1. Photoshoot with Sydney Opera House
This is the mandatory touristy spot that needs no introduction. The iconic building proves that you have visited Sydney! Oh and don't forget the Harbour Bridge too!
2. Picnic at Hyde Park
The park is located in the middle of the city. Although it might not be as famous as Hyde Park in London which is one of the largest park in the world, it surely is a good spot for picnic. I always envy how people could sit on the grass in other countries! As the saying goes, the grass is always greener on the other side. And apparently they are cleaner too.
3. Say your prayers at St. Mary Cathedral (opposite Hyde Park)
It was a rather surreal moment of spiritual enlightenment. For non-believers, do check out the architecture and interior which were as magnificent as those you see in movies.
4. Seafood feast at Sydney Fish Market
Treat yourself to the freshest sashimi and other fisherman's catch. I absolutely love the oysters there which were the best I ever had so far! Be aware of the annoying seagulls thieves - read more here.
5. Take a day tour to Hunter Valley
There are many tour deals available online. We bought ours at AUD49 per person for 5 wineries from Scoopon. Our deal was inclusive of transport and wine tasting (some deals were inclusive of lunch but ours weren't). Take your mind off the hustle bustle of the city as you enjoy the amazing views and fresh mountain air.
6. Place a bet at The Star Casino
And dine at Sokyo, a premium Japanese fine dining restaurant while you are there. Prices are slightly on the up side, but the quality and taste are definitely worth every dollar spent. I have never had tempura that could impress me until I tried the one at Sokyo!
7. Take a stroll at Bondi Beach
It wasn't the best season for the beach when we were there, but still, we had to check it off our list. Spotted some surfers despite the temperature. There were also some pretty cool graffiti along the beach.
8. Shop at The Rocks Market
This weekend market offers a variety of cultural souvenirs (like Kangaroo scrotum *shrieked in horror*) as well as daily items for your shopping list. We spotted kangaroo burgers on the menu too. As you are there, do drop by The Tea Cosy for some delicious scones.
9. Pack some Cronuts and Strawberry Watermelon Cake at Newtown
An interesting town with wall graffiti, hipsters cafes and locals dressed in bizarre fashion. They say you need to try that cake at Black Star Pastry when you are at Newtown, but personally I find it rather overrated. I prefer the cronuts from Brewtown Cafe.
10. Take an educational visit to Taronga Zoo
I never thought I would enjoy zoo that much. We managed to see about 90% of the animals by following the guide on the map. The zoo is located at an island, about 20 minutes away by ferry ride from the Circular Quay.
11. Have a date with Raphael at Art gallery of NSW
Entrance is FOC! Appreciate their great contemporary artworks and Renaissance masterpieces.
12. Taste a cuppa great coffee at The Grounds of Alexandria
Although I would say almost every cafe in Sydney serves good coffee. Be patient and wait for your turn especially during peak brunch hour. Don't forget to take a selfie with their celebrity swine, Kevin Bacons (what a name!).
The perfect chill out place on a cold weather. The waffle balls have been an all-time favorite!
14. Treat yourself to a good Italian meal at Jamie's Italian
Be sure to make a booking. We had to wait for our turn even with reservation. And no, Jamie won't be there to cook for you personally. LOL
15. Have a gelato at Anita or Messina
16. Watch the weekly fireworks at Darling Harbour
Every Saturday at 9pm, all paid for by the restaurants at Darling Harbour. We were there on time to catch the beautiful fireworks on our final night. What a way to wrap up our awesome vacation.
Of course, this isn't a comprehensive list as it merely covers the city. If you are up for longer drives, you should take a road trip to the popular places like the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Watson's Bay. Plan your trip wisely and enjoy the best attractions of the urbane city.