At the beginning of April, I spent a week in Brisbane, Australia for work. I figured it would be a great time for me to see Sydney as I had wanted to travel there since I was a kid! Back in October our entire family went to Melbourne and had the most amazing time! I knew that since we are heading back to the U.S. in June, we wouldn’t get the opportunity to go to Sydney for a visit, so I was going to take advantage. So I wanted to share my two days in Sydney!
I only had two days to spend in Sydney as I needed to get back to Jakarta after being away from my family for a week, but two days was enough to see what I wanted in Sydney. I landed in Sydney from Brisbane late on Saturday night and took an Uber from the airport to my Airbnb in Surry Hills. I chose this area because it was in a great price range and is a trendy party of town with shops, galleries, restaurants and boutiques, and most importantly close to the train.
The first day I was there was Sunday, so I wanted to get up early and see the city. This was the first trip that I knew a few places I wanted to visit, but I didn’t have a set itinerary for the two days, so I spent the first hour or so trying to find a good place to eat breakfast. I was not expecting for almost everything in the area to be closed on a Sunday. When we were in Melbourne, we found out that loads of places close early in the day, including the malls but we didn’t run into places being closed on the weekends. But luckily I found a wonderful coffee house called The Paramount Coffee Project just a few blocks from where I was staying.
At first, I thought it was busy because it was the only place open, but then I had the crumbed eggs on toast. We are talking a toasted piece of sourdough bread with mustard-braised ham hock, kale, topped with two of the best eggs I have ever had! This was the perfect way to start my day as a tourist.
Once I was done with breakfast, I walked a few blocks over to the ANZAC Memorial at Hyde Park. We have been to a few war memorials, and this one was just beautiful! I was able to go at a special time as ANZAC day was just a few weeks away, so there were loads of families laying wreaths and hosting special ceremonies to honor those that fought in the Great War.
After having a quite morning honoring those that fought for Australia, I headed over to the Sydney Tower Eye. One of the things we do every time we visit a large city is to go to the observation deck of the tallest building. While the Sydney Tower Eye isn’t near as tall or beautiful as Petronas Tower in Kuala Lumpur, it has some of the most beautiful views I have ever seen! Sydney is amazing in the fact that it is a large metropolitan city that is located on one of the most beautiful harbors. From the top, I was able to see amazing views of Hyde Park, the Sydney Harbor Bridge, and St. Mary’s Cathedral.
One of the reasons I was excited to go to Sydney too is I was able to see my friend Daniela! Daniela is from Brazil, and we became friends when she was living in Jakarta. She left Jakarta about a year ago to get her master’s degree in Sydney. So to meet her I needed to take the ferry over to Manly. The ferry was probably of my favorite things to do! It gave me the absolute best views of the harbor! It was a beautiful clear day, so I got to see all sides of the Sydney Opera House, people out sailing and enjoying the weather, the Sydney Harbor Bridge, and these amazing waterfront properties.
After a gorgeous lunch with my friend, I headed back to the ferry just in time to get the last few hours of daylight to walk around Circular Quay and see Sydney Opera House. I couldn’t believe that my childhood dream was coming true and I was standing there in front of one of the most famous structures in the world. It’s just absolutely stunning to see up front!
As the sun was setting, and after a quite walk enjoying the Sydney Opera House, I enjoyed a gelato from Gelato Messina before jumping on the train and heading home.
The next day was totally different! A cold front rolled in overnight and dropped the temperature to the mid 50’s, and it was windy! But I loved the weather before heading back to hot and humid Jakarta. For the day I just wanted to roam around, taking in the architecture, do some shopping and enjoy my time there.
My first stop was to The Rocks. The Rocks are now an urban, tourist attraction. But It has a deep history of being where the First Fleet arrived, to having a break out of the bubonic plague, and then the locals saving most of the historic buildings in the area. The area happened to be one of my favorite places as there are the most beautiful and quaint shops and cafés. So that’s how I started the day, at The Rocks Café with a latte and eggs benedict. After a nice breakfast, the sun was out, and I was ready to shop!
Just next to the café is one of my new favorite stores, Aesop. A friend turned me onto them when she asked me to purchase a few items for her in Melbourne. They are plant based skin, hair and body products. My favorite item is their Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm. This is one of the best hand creams I have ever used. But they have some of the most amazing products.
After a little shopping there I was on a mission to find something to add to my collection of treasures. Just down Playfair St. there are these quaint little shops inside terrace houses that were built in the early 1880’s and they are full of local artisans. I met the most lovely lady in Dux Collections. She made homemade candles and aromatherapy sprays. I had to snag up the relaxing lavender bed spray. It was just heavenly.
From there I strolled over to the Sydney Harbor Bridge to catch some closer views. You can walk to the top of the bridge, but I opted not to this time as I would have enjoyed it more with my family.
In The Rocks, you have to be sure and visit The Rocks Discovery Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Both are free to the public and great places to spend a few hours to learn about the history of The Rocks and see amazing art!
Since I had an early flight the next morning, I headed back home to do a little packing and have a quick nap before my final dinner in Sydney. I had known before I left I had to be sure to eat fish and chips! So I set out to Mohr Fish in Surry Hills. Mohr Fish was a quaint little café with only a few high tables and seats at a small bar, but their fish and chips were some of the best I have ever had! It was an amazing dinner and was the perfect ending to my short trip.
Sydney is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited. If you plan a visit, I think you could do a couple of days there but plan on spending a week or more in Melbourne. If I had to pick between the two Melbourne is my favorite city! It has an amazing vibe and has loads to do. But Sydney is a must see when visiting the land down under.