This famous harbour city with beautiful sun drenched beaches, islands, national parks and public gardens begs to be explored. Sidney is a vibrant hub of style, sport, culture, and fashion and offers the best of it, not only in Australia, but also in the world. Sydney has become an ambitious marketplace of the intellectual or creative power, because the best models, actors, artists and architects of the country congregate here, since this is a city where something definitely goes on at a certain point of time and the standards are getting higher and higher.
Actually, being surprisingly European, this vibrant cosmopolitan city took all the best from different parts of the world. In a city, where glamour is well balanced by casualness, you can easily attend different events or visit places in your favourite T-shirt, not thinking about the dress code, unlike most European cities. There is always something to undercover here: a new restaurant or a bar, a sports team or a crazy club. Once you are in this culturally and ethnically diverse city, the only problem you’ll have is to distribute your time the way you manage to do the best things in Sydney until the end of your trip.
Get to Know the Local Critters
The city, where parks penetrate into the concrete jungle, where possums and other “natives” clatter over the roof, is the right place to enjoy the beauty of the Nature. Visit Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, which provides shelter for a great number of different exotic and native species, some part of which are threatened, and supports wildlife conservation. Here you’ll have a vast array of wildlife and massive grounds to explore, as well as excellent spaces to relax, enjoying the view over Sydney harbour. The zoo is a great place to visit with kids, because they will see the dreamtime animals, like leopards, gorillas, kangaroos in their natural setting and even hand feed giraffes or koalas. Take the cable car to the top and then enjoy a leisurely walk down through the zoo, or make your time memorable by booking the Roar & Snore package, which offers a camping opportunity. You can stay overnight in tents with wooden floors and quite comfortable beds, take night walks through the zoo and watch the sun rise beyond the harbour at the next day.
See the Iconic Landmarks of Sydney
The Sydney Harbour Bridge punches well above its weight when it comes to its impressive beauty. It is integrated harmoniously into the landscape and trembles and echoes like a living being. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is truly a gravity-defying object spectacular in size and silhouette. Visitors are welcomed to walk or cycle across it and picnic under or climb over this vast structure. Sydneysiders love the Bridge to bits and if you want to understand the reason, take the Bridge Climb expedition and enjoy the spellbinding vistas, which cannot be replicated anywhere else.
The best time to experience the climb is twilight or dawn. The ticket includes an entry to the Pylon Lookout as well and a climb group photograph (you are not allowed to take phones or cameras with you for safety purposes).
Sydney Opera House is a marvelous and opulent place and of course the best way to experience its grandeur is to attend a dance, opera or theatre performance. Exterior aside, this music venue is also famous for its unrivalled varied program. Take the backstage tour, if you are a fan of theatre arts and want to learn about the inner workings and have your fill of insider secrets. The highly informative tours are available in several languages, including Mandarin and Japanese, and thus being available for many visitors who don’t speak English.
The area of Darling Harbour is a nice place to spend the afternoon, since it’s ringed by attractions and is completely dedicated to entertainment and tourism. This area offers fantastic views, fine restaurants, museums and trendy shops. The Sea-Life aquarium and pedestrian boardwalks facing the water are among the most popular tourist attractions. Here you can try the best ice-cream, take a walkabout in the sun, run childlike under a fountain, marvel at fireworks or take in the views of the harbour city in the Ferris wheel.
Stroll Around Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens
All nature lovers should definitely visit Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, where the indigenous and imported plants make for a great variety. The gardens are a perfect place for scientific research or guided walks and moreover, you can enjoy all the beauty without opening your wallet. Delicious local food and Aboriginal Heritage Tours are added as a bonus. You’ll appreciate many photo opportunities among colorful birds and flowers and will get lots of information about all the plant species. The green heart of Sydney is also a nice place for a picnic, if you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of this dynamic city and spend a few lovely hours under the shade of lush trees.
Join the Bondi to Coogee Walk
Put on your walking boots, pack plenty of water and take the Bondi to Coogee trail, which links the beautiful beaches of Bronte and Coogee. The walk will take more or less 2 hours of good pace and is decidedly a rewarding experience. You’ll appreciate finest ocean views and interesting landmarks on your way. This cliff top coastal walk will be an absolute treat, since it features stunning views of glittering bays and rock formations. You can have a rest at coastal parks or picnic shelters or grab coffee or snacks at Bondi’s beachfront cafés. The beauty of Tamarama beach, the top-class waves of Mackenzie’s Point and the Lurline Bay wetlands are strong reasons to invest several hours in this relaxing experience.
Dine at Sydney’s World-Class Restaurants
The head-spinning variety of food in Sydney is a real clincher for this city, so you’ll never run out of gourmet restaurants, boutique cafes and other stylish venues with excellent wine and service. You can treat your taste buds with multicultural but yet Australian dishes, local versions of fast food as well as Asian-inspired contemporary food. You can also find the sophisticated classics with oriental flavours in many restaurants if you are a fan of gastronomic experiments. Absorb the views of the famous harbour and get to know Chef Peter Gilmor’s philosophy of cooking at Quay restaurant. If you are going for delicious seafood, visit Medusa Greek Taverna and experience the genuine hospitality throughout your dining experience. The friendly staff will help you with the menu and provide a thorough and considerate service. Those, who prefer a “bellissimo” Italian food, can visit DiWine Sydney and try the stand-out dishes of the restaurant, like Veal Tonnato, Beef Arancini, and sliced grilled Beef with Rocket and Parmesan. The wine list contains only Australian, but is enough to keep the joyful atmosphere. You can also try excellent homemade pastas or the seafood stew at Lucio’s Italian restaurant. Another great spot to spend a nice evening is The Sardine Room, but you should take into account that this is not the right place for a devoted meat-eater, because the main courses are mainly the seafood. At the very least, don’t forget about cool rooftop bars in Sydney where you can sip your pre-dinner cocktail and enjoy the stunning views of the harbour.
Explore Sydney Harbour
Sydney is blessed with many wonders and Sydney Harbour is of its most impressive natural assets. There are so many ways to enjoy the windy waterways of this natural harbour. The area is dotted with national parks, World Heritage sites, some of which are the witness of the city’s colonial past and why not the rich Aboriginal heritage. This vast aquatic playground is the favourite place of the residents and the visitors, especially on sunny days. One of the most exciting ways to enjoy this sparkling harbour on the water is taking a water taxi or a harbour cruise at Circular Quay, which is the major water transport hub of the city. Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art and the historic Customs House highlight the area and provide many photo options. If you want to experience the best views of the Sydney Opera House, you can walk to the top of Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. Yacht charters and sailing lesson are among signature harbour attractions. Explore the unspoilt foreshores and uninhabited islands of this geographical masterpiece taking a ferry ride. The history fans and explorers can also have the opportunity to learn about the convict past of the city and nearby islands, like Cockatoo Island by camping overnight here. Roam the island and get to know its interesting and varied history taking a self led audio tour. However, if you are not a history aficionado, you can still spend your day on the island, embracing the Nature or enjoying the panoramic views of the harbour bridge and the city skyline. Fort Denison being located a stone’s throw from the Royal Botanic Gardens, is another multifunctional tourist attraction. Here you can have a lazy lunchtime or an ultimate dining experience, visit Fort Denison’s museum, enjoy world’s best fireworks show, snap an unbelievable picture and at the very least organize your wedding, if you are sure you are already ready to tie the knot. A seaplane tour from Rose Bay is another exciting attraction on offer, which will give you the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the harbours from above. If you are in Sydney for a few days, you’ll probably won’t have the wish to spend your precious time on shopping (this is not about the souvenirs), but if you still have some time on your hands, Harbourside Shopping Centre is the right place to look.
Wallow in the City’s Atmosphere
This city is an irresistible combination of man-made and natural wonders and is one hot mess. If you want to discover a Sydney-sider inside you, the best way is to choose the off-the-beaten track exploration and avoid sometimes unjustifiably overpriced attractions. Instead of traipsing around the famous landmarks or souvenir shops all day long, you can have a classic Aussie experience, taking a ferry to the Manly Beach, where you can lie down to get some sun or let all your worries go while enjoying your coffee at one of the beachfront bars with a chill out atmosphere.
If you are into cooking, go to the Sydney Fish Markets at dawn and buy the best fresh seafood ever. Top chefs also offer cooking classes at the Sydney Seafood School right in the markets. After this you can head to Bronte Park with a picnic basket to spend some time like a real resident of the city. It’s not a secret, that to get the real sense of any city, you should visit the local markets. Paddingtom markets have an enviable reputation as the bearer of local atmosphere. Here you can find heaps of fashion accessories, exclusive gifts and other fancy stuff that inspire.
Sydney is a city with hidden gems and if you are not anti-social, but still consider yourself to be pro-solitude, the hidden beaches are way too good for you to avoid the crowds. The tranquility of Milk Beach or Obelisk Beach will make you let all your worries go. The Colo River in the Blue Mountains just waits to be discovered by eager explorers. The pristine wilderness and abundant wildlife of the uninhabited islands are strong reasons to spend some hours or even stay overnight there.
Sydney Harbour is the epicenter of many special events, like New Year’s Eve Firework or Sydney to Hobart yacht race. One should be lucky enough to join the New Year celebration in Sydney, because the culmination of the event is the famous fireworks. New Year’s Eve cruises offer the best viewing points from yachts and boats, where you can enjoy the reflection of the festivity of light in the water.
Another reason to have a New Year party here is the multicultural face of the city. Let’s agree, celebrating the New Year Eve with people of the world in one city is infinitely better, because this holiday doesn’t lose its significance depending on your religion and cultural background.