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As someone who both hails from the world’s most Intagram-friendly country—this was actually proven a couple of years ago when @Australia became the most followed country on the app!—and is stupidly obsessed with IG, I may be the best-equipped person to show you Sydney’s most photogenic hotspots. So that’s exactly what I’ve done.
You may have seen some of these on the ’Gram already and wondered desperately where they are, but a lot of the destinations and experiences I’ve included in the guide below are local secrets. Just trust me when I say that you will love them all. Now smile, look at the camera, and say Instagram!
Eating a Seafood Lunch on the Beach
Your first choice should be fried fish and chips, but something a little more delicate is also OK, like lobster, oysters, or grilled prawns (forget the word shrimp, it means nothing here). Roll out your most colorful beach towel and ’Gram before you eat. If you use a knife and fork, expect to be judged.
Sculptures by the Sea
Every year the coastal walk between Bondi and Bronte beaches (which is always stunning and worth seeing) becomes an outdoor art gallery with cool, interactive installations and sculptures. One year there was a giant frying pan in the sand. If you want to see this year’s event you will have to travel to Sydney between October 20 and November 6. Prepare for crowds too; this gets seriously busy.
Walking the Streets Eating and ’Gramming Gelato Messina
OK, it doesn’t specifically have to be Gelato Messina, but if you want extra IG cred, you will wait in that long line at one of the buzzy ice cream shop’s locations for your cone. This place is famous for its themed specials—it briefly offered “Game of Cones” flavors for GoT addicts—so keep your eye on the specials board, or the shop’s Instagram.
Relaxing on Bondi Beach
Arguably Australia’s most famous beach, Bondi is, quite simply, the best place on earth. It also happens to be conveniently photogenic. There’s a popular local show, “Bondi Rescue,” that follows the lifeguards in Bondi, so keep an eye out for cameras during summer.
Walking from Bondi to Bronte
I briefly mentioned the coastal walk earlier, but even if you miss Sculpture by the Sea, don’t miss walking (or jogging) from Bondi to Bronte Beach. It’s one of my favorite spots in the world, not just the city. The people are young, hot, and fit here, and you will feel like the least attractive person on the planet, but the view’s spectacular.
Walking up the Opera House Steps
The Opera House is one of Australia’s most well-known landmarks, so ask the other tourists to move out of your shot and get a photo posing on the huge steps. It’s tourist-central here, and everyone’s in sneakers with cameras hanging from their necks, but you should wear something designer, so you can tag them and pray for a re-Gram.
Australia is the birthplace of avocado toast, people, so it would be wrong to leave without your breakfast ’Gram. Artfully arrange it alongside your designer bag and sunglasses and don’t worry if your toast gets cold before you eat it, this is worth it.
The Opera House Sails and the Sydney Harbor Bridge
You will get the best view of the Opera House sails and the Sydney Harbor Bridge (fondly dubbed “The Coathanger” because of its shape and the fact that Australians love a nickname) if you’re on a boat in the harbor. The good news, though, is that you don’t need to hire a fancy yacht to do this—there’s a frequent ferry taking people from the Opera House to a stunning beach, Manly, in Sydney’s north. Get a seat outside and keep your camera ready, this ride is stunning.
Swimming in an Ocean Pool
The ocean pool at Icebergs Restaurant and Bar is the most popular ocean pool (at least on Instagram), but you have to pay or be a member to use it. However, there are others all over the coast that are free, including at Bronte Beach.
Sipping a Green Smoothie
This is actually my hand, drinking one of my favorite smoothies in Sydney from Speedos Cafe. However, Sydney is a pretty wellness-obsessed place, so there are super-healthy, super-photogenic smoothies all over the city.
The Coffee Art at a Local Cafe
You should probably order a flat white, because that’s Australian, but buzzy cafes like The Boathouse in Palm Beach will go the extra mile with any old coffee, adding chocolate art to make it extra suitable for the ’Gram.