A wonderful beach suburb with an attractive setting facing the Pacific Ocean, Manly is one of the most famous neighbourhoods of Sydney. Fairytale beaches surrounded by pine trees and loved by families and surfers, plenty of restaurants and cafès to enjoy the view sipping a cocktail or eating fish and chips, a laid back atmosphere that makes you feel you are miles away from the city centre. But the reality is that you can reach Manly with a 30-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay which is one of the reasons why Manly is worth a visit: spectaculars views on the Sydney Harbour, small islands and beaches along the way. The way back try to catch the ferry during the sunset for a romantic ride.

What to do in Manly?

Enjoy the beach and water activities 

Beach, beach, beach. Did I say beach? Manly because famous mainly for its wonderful beaches that in the summer season attract both residents and tourist, surfers and families. Whether you want to lie down and read a book, walking along the beach and have a picnic, try your talent on a surfboard or explore the underwater world with the snorkelling, in Manly you’ll find a lot of activities.  Manly Beach is where the first world surfing contest was held in 1964 and is the biggest beach and the one closest to the shopping and restaurant street. But if you prefer a more secluded atmosphere and calm water go to Shelly Beach, a great place for kids and for snorkelling. In Manly, you can find also many surf and diving schools perfect for beginners, or you can book snorkelling, kayaking and other tours. 

Shelly Beach

Take a scenic walk along the coast

If you visit Manly offseason or you simply like walking,  there are many tracks and coastal walks that meander through stunning scenery and bushland. The most famous is the 10 km Manly to Spit Bridge Coastal Walk that will let you discover a lot of secret beaches, observe the bush and coastal flora and wildlife, and enjoy beautiful views from amazing vantage points. 

Watch the sunset in one of many beachside restaurants

As soon as you drop off the ferry, you’ll notice a wide array of restaurants, ice cream parlours, fast food and bars around the harbour, along the Corso, and the promenade of Manly Beach.  Burgers, fish and chips, sushi, pizza: you will find any kind of food you like. You can really have a great dinner, enjoy a happy hour or simply sit on a bench eating your ice cream and watch the world go by. 

what to eat in Manly
The Moo Gourmet Burger has been my choice in Manly

Shopping and street performers on the Corso

The wharf is linked to the Manly beach by the Manly Corso, a buzzing pedestrian mall with plenty of shops, cafè and eateries. Here you enjoy an afternoon of shopping and enjoy the shows of street performers. 

How to get to Manly

Manly is easily reached by ferry and fast ferry which run regularly from Circular Quay.  The fast ferry takes usually around 20 minutes but is more expensive than the traditional one.