After living in sunny Sydney for the semester, I’ve developed a long list of the best places to visit, best activities to do, fastest ways to travel, and of course the best beaches. With my family visiting Sydney for the last week of the program, I’ve really had to narrow down the city to only a few things that can be feasibly completed by someone with jet lag. So, without further ado, here is my top 3 countdown of things to do in Sydney, Australia. Starting with #3 we have Dee Why beach which is just over an hour north of Sydney by bus. At Dee Why, there’s something for everyone. Start the day with a beach hike to the Dee Why head, where the views are incredible. This is the perfect place to stop for lunch, as you can watch the paragliders take off in real time. After lunch, head down to the furthest point of the beach during low tide – you’ll be able to trek across the shallow water to a small rock island nearby. From the island, you get an incredibly unique view that captures the entire beach and surrounding area. Once you hike back, relax on the soft sand and have some fun swimming in the waves. Because of the travel time, Dee Why is not too crowded, but there’s still plenty of activity from beachgoers, paragliders, and fishermen. Next on the list is #2, Blue Mountains and the Ruined Castle trail. This day-long event entails rigorous hiking, but the destination is worth the effort. Start at the lookout point where you can see the famous Three Sisters rock formation, and your final destination, Ruined Castle, which is just a speck in the distance right now. Then, you have two options – ride the gondola to the start of the trail, or hike down the Golden Stairs yourself. After 4km of hiking, you’ll find yourself at the Ruined Castle rock formation, a natural cluster of rocks with panoramic views of the entire Blue Mountains. Stop and have lunch here while you enjoy the breathtaking scenery. On the way back, be prepared for some good exercise – the Golden Stairs are tough to climb. Topping out at #1 on the must-see attractions in Sydney is Palm Beach, which is about 2 hours north of the city via transit. Palm Beach is worth the wait – here you’ll find some of the best water to swim in, climbable rock formations, and a hike to the beach head with the best view of all time. At the top of the head, the 360 degree views are absolutely gorgeous and can’t be beat. Honorable mentions to the list are Maroubra Beach, Sydney North Head, Royal National Park, and Taronga Zoo. While I haven’t visited too many restaurants, a great option is Spice Alley, where you will find almost unlimited options for delicious Asian cuisine. The best part? The food is cheap, too!