Ramadan Mubarak to all our readers! With the Holy month gracing us, I decided to compile a full guide to visiting Dubai during Ramadan for everyone who hasn’t done so. Continue reading “Ramadan in Dubai: What to know about Visiting Dubai during Ramadan”
One of the most beautiful cities in the world, Sydney Australia is the capital of the state of New South Wales. It is the most populated city in Australia and, while expensive, has been rated one of the most livable cities in the world.
If you’re searching for “Sydney Itinerary 3 Days” scroll below!
I got in touch with Holly, a Sydney local to tell me how someone should plan Sydney places to visit and she was lovely to plan a Sydney trip itinerary for us!
Sydney Itinerary 3 days:
There are plenty of things to do in Sydney to fill a longer stay, but it is possible to tick off the main icons in a whirlwind 3 days in Sydney. Read on to see how you can fit it all in.
Click here to view discounted rates to Sydney here.
Where to Stay in Sydney
Driving in Sydney can be challenging even for the locals, traffic can be heavy and parking options, limited. Three locations offer the best proximity for this itinerary; The Rocks, Circular Quay, and Darling Harbour.
There are plenty of hotels to choose from including The Novotel in Darling Harbour, The Marriot in Circular Quay and The Holiday Inn Old Sydney. All of these will enable easy access to public transport options or are within an easy walking distance of this Sydney Itinerary.
If you also happen to be in Sydney in late May or early June during the Vivid lights festival, these are also the areas where there will be the most to see.
Public Transport in Sydney
It should be noted that the public transport system in Sydney is now cashless, so in order to use trains, buses, or ferries you will require an Opal card. Opal cards can be obtained from a number of locations in the Sydney CBD – look for Newsagents and 7-11 stores displaying the Opal flag.
If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to get your Opal card, some transport locations will offer a single ticket option. This isn’t a guarantee, however, so you are best off to get an Opal card if you can. There is no cost for the card, only the credit which you load onto it.
Places to Visit in Sydney
Sydney Harbour Bridge
As your first day dawns in the city of Sydney, it’s time to grab some breakfast and head to one of Sydney’s most famous and iconic sites, The Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Opened in 1932, the heritage listed steel bridge crosses the Harbour, connecting the Sydney CDB with North Sydney.
The daring and non-budget conscious traveler might choose to undertake the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. Prices range from AU$263 – $403 and there are four timeslots to choose from.
However, a great and significantly cheaper alternative to the bridge climb is to walk across the Sydney Harbour bridge itself.
You can access the Sydney end of the bridge from the stairs on Cumberland Street in The Rocks. On this side of the steel structure is the Pylon Lookout. The pylon is open from 10 am daily and costs AU$15 for an adult ticket. As you climb up the pylon you will walk through a number of exhibits detailing the building and history of the bridge. The views of the Harbour from the top rival those from the top of the bridge itself.
Depending on your pace, your walk across the bridge should take under an hour where you will arrive in North Sydney. From here walk down towards the water to another famous Sydney icon, Luna Park. Built in 1935, even if you don’t go in it is worth stopping for a photo in front of the giant face at the entrance to the park.
From Luna Park, hop on a Sydney Ferry to return you to Circular Quay.
Lunch at the Opera Bar Sydney
A short 5-minute walk from Circular Quay is the iconic Sydney Opera House. Since you have probably worked up an appetite with your morning walking, head downstairs to the lower level where you will find a number of food options. I recommend Opera Kitchen, it is one of my favorite places to eat in Sydney with good quality meals that are not excessively expensive. You can sit and eat while taking in the views of the Harbour and Bridge. If you don’t mind splashing out there is also a restaurant in the Opera House itself.
Click here for a special tour of Sydney Opera House
After your lunch, take a stroll around the Opera House, it is interesting to see up close how the individual panels fit together.
On the other side of the Opera House is Australia’s oldest scientific institution, The Royal Botanic Garden. Offering views of the Opera House with the Harbour Bridge as a backdrop the Sydney gardens often have events on throughout the year you might catch, and are equipped with wifi throughout.
After your afternoon stroll through the Botanic Gardens, head back to your hotel to freshen up for the evening.
A night in The Rocks
The Rocks is easily my favorite part of Sydney. It is one of the oldest, having been established shortly after the colonization in 1788, and many beautiful old stone buildings and structures remain.
A free walking tour runs every day commencing at 6 pm meeting in front of Cadman’s cottage and runs for 90 minutes.
The Rocks has a bloody history, as do many convict settlements in Australia, so if you’re brave and don’t have any kids to factor in, I recommend checking out the nightly Ghost Tour. Tours commence at either 6.45 pm or 7.45 pm depending on the season.
No visit to Sydney is complete without a trip to one of the most famous beaches in Australia, Bondi. It’s been made particularly famous by shows such as Bondi Rescue and Bondi Vet. The lifeguards are usually more than happy to pose with a photo while keeping a watchful eye on the surf.
How to get to Bondi Beach:
You won’t be able to walk to this one, as Bondi Beach is the final point of one of Sydney’s best-known fun runs, the City to Surf, a 14km route from the Sydney CBD. The more direct route is less, but still not one you want to waste half the day walking. You will still need your walking shoes though.
Uber is fairly well established in Sydney so it is definitely an option, however subject to traffic congestion so it is likely to be a quicker and easier trip by public transport.
From Circular Quay bus routes 380 and 333 will take you to Bondi via Bondi Junction, or route 389 will take you to North Bondi which is a few blocks from the beach. Buses have their own lanes in much of Sydney so are able to bypass traffic.
What to do in Bondi:
If the beach is your thing, spend the morning in the surf or lazing on the sand, or even check out the skateboarders doing tricks on the permanent ramps installed near the sand. There are plenty of places to choose from for lunch along the main drag. I’m a fan of grabbing fish and chips to eat on the beach.
If you happen to be at Bondi on a weekend, stopping by the weekly markets are a must! They run from 10 am – 4 pm every Sunday in the grounds of Bondi Beach Public School. Saturdays are the Farmers Market.
Bondi to Coogee Walk
If the beach isn’t your style, Bondi Beach also happens to be the start of the Bondi to Coogee walk, a meandering 6 km of clifftop paths along the stunning coastline. If you happen to be visiting from the last week of October through the first week of November, it is also the setting for the annual Sculptures by the Sea exhibition. Plan to visit on a weekday if so, as the crowds are prohibitive on a weekend.
The Bondi to Coogee walk will take you past Bronte and Tamarama beaches, offering a less crowded swimming spot than Bondi, before winding around to Clovelly, a popular snorkeling spot. If you don’t want to do the full distance, it is worth walking to the heritage listed clifftop Waverley Cemetery, a distance of about 2.5kms from Bondi, before heading back.
Bus routes 373 and 374 will take you from Coogee back to Circular Quay.
Return to your hotel mid-afternoon to freshen up for your evening ahead!
CLICK HERE to view cheap flights to Sydney
Sunset Dinner Cruise
Tonight you will see a different side of Sydney Harbour!
If you are visiting Sydney during Winter or Autumn, Captain Cook Cruises run a Sunset Dinner Cruise departing Darling Harbour at 6 pm. Tickets are AU$99 per adult and the cruise will run for 90 minutes. Click here to look at more details.
During Summer and Spring, sunset times will be later and another cruise choice may be more suitable. I recommend gauging a rough idea of the sunset time for when you want to go and booking one that will give you some cruising time while it is still light to give you the best views of the Harbour. Captain Cook offers a number of cruise options, as do other providers.
If you’re more interested in a Breakfast tour, head to Wild Life Zoo at Darling Harbour and get the chance to have breakfast with cute Australian koalas! Click here to see the updated price of the tour.
For your final day in Sydney, it is time to check out another famous Sydney icon, while checking out some of Australia’s native Fauna, Taronga Zoo.
Opened in 1916, Taronga Zoo has only been closed twice since and is open every day from 9 am. The Taronga Zoological Society is a leader in conservation and environmental education. There are various special events run at the zoo all year round. Grab your skip the line tickets to Taronga Zoo here.
How to get to Taronga Zoo:
Head on back down to Circular Quay, from which Taronga Zoo is a 12-minute ride on the Ferry.
Adult tickets are AU$42.30, or family tickets start at AU$80.80
Roar and Snore
If you are so inclined you can also spend the night at the Zoo with a Roar and Snore ticket. Meeting outside the gate of the zoo at 6.15pm you will be taken to your campsite with the Harbour Bridge as your backdrop.
A buffet dinner and breakfast is included with your ticket, as is an exclusive Taronga night safari led by the keepers that gets up close and personal with some of the friendly residents by joining feeding time. Fall asleep to the sound of the wild.
Roar and Snore runs every night during School Holidays, and Tuesday through to Sunday the rest of the year. However, with adult tickets starting at AU$600, it is not an experience for the budget conscious.
If you choose to spend the night at Taronga, you may like to check out some day trip suggestions for your day. Otherwise, head on back to your hotel to freshen up for dinner.
Dinner at Sydney Tower
Another experience not to be missed during your 3 days in Sydney is a visit to Sydney Tower. Formerly known as Centrepoint, standing at 305 meters, the spire of Sydney’s tallest structure can be seen poking above the high-rises from most vantage points in the city. It is the second tallest observation tower in the Southern Hemisphere.
At the top of the tower are two revolving restaurants, perfect for getting those city-wide views as you enjoy a meal. You will need to make a reservation at both restaurants to ensure you get a table. Try having some unusual dishes like roast kangaroo and crocodile. Click here to book a table at the revolving restaurant.
The lower revolving level is a buffet restaurant. While the upper revolving level, 360 Dining, is order-from-the-menu fine dining, offering contemporary Australian options.
If this is out of your budget, head for the Observation Deck, open 9 am to 9 pm seven days a week all year round. Last entry is at 8 pm.
Click here to get skip the line tickets to the Observation Deck at Sydney Tower.
Check out a show
While no Broadway, Sydney does have some really lovely theatres, including the State Theatre and the Capitol Theatre. Once you know your dates check out what shows are running and snap up some tickets to have a great night out.
Day trips from Sydney
If these activities don’t take your fancy, or you end up with extra time, there is plenty you can see by taking a few Sydney day trips.
The Blue Mountains
About 70kms west of Sydney is the base of the beautiful Blue Mountains. You can take the train line up, but you are better off to either have a car or take a tour, as many of the sights are some distance from the train stations. Australia has some truly spectacular landscapes which are worth seeing and the Blue Mountains are a stellar example.
Featherdale Wildlife Park
Much smaller than Taronga, Featherdale has a focus on Australian wildlife. The kids will love petting and feeding the Kangaroos and Wallabies and you can have your photo taken with a Koala.
Situated about an hour out of Sydney is the setting for the Australian made Home and Away. Rent a kayak for the afternoon to paddle around Pittwater.
If you have a car, the Kangaroo Valley, two hours from Sydney, is a truly picturesque region.
These are just some of the road trips from Sydney you can take, there are more attractions you can fit in your planner if you are staying for longer.
Hope this Sydney travel guide has made your questions of what to do in Sydney for 3 days disappear! There are a lot of Sydney attractions to explore and ensure that you will return home with lots of happy memories.
If you are traveling to Sydney, here’s how you can create your very own customizable Travel Planner. Click here to get yours now!
If you’re in Sydney and craving Indian food, here’s where you should head to try the best Indian restaurants in Sydney.
About Holly from Globeblogging:
Australian born to British parents raised far away from extended family, Holly was lucky to travel extensively growing up, and when life didn’t quite go to other plans her passion to see the world was reignited. An avid writer and photographer, Holly honed her skills sharing her adventures with other sites, before deciding it was time to try doing this for herself. Globeblogging was launched in 2018 to share her passions for travel, writing, and photography with the world. Follow her adventures on Pinterest here.
Until then, happy traveling! xx
P.S. If you want to save and read later, here are some pinnable versions 🙂
Abu Dhabi has often been overlooked by most visitors to the United Arab Emirates. Even so by locals in the country as most Abu Dhabi residents usually travel to Dubai to spend their holidays. However, a recent trip to my sister’s place there made me fall in love with the emirate! If you’re a resident or just a tourist looking to visit the United Arab Emirates, here is a useful guide on how to spend your holiday in Abu Dhabi.
Best Time to Visit Abu Dhabi
The best time to travel to Abu Dhabi is from November to March as it is comparatively cooler during those months of the year.
Holiday in Abu Dhabi
Getting from Dubai to Abu Dhabi is about 2 hours by road. Some of the ways you can get to Abu Dhabi by road are:
- Car rental: If you have a car rented during your trip and a license to drive in UAE, you can drive using Google Maps
- Public transport: RTA provides 2 buses from different parts of Dubai to Abu Dhabi for approx AED 25 per person
- Ibn Battuta Metro Station 4 – Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station with bus E101
Al Ghubaiba Bus Station – Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station with bus E100
- Tour from Dubai to Abu Dhabi: The other option you can do is book a tour from Dubai to Abu Dhabi where you will be taken to explore the best places in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Mosque and the Louvre. This is a 9-hour tour including travel time to Abu Dhabi and back to Dubai. Check the rate for the tour here.
Where to Stay in Abu Dhabi
To spend your Abu Dhabi vacation, you needn’t do massive research as there are quite a number of hotels present in the city. We’ve stayed in our fair share of luxury hotels in Abu Dhabi that focus on quality, comfort, and aren’t going to burn a hole in your pocket.
Radisson Blu Abu Dhabi: We booked ourselves an Executive Suite at Radisson Blu Abu Dhabi and enjoyed the gorgeous view of Abu Dhabi Corniche from our windows. The hotel has a huge breakfast display that serves international cuisine when you’re staying in Abu Dhabi. Read more about our experience here.
If you would like to book a room at one of the best hotels in Abu Dhabi, click here.
Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Villas: If you’re more of an out-of-city person and would like a great option for Abu Dhabi beach hotels, then I recommend Park Hyatt with all my heart. We had a beautiful 2 day stay there and spent time exploring Saadiyat Island. Here’s how you can check rates for this beautiful resort.
Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi: Although I haven’t personally stayed at Holiday Inn’s Abu Dhabi branch, I can vouch for the hotel in terms of service, convenience, and affordability. The hotel’s location is also very suitable and within a walking distance from Abu Dhabi Corniche. You can check to see discounted rates here.
Places to Visit in Abu Dhabi
The first stop on your Abu Dhabi day trip would be to visit the Abu Dhabi landmarks. I say day trip because these Abu Dhabi tourist attractions are better seen during the day to actually marvel their beauty!
Visit the largest mosque in the U.A.E. – The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the largest in the country with splendid décor made of marble. The masjid (mosque) has become one of the most visited tourist attractions in Abu Dhabi solely due to the unique architectural work and awareness of Muslim culture. A tip would be to visit on the weekdays as weekends are too crowded (https://goo.gl/maps/RXmkBRWbR472)
Want a tour to explore Abu Dhabi like a tourist? Check out this half-day Abu Dhabi city tour!
If you are a tourist, you must remember to wear modest clothing with shoulders and knees covered during your visit to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Women should have their heads covered to respect Islamic culture
Ride the fastest roller coaster in the world – Ferrari World is the first branded amusement park by Ferrari. Adventure seekers should definitely not miss Formula Rossa, which is the fastest roller coaster in the world (https://goo.gl/maps/UMahQfeVX2k)
Get inspired at Louvre Abu Dhabi – As a direct extension of the Louvre in France, this one of a kind art museum in Abu Dhabi is the largest museum in the region. The stunning design has been inspired by shade cast by date palm fronds on a surface. Since there is mostly a queue to enter the Louvre in Abu Dhabi, I suggest getting skip the line tickets to make sure you don’t waste time lining up. Here’s how you can check them. (https://goo.gl/maps/TYDjsqt25LC2)
Go on a Desert Safari – This is the touristiest thing to do while in the United Arab Emirates, however, it would be a crime to miss it. Desert Safari is basically a ride along sand dunes on a jeep. The package includes getting henna tattooed, watching belly dance shows, and a chance to ride on camels. Check the updated discount rates for Desert Safari in Abu Dhabi.
Best Things to do in Abu Dhabi
Apart from the popular places to see in Abu Dhabi, I will also give you some hidden gems to explore while you’re in the city! Abu Dhabi is quite underrated when people talk about the best place to visit in the U.A.E.
- Watch Abu Dhabi from above – If Dubai has Burj Khalifa, then Abu Dhabi has Observation Deck at 300. Its 74th floor is the highest point where you can have a bird’s view of the capital of the United Arab Emirates (https://goo.gl/maps/6zJSY5v859o)
- Learn how to pearl dive – Abu Dhabi Pearl Journey offers an exciting tour which shows how the Arabs used to dive for pearls in the olden days to earn their living. Watch how pearl diving is done and oysters are cut open to find a pearl that you can keep as a souvenir at the end of the visit (https://goo.gl/maps/8aLn9r3GiGQ2)
- Feed animals at Emirates Park Zoo and Resort – Animal lovers can visit the Emirates Park Zoo and Resort which is a short drive from Abu Dhabi city. The zoo has a lot of experiences to offer that you will remember for a lifetime. having breakfast with giraffes and crocodile feeding are pretty popular with residents and tourists alike, apart from parrot shows and lunching with leopards. Here’s where you can get more information and click here for discounted rates on tickets. (https://goo.gl/maps/QP3Nhh7Jpa92)
- Go camping in the desert – Camping in the desert is one of the activities to try when you are in the capital. There are plenty of tours available, but you can also go your way. The night time is when it really gets chilly so be sure to pack warm wear if you cannot bear low temperatures. The stars really shine brighter in the desert as it is away from the city and the experience of sitting next to a bonfire will sure be a memorable experience
- Walk along Abu Dhabi Corniche – Apart from being the only awarded eco-friendly beach in UAE, Abu Dhabi Corniche also offers you some pretty great activities while you’re there. There is an open “gym” set up for fitness minds, playground for kids, small eateries to explore, and a bicycle track for bikers. A tour of Abu Dhabi Corniche is also included in when you sign up for a half day city tour of Abu Dhabi, check the price here.
Get a discounted rate for Cyacle Pass here.
- Get yourself some “24 karat magic” – Dubai is known as the city of gold but really, Abu Dhabi is where most of the locals come to shop as prices are comparatively lower. Most tourists head to Gold Souq in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is where a person should visit if they want to beat the crowd
Traveling to Abu Dhabi with kids? Here’s a list of 40+ Free Things to do in Abu Dhabi!
What and Where to Eat in Abu Dhabi
I find food in Abu Dhabi more authentic compared to Dubai, where competitive restaurants have forgotten their roots and focus more on theatrics and high prices with almost no attention to taste and service.
Of course, there are a few great places that deserve all the hype and I always highlight them in lists like Best Breakfasts in Dubai and Brunches in Dubai, but the majority are turning out to be very repetitive in terms of concept.
Whenever I am on an Abu Dhabi trip, I make sure to try local spots to find the best hidden gems serving street food in Abu Dhabi. Find below some of my favorite places to eat in Abu Dhabi for Arabic food:
Felafel: Malik Al Felafel is in Khalidiya and very close to where my sister lives (the place I mostly hang around when in the capital) The owner is a friendly chap who is always ready for a chat! The felafels are very crispy and fulfilling! They come quite affordable at 3 pieces for AED 1. We always have it as a takeaway but you can stop by and sit around for a while to take a look at the menu (https://goo.gl/maps/LVNvMsyGNhv)
Shawarma: I know shawarma is a big deal in this country and everyone has a favorite place. My place to usually stop for shawarma is from a Lebanese joint named Karam Al Sham who specializes in Chicken and Beef Shawarma. Both are great and different in their own way. (https://goo.gl/maps/PxjrQXm3McK2)
Being a big fan of this snack, I would love to hear if you have any suggestions of your own. ‘Cause sharing is caring, right?
Karak Chai: This has to be Tea Break! I think most of the folks living in Abu Dhabi will agree that Tea Break is the best place to grab a Karak. I’ve seen such a crowd during the weekends and a queue is always a good sign. The restaurant does not just limit to serving good tea but also have some finger food if you’re feeling hungry
Mandi: Mandi is traditional UAE food made with rice, meat, and spices. The meat is slow cooked, hence extremely soft and “fall off the bone”. Mandi is served with a tomato sauce and yogurt to enhance the dish with spicy and tangy flavors. It is important to note that this dish is eaten with hands as it really brings out the taste.
I like Al Marhabani located in Al Dhafrah, a hidden gem although now becoming very popular with the residents in the area. The service might not necessarily be friendly but the atmosphere and food are as authentic as it can get. (https://goo.gl/maps/9gxmqkBTUCq)
Lugaimat: Think deep-fried dough balls topped with drizzles of date syrup and sesame seeds! Lugaimat is a popular street dessert in the UAE, and a must when you are planning your Abu Dhabi vacation. It available is most places serving Emirati food but Lgaimat and Chebab is famous for this sweet treat and that is where you should try Lugaimat! (https://goo.gl/maps/n3aEU717UgH2)
Of course, other snacks or “street food” includes the very popular Oman Chips, Areej juice, and Laban sold very cheap for AED 1 and found in almost all groceries/ supermarkets. Do you have other snacks you swear by?
I hope I have covered everything when it comes to spending your holiday in Abu Dhabi in the best possible way. Have you been a resident in the other Emirates and have never visited Abu Dhabi? Then, this is THE guide for you!
Until then, happy traveling! x
P.S. Here are pinnable versions of the post in case you want to save and read later!
After being back from the holidays, and visiting some great Bangkok tourist spots, I have compiled a Bangkok tour guide for anyone looking to travel to Thailand.
This guide has all the details for the best area to stay in Bangkok, places to see, and the things to do in Bangkok in 3 days.
If you’re staying for a shorter while, do check out this budget Bangkok itinerary for 2 days. Continue reading “The Ultimate Bangkok Tour Guide under $1200 (AED 4300) for 2 people”
Agra is a city in northern India’s Uttar Pradesh state, home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal. Although Taj is the primary reason people come to visit Agra, there are other sights worth seeing in Agra. Conveniently, these are all near the Taj Mahal and can be seen in one day. Read on for a perfect self-guided Agra itinerary for a one day trip to Agra. Continue reading “How to Plan a One Day Trip to Agra: Places to see, Food to try, and Agra Itinerary”
I love to explore and write about food. I think it is something that’s just within me. To such heights, that I also sometimes plan my travels based on the food I am going to try there. I’m sure most of you must have been to some part of Europe, but have you wondered which are the best food cities in Europe? Continue reading “19 Best Food Cities in Europe for Every Food Lover”
The question of what to eat in Singapore is like unveiling an endless puzzle of multi-sensory, multi-flavored culinary adventures. Being a successful country of many cuisines, it is best to explore food at affordable restaurants in Singapore which are hidden gems and only known to few. Continue reading “Affordable Restaurants in Singapore: Where and What to Eat in Singapore”
Japan is mostly known for its Cherry Blossom season, but what is winter in Japan like? There are quite a few interesting things to do that would be perfect for your winter Japan trip. And I lay exactly that along with this ultimate guide for what to pack for winter in Japan. Continue reading “What to Pack for Winter in Japan: A Comprehensive Guide to your Japan Trip”
With the recent development of social media and the need to carve the perfect Instagram feed, I have compiled a list of the most Instagrammable spots in Dubai to help you get the best pictures in the city. Continue reading “6 Instagrammable Spots in Dubai That Will Change Your Instagram Feed”
Aren’t layovers the best? Said nobody ever. Well, if you are in that situation, you need to check this itinerary on how to explore Dubai in one day.
Continue reading “Explore Dubai In One Day: Dubai Layover Tour”