Places To Explore Before Your Welcome To Sydney Tour

The Welcome to Sydney tour is unreal. In one week, we see so much, tick off so many bucket list items and really experience the city through the eyes of a local. But as you may be getting here a bit beforehand, we decided to share a few suggestions on what to go check out while you wait for our epic week together to start.

Cross the Harbour Bridge and explore one of Sydney’s many icons – Luna Park. A trip to this heritage-listed amusement park makes for a full day of good fun. It is incredibly unique in that it is the only one left of its kind in Sydney, so it’s definitely worth checking it out, with or without kids. With a rich history, this fun park was originally established in the 1930s and has seen major renovations, closures and reopenings. Nonetheless, it has kept it’s charm, beautiful architecture and world-class rides throughout. The front of Luna Park is an Insta favourite.

The best rides to look out for? We’d recommend Coney Island (who doesn’t love a fun house), the Ferris Wheel (a classic) and the Hair Raiser (a big drop with views? Yes please). If rides aren’t your thing, there is an impressive array of games to choose from, with endless prizes up for grabs. We’re talking Basketball, Knockers and Gone Fishing. The real ones will know, and if you don’t – all the more reason to go give them a whirl.

It is a 20 minute walk from the hostel just ask reception where to go or follow the map below. The walk is over the Sydney Harbour Bridge…how cool is that!

With some of the most beautiful beaches on Sydney’s coastline, Manly is a fantastic place to spend some quality time exploring. Scenic coastal walks, great food and drink venues for the perfect long brunch and magical sunrises and sunsets await you in this little gem in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. But beyond the stunning rows of pine trees, funky bars and independent boutiques is the lifestyle: laid-back, active and nature-inspired.

Because the early bird catches the worm, we’d recommend getting up early and jumping on the ferry to Manly first thing so you can really seize the day. With eight beaches, countless walks and a bajillion things to eat and drink, you’ll need all of the time you can get. Pro tip: head over on the weekend, as ferry prices are half price!

Start your day off by grabbing a coffee at a cute cafe and take in the beautiful scenery on the Manly to Spit walk. It’s worth noting that the walk is 10km one-way (you can always turn around whenever you want), but the incredible views make it all worth it.

Manly has its own cute little craft brewery – Four Pines! In terms of food, there is literally every option under the sun and tons of cute restaurants and pubs to choose from – Bon Appetit!

There’s always something to do at Darling Harbour – pop up events, art exhibitions, outdoor festivals, you name it. A popular spot for after-work drinks and a pre-dinner snack, DH has a bustling vibe to it and feels like a great place to be for a casual drink. And with a stunning waterfront set amongst tall and sparkly skyscrapers, we get why. 

While you’re in the area, be sure to check out the Chinese Garden of Friendship. A beautiful, green oasis filled with lakes and lagoons (with Koi fish in them!), waterfalls, big drooping trees and exotic plants. An open green space like this, right in the middle of the city, is definitely worth a peek. Other stops to consider include the Harbourside Shopping Centre, the Powerhouse Museum and the Australian National Maritime Museum.

Once you’re done exploring Darling Harbour, make your way to Chinatown, nestled in the vibrant Haymarket neighbourhood. It’s the biggest Chinatown in Australia and boasts fantastic markets and an unlimited amount of restaurants with mouth-watering (and cheap!) food. Yum cha, seafood, ramen, Korean barbecue, bubble tea – Chinatown has it all. We suggest you come curious to try new things and with an empty stomach.

Just four kilometers outside of the city lies the heart of Sydney’s multicultural, artistic and eclectic scenes. Take the train from Town Hall and you’ll be there in 10 minutes – the perfect distance for an afternoon wander. With just the right amount of character and charm, this neighbourhood has something for everyone. 

If you’re a foodie, a vintage-store seeker, a people-watcher, an afternoon drink-sipper or a street art admirer, Newtown’s got you covered. There are enough thrift shops, restaurants, wine bars, beer gardens, quirky laneways and theatres to keep you amused, fed and inspired. The best thing you can do in a place like this is walk around and take in all of the sights, sounds and smells – it’s a true treat for all of the senses.

King Street is the place to hit up for a bit of window shopping and in-between snacking – it’s a food-lovers paradise with some cute little boutique stores thrown in the mix. Turkish, Italian, Korean, Thai, Egyptian – Newtown really serves up a delicious melting pot of wonderful cultures and cuisines on a plate for you. All that’s left to do is dig in. Once you’re done stuffing your face, go explore the colourful street art, catch a show/gig at Enmore Theatre, plan your escape at the Cipher Room or have a picnic and wind down at Camperdown Memorial Park.

Royal Botanic Garden

A photo of two women walking in the Botanic Gardens in Sydney

You simply can’t visit Sydney without passing through the Royal Botanic Garden. The oldest of its kind in Australia and spilling out over 30 hectares, the garden sits beautifully in an ideal location in the city (only ten minutes walk from the hostel). 

With not just a seriously breathtaking green space to leisurely walk through and admire, the RBG also has amazing views of Sydney’s skyline, the Opera House and the harbour. Looking for that perfect Instagram shot to make your mates and family back home jealous? Then make your way to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, the ultimate spot for a picture-perfect moment. 

And of course, if you ever get hungry, you can always grab a bite to eat and a drink at Botanic House (asian fusion), Busby’s Bar (amazing views), Terrace Eatery (bar food) or Terrace on the Domain (a bit on the fancy side).

We Hope That Helps!

Naturally, there are about a million and one other places you can see and things you can do before you start your Welcome to Sydney tour with us. But this is where we suggest you start, so we don’t double up with the epic places we’re going on tour.

Don’t forget to check out this page to see if there are any events, festivals or happenings going on while you’re here – this city always has something new on that’s worth experiencing! 

Of course, if you have any questions leading up to your tour, or simply want more recommendations, get in touch and we’ll be happy to share!

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