Sydney is a wonderful city to visit, and is high on the list for most travellers. It has everything to offer from iconic sights to a thriving cultural and foodie scene. But what do you prioritise if you only have 48 hours to spend in the city? Here’s our guide to doing it right.

Saturday Morning

Assuming you arrive in town on Friday evening, you will be refreshed and ready to go for Saturday morning. Use your current energy levels to make the most of the morning and head for Bondi beach. This is just a short drive away, and you can take public transport or organise a car if needed. Don’t hang around on the beach and sunbathe, however – there’s a much more exciting way to see the area. Start at the south end of Bondi near the Icebergs pool to get a view across to Ben Buckler. Walk on the left side of the track and keep going for 3.5km – you will find yourself in Bronte for breakfast (or lunch, depending on what time you arrive). If you’re feeling less active, try a dip in the Icebergs pool instead, or jump into the sea. On a hot and sunny day, you might even just feel like laying back and watching the action in the waves.

Saturday Afternoon

Get back to Sydney after lunchtime, or enjoy lunch in Paddington if you wish. Once there you can head to Williams Street for a quick spot of shopping, then move on to the Art Gallery of New South Wales. It’s free to enter and you can see plenty of famous Australian artists’ work there. Once you’re finished wandering around and admiring everything, head out to dinner at around 6pm. There are plenty of great restaurants in this area, but if you go closer to one of the theatres of the city you will be well placed for your evening entertainment. Be sure to book ahead before your trip, and you’ll be able to see a show at the Opera House, Sydney Theatre, or the Golden Age Cinema. It’s well worth it. Make sure that you choose from one of the many city hotels so that you don’t have far to walk once the show is over and you emerge into the night.

Sunday Morning

Where to start on a Sydney Sunday? Well, the beach, of course. This time head for the eastern side of the city and find Nielsen Park, which has fantastic views and waters protected by shark nets. Have breakfast here, then move on to Hyde Park for a gentle stroll to take in some Australian history in a peaceful and tranquil setting. You’ll be surrounded by stunning gardens and water features that makes it feel like you’re not in Australia’s biggest city. There are often events held in the park throughout the year such as a Food and Wine Fair and Sydney Festival so make sure you check to see if there are any events planned before your visit! All around the outside of the park you’ll be spoilt for options for lunch, from Italian to Thai there’s something for everyone.

Sunday Afternoon

Move on after lunchtime to the harbour. Here you can find a lot of different activities on offer, so it’s your choice how you get on the water. How about kayaking for an example? You can paddle out across the bays and the harbour depending on your starting point, and even travel to Shark Island for a rest in the middle of your excursion. Dodging the ferries only adds to the fun – or if you’re not a fan of doing all the work yourself, you could choose to do a harbour tour and get on one of the ferries instead. You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy yourself before it’s time to collect your bags and start on the way home – and this gives you a chance to spot the Harbour Bridge, Opera House, and other star attractions from the water.

Even when you only have 48 hours to spend in Sydney, you can still get an effective slice of everything that the city has to offer. From beaches to cuisine, and from art to iconic sightseeing tours, this itinerary has just a little bit of everything that you would need to see and do on a longer trip to this Australian gem.