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How to Spend 4 Days in Sydney – An Itinerary to See it All!

How to Spend 4 Days in Sydney – An Itinerary to See it All!

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Taking a 4-day trip to Sydney? You’re likely well aware of all the iconic sights, but the question is – how do you best use your limited time?

Luckily, you have two experts on your hands. As an Aussie myself, and Bailey having lived in Sydney, we have spent a lot of time in this city. So if you’re looking for travel advice, you’ve come to the right place! 

We have curated the perfect 4-day Sydney itinerary to include the best tours and tickets at these iconic places (hello Sydney Opera House). We also added two can’t-miss day trips and even some bucket list activities – keep reading to find out what they are!

Day 1

Morning – Go for brunch

Meal at Rolling Penny Newtown Cafe in Sydney
Meal at Rolling Penny Newtown in Sydney
Two coffee at Rolling Penny Newtown in Sydney
Mmm, coffee!

What better way to kick off a Sydney itinerary than brunch!? Some of the best brunch spots, restaurants, and bars are in Newtown, and we think this is the perfect area to start exploring. You can easily reach Newtown by catching the train, no matter what part of Sydney you’re staying in. It’s a 16-minute ride from Circular Quay or a 13-minute ride from Wynyard Station in the CBD. 

Newtown is the artsy and eclectic neighborhood of Sydney, full of vintage shops and trendy bars – it has a lot of personality! Once you finish brunch, I highly recommend spending some time strolling around. 

And while you’ll find about a million different restaurants that will make your mouth water, our favorite is Rolling Penny Newtown. You can’t choose wrong with this menu, but our personal recommendations are the smoked duck breast and poached eggs served on focaccia toast, or the halloumi and egg ciabatta. Their bread game is on point! Rolling Penny Newtown is open from 7:30 am to 3 pm daily.

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, pay a visit to Flour Drum! Their breakfast dishes are really good, but they are famous for their cakes, cookies, and other sweet treats. They are located just down the road from Rolling Penny and are open every day except Wednesday. 

However, Newtown is a bit out of the way, so if you don’t feel like traveling that far in the morning, there are still good options more centrally located! Two Good Eggs Cafe is located near Hyde Park, your next stop on this itinerary. We love their pancakes and the portions are always huge!

If you’re over by Circular Quay, Edes is a great option. They serve breakfast until 11 am and have a really tasty Italian menu in the afternoon and evening. I love the light, open-air cafe design, it’s simple and welcoming and the food hits the spot!

Late morning – Royal Botanic Gardens and Mrs Macquarie’s Chair

Bailey enjoys the view from Mrs Macquarie's Chair in Sydney of the opera house and harbour bridge
Mrs Macquarie’s Chair
Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney Australia
Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, Australia

Today is all about Sydney’s iconic viewpoints, beginning with Mrs Macquarie’s Chair! This viewpoint is right on the edge of Sydney Harbour. From here, you can see the Sydney Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, and the expanding harbor itself. 

The iconic chair was made for Elizabeth Macquarie, the wife of the NSW Governor back in 1810. Interestingly enough, it was carved by convicts. Mrs Macquarie loved the views from here, and I have to agree – it’s stunning!

You have to pass by the Royal Botanic Gardens to get to the chair (oh, darn!). They are lovely to stroll through, especially on a beautiful sunny day! The gardens are free to enter and pretty large, which is perfect because you can enjoy the walk to our next destination: the Sydney Opera House. It will take about 20 minutes to get there from Mrs Macquaries Chair.

Midday – Tour the Sydney Opera House

Bailey on the steps of the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia
Bailey on the steps of the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia
Daniel and Bailey take a selfie inside the concert hall at the Sydney Opera House on a tour
Inside the Opera House!

You can’t visit Sydney and not visit the Opera House! I’m willing to bet this is at the top of your bucket list. We have visited a few times, and it certainly lives up to the hype. The exterior is gorgeous, but it’s even more fun to take a tour inside! 

We wrote a full article on the best Sydney Opera House tours here, but I’ll cut to the chase and tell you our fave!

This 1-hour behind-the-scenes tour was the best way to experience the Opera House, in our opinion! We got to explore areas that are usually off-limits to the general public, and our guide told us all sorts of interesting facts and history – even some juicy stories!

The most interesting part was learning about all the logistics that it takes to make these performances happen. They put on over 1,600 shows a year, so it is certainly down to a science! 

We had a ton of fun on this tour, it was our best Sydney Opera House experience yet! It was only $45 AUD for a 1-hour tour. Plus, it was easy to fit into our schedule with multiple departure times throughout the day. Perfect for our 4-day Sydney itinerary!

Related Read: Looking for more suggestions to add to your itinerary? Check out our 21 best places to visit in Sydney – you might need more than 4 days!

Lunch

Bailey enjoys a drink at the House Canteen at the Sydney opera House
Cheers!
A meal and drink from the House Canteen at the Sydney Opera House
A meal and drink from the House Canteen at the Sydney Opera House

For lunch today, you won’t have to travel far. You actually don’t even have to leave the Sydney Opera House. There are two great restaurant options within the Opera House, and you can upgrade your tour ticket to include lunch as well – talk about convenience!

Both restaurants have incredible views, but you can choose which one to go to based on how hungry you are! House Canteen has an Asian fusion menu (try the poke bowl!) and the patio views overlooking the harbor and Opera House are simply incredible. Opera Bar is a good option if you aren’t too hungry, they have yummy light bites and perfectly paired cocktails. Plus, the views of the Harbour Bridge make you want to linger all afternoon!

But if you want to see more of Sydney, head to Circular Quay, right between the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Q Dining is our go-to place, and it’s a lovely upscale option. The views are incredible with the wall of windows (seriously, the entire wall!) and the menu is all upmarket Australian cuisine. Lunch is available from 12-3 pm, Wednesday to Sunday.

Early afternoon – Go on a scenic cruise

Daniel and Bailey pose for a photo on a Sydney Harbour cruise
We loved it!
Our Sydney Harbour cruise sails towards the Sydney Opera House
Oh Sydney, you are beautiful!

You’ve spent the whole morning getting incredible views of Sydney Harbour, now it’s time to explore it for yourself! We loved taking a scenic cruise along the harbor, dare I say it’s one of the best tours in Sydney (check out my other favorites here!).

There are a few different cruise options here, but I can promise they all have great views, lovely staff, and aren’t as expensive as you might think. We really like this 1.5-hour harbor cruise because it’s short and sweet, budget-friendly, and has onboard commentary. It’s easy to fit into this itinerary and still inclusive, plus a cruise is just a lot of fun.

It sails by top Sydney sights, such as the Harbour Bridge, Luna Park, and Fort Denison. The onboard commentary is available through your smartphone app, which was really nice so we didn’t have to listen over poor outdoor speakers. This cruise departs at 2 pm and is available Wednesday through Sunday. The cruise is just $49 AUD per person, or if you’re still hungry after lunch, you can upgrade to include a cheeseboard and a welcome drink for $69 AUD.

If you’re keen to spend as much time on the water as possible, this Journey Beyond Cruise in Sydney is our preferred option! You’ll want to skip lunch before because you get a gourmet meal, complimentary beer and wine, and all those spectacular views!

This cruise is 2.5 hours and we really appreciated having an extra hour to relax on the boat. The lunch was incredible, we had steak and fresh seafood. I also loved the Sydney local wine, it was all so tasty. Of course, the views for the whole cruise were memorable and a great way to experience Sydney on the first day! 

The Journey Beyond Cruise is $152 AUD per person, and while it’s more expensive than the first tour, it’s a lovely inclusive experience. Regardless of which cruise you choose, you’ll get great views, a luxury cruise, and a delicious lunch! This tour departs at 11:55 am from the King Street Wharf. This is about a 10-minute drive, so be sure to leave the Opera House early enough to catch this tour.

Afternoon – Walk Darling Harbour

Bailey poses for a photo while on a walking tour through Darling Harbour, Sydney
Darling Harbour!
Walkway in Darling Harbour Sydney, Australia
Walkway in Darling Harbour Sydney, Australia

Darling Harbour is another must-visit part of the city. Plus, with a name like Darling, how could you not want to visit? It sounds so cute! This waterfront area is home to all sorts of fun, like Madame Tussauds waxworks, a wildlife park, and some of the best restaurants in Sydney. You’ll see both locals and tourists exploring Darling Harbour, so spend the afternoon checking out the sights.

If this is your first time in Darling Harbour, be sure to stop by Madame Tussauds. This is a wax museum with some impressive celebrity look-alikes, so you can snap photos with Nicole Kidman and Chris Hemsworth (well, wax statues of them!). And while this sounds a bit corny, I thought it was pretty fun and it’s one of those classic Sydney activities. Admission tickets are available online for $39-$48 AUD, depending on the day, and you can visit from 1 to 5 pm!

You can also see native Australian animals in Darling Harbour at Wild Life Sydney! There are kangaroos, koalas, crocodiles, and an impressive butterfly exhibit. I enjoyed the Dreamtime Cave, which gave talks about the Aboriginal people and their relationship with wildlife. You can purchase admission tickets online here for $39-$48 AUD. These are also afternoon tickets, so you can go any time between 1-5 pm!

Otherwise, you can simply enjoy strolling around Darling Harbour and there is a ton to see! I used to do this when I lived in Sydney and needed to get out of the house, it’s a great free thing to do in Sydney. The views on the waterfront are some of the best in the city, and you can sit for hours just watching the boats go back and forth. Or you can find a bar with a great happy hour deal and enjoy the views from there too – there is no shortage of amazing bars and restaurants in Darling Harbour!

Sunset/dinner – Head up the Sydney Tower Eye

Sydney CBD as seen from the Sydney Tower Eye, Sydney, Australia
Sydney CBD!

To wrap up our day of iconic sights, finish it off at the Sydney Tower Eye! This observation deck gives impressive 360-degree views of Sydney below. To kick things up a notch, there is also a rotating restaurant up here – who can say no to dinner with a view!?

The indoor observation deck is 250 meters (820 feet) above the ground. There are numerous things you can do at the top of the tower, but of course, checking out the views will take up most of your time! You can see sweeping views of the Sydney Harbour out to the Pacific Ocean, and on a clear day, you can even see the Blue Mountains, over an hour’s drive away. A little disclaimer though, you can’t actually see the Opera House from here, but we still enjoyed the views regardless!

Since this tower offers the best views of Sydney, it can often be busy. We booked our Sydney Tower Eye tickets in advance and were able to walk right past the long line of people waiting. Entrance tickets are $27 AUD during the week and $38 AUD on weekends, and you’ll have the choice of morning or afternoon entrance times. Be sure to select the afternoon option, as you won’t want to miss out on dinner here! 

Once you’ve spent some time enjoying the sights from the observation deck, it’s time to feast! The Skyfeast is the rotating restaurant I mentioned earlier, situated on level 2 of the Tower Eye. I loved the fact that it rotates because the view is always changing, so you can see all of Sydney while you dine. Plus, the giant windows make this viewing experience even better!

Skyfeast offers a gourmet buffet for 1.5 hours, and when they say gourmet, they mean it! The food was so good we went back for seconds (okay maybe thirds too). But with a huge seafood station, antipasto, various international cuisines, and an entire meat carvery, we were in heaven! Oh, I can’t forget to mention the dessert selection – it was the cherry on top!

The buffet dinner was the perfect ending to our first day in Sydney. You can choose your start time when booking and it lasts for 1.5 hours. Skyfeast tickets are available for $105 AUD on weekdays and $120 AUD from Friday-Sunday.

Important note: You must purchase your Sydney Tower Eye observation deck and Skyfeast tickets separately, they do not include entrance to each other. While that’s a bit inconvenient, we can tell you it’s worth it, both are can’t-miss Sydney experiences in our book!

Day 2 – Blue Mountains Day Trip

Scenic Skyway in Blue Mountain National Park, Australia
Scenic Skyway in Blue Mountains National Park
The Three Sisters in Blue Mountain National Park, Australia
The Three Sisters in Blue Mountains National Park, Australia

Today we are taking a full-day trip to one of my favorite areas outside of Sydney – the Blue Mountains! They get their name from a blue haze that hangs above the mountains. Interestingly enough, it comes from the eucalyptus oil in the forest! Just one hour outside of Sydney, you’ll forget you were even in the city at all.

And as impressive as the blue haze is, the Blue Mountains are also full of peaks, valleys, and stunning rock formations – most notably the Three Sisters! You’ll also find Aboriginal rock art, a wildlife park, tons of viewpoints, and a park with rides to highlight the natural beauty of this area. 

There truly is so much to explore here, and with only a few days in Sydney, we thought it would be best to take an organized tour. There are quite a few awesome Blue Mountain tours from Sydney (see our list here) but to help you choose, we can tell you about our epic tour experience! 

This all-inclusive tour made our day trip seamless, and we truly saw so much. We were thankful for our guide, who was a fantastic storyteller, and that we had a small group so we could ask lots of questions. 
We started our tour by meeting up in Sydney (there are a few meeting points to choose from) at 7 am.

After a quick hour’s drive, we stopped at our first sight, the Three Sisters! This is a short walking path that overlooks the valley and three unique sandstone peaks. Our guide taught us about how significant these rock formations are to Aboriginal people, which made it even more insightful.

Scenic Skyway in Blue Mountains National Park, Australia

Just a few minutes down the road is Scenic World, which is like a natural amusement park of sorts. The scenic cableway, skyway, and railway all gave impressive views of the Blue Mountains, and a bit of thrill along the way too! It was more fun than I was expecting, and enjoyable for any age.

Another big highlight for me was simply stopping off at several scenic lookouts along the way! The rock formations are seriously impressive, and you won’t believe how high up you are until you see the expansive valley below. 

Next up is lunch, and this isn’t your typical sack lunch – they provide a chef-prepared spread! They can accommodate any dietary restrictions, just be sure to let the tour operator know when you book. 

We continued exploring by visiting the Featherdale Wildlife Park to see lots of Aussie wildlife. This is one of the best wildlife centers in Sydney and we loved seeing kangaroos, koalas, and quokkas!

As if this day couldn’t get any better, we finished by taking a boat ride back to Sydney Harbour! We saw some incredible views throughout the day, but sailing into the Sydney Harbour was perhaps the most iconic. 

We loved this full-day tour, not only because it made it easy for us to see the Blue Mountains, but because it included so much! For a full 12 hours of exploring, a gourmet lunch, and all entrance fees and transportation provided, we thought this was a great deal for $270 AUD. 

This is one of the highest-rated day tours from Sydney with over 4,500 5-star reviews – check them out here!

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

Day 3

Breakfast

Joe Black Cafe in Sydney
Photo credit: Joe Black Cafe in Sydney

Today we are exploring the city again, so fuel up with some of the best coffee in Sydney. Joe Black Cafe is located right next to Hyde Park, which just so happens to be our next stop! 

While they are famous for their coffee, we really love the food! You can find traditional breakfast options, like eggs benedict and avocado toast, but they also have some unique spins on dishes! The bolognese mince on toast is like a fancy sloppy joe, it’s hearty and so flavorful. But, they also have lots of yummy lighter options too!

Joe Black Cafe is open from 6 am to 4 pm on the weekdays and from 8 am to 2 pm on the weekends. So if you’re an early riser, head here for a cup of joe before you start exploring the city!

Morning – Explore Hyde Park

Anzac Memorial in Sydney, Australia
Anzac Memorial in Sydney, Australia
Huge trees above a path in Hyde Park, Sydney
Huge trees above a path in Hyde Park, Sydney

Sydney is such a lovely city, and one of the prettiest parts is Hyde Park (in my opinion, at least!). You can get a good feel for the park simply by walking around, there is so much to see, but there are even more things to do here too.

The Anzac Memorial is a really beautiful memorial pool of reflection. It is dedicated to Australians who gave their lives in the Defense Force and is a great way to learn about Australia’s military history. The memorial is open from 9 am to 5 pm daily and it’s free to enter. There are also free tours available throughout the week – check the times here.

The Australian Museum is located right next to Hyde Park and is one of the best museums I’ve ever been to! It has interesting exhibits about Australian wildlife, geology, and Indigenous culture. There is also a great natural history section with dinosaur bones and exhibits focused on human evolution. You can visit the museum for free every day from 10 am to 5 pm. Simply pop on by as you’re exploring Hyde Park!

Last but not least, be sure to stop by St. Mary’s Cathedral. This is a beautiful Gothic Revival church, dating back to the 1800s. It’s known as the most impressive church in the Southern Hemisphere, and I can’t decide which is prettier – the interior or exterior. Best to see it for yourself!

Mid-morning – Scenic flight

View out the front of a helicopter on scenic flight over Sydney, Australia
Could you imagine anything more beautiful?
Views of the rocky cliffs of Eastern Sydney as seen from a helicopter flight
The coastline is incredible!

This itinerary gives some astounding views of Sydney – but the best of the best is from an aerial view! After going on numerous scenic flights around the world, we can confidently say this Sydney Harbour helicopter tour is our favorite! 

Of course, the highlights were seeing the Sydney Harbour, Opera House, and Bridge, but even more impressive was seeing the stunning coastline! The water was impressively blue from above, and it was so cool to see Bondi Beach, Coogee Beach, and Manley Cove from up here too. It puts into perspective just how stunning Sydney’s landscape is.

To make this experience even more memorable, our pilot made it even better! He was so informative and entertaining. Even though we consider ourselves Sydney experts, we still learned new facts! Plus, riding in a helicopter is a fun experience in itself, and this one was pretty fancy – we felt like VIPs. 

Views out the front of a helicopter as it flys over the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour bridge
What a view!

We booked this 20-minute flight for $240 AUD per person, and it included hotel pick up and drop off (which was a nice perk). I know 20 minutes doesn’t sound very long, but the time seems to slow down in the air because you’re seeing so much! Departure times are available from 10 am to 1:30 pm, so you can easily fit into this itinerary. 

Check out our full guide and even more tour options on our Sydney helicopter blog here!

Afternoon – Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia
Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia
Bailey takes a selfie at Bondi Beach
I love Bondi!

A trip to Sydney isn’t complete without some beach time. Namely, some Bondi Beach time! This beach is famous for celebrity sightings, great surf, and the best spot to get some Vitamin D. Although it’s uber-popular, I still love going to Bondi Beach, it has such a lively buzz and there’s lots to do/see here.

You can always simply relax on the beach and go for a dip, but Bondi is known for its surf scene. If you’re already an expert surfer, grab your board and go for it! But if you need to learn, you can easily book surf lessons at Bondi Beach.

This 2-hour surf lesson is led by long-time surfers and has a great reputation because the staff are so friendly and welcoming! With something as intimidating as learning how to surf, having a good instructor makes all the difference. It keeps the groups small, just 5 people, so you can get plenty of attention and feel comfortable. There are multiple lesson slots a day and it costs $99 AUD – book your surf lesson in advance here!

If you’re more of a land than a water mammal, there’s a fantastic walking track near here. The Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk follows the coastline and takes you all the way to Bronte Beach. We actually prefer Bronte Beach because it’s a smaller, less popular beach and is just as stunning as Bondi. 

This walking track is 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) each way and will take about 45 minutes to an hour. The views on this route are stunning as you can see Tamara Beach, Mackenzie’s Bay, and the rocky coast and white sand. I absolutely love this track!

Bailey and her friend on the Bondi to Coogee walk in Sydney Australia
No walk in Sydney is more iconic!

You can turn around and head back to Bondi Beach, but we like to hang out at Bronte for a bit. Keep in mind that the waves at Bronte are pretty strong, so I wouldn’t recommend swimming here. The Bronte Baths are a great alternative, they are man-made rock pools where people can go for a dip safely.

Whether you’ve been surfing all afternoon at Bondi or walking the Coastal Track, you’re probably going to get hungry at some point. Bondi has a lot of yummy restaurants nearby, and our personal favorite is The Depot. This cafe focuses on healthy dishes using sustainable ingredients – perfect to refuel then get back to adventuring!

When I’m REALLY hungry, there’s nothing like a big ol’ burger to hit the spot. Bonditony’s Burger Joint is just that, and we love the relaxed vibes and good music. The owner used to manage rock and roll bands back in the day, the theme of the restaurant is all about classic rock. Everything is made in-house, so the burgers are fresh and flavorful. 

Finally, if you’re feeling a bit fancy for the afternoon, check out Lola’s Italian & Bar. If you like Mediterranean food, fresh oysters and seafood, and specialty cocktails, you will love Lola’s! While it’s on the pricey side, everything is tasty and the ambiance is unmatched, so treat yourself a little bit! It also overlooks the beach, so I really can’t think of a better place to sit and relax for the afternoon.

Related Read: Another can’t-miss Sydney sight is Manley Beach! Check out our guide to visiting Manley Beach before you go.

Dinner

Pasta at Alberto's Lounge in Sydney, Australia
Alberto’s Lounge!
Inside of Alberto's Lounge in Sydney
It’s so cute inside!

One of my favorite ways to unwind after a full day of adventure is with a lovely dinner! Sydney is not short on amazing restaurants, in fact, there are too many to choose from. 

Quay is one of the most popular in the city, known for its amazing food and scenery. You can see both the Sydney Harbour and the Opera House, and when they are all lit up at night it has a spectacular vibe. The food at Quay is quite the culinary experience, they offer 6 to 8-course menu options with wine pairings. 

With one of the top chefs in Sydney, Quay is certainly popular. Best to make a reservation to secure a table! It is open for dinner Thursday through Sunday.

Another one of our favorite spots is Alberto’s Lounge, right near Hyde Park. This has one of the most welcoming vibes I’ve experienced in a restaurant, and you can’t go wrong with its fresh and hearty Italian food. Oh, and the extensive wine list helps too, you know I’m a sucker for pasta and wine!

Even though this place is top-tier food quality, it still has a fun atmosphere and is definitely not a pretentious feel. They have a late-night DJ and an eclectic style with stained glass windows and glowing neon signs. Somehow it all works and makes for a lively dinner spot!

I recommend booking a table here because they have limited seating. It’s also a local favorite, so it can get quite busy! Alberto’s Lounge is open every day at 5 pm.

Another fun spot, with an entirely different vibe, is Restaurant Hubert. This is our go-to spot for live music, and we love the speakeasy feel of this underground French restaurant. Their vintage decor and live jazz music pairs perfectly with their gourmet menu – I always feel like I stepped back in time! They are open at 5 pm and just like the others, I recommend making a reservation. 

Night – Enjoy the nightlife

The Sydney Harbour Bridge lit up at night during a Dinner cruise
How beautiful is it at night!

A trip to Sydney isn’t complete without enjoying the nightlife a bit! Sydney’s party scene is famous, and I can attest – it’s a lot of fun! There are tons of bars in this city, so there’s something for everyone!

Kings Cross is the part of town to visit if you’re looking to dance and party the night away. Dulcie’s is the most popular (and my favorite) cocktail bar in Kings Cross. Their drinks are made strictly out of Australian spirits and they make really unique cocktails! Dulcie’s is a bit quieter than other bars in Kings Cross, so if you want to be able to chat with your friends and have a relaxed night, this is the best place to do it.

Jangling Jack’s is another lively jazz bar in the area. The staff is super fun and friendly and always makes my drink perfectly. Best of all, their drinks are decently priced, so you won’t have to spend an arm and a leg going out!

If dancing and loud bars aren’t your vibe, I always love taking a stroll through Darling Harbour at night! It is even more beautiful all lit up by the city lights, and it has a lovely, relaxed atmosphere. The Champagne Bar in the Sofitel is a great little treat!

And if you’re feeling lucky, you can check out the famous Star Casino in Darling Harbour. This is a massive casino with poker tables, slot machines, dice games, and more. This is actually one of the top casinos in all of Australia and so if you enjoy casinos and gambling a bit, this is worth checking out!

Day 4 – Go on a wine tour in the Hunter Valley

Hunter Valley is one of our favorite wine regions!
Enjoying a glass of wine on the Hunter Valley near Sydney Australia
Wine anyone?

One of the things I love most about Sydney is how central it is to some epic NSW sights. For our final day in the city, we are actually taking you out of the city to one of my favorite regions – Hunter Valley! Why is this region so great, you may ask? It is a historic wine-producing region!

This is one of the oldest grape-growing regions in all of Australia. The vines date back to the early 19th century and there are more than 150 wineries in the Hunter Valley region. It thrives in producing Semillon grapes, which are the types that go into Riesling and White Burgundy. 

At just over 3 hours away from Sydney, it’s well worth a day trip. However, if you can swing it, I highly recommend spending a full weekend here. There are too many good wineries to miss!

Since you just have one day and want to enjoy the best of Hunter Valley wines, I think taking an organized tour is the only way to do it. No one wants to be a designated driver and miss out on the yummy wine, and three hours is quite a long drive. Here is our full list of the top Hunter Valley wine tours from Sydney, but let me narrow it down to my favorite one!

This full-day tour is all about indulging in the finest things of Hunter Valley – that’s why it’s our favorite! You’ll hit three cellar doors, get to try locally made sweets, have a feast of lunch, and even stop by a distillery. This is also a great tour option if not everyone in your group is a huge wine-o because you’ll end up trying a lot of other things. 

When we took this day trip, we departed Sydney at 7:30 am. Don’t worry, we didn’t start drinking that early! Instead, we enjoyed the scenery and comfy ride, as we were escorted in a Mercedes Benz. 

A road leads down a vineyard in the Hunter Valley Australia
What a beautiful region!

Once we reached the wine region, we stopped at three different boutique wineries. The exact wineries you visit vary, but all of the ones we went to were pretty different, making each stop unique. My favorite part of the day was getting the behind-the-scenes tour of the wineries to see how they all operate. We had wine and cheese pairings, and also wine and chocolate pairings – I couldn’t say no to extra chocolate tastings too!

And of course, all of the wineries had spectacular views and even better wine!

We then stopped for a gourmet lunch with more wine (or beer if you need a break!). Our final stop was at the Hunter Valley Distillery, where we had a few vodka and gin tastings. This distillery uses local ingredients, and I was surprised at how different each type of spirit was. I don’t know much about the distilling process, so this was a really fun addition to the tour.

By the end of the day, we were full of wine, yummy food, and spirits, so we quickly fell asleep on the 3-hour drive back to Sydney! Thank goodness we had the drivers with this tour. We had a great time with our tour guides and made a few friends along the way, as it’s a pretty small group of 16 people. We loved how inclusive this tour was, it covered all tasting fees, transportation, and food costs, and we didn’t have to worry about anything!

You can book this tour for $249 AUD every day except Mondays. For how inclusive it is, we thought it was well worth the price and had such a fun time! Expect to get back to Sydney around 6:30 pm, so it’s certainly a long day, but it’s worth it – it’s the perfect end to your 4 days in Sydney. 

Other Things to do While You’re in Sydney

Bailey walks the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia
Walking the gallery!
Bailey enjoys a drink at the Fortunes of War historic pub in The Rocks Sydney while on a historic pub tour
A pub tour in The Rocks is so fun – cheers!

If you can squeeze a few more items into your itinerary – or ideally, you can stay longer – you’re in luck. There are truly so many fun things to do in Sydney! To help you narrow it down, we’ve detailed some of our favorite options below.

  • Whale watching tour – Over 20,000 whales migrate through Sydney’s waters from May to November. We love this half-day whale watching tour that takes you into the Pacific Ocean to spot whales and dolphins, and learn all about it from the naturalist guides! Best of all, it has a whale sighting guarantee, so if you don’t see them this time, you can go as many times as you need until you do!
  • Check out a market – If you love shopping, head to one of the local markets! Paddington Market is open on Saturdays and has a very hip boho vibe, while the Bondi Markets are open on Sundays and are super laidback. Paddy’s Market is a huge indoor market with fresh seafood, produce, and Asian cuisine. Lastly, the tourist-favorite Rocks Market has books, art, and yummy food every weekend. 
  • Go on a historic pub crawl – Sydney is home to plenty of historic pubs and taverns that date back to European settlement times. Some include the Fortune of War, Harts Pub, and the Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel, all of which can be found in the Rocks neighborhood. Explore on your own or join a pub tour to meet fellow travelers and hear interesting historical facts and stories from your guide. 
  • Enjoy the Art Gallery of NSW – The Art Gallery of NSW is one of the best art galleries in the city and also one of the best free things you can do in Sydney! It’s located a 15-minute walk from the CBD and houses a huge collection of international artwork along with Australian art, including one of the biggest collections of Aboriginal art in the country.
  • Go skydiving – Tandem skydiving is available for both first-time jumpers and experienced skydivers, and you’ll get amazing views of the city alongside a huge adrenaline rush. We recommend this skydiving experience over Wollongong beach which gives you about 60 seconds of freefall before your parachute is deployed. What a way to see the city!

Where to Stay in Sydney

Get the best views of Sydney at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, Australia
Photo credit: Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

If you’re planning a 4-day trip to Sydney, you’re going to need a place to stay. Luckily, Sydney has a huge variety of accommodations to fit every budget. If you’re overwhelmed with where to start, check out our top picks for places to stay, from luxury rooms to budget-friendly hostels. We’ve got you covered!

Four Seasons Hotel Sydney – $$$

For stunning views of Sydney Harbour and the iconic Opera House, book a room at the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney. You’ll have unobstructed views of the city from the comfort of your room. The hotel is located in the city center within The Rocks neighborhood – nice and close to lots of activities and restaurants.

Rooms here start at $400-$500 AUD per night and can be reserved with Booking.com.

Meriton Suites Kent Street Sydney – $$

Stay right in the heart of Sydney in a modern luxury apartment at Meriton Suites Kent Street. The suites are air-conditioned and have laundry facilities and either a kitchenette or full kitchen to make longer stays more comfortable. You’ll also have access to an indoor swimming pool, fitness center, and hot tub.

These full apartments are $200-$300 AUD nightly when booked in advance with Booking.com.

Sydney Harbour YHA – $

For a hostel with a view, head to the rooftop terrace at the Sydney Harbour YHA. Located in the historic Rocks district, you’ll have amazing views of the harbor and be within walking distance of all the major sights. You can opt for a shared dorm room or a private room here. There’s a communal kitchen, TV lounge, billiards, and a 24/7 reception desk.

Dorm rooms are around $70 AUD nightly and private rooms are more around the $180 AUD mark. You can check for the best rates and book on either Booking.com or Hostelworld.com.

Renting a Car in Australia

Driving through the outback in a rental car in Australia
Outback Australia!

With many must-see destinations in Australia outside city limits, one of the best ways to get around is in a rental car.

Australia is a huge country and traveling between cities or getting to some of the most scenic spots requires driving. While public transit is sometimes an option, it often adds a lot of time and planning. Plus, we love the freedom of a rental car to stop wherever we want and not have to stick to a set schedule.

Car rental in Australia is super affordable, especially if you choose a smaller vehicle. We use the website DiscoverCars.com. It’s a search engine that compares multiple car rental companies for you – saving you from visiting each website individually.

If you plan to be based in a main city like Sydney, Melbourne, or Perth and do a few day trips while returning your car to the same location, we’ve booked rentals for as cheap as $25 AUD a day! Full coverage insurance can be added for around an extra $12 AUD a day too. The price will vary depending on the time of year, type of car, and if you’re able to pick up and drop off at the same location.

Discover Cars also offers handy filters so you can search for cars that offer features like child seats, GPS, or let you have an additional driver. There are also free cancellation options if your trip changes. Read our honest review of Discover Cars here for more details!

Check out the selection and book your car rental online here!

Thanks for reading!

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie on a cruise in Sydney, Australia
Thanks for reading!

Four days in Sydney is just about the perfect amount of time! There are so many fun sights to see, and two epic day trips that I couldn’t help to include. This is the most popular city in Australia for a reason (sorry to my hometown Perth!) but I know you’ll enjoy your time if you follow this itinerary – we sure did!

We hope you found this guide helpful as you plan your ultimate Sydney vacation. If you need assistance planning your travels further, check out our other Australia blogs. Here are a few more related blogs that I think you’ll like. Cheers!

How to Spend 4 Days in Perth – An Itinerary to See it All!

6 BEST Sightseeing Tours in Sydney +What to Know BEFORE Booking

Great Ocean Road Tours from Melbourne – the 5 BEST Tours for this Scenic Drive!