It’s a place that’s been likened to the thriving metropolises of London and Berlin, a harbour city that brings together stunning natural landscapes, world heritage sites and a vibrant cultural scene. With things to see, do and experience around every corner, and some of Sydney’s best parts tucked away in its surrounding inner city suburbs and beyond, here’s how to spend 48 hours in Sydney.

Day 1

1. Spend a morning at the beach

Australia is famed for its beautiful beaches and Sydney is no exception. Get up early to avoid the crowds and head out to Bondi, where you’ll be greeted with white sand and an unbroken horizon of deep blue waves. Take a swim at Bondi Iceberg’s outdoor pool with ocean views, or do the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk to combine beaches, rockpools, parks and spectacular coastal views.

Bondi Beach - Sydney, Australia

2. Grab a coffee in the inner west

Sydney baristas pride themselves in creating the perfect brew and coffee experience. Whether you’re after a flat white, cappuccino, short black or latte, head to the trendy inner west suburbs to enjoy a smooth coffee in a quiet setting away from the bustle of the city’s main streets.

3. Sink your teeth into a meat pie

Australians love their meat pies just as much as they love their beaches. Hot, chunky and topped with generous helpings of tomato sauce, enjoy this iconic Australian dish from street vendor Harry’s Cafe de Wheels for a truly Sydneysider experience, or visit the city’s many cafes for variations of this classic staple.

4. Visit the Art Gallery NSW

The Art Gallery of NSW is home to an extensive collection of Australian, Aboriginal and European artworks and is located in the heart of Sydney’s CBD. With sandstone columns, five levels of local and contemporary art and free admission and guided tours daily, it’s a must visit for those looking to learn more about Australia’s past, present and future.

The Rocks - Sydney, Australia

5. Take a walk through the historic quarter

Though cobblestone streets and lamp posted laneways aren’t what comes to mind when you think of Sydney, The Rocks area is a great place to get a feel of old-time Sydney. With historic pubs dating back to settlement, picturesque terrace houses and cosy cafes, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled into one of London’s back streets.

6. See the opera house and harbour bridge

For a panoramic view of the famous Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, take a walk along Circular Quay where you’ll be able to see ferries arriving and departing from the harbour and a scenic view of Sydney’s landmarks and skyline.

Sydney harbour bridge - Australia

7. Enjoy a meal and drink

With a multicultural city comes a multicultural culinary landscape. Whether you’re after the flavours of Asia, the warmth of Italy or a modern Australian fare, enjoy a meal in one of Sydney’s restaurants before popping by Sydney’s diverse mix of clubs and bars scattered throughout the CBD.

Day 2

Royal National Park

Well known for its Figure 8 pools filled with turquoise waters and the stunning Wedding Cake rock, head an hour’s south of Sydney and take a day trip to the Royal National Park for a way to immerse yourself in the Australian bushland. Follow the variety of hiking trails that wind through bush, coastal views and secluded beaches, enjoy a picnic with barbecue facilities, hire kayaks or swim and snorkel in the blue waters of Wattamolla beach. Come nightfall, watch the constellations come out from vantage points throughout the national park, or head into neighbouring Cronulla for a chance to enjoy an evening by the beach.

Cover photo: Theo G N