Spending 3 days in Sydney and wandering what to do? Look no further! While spending 2 weeks in Australia would be ideal, honestly even longer I didn’t have enough vacation days to do so. I spent 8 days in Australia visiting Cairns and Melbourne before ending my trip spending 3 days in Sydney. We were supposed to spend 4 days here but the week before I decided to visit Melbourne for a day. I am so happy I did and I honestly believe spending 3 days in Sydney was enough.
Cheap Flights to Sydney
Australia has always been a bucket list destination for me. However, with flights often costing $1800 I was in no rush. That all changed when I scored a flight deal and got a cheap flight to Sydney for $580 round trip to fly from Atlanta. When looking for cheap flights to Sydney or anywhere else Skyscanner is always my go to. You can enter you home airport and your destination and it will find the cheapest flights. If you have specific dates you have to travel but don’t care about the destination you can select dates and then it will show you the cheapest places to go during that time.
Australian Visa Application: ETA Australia
US Citizens have to go through the Australian visa application in order to enter Australia. As a US citizen holding a US passport you can apply for your visa via ETA Australia. ETA Australia stands for Electronic Travel Authority as the vis process can be completed online. There is a small application fee of AUD20 (about $15 depending on current exchange rates). You can apply for the ETA Australia here.
Unlike other visas your ETA Australia will be automatically linked to your passport. All customs workers will have access to it so you don’t need to carry any documents with you. The ETA Australia visa is valid for 12 months however, you can only stay in Australia for 3 months at a time. You can not work in Australia on this type of visa, it is strictly for tourism.
Best time to Visit Sydney
If you are traveling to Sydney from the United States its important to note that Australia has opposite seasons from the US. This means when it’s summer in the US it’s winter in Australia. The best time to visit Sydney is in their summer or the United States winter. I visited in October which is in the spring and why spending 3 days in Sydney was enough. I still needed a light jacket most days so the weather wasn’t hot enough to take advantage of some of the summer Sydney activities.
Where to Stay in Sydney
We stayed in this Airbnb in Edgecliff. It was right in front of the train station so it was in a good location to get around town. However I would not recommend this Airbnb at all because of the host. She was unresponsive during our booking period and I should have listened to my gut and not moved forward with her place. I’ve learned my lesson now and it’s one of my 8 tips to guarantee a great Airbnb experience. Airbnb’s are a great way to save money and you can save $40 off your first stay by signing up here.
Things to Do in Sydney Australia with 3 Days in Sydney
Day 1 in Sydney: Bondi Beach Sydney and the Manly Ferry
Our first day in Sydney we visited the infamous Bondi Beach. Here you can watch the surfers The beach is absolutely gorgeous! Be sure to check out Bondi Icebergs Club where the swimming pool meets the ocean, they even have a kiddy pool. There are plenty of shops and restaurants across from the beach. We took the train to Bondi Junction and caught the bus straight to the beach, it is a free transfer.
In the evening we took the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly which is supposed to have one of the best sunset views in Sydney…unfortunately we missed it by 6 minutes. There is a nice pedestrian only street lined with shops and restaurants before getting to the beach. There are penguins by the water right next to the ferry station.
Day 2: Day Trips from Sydney- Blue Mountains Tour and Featherdale Wildlife Park
Our second day we explored one of the best day trips from Sydney. After much researched we chose the Blue Mountains tour through Sightseeing Tours Australia that also included the Featherdale Wildelife Park. This Blue Deluxe Blue Mountains tour cost us $125AUD each, about $90USD at the time. The first stop on this day trip from Sydney was Featherdale Wildlife Park which was the highlight of the tour in my opinion. Featherdale Wildlife Park has free roaming Kangaroos, Koala’s you can take photos with (they allow you to take some with your cell phone and not have to pay for the professional ones), and the opportunity to see Wombats, Dingoes and Penguins.
After visiting Featherdale Wildlife Park we headed to a small town where you can have lunch, which is not included in the tour price. We decided to eat at Loaves and Dishes where most of the group ate Kangaroo Burgers. The tour then goes to Echo Point where you can view the Three Sisters. This view is said to be the reason the Blue Mountains is considered the Grand Canyon of Australia.
The last stop on the Blue Mountains tour is Scenic World where you can get various views of The Blue Mountains. Here you can view them by a cable car that goes above the Three Sisters, a railway, and/or a skyway. After the Blue Mountains tour is over you’re dropped off at Olympic Park to take the ferry back to the city. It is prepaid and you can get off at Darling Harbour or Circular Quay.
Day 3: Darling Harbour and Circular Quay
On our final day in Sydney we spent the day walking around Darling Harbour and Circular Quay. This is where you will find the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. You can actually climb the Harbour Bridge, as in walk over the arch. The way my nerves are set up, there isn’t enough money you could pay me to do this.
We visited the Opera House where you can take a guided tour or walk around a little bit yourself. In hindsight we could have done this on our first day. If I could plan our trip over I would have only spent two days in Sydney and added a day in Melbourne. If we were visiting during a different time of year where we could have enjoyed the beach or take surf lessons three days would have been great. However it was quite chilly in October and definitely not beach weather. We considered taking another day trip from Sydney to Hunter Valley, the Napa of Australia. However, since the majority of the group has been to Napa we decided against it since we only had 3 days in Sydney.
How to Get Around Sydney: Sydney Public Transport
We took the train, bus, or ferry everywhere during our 3 days in Sydney. A car was not necessary at all. You can even take the train from the airport, it’s called the Airport Link and it’s very easy to take. You just put money on your Opal card, the cost is based on the distance you travel On Sundays it is “Family Day” and the max your Opal card will be charged is $2.50 so this is a good day to go to Manly if you will be there on a Sunday.