakemba.
113. Do the Harbour Bridge climb.
114. If heights are not your thing, walk along the bridge for an (almost) equally amazing experience.
115. Get the iconic duo—the Harbour Bridge and Opera House—in one frame at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair.
116. Try and find THAT spot at Diamond Bay. Tricky as it may be, it’s totally worth it.
117. Take a selfie with the stars at Madame Tussauds.
118. Make a pitstop at Australia’s oldest lighthouse, Macquarie Lighthouse.
119. Have a cappuccino amidst a floral explosion at Cuppa Flower.
120. Head over to Dudley Reserve even if just for that perfect Insta pic.
121. Take a picture at the vibrant Between Two Worlds artwork on Kimber Lane at China Town.
123. Take a stroll through the hallways of Sydney University.
124. Find the graffiti tunnel while you’re there.
125. Take a step back in time by visiting the Paddington Reservoir Gardens.
126. Check out the much-loved Sculpture by the Sea for some amazing artworks.
127. Speaking of Sculpture by the Sea, the Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk is a must-do activity.
128. Enjoy some spectacular views and indulge in some TLC at the Shangri-La Hotel.
129. Look for the Forgotten Songs art piece at Angel Place.
130. The Carriageworks Farmers Markets that take place every Saturday have to be on your to-do list.
131. Get ready to let loose at the Manly Jazz Festival in October.
132. Take in all the fuzzy Christmas vibes (in July!) at the Christmas Markets at the Rocks.
133. Visit the Festival of the Winds to view hundreds of kites flown across Bondi.
134. The annual Bondi Festival is pretty epic, too.
135. As is the magical Winter Solstice festival.
136. Really we’re spoilt for choice with all these winter festivals around the city!
138. Take a day trip to the haunting Bare Island.
139. Grab a juicy burger at Betty’s Burgers & Concrete Co.
140. Be mesmerised by an evening of Tchaikovsky’s incomparable ballet – Swan Lake.
141. Take a picture against one of these stunning Instagram backdrops.
142. Treat yourself to some fine dining at Bennelong.
143. Splash around the rock pools at Bilgola Beach.
144. Head over to the McIver’s Ladies Baths if you’re after some me time.
145. Head to any of these breathtaking beaches in Sydney for the experience of a lifetime.
146. Do some late-night shopping at Pitt Street on Thursdays.
148. Take in the ever-expansive Centennial Parklands.
149. Look for the stunning Kutti Beach. It’s super hidden and hard to find, but totally worth it.
150. Head over to Hickson Road Reserve for a mesmerising sunrise.
151. Or any of these stunning sunrise spots.
152. You can’t miss the legendary ramen at Gumshara’s or Ryo’s Noodles.
153. Or head over to Rising Sun workshop for their uber popular breakfast ramen.
154. Plan a visit to May Lane; the street is soaked with art and colour.
155. Or any of these other spots for your street art fix.
156. Head over to Surry Hills for some great eats and unique culture.
157. Make some furry friends at Catmosphere Café.
158. Get inked at Little Tokyo.
159. Instagram the heck out of Café Sydney.
160. Take a bottle of wine and enjoy a sundowner at Milk Beach.
161. Do the complete hike up to Wentworth Falls.
162. Relish the best gelato in Australia at everyone’s favourite Messina.
163. Catch a game of cricket or footy at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
164. Head over to Gigi Pizzeria for some delectable vegan pizza.
166. Shake it off with some live jazz at Mama Saan.
167. Laugh out loud at The Running Joke.
168. Enjoy a stunning candlelight concert inspired by anime hits.
169. Speaking of which, Sydney’s Anime Festival is heaps of fun.
170. Dinner at The Potting Shed is non-negotiable.
171. As is THAT picture under the fountain.
172. Enjoy some authentic Italian gelato at Rivareno Gelato.
173. Take your favourite book and cosy up at Sappho Books, Cafe & Bar.
174. Explore the bustling suburb of Chatswood.
175. While you’re there, head over to Lid & Jar for a quick bite.
176. Catch a performance at their cultural hub, The Concourse.
177. Check out the Chatswood Markets on Thursday and Friday for scrumptious eats from around the world.
178. Roam around the legendary streets at The Rocks.
179. Head over to Sydney’s oldest Irish pub The Mercantile for a shimmy and a swig of G&T.
180. Get lost at the green oasis of Woollahra Library at Double Bay.
181. Plan a date night under the stars at Moonlight Cinema.
182. Sing along to your favourite numbers at Dynasty Karaoke.
183. Or head over to K Square for some great vibes and karaoke.
184. Try your hands at bowling at Strike Bowling Bar.
186. ParaPark is fun too if you want to be pushed to the edge of your seat.
187. Enjoy some stunning harbour views at Glenmore Hotel (because we can never get sick of those here in Sydney).
188. Grab a drink at arguably Australia’s most iconic bar, The Opera Bar.
189. Head over to Lazybones Lounge in Marrickville for some live music.
190. Hop, skip and jump over to Camelot Lounge while you’re at it.
191. Or support your local talent at The Hideaway Bar.
192. Have a classic ol’ barbie beachside at Shelly Beach.
193. Head over to Darling Harbour and experience stunning views of the Emerald City.
194. Plan a trip to Bondi ice rink for some seaside adventures during the winter.
195. Camp out all day for an extravagant view of the NYE fireworks.
196. Get lost in a floral oasis at The Calyx.
197. Visit the Anzac Memorial at Hyde Park.
198. For another hidden bar experience head over to The Soda Factory.
199. Take a day trip to Jervis Bay.
200. Go hunting for glow worms at this magical hidden cave in the Blue Mountains.