Vacationista: Sydney Itinerary for 2.5 days and 3 nights

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Overview:
Dates: 31 October – 3 November 2015 via Cebu Pacific Air
Accommodation: Sydney Star Backpackers
Weather: 24 degrees (low of 18 degrees); sunny and windy in the morning then a bit cloudy and/or drizzling by the afternoon
Outfit: Shirts and jeans in the morning but by 5pm, need to wear my light blazer, scarf and even a beanie when drizzling and windy (on hindsight, I should have brought a thicker jacket)
Mode: backpacking chill

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Thanks to Cebu Pacific, going to Sydney, Australia is now much more affordable. I don’t work for CebuPac, mind you, and yes, I know they have a lot of improvements to do but if you want affordable flights, then stop complaining and book CebuPac. As a background, I was planning on spending about 10 days in Paris for my 30th birthday. I did my itinerary, scanned possible accommodations, planned the visa application and have been actively monitoring airfare deals. But something came up at work that I couldn’t go on leave for a long period of time. So Paris was out of the picture because I can’t just spend a weekend there (that would be sayang). But I really wanted to go out of the country for my 30th, even for just a weekend, so the next best place was Sydney not only because of CebuPac’s budget friendly airfare and direct flight but also because so I could utilize my visa. I’ve been to Melbourne before and thoroughly enjoyed my stay then, so I was looking forward to another enjoyable Aussie experience.

As background to the background (harhar), I was actually booked to go to Sydney last July but my visa didn’t arrive on time (it came two days after my supposed departure date! I blame myself though for late lodging). Everything also worked out since I had tons of work to do then as preparation for my India work trip. But sayang because my airfare then was only Php4700 (I also bought mom’s airfare as a birthday gift to her!). For this trip though, I shelled out Php13,000 roundtrip tickets.

Anyhoo, I’m a simple person and I only had 2 must-do items in my Sydney itinerary: see the Opera House and go grocery shopping. Weird ba? Pretty simple noh? Haha! Basically, I just really wanted a few days to get away from the Philippines – from the city, from the people, from the erratic weather – and just be surrounded by everything new. Change of scenery. Enough to recharge and give me rest. Eat good food. And walk, walk, walk around!

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So here’s my simple itinerary for 2.5 days/ 3 nights – this is the actual because I didn’t follow the planned one. Haha! – and some other information you might find useful. 

31 October (Sat)
11:30am-1:00pm Arrival/ Travel to Hostel/ Exchange currency
1:00-2:00pm Check in/ Freshen up
2:00-3:30pm Lunch somewhere
3:30-6:00pm The Rocks Market; Wander at Circular Quay
6:00-7:30pm The Rocks free walking tour (1.5 hours)
7:30pm-9:00pm Dinner/ Walk around/ Supermarket

1 November (Sun)
9:00-11:00am Travel to Central Station; breakfast at local café, Bread and Brew
11:30-12:30pm Attend Hillsong Service at Alexandria
12:30-3:00pm Walk around; From Central Station, walk to Hyde Park, Anzac War Memorial, St Mary’s Cathedral, State Library New South Wales up to Circular Quay
3:00-5:30pm Sydney Harbor Bridge, Sydney Opera House
5:30-7:00pm Pitt St Mall and nearby alleys
7:00-9:00pm Dinner/ Walk around/ Supermarket

2 November (Mon)
9:00-10:00am Get ready/Breakfast
10:00-4:30pm Walk around; Town Hall Building, Queen Victoria Building
4:30-6:00pm Coffee with cousin at Max Brenner
6:00-9:00pm Dinner/ Walk around/ Supermarket

3 November (Tues)
8:30am Check-out/ Travel to Airport

I just really wanted to walk around, obviously. Hehe! The best thing about traveling solo is that you have your own time on your hands, meaning you can change your plans spontaneously! And that’s exactly what happened. I had to go back to the Opera House because my phone died on my first day. No problem! I wanted to spend lots of time looking at the local shops and supermarkets. No problem! I didn’t have to worry that I was inconveniencing other people because I had all the time to myself! I guess the biggest challenge for solo traveling is taking photos, but that’s easily remedied by simply politely asking another person – a co-tourist preferably, haha – to take your photo for you.

All in all, including airfare, accommodations, visa fee, transportation, food and pasalubongs, I was able to spend Php30,000. Not bad considering it’s Sydney and I didn’t “scrimp,” meaning if I wanted to eat or buy something, I would. I feel pretty good with my budget since I’m really growing up to be practical – didn’t shop for pretty “wastes” I have no use for. Must come with age. Haha! I’m already planning my next trip there but with someone in tow since my cousin offered to drive us to Canberra, if ever. A new adventure awaits! =)

My things to do in Sydney:
Hillsong Service (8am, 9:45am,11:30am,5:00pm,7:00pm)
St Mary’s Cathedral
Queen Victoria Building
Hyde Park
Australian Museum (everyday open, 9:30am-5:00pm, $15)
Town Hall free walking tour (3 hours, 10:30am/2:30pm, everyday)
Sydney Harbor Bridge
Sydney Opera House
Ferry Boat
MOMA (everyday open, 10:30am-5:30pm, recommended to arrive after 11:30am; $25)
Circular Quay
The Rocks free walking tour (1.5 hours, at 6pm, everyday)
The Rocks Markets (Sat-Sun, 10am-5pm)
Paddington Market (Saturday, 10am-4pm)
Coles/ Supermarket (Mon -Sun: 07:00 – 00:00)

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