How to Spend 48 Hours in Sydney

Who says you need to leave the city to have a weekend break? If you live in Sydney or want to discover why Sydney is one of Australia’s most famous cities, you don’t have to head far to find a range of attractions that can refresh, rejuvenate and entertain you.

Here’s how to enjoy 48 hours in Sydney even if it’s home turf.

Friday night

How often do you gaze upon the Sydney Opera House without actually venturing inside to appreciate what’s on offer? It’s time to make the most of this world-class attraction by heading to the Sydney Opera House for dinner and a show.

There are multiple dining options within the complex, such as the Opera Kitchen that boasts beautiful harbour views, and the Bistro Mozart, serving up top quality fare. The Opera Bar, located right along the water’s edge, is a stunning place to enjoy shared plates and Italian-inspired dishes. 

Check the venue’s timetable of events to see which shows are being performed on the weekend of your choice.

The Grounds

Saturday morning

Sydney loves its coffee culture – you’ll find many proud cafés serving up a fine roast and atmosphere to match. The Grounds of Alexandria, for example, is a good option. Located at 7A/2 Huntley Street, here you’ll find one of the best cups of coffee in the city, with beans hailing from all over the world. Enjoy your beverage with your choice of food from the wholesome and rustic menu, which features fresh herbs picked daily. 

Bradley’s Head, Sydney; photo: James Horan; Destination NSW

Once you’re feeling energised, head out on a walk to appreciate the beauty Sydney has to offer. Spend your morning ambling along the Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay walk. This is five kilometres one-way, and offers up twinkling harbour views, bush scenery, historic sites and gorgeous homes. From gazing out at boats dotting the harbour to checking out the military relics at Bradleys Head, you’re sure to have a charming experience.

Saturday afternoon

Enjoy a leisurely few hours exploring one of Sydney’s gorgeous park areas. The Royal Botanic Gardens boasts 30 hectares of green space full of rare plants and picturesque displays sure to help you savour the afternoon sun. 

Head along with a few of your favourite picnic foods such as brie and camembert, French loaf and grapes, and settle in for some snacks in a beautiful part of the park. The Camellia Garden is an absolute highlight, as are the Banksia and Grevillea Gardens.

Photo: Tetsuya’s Instagram @tetsuyasydney

Saturday night

Now’s your chance to enjoy some more of Sydney’s fine dining. 

Experience the mouthwatering flavours of Tetsuya’s Restaurant, located at 529 Kent Street. Tetsuya is an award-winning acclaimed celebrity chef hailing from Japan, fusing this national influence with his flair for the French technique. This results in some truly phenomenal dishes, such as confit of Petuna ocean trout with a salad of celery, witlof, apple and unpasteurised ocean trout roe. Imagine following up this sumptuous dish with white peaches and almond milk ice cream, and you’ll get a taste of what’s on offer.

Photo: Lobo Plantation

After your meal is the perfect time to head to a stylish bar and enjoy a drink or two. Try somewhere new and unique that you’ve never visited before, such as the Baxter Inn, which is designed in a saloon-style and features more than 156 whiskeys. Another popular themed bar is the Lobo Plantation, which is styled to the 1950s and has a mouthwatering menu of Caribbean cocktails. 

Wine enthusiasts should visit the Wine Library, while fans of boutique cocktails might like to try Bulletin Place, which boasts some of the country’s best cocktail connoisseurs. 

Related article: Romantic Getaways in Southern New South Wales

Sunday morning

Make sure you enjoy another invigorating mug of coffee this morning to set yourself up for a great day. Have a breakfast with a view at Burnt Orange, located in Mosman. This gorgeous mansion looks over Sydney Harbour. Sit at a table along the wraparound veranda and indulge in a delicious breakfast of buttermilk pancakes or baked eggs with your caffeine hit. Check out the cakes on display and perhaps take one away for later. 

Once you’ve fuelled up, it’s time to head for another walk – this time around the Rocks district. Chances are you haven’t explored all these cobbled lanes have to offer, so spend a couple of hours weaving through the laneways and discovering gorgeous shops and galleries. Be sure to stroll up to the Pylon Lookout for stunning harbour views and soak in the deeply historic atmosphere.

Boutique shopping in Paddington; photo: Dan Gosse; Destination NSW

If you’ve got some energy left for the rest of the day, head to the shops in Paddington and browse the gorgeous shops and streets. Stop for an afternoon coffee, catch a movie or spend a half hour browsing through a boutique bookstore. Come nightfall, relax and enjoy a meal at a historic pub for the perfect end to your holiday-at-home.

Related articles: Insider Tips for a Romantic Getaway in Port Macquarie

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