Sydney tourist attractions
No trip to Sydney would be complete without visiting the two most iconic symbols of the city – the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
While the outside of the Opera House may be distinctive, it’s also worth a visit to its interior, where you can catch some of the best plays, concerts and, of course, opera.
For a slightly more laid back and relaxed spot, head for the Royal Botanical Gardens, where signs actually invite you to walk on the grass! The other main park in Sydney is Hyde Park, where you can spot ibises wandering around freely, and the locals taking things easy on a Sunday.
To find out more about the culture of Australia, you can visit the Australian Museum, which was established just 40 years after the First Fleet dropped anchor in the harbour.
The result is an eclectic collection of European and Aboriginal history, artefacts and exhibitions.
Beach lovers will inevitably head to Bondi during their trip to Sydney. But for a less crowded version, detour over to Coogee beach, which is much more laid back.
You’ll discover on your trip to Sydney that the locals spend as much time as they can outdoors – so many of the leisure activities available make the most of the NSW countryside. The beaches are, of course, one of the principle draws, but the city’s parks and open spaces are usually filled during the weekend with locals enjoying that great Australian institution – the BBQ.
To see the city from a different perspective, there are plenty of Sydney Harbour cruises to choose from that can include a luxurious meal or a whistle-stop tour of all the major harbour side sights. Alternatively, you can take to the air, with available seaplane and helicopter tours of the city.
The countryside surrounding Sydney is spectacularly beautiful, and tours into the Blue Mountains will take you into remarkably lush and vibrant forests just a couple of hours’ drive from the heart of the city.
Eating in Sydney
Travel to Sydney and you’ll discover a rich variety of international cuisine on offer. Leaving aside that Aussie BBQ for a moment, you can also indulge in 5-star dining through to on-the-go street food. Head down to the Newtown neighbourhood for a great selection of Thai restaurants, or to the city’s Chinatown for the best Asian food.
The restaurants along Darling Harbour serve fresh seafood all day, while just to the east of the city is Woolloomooloo Wharf, which is lined with upmarket restaurants and eateries. For gourmet dining, you can head into the centre of the city, where internationally renowned chefs run some of the most exclusive restaurants in the country.
Shopping in Sydney
If you’re travelling to Sydney for the shopping then you’re in luck! Sydney has some of the best shopping in the country, and Pitt Street Mall is one of the busiest shopping centres not just in Australia, but in the world.
The Strand Arcade and the Queen Victoria Building are the two most iconic shopping destinations in the city, filled with everything from high-ticket branded stores through to boutique, independent shops. For designer retail, head for Westfield Sydney Mall with various international brands and exclusive labels.
Australian trinkets and tourist souvenirs are plentiful at Paddys Markets – a group of markets in the Haymarket district at the southern end of the city.
The Rocks Market, held every Saturday and Sunday, is the place to go to discover Sydney’s up and coming fashion designers.