First Time in Sydney – The Important Checklist You Need To Follow

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In the month of October 2017, I got a chance to visit Sydney solo and that was my first visit to an International country. I had no idea how to deal with abroad culture, their people, places, currency and the most important thing that came to my mind what would I do at first time in Sydney , how to visit most of the places safely , solo and within budget.


So, I made pointers to follow a checklist of how to visit most of the Sydney, within a budget and I enjoyed my one week visit there. Sydney is an amazing, safe city for all and there’s so much to do. This Sydney checklist will help you to your first time visit in Sydney and you will feel relax.


Buy a Sim card when you land


This is very much important to buy a sim for your daily usage. You will easily find lot of shops at airport area who provide sim cards with different options. I bought Voda sim with 4g data as internet connection is very much required to navigate the place or for whatsapp calling purpose.


Buy an Opal Card for hassle free transport


The most important way to get around Sydney or any foreign city is transportation. Taxis are very expensive and you can not walk too much to cover every where. Sydney has an extensive public transport system that includes trains, buses, ferries and light rail. They have an integrated payment method system called Opal Card which you can use to ride everything like trains, buses, light rails and even ferries too. Once you have bought the card you have to recharge for your commuting purpose and make sure you will tap on and off in buses or light rails. Opal card has different price caps on weekdays and weekends.


  • Daily cap: $15AUD
    • Weekly cap: $60AUD
    • Sunday cap: $2.50AUD – Yes! $2.50AUD on Sundays, anywhere, everywhere, and as many stops you can travel.


Light rail

You can easily purchase Opal card from any store or can get the card at airport only. So buy one and enjoy hassle free Sydney like a local.


Sydney is a city of early riser


Yes ! you heard it right. Almost every café in Sydney open by 7 am. Even most of the shops, malls, monuments, parks are also open by max 8.30 am. So plan your trip early to roam around every possible place and utilize your time accordingly.


Sydney is a city of early closer.



Again you heard it right. It’s normal for eateries to close their kitchens at 9pm. In the event that you’ve abandoned it past the point where it is possible to get supper, the chances are you may need to move far for it. Even the shop are open last 6 to 7 pm (most of them are close by 6 pm.) Same applicable for bars and pubs too.


Taxis are highly expensive.


I tried for uber from airport to my hotel (travel distance max 40 min) and it charged me like hell. So make sure you will plan for it else Sydney has amazing public transport already discussed above.


You can opt for i-Venture (optional)


I had not much time in hand so I went to i-venture shop and opted for their flexi attraction pass. They have different options to get ticket for remarkable monuments or entertainment parks and I chose the highest one 7 tickets for 3 days where I had to choose 7 options from a choice over 35 attractions.

This was the best option for new comers to visit or cover as much places or opt for other options too.


What were the 7 options I opted from 35 attractions-


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You know what it is always wonderful to chase a new place, to walk on an unknown path and look after where I am going… One fine day I was walking alone ay St. George street of Sydney to chase my dreams… the people, the new big buildings, the sun, the busy roads and me… My first ever solo international trip thought me a lot of things. How to fly and how to achieve the dreams, how to mix with local and how to manage with new time zone…. those days where unforgettable and will be cherished for ever… Sydney has a great unique point is if you lost anywhere still you can manage to come to your place with the help of commuting systems. This city is really developing with trums, metros, buses, electric rails, water ships and railway systems. Only one card and you can access anything…. To know more about sydney and the know how of travel with tricky tips..keep an eye on my Blog , soon I am going to release the complete Sydney diary ☺ Follow @everycornerofworld to get more updates.. #australia #sydney #changi #Changiairport #instapic #sponsored #georgestreet #lifestylephotography #morningmotivation #visitsingapore #visitsydney #FlySQ #streetphotography #streetphoto_color #travelblogger #travelphotography #travel #passport #solotravel #instatravel #southwales #streetlife #sydneyaustralia #sydney_insta

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  • I chose Hop On Hop Off bus service (24 hours / Sydney and Bondi Tour) which was pretty cool to cover these 2 places. The bus experience was mind blowing and you can enjoy the double Decker ride too.
  • Taronga zoo, Sydney Tower and Opera house tour these most iconic attractions I had opted. Opera house has free to see from outside but I went to the inside of the opera to know more about Sydney Opera House and its history.
  • Sydney without cruise service is just incomplete. So as obvious I chose Cruise service(24 hours/hop and hop off) to roam around entire Sydney via sea.
  • Blue Mountain was my dream to visit and so I opted the Blue Mountain Explorer bus . You can cover entire mountain region with this bus service without any hassle.
  • Last but not least because of short span of time I opted fish and chips from Blue Fish restaurant which turned a good decision for me. This restaurant is one of the famous restaurants for sea food and has an heavenly ambiance at darling harbor sea side.


Tight Budget – Some free exercise for you

Sydney has lot more free options to do like free walking tour. You can check on google as there are many free walking tours run every day at different locations of Sydney. Just enroll and enjoy a super cool walk with light minded travelers absolutely free.

There are lot more attractions are absolute free to visit like Museum of Contemporary Art, Art gallery of New South Wales, Botanical Garden, Hyde Park and Harbour Bridge. Climbing the bridge costs a lot of money, but walking athwart it doesn’t cost a penny! This is one of Australia’s biggest icons, and absolutely should not be missed!


This are the few points to be followed for pester free trip if you are planning to visit Sydney. There are lot more things to learn and experience practically, but these are my most highlighted checklist of Sydney based on my personal experience..


  1. Debjani lahiri

    This is really a handy at our convinience “Travel Sydney” tips you shared .. infact Sydney is one of my bucket list places .. And your tips will definitely be helpful for my city travel needs. Great post

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      Thank you so much Deb 🙂 Sydney is indeed a great city to visit but the expensive one. So few things are rally important to follow for a memorable trip 🙂

  2. Amrita Sen

    The Hop On Hop Off bus services is a boon for any travellers. Thanks Pamela for sharing these handy tips for any first timers in Sydney. These are some really helpful tips.

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  3. Anjali Chawla

    Such elaborate guide. I’m planning to visit Australia next summer and your tips will definitely come handy. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. And the pics are love ❤️

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      Thank you so much Anjali. I am glad that you liked my post. Do visit Australia , its an wonderful continent and lemme know if you need any assistance 🙂

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  4. neha ahuja

    i am so thankful of your travel guide because they make me dreaming!!! And when i feel empty and i haven’t motivation to do anything, these travel guides takes me to second world and dreaming .

    Thanks for sharing pamela.:)

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      Woow, Your comment made my day sweetheart :* Thank you very much for your motivational words… I am grateful that you liked and motivated from my articles….Thanks a lot 😀

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  5. Sridip M

    Really very informative post about to do and to keep in mind for Sydney. Lovrd the way you described everything. Do mention about Australia visa procedure .

  6. Badri

    Pretty useful guide for a tour of Sydney. I wonder how many times you recharged your opal card. You mentioned about light rail. What is that? Must be different classes in it.

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      Hi Badri, Thanks for your valuable comment. Well, yes I have recharged my card twice from different shops (available at any grocery or medical shop too) . Light rail is kind of mono rail which commutes easily and quickly and it was fun to use different commuting vehicles there. No class specification there inside light rail. 🙂

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