A trip to Sydney wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Manly via the ferry across Circular Quay.
The vibe is completely different from Sydney, despite being so close and easily accessible. It’s like being away for the weekend, while still being in the city. The main beach is a short walk from the ferry terminal through the corso, which is overflowing the everything from unique boutiques, gift shops, bars and open air restaurants.
Getting to Manly
The iconic ferry that takes people between Manly and Circular Quay offers some of the best views of the harbour, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, and is just something that can’t be missed if you’re visiting the city. Take a short day trip around to the northern beaches of Sydney for a late lunch and relaxing afternoon at the beach.
The Manly fast ferry runs every 10 – 20 minutes, 7 days a week, so there’s never much of a wait when you get to the ferry terminal! Check out their timetable HERE to organise your day trip.
A return adult ticket costs $18.20 AUD (or $9.10 AUD for a one way ticket), which can be purchased online or from Circular Quay (Wharf 2 & 6) or Manly Wharf (Wharf 2 & 3).
Find out more about the Manly Fast Ferry HERE.
Where to stay in Manly
There are lots of different accommodation options along Manly Beach and the few streets behind that cater to all kinds of budgets.
Try to choose somewhere to stay that’s within walking distance of The Corso, which is the main street of Manly and where you can find most of the restaurants, cafes and shops.
Where to eat in Manly
Manly might just be one of the top places to visit if you’re a bit of a foodie. There are so many amazing restaurants, bars and cafes around Manly that all offer different cuisines, creative cocktails and sometimes outrageously hipster menus.
If you’re looking for somewhere to eat in Manly why not hit up one of these hot spots –
The Glasshouse – right on the oceanfront and with an epic rooftop bar, The Glasshouse has a great gin and tonic bar, cocktail menu and tasty sliders, bruschettas and chip tasting boards.
Miami Cuba – with a 1950s vibe, cocktails that are served in pineapples and a location right on the beach, what could be better?!
Aloha Mate – a little taste of Hawaii right on the shores of Sydney. A great place to find acai bowls, juices and smoothies for a healthy start to your day.
Hugos Manly – right on the Manly wharf, Hugos offers views of the ocean, wood-fire pizza and a dimly lit atmosphere that’s perfect for a romantic date night.
The Pantry – with super rustic vibes and great menu options for any meal throughout the day, The Pantry can be your classic go-to restaurant with staples for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
In Situ – kick off a night out here, with a beautiful boho vibe and an extensive cocktail menu It’s just a hole in the wall spot along the corso but it is pumping every weekend.
What to do in Manly
The main attraction of Manly is obviously it’s beautiful beach, so make sure you take some time to kick back and relax here and just let the slow life take over a little bit.
One of the highlights of visiting Manly is definitely catching the Manly Ferry over. It kind of makes you feel like you’re visiting a little island and Manly is a tiny little remote town. It’s easy to forget that you can also get here by car if you drive the long way around.
If you’re feeling energetic take the super scenic Manly to Spit Walk along the ocean and explore more of the area.
Explore The Corso where you can regularly find buskers and entertainers drawing a crowd in the middle of the day. There are lots of different shops and nooks and crannies to explore if you have some extra time.
Take a walk along the Manly Scenic Walkway and check out the Grotto Point Lighthouse. It’s known for being a great spot to see whales during their migration along the East Coast each year and it is also home to an impressive collection for Indigenous rock art that are thousands of years old.
Get out of the ocean swell and take a dip in the ocean pool that sits right along the ocean.