Beaches, charming laneways and lifestyle in Sydney
Sydney is an iconic capital city of Australia, known around the world for its grand Opera House and Harbour Bridge and adored by locals for its beaches, creativity and style. Read more.
Beaches, charming laneways and lifestyle in Sydney
Sydney is an iconic capital city of Australia, known around the world for its grand Opera House and Harbour Bridge and adored by locals for its beaches, creativity and style. As a major international hub for flights to Australia, Sydney is the ideal springboard for tourists heading for other destinations around the country and many tourists begin their trip here. But Sydney is the a perfect landing place too for visitors keen to indulge in some laid back Australian culture.
The iconic Sydney Harbour, golden beaches and Mardi Gras
Heading straight to Circular Quay is the best way to take in the most famous sights of Sydney. Here you can get up close and personal with the Sydney Harbour Bridge and marvel at the splendid sails of the Opera House. If you’re game, join the Harbour Bridge Climb for unbeatable views over the cityscape and harbour. If sea level is more your thing, rent a kayak and take in the iconic waterfront structures from a different perspective. A short walk from Circular Quay will get you to the Museum of Contemporary Art and Museum of Sydney. While in the area, a visit to The Rocks is a must. Here you’ll find a charming mix of history in the cobbled laneways and heritage architecture, mingled with stylish modern bars, world-class restaurants and shops.
Sydney has over 50 beaches, with Bondi Beach the most famous and very easily reached by public transport. The golden beaches, stretches of sandstone cliffs, surf and sunshine keep tourists occupied for days. A quick trip by ferry will land you on Cockatoo Island, a curious space scattered with industrial relics, convict architecture and art installations. Visitors to the island can camp or rent accommodation for an overnight stay. Nightlife in Sydney is diverse and vibrant. The city comes alive each year for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade, one of the world’s largest, and loved by the hundreds of thousands of spectators who support the event.
Day trips: Wineries and Natural Wonders
Sydney is ideally located for day trips further afield in NSW. The 130 square kilometres of heath, rainforest and stunning coastline that make up the Royal National Park are a must-see. With over 100 kilometres of trails, surfers and cyclists flock here for a uniquely Australian experience. The Blue Mountains and Jenolan Caves provide above and below ground walks and hikes, with many accommodation options for longer stays. North of Sydney lies the Hunter Valley, a region which produces some of Australia’s finest Chardonnays, Cabernet Sauvignons and Pinot Noirs. Wine tasting tours have become a popular Sydney day trip and the area is understandably one of the most visited places in Australia.
Best areas to stay in Sydney
Circular Quay and the historic area known as The Rocks are an excellent place to start your search for a hotel. These neighbourhoods will put you within reach of the Opera House and Botanic Gardens and have a large number of boutique and high-end hotels to choose from. The city centre makes for a convenient location to stay, with easy access to public transport and a range of accommodation options including budget hostels, mid-range hotels and more luxurious international hotel brands. Darling Harbour is a third popular location, with close proximity to the CBD, Chinatown and the Pitt St Mall shopping precinct.
Sydney Airport and local transport
Sydney Kingsford-Smith Airport is the busiest airport in Australia and services flights from domestic destinations as well as a long list of major international cities in Asia, Europe, the UK and the USA, among others. The airport can be reached by the underground Airport Link rail line, or by the cheaper shuttle bus. Unusually, bicycle and pedestrian access is also excellent, making it possible to enter the airport via a dedicated path. The city itself is constructed on a rough grid around George St, the major thoroughfare. The main attractions in Sydney are within walking distance of each and for those a little further out, bike hire is a decent option with most hotels able to organise rentals. The free 555 shuttle bus runs a continuous loop in both directions around the city centre, making it an easy way to get around and jump off at leisure. Public transport offers fairly comprehensive coverage between the bus and rail networks for inner city and suburban locations. Driving within the city centre is rarely necessary and car rental is best kept for day trips.
Landmarks in Sydney
- Centennial Park (20)
- University of Sydney (221)
- Sydney Convention Ctr (164)
- Tower Sydney (85)
- State Library of New South Wales (184)
- Chinatown (65)
- Sydney Tower (223)
- Aquarium Sydney (161)
- Downtown Business District (142)
- Bondi Beach (36)
- Opera Sydney (60)
- Circular Quay (113)
- The Rocks (86)
- Darling Harbour (164)