48 Hours in Sydney, Australia

By  |  3 Comments

What to do in Sydney, Australia in 48 Hours?

if you have the opportunity to spend more than two days in sydney, australia DO IT. we had such an amazing time and truly cannot wait to come back!

if you’re dealing with jet-lag, sydney is the most “omg i’m in australia!” place to get over it. if you’ve got a short stay in sydney, definitely stay in the CBD (central business district). you’ll be in the heart of the city and able to walk to many places!

48 hours in sydney australia

the thing about jet-lag is that it either wakes you up really early or really late – we had the early version. that meant we got to walk around the city while everyone was still asleep. ravery and i kept saying “man, i really thought this would be a busier city?” and then remembered it was like 7am.

48 hours in sydney australia

sunshine, activity and drinking water are the best ways to get over jet-lag and sydney is the perfect place to do this.

DAY ONE: Morning

start your (early morning) walking around CBD to take in the gorgeous sights and stand in awe of the sydney opera house.

we had the place completely to ourselves (minus security). it was massive!

48 hours in sydney australia

sydney australia

walk down the steps of the sydney opera house and you will basically be right in front of the royal botanic gardens! these are beautiful, public gardens that open first thing in the morning and are right in the harbor (or harbour, as they spell it).

48 hours in sydney australia

if you were following along with me on instagram, then you saw how massive some of the spider were in the garden so WATCH OUT FOR YOUR FACE.


since the quay, which is where all of this is at, is a central transportation area, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes everywhere you turn. connect to their free wifi in the area (or at the royal botanic gardens) to check out places nearby. i found that people in australia use google reviews more than yelp so pull up your google map and type in restaurants.

be warned that the seagulls are assholes.

one of my very favorite parts of australia? pretty much every cafe offers the option of lactose-free milk! they have the normal stand ins like almond milk and soy milk but to have a lactose free options is THE BEST. they also encourage pastries to be warmed on the grill.

sydney australia

we happened to be visiting on the weekend. once everyone woke up, it definitely got more crowded but that’s part of the fun.

because it was the weekend, the rocks markets were open! i love them. i need to come back, especially on a friday because they have a ‘foodie market.’ be warned: an australian accent makes everyone seem at least 7x sexier so keep your guard up.

sydney australia

next, head on over and take a one hour tour of the sydney opera house! we went back and forth on whether or not to do this but we are both so glad we did!

you get to wear cool headphones so you can hear the tour guide without she/he having to shout over the other tours.

some fun facts for you:

  • there are actually seven venues within sydney opera house (i naively thought it was one giant space)
  • construction started in 1959 and was expected to take 4 years. definitely took 14 years, with over 10,000 workers and was opened by queen elizabeth II in 1973
  • the largest room holds 2,679 and the smallest venue holds 210
  • the original cost estimate to build sydney opera house was $7 million AUD ($5.3 million USD). final cost = $102 million AUD (or $77 million USD) and mostly paid for by a state lottery
  • there are over 1 million tiles covering the outside and they were made in sweden
  • sydney opera house is cooled using seawater taken directly from the harbour
  • the tour guides like the call the below picture ‘the cleavage,’ which i find hilarious

sydney australia

new goal for us: hold an event here in the future!

sydney australia

sydney australia


because you were most likely up before the sun, be okay with the fact you will like pass out before your normal bedtime.

eat a good meal, watch the sunset over the opera house, drink a lot of water and go to bed!

DAY TWO: Morning

we had to get some work done but if we didn’t, we totally would have walked over the sydney harbour bridge! do that. or, if you’re feeling super adventurous, climb ON and OVER the bridge!

standing in front of it is more my speed.

sydney australia

the next question is: should you take a ferry to bondi beach or manly beach? we asked a lot of locals and everyone had their opinions. because we had 48 hours in sydney, australia, we opted for the ferry to manly beach because everyone said the ferry ride was gorgeous.

sydney australia

sydney australia

whichever one you decide on, go earlier in the day (like before 3pm). since the month of may is their autumn, you will be quite cold when you go later in the day (like us). do lunch here (or if you go bondi, plenty of restaurants there too)!

48 hours in sydney australia

sydney australia

time your ferry ride back to coincide with the sunset. it’s unbelievably gorgeous.

sydney australia

sydney australia

the ferry terminal is right in the heart of CBD so you can’t go wrong with any of the restaurants right when you exit. most places have outdoor heaters and blankets, bonus! while at dinner, figure out how and when you’re coming back to explore more of sydney.

we are currently working that out!

have you been to sydney, australia? what else would you add to this itinerary?

ps. making sure you know about my email list! you get a quick and powerful weekly connecting question to ask your spouse AND perks for when new products (like MarriageMoon) are released!


  1. Penny

    June 6, 2018 at 10:31 am

    WOW….. some really beautiful pictures and your advice was right on! Thanks for sharing this advice on a 48 hour tour of Sidney….

  2. Alanna

    June 7, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Love this recap! I just got back from Australia (and am currently feeling VERY nocturnal) and I got engaged at manly beach! It was a very special trip and we absolutely loved Sydney. Such a beautiful city to wander around and the ferry rides were so nice! We took one home from dinner one night and passed under the harbor bridge and another at night home from manly beach and both offered such fantastic views of the city.

  3. Audrey

    June 7, 2018 at 10:41 am

    Awesome guide, Chelsea!
    Those sunset pictures are gorgeous!! Great timing with the ferry ride! Dang! I also thought the Sydney Opera House only held on events at a time… I have no idea it was a multiple performance venue!
    I don’t know if we’ll ever make it to Australia (it’s not very high on the bucket list), but if we do we’ll definitely take your advice!!