These are some of the reasons Sydney became one of my favorite cities in just 24 hours.
In a traveler’s lifetime, there always comes an occasional trip that is perhaps more rushed than he or she had hoped. Sometimes it’s a plane delay, other times there’s a transfer that gives one just enough time to roam the city for a day or two. The latter was the case in my recent trip to Sydney, a stop on the way back to Jakarta from our more extensive vacation in New Zealand. Had I known what I was about to experience, I would’ve planned for more time there. With its permanently blue skies, Colonial and Victorian architecture, and spotless streets, Sydney became one of my favorite cities in just 24 hours. Here’s a rough guide to four, must-see spots if you find yourself in a similar, Sydney-style predicament.
1. Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge
While this seems like a given, a trip to Sydney is never complete without a visit to the Opera House. Besides touring the inside of the Opera House itself, there are a few ideal photo locations for taking the perfect picture. The first is Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, an elevated rock area that captures both the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge in one magnificent shot. For closer but separate shots of the two landmarks, Dawes Point Park near the Park Hyatt Hotel (a wonderful hotel option for a perfect view of the Opera House from your room) conveniently places you right in between the two sights.
2. St. Mary’s Cathedral
Religious or not, visitors of Sydney flock to the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. Mary purely for its architectural and interior beauty. Designed in the Gothic Revival style common in the 19th century, the cathedral sits beside Hyde Park, a peaceful area containing the Archibald Fountain and a spectacular view of the Sydney Tower.
3. Bondi Beach
Close to St. Mary’s Cathedral is a conveniently located bus stop that heads to Bondi Beach, a landmark popularized by the hit show ”Bondi Rescue.” While Bondi’s famous waters are a must-see for visitors during the summer, the beach area surrounding it is quite relaxed and a nice place to take a stroll in the wintertime as well. Heading to Bondi at sunset ensures a beautiful canvas of blues, pinks and reds as a backdrop to the restless sea.
4. Queen Victoria Building
Sydney’s most popular, and perhaps most beautiful, shopping center, QVB appears from the outside to be a cathedral or historic political building of sorts, with large, turquoise domes adorning its rooftop. Originally opened in 1890 as a Municipal Market, QVB was later restored and reopened in 1989 as a modern shopping center with more than 180 trendy shops, cafés, and restaurants. The interior sports stained glass windows, arches, and balustrades modeled in the Victorian style, as well as large clocks and an enormous Christmas tree during the holidays.