Sydney is one of the most popular and famous cities in Australia, and I hate saying that Sydney has it all but it really does. Part laid-back beach town and part glowing metropolis you really can do everything in this iconic Australian city. This makes it easy to see why it’s also one of the most photographed cities in the world!
Just do a quick search of #sydney on Instagram and you’ll find millions of pictures — literally. Below, I’ve put together all of the most Instagrammable places in Sydney, including famous landmarks, scenic viewpoints, photogenic restaurants or sparkling beaches. If you’re looking for the most photogenic places in Sydney to grab all those Instagram likes, this is the guide for you!
The Most Scenic Spots in Sydney…
Sydney Opera House
Iconic. Beautiful. Unique. The opera house in Sydney is basically the Sydney’s most well-known, and well-loved, symbol. I know it's already on your list to grab a photo in front of. For the perfect Instagram shot, I recommend getting further away from it. Taking a photo straight across the harbor is best. You’ll really get the whole Opera House in.
Dawes Point — exact location here — was one of the best spots, especially at sunrise to grab a shot of the iconic building.
If you have a wide angle lens — I use this one from Sigma — then you can grab one close to the building itself using the curve of the pier as a leading line. You can see an example in the picture of Matt above.
Inside the Sydney Opera House
Inside the Opera House there are even more beautiful Instagram photos to grab.
Pro Tip: Instead of a tour, I suggest looking ahead of time at the schedule and picking a show to attend. When I visited Sydney in January 2019 we bought tickets to a symphony performance for only AUD$39 each! We used our time wisely and entered as soon as the doors opened to get even more time to wander around the iconic building and take pictures.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
You have many options here and if you have the money and time you should definitely climb the bridge on a tour for the best photo. Notice I mentioned having the money, it’s expensive, around AUD$200 a person.
Even if you don't have the time, or the money, to climb it, gazing at it from near and far should be on your list. The engineering marvel was way ahead of its time. Opened in 1932, and nicknamed the coathanger, you can walk or cycle across the bridge to experience it up close. Another interesting way to grab a cool shot is by kayaking under the bridge. Check out Sydney by Kayak for that.
My favorite way to see it and photograph it though was while wandering the grounds of the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Mrs. Macquarie's Chair
One of the most scenic lookouts in Sydney. The harbour views are fantastic here and you will definitely want to bring your camera. It is probably the most Instagramed spot in all of Sydney. Folklore stories say Lady Macquarie used to sit on the rock chair and look for ships from Great Britain that were sailing into the harbour. This is where I went to get the iconic shots below.
Queen Victoria Building
A Romanesque designed building from 1898 that now houses various stories. It was completely restored in 1980 after it was, thankfully, saved from demolition. It occupies an entire city block and is the perfect place to scratch your itch to shop till you drop in Sydney.
The mosaic clock facade in the center, on the top floor, is a gorgeous spot. If you have patience you can grab a beautiful shot there.
The Strand Arcade
Another great shopping complex, this one is near the Queen Victoria building (another fantastic place for Instagram photos) and was built in 1891. The multilevel shop features upscale retailers and some superb dining. Even if you are just window shopping you should pass through.
Royal Botanical Gardens
And that brings me to the gorgeous garden. The Royal Botanic Gardens is a harborside haven for the city with wildlife at your fingertips. The gardens stretch for many acres and you could wander them for hours finding nooks and corners to grab photos for Instagram.
The Calyx is particularly impressive and a must-visit. The rounded white entrance is a great place for photos.
Sydney and Bondi Beach are synonymous. Bondi is truly one of the world’s best beaches and obviously this makes it a super popular attraction that you can’t miss when visiting Sydney. The beach is only 8km away and can be accessed via bus (333, 380-2) or a 15 minute drive by Uber or cab. We chose to take an Uber both there and back and found it cheap and convenient. You can easily spend a whole day in Bondi.
There are so many places to take photos in Bondi you really should just wander around.
Bondi Icebergs Pool
A popular public pool in Bondi Beach, it has been around for over 100 years and admission is only AUD$7. That price will give you access to the pool, sauna, and gym! Don't be surprised if you recognize the iconic spot, it’s the most photographed, and Instagrammed, ocean pool in Australia. Plus, it's on almost every postcard. Although it really is a great pool, it does get crowded. I actually suggest skipping this one in favor of Bronte Pool. I've detailed why below.
My favorite pool in Australia and a not-to-be-missed spot. First off, Bronte Pool is man-made but feels much more natural. Second, entry is free. And third, it is much less crowded than Iceburgs Pool in Bondi. This place is seriously magical and Matt and I spent over 4 hours just chilling here.
Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk
This was one of my absolute favorite things I did while in Sydney. The walk starts in Bondi Beach following the path to Icebergs pool. Right after the club is a very easy-to-follow path that curves along the coast and cliffs for 3.7-miles. The views are ridiculously stunning with cliffsides, epic beach views, and rock pools. You can read more about the walk here.
Instagrammable Restaurants in Sydney
The Grounds of Alexandria
A former pie factory holds this unique restaurant that has hearty, delicious food sourced from their organic garden. Brunch is specifically fantastic here and shouldn't be missed even if the Grounds of Alexandria is a bit of a hike - out in Newtown - to get to. It’s also an instragrammers dream location. Check out their Instagram for inspiration.
Planning a trip to Australia in general, can be overwhelming. Everyone has an opinion on this beautiful location and you may be frozen and unable to plan anything. Rest assured that no matter what you choose to do in Australia or where you choose to stay in Australia you're going to have a beautiful time.
One last thing... even though researching ahead of time is great, I definitely recommend bringing an Australian travel guide along with you. Here are some of the travel guides I used during my trip...
And of course, if you have any questions DO NOT hesitate to reach out to me via Instagram, Twitter, or just shoot me an email (tessajuliette at gmail dot com).