If you’re planning a weekend in Sydney, there’s plenty of enjoyment to be had. The city not only has a thriving arts and culture scene, but it’s home to some of Australia’s famous landmarks. This guide will show you everything to see and do for a magical weekend in Sydney.

Friday Evening

sydney financial district

Sydney Financial District

Friday will begin your 72 hours in Sydney. Start by checking into a charming boutique hotel near the Central Business District, which is one of the city’s most intriguing areas. You’ll find an array of excellent restaurants serving some of Sydney’s delicacies, such as Sydney rock oysters and delicious, fresh fish like yellowfin tuna, snapper and John Dory.

After dinner, head to a nearby bar or lounge overlooking the stunning harbour. Many of the local night spots offer live music and entertainment, and there’s no shortage of high-profile theatre productions. The Sydney Opera House, Australia’s iconic performing arts venue, hosts everything from opera to dance performances, as well as guided tours of the spectacular architecture.

Saturday Morning

Sydney harbour bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Saturday morning, start off with coffee and breakfast at one of the many independent coffee shops or cafes in the city. If you prefer to sleep in, you can enjoy brunch at a restaurant in the city centre.

After breakfast, you can spend some time sightseeing in the city. The Sydney Harbour Bridge, a massive steel-arched bridge with a gorgeous lookout, is a great start. If you’re brave, you can try the BridgeClimb, which offers stunning views of the city. You could also visit some of the city’s other notable attractions, such as the Royal Botanic Garden, a vast harbourside garden space with a rose garden and local wildlife, or shop at the Queen Victoria Building, a Romanesque shopping area with a huge selection of stores.

Sydney is home to many fine restaurants that serve lunch, so it’s easy to stop in and enjoy culinary delights between visiting the city’s landmarks.

Saturday Evening

australia national maritime museum

Australia National Maritime Museum

Sydney loves to party, whether it’s in a basement, on a roof, by the pool or celebrating a themed event. If you prefer an early Saturday evening, you’ll have plenty of choices of underground bars and clubs with unique events like drag shows and rainbow parties. Darling Harbour is known for its spectacular club scene with electrifying DJ shows and international dance legends, while Bondi Beach is the place to be for independent music and poolside fun.

Several museums in Sydney, such as the Australia National Maritime Museum, host evening events. You can attend art workshops, murder mystery dinners at sea and special exhibitions about maritime history and ocean conservation. In between your evening excursions, be sure to stop in one of Sydney’s fine restaurants for a seafood feast or gourmet ethnic fusion cuisine with fine wine and craft brews.

Sunday Morning

art gallery in sydney

Art Gallery of New South Wales

With 24 hours in Sydney left, Sunday morning is the time to sightsee and take in the experiences of the city. After breakfast or brunch at a cafe, you could visit the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, a cutting-edge museum with a vast collection of Australian and international artwork in a lavish art-deco building, or the Sydney Fish Market, a large marketplace with shops for seafood, wine, baked goods and more. Paddy’s Market Haymarket, a historic marketplace with souvenirs and other goods, is a great spot to pick up gifts for your friends and family.

If you prefer to spend some time outdoors, visit Shelly Beach, which is known for its colourful wildlife and snorkelling opportunities, or explore Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, a vast bushland with protected indigenous sites and coastal bush near beaches. You could also enjoy a coastal walk with beautiful views of the water.

Sunday Night

darling harbour

Darling Harbour

In Sydney, Sunday night is just as exciting as Saturday. Sydneysiders enjoy Sunday sessions, a way for the locals to unwind before the workweek ahead. After an excellent dinner in one of the restaurants in The Rocks or Darling Harbour, you can head to one of the many watering holes and pubs in the area for a fun night out. Many bars offer drink specials, live music and small, shareable plates, or you can splurge for a full late-night dinner with cocktails.

If you prefer a quieter night before you leave, there are wine and paint events, quiet jazz performances in swanky bars and mellow rooftop venues with cocktails overlooking the beach. Several breweries also offer tours with a relaxed atmosphere and beer tastings to unwind for the night.

If you’re planning an exciting weekend in Sydney, visit Expedia to explore excellent accommodation options to help you make the most of your experience.