I know as an Australian I carry a lot of home team bias, but given that I’ve travelled the world extensively I feel that I can get away with declaring Sydney as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
I say this not as an Australian, but as a world traveller.
There are very few cities on a harbour and even fewer on one so beautiful. Sydney is also unique in that it offers a scenic view from almost any point on the compass. Many of those views reach down and across the harbour with its striking architecture but there are equally as many views that turn their back on the magnificence of the harbour and sweep the coastline instead.
A beautiful view is a setting. It plays backdrop to an array of life’s moments, happy and sad, heartbreaking and also joyous. The view is the silent backdrop to them all.
Here are, in my opinion, the top 5 best views of Sydney:
1. Sydney Harbour from Opera Bar, Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay
Get up close and personal with a view of the bridge from the best seats in the house: the Opera House that is. And what’s more, you can do it with champagne. Every Sydney-sider I’ve ever met has at least one drink here in summer. It’s a great date spot if you are looking to impress.
2. Sydney Harbour from a Ferry
What better way to get a view of the harbour from all angles than taking the ferry? And aside from that it is cheap and will take you places you want to go. Ferries run from Circular Quay to Watson’s Bay, Manly, Mosman, Cremorne Point, Darling Harbour, Parramatta and Balmain, just to name a few. All will offer you splendid views of the harbour and if you can do one coming into the city of an evening you will be astounded by the beauty of the city as the sun leaves the sky.
3. Harbour views from the North side: Cremorne Point
Arriving by ferry from Circular Quay you will hop off almost directly onto Cremorne Reserve. It is essentially a park with a bike track and a drop your jaw amazing view looking back onto the city. This spot is particularly awesome at sunset as you have a few to the west as well as the south. It also offers a pretty spectacular view of the city skyline and includes the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. And the best thing? It’s peaceful here. Enjoy.
4. Sydney Coastline: north AND south of the harbour
I simply can’t choose between the point at Coogee where the planes come over as you are heading towards Bondi on the coastal walk OR the view from Bather’s Pavillion on the north side. So my suggestion is this: whichever one is closest to you, do that. If you have extra time and will travel, then do the other one too.
5. Sydney Harbour from the Four Seasons Hotel
You need at least one view that is from up high and this one, it offers it all. If the Four Seasons hotel is really out of your budget you can get a view, looking down, from a couple of other great spots around the city. Two favourites are Summit Revolving Restaurant (you can pop in for a drink only, no need to eat there) or Observatory Hill. The view is so beautiful from here that many people choose it as the location for their wedding photos.
For a quick glimpse of some of these top views check out the Locals Guide to Sydney video. What’s your favourite view of Sydney?