A Complete Guide to Sydney

Sydney was my first official stop in The Land Down Under! I’d be lying if I said I’ve stopped singing, “I come from the Land Down Under”, aka I am a tourist.

Sydney is a huge city, inhabiting a population of over 5 million people. I reckon you could spend weeks there and barely scratch the surface! The city itself has a plethora of events, restaurants, bars and of course the famous Bondi Beach (pronounced Bond-Eye). 

Big cities always excite me, but I do like a mix of playing tourist and local (if that’s even possible considering my accent sticks out like a sore thumb here haha). I don’t like to rush my travel by any means, and definitely live by the motto less is more. AKA don’t cram too much into one day! Here is my take on Sydney, The Places Jo Goes style!

To See and Do:

Explore Newtown

If you’re headed to Sydney, be sure to take a trip to Newtown to explore all of its quirkiness. It is filled with all of your vintage dreams! Were talking vintage book stores, record stores, and clothing stores! 

The wall art that covers the town is impressive, too!

They have heaps of dining options, including many vegan restaurants, be sure to check out all of the options here!


The Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge

Two iconic must-sees when visiting Sydney! Conveniently located just across from each other, it makes for a great morning or afternoon exploration. If you’re visiting during Summer I highly suggest the morning time. The Aussie summer is no joke! 

While visiting here, be sure to take a short walk to the Royal Botanic Gardens and explore it’s beauty!

Catch a Ferry to Manly Beach

If you’re looking for a little bit of a slower change of pace, catch the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly beach and explore Northern Sydney! For all of my Americans, Quay = Key. Made this mistake a few times haha. This is also a beautiful way to explore the Harbour by boat!

The Rocks

The Rocks is one of my favorite areas of Sydney! If timing is right and you’re there on a weekend, be sure to explore the markets. They take place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You can find the details here


If you’re unable to visit on the weekends, no stress! The Rocks has heaps of restaurants and happy hours. I mean, who doesn’t like saving money?! If you’re looking for a healthy and/ or vegan alternative be sure to check out Dare at The Rocks. https://www.therocks.com/eat-drink/dare

Bondi to Coogee Walk

This coastal walk is one for the books. Be sure to bring your camera! This walk is approximately 3.7 miles long and is worth every second. Here is a map for you to reference along the way https://www.bonditocoogeewalk.com/bondi-coogee-walk-map.html

You can easily make a day out of this, stopping at beaches along the way! 

Bondi Icebergs Club

Stop in grab a drink to cool down and enjoy the view, or if you feel like ballin’ out on a full course meal you can do that to haha. 

Here is the Bistro Drink and Food Menu! https://icebergs.com.au/food-drink/


Surry Hills

Again, another one of my favorites! If you live for a slower pace, good brunch or aesthetically pleasing coffee shop, this is the area for you. It is perfect for all you digital nomads out there! Here is a great list of cafe options. 


Spice Alley

I found this spot to be the cutest, hands down. Maybe it’s my deep love for Asian Cousine? Spice Alley is filled with loads of appealing ittle restaurants. When I say loads, I mean loads.

There is Vietnamese, Thai, Balinese, Korean, Indonesian, Cantonese – I’ll stop there. I definitely recommend this little gem for dinner. There is plenty of dine in restaurants, or you can opt to sit in the courtyard style seating! This way everyone can eat as they please or you can enjoy a potluck style dinner!

Where to Stay

Great Southern Hotel

When I first arrived in Sydney I stayed at the Great Southern Hotel. This is a great mid budget option located right in the city center. From here you can jump on a train and bus to Bondi Beach or even walk to the Opera House (it takes about 30 minutes!)

Base Sydney

Base Sydney is a hostel located near Town Hall. It is also in a great location and a good option for those looking to meet other travelers and live the hostel life. They have a huge kitchen and even a movie room! Attached to the hostel is a bar, Scary Canary, that has loads of good deals for Base guests and a $5 Happy Hour!

Here you are sure to meet many other travelers! They will help you book your Australia travels if you’re looking to make your way up the coast and many even stay here long term as they are working in Sydney.

Wake Up! Bondi + Central

Wake Up has a few locations in Australia and is a great chain of hostels! The Bondi location is located right across from the famous Bondi Beach and the Central location is located right across from Central which makes for easy travel and a convenient location! They both offer plenty of space to work and/or play. I personally prefer spending a little more to have clean facilities and stay in a nicer location!

How to Get Around

There is heaps of public transportation in Sydney! You can get nearly anywhere via bus or train. I suggest getting an opal card, as it’s a good option if you know you are going to be bopping around a lot. If you’re unsure how much you’ll be moving around, you can always tap on and off your visa or credit card!

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