About Sydney City
Visitors place heavy expectations on Sydney. Travellers flock to the Olympic Park from the other side of the world to take in some of the planetÃ¢â¬â¢s most iconic attractions. Sydney may be overwhelming at first, but the localsÃ¢â¬â¢ generally friendly behaviour will soon put you at ease. ThereÃ¢â¬â¢s never a shortage of things to do in New South WalesÃ¢â¬â¢s capital, no matter where your interests lie. Similarly, holidays rentals to suit every taste abound, from exclusive condos with views of Bondi Beach to city centre flats steps from the Parliament.
The Opera House and Circular Quay
There are many ways to experience SydneyÃ¢â¬â¢s world-famous sights, suited to every budget and time constraint. Perhaps one of the most efficient ways to get acquainted with the sights is to take a cruise departing from Darling Harbour or Circular Quay. The boat tour lasts about two hours and provides uninterrupted views of the CBDÃ¢â¬â¢s skyline and the Opera House, creating prime photo ops. Most cruises also pass under Harbour Bridge.
If you would like to make an evening of it, dine at one of Circular QuayÃ¢â¬â¢s restaurants, all of which boast water views, then catch a performance at the Opera House, a short walk down the quay. To learn more about the Opera House, sign up for one of the guided tours that operates daily.
Harbour Bridge from Every Angle
Harbour Bridge is one of the most photographed structures in the world but it also provided a great spot from which to take pictures of Sydney. On the south side of the bridge, youÃ¢â¬â¢ll find Pylon Lookout, offering 360 degree views of the city and harbour, as well as an information centre recounting the bridgeÃ¢â¬â¢s past. If youÃ¢â¬â¢re feeling adventurous, you can also climb Harbour BridgeÃ¢â¬âyes, you read that rightÃ¢â¬âwith an experienced guide. The views at the top make the workout worthwhile.
Beaches and Surfing in Sydney
Sydney benefits from warm weather throughout the year, allowing for a thriving beach culture. The most iconic beach is Bondi, an impressive 1km stretch of sand with rougher waves at the southern end, favoured by surfers, and calmer, child-safe waters at the north. The beach is patrolled and red flags indicate where to swim. Behind Bondi Beach is a strip of cafes and restaurants, broken up only by shops selling beach gear.
Less touristy than Bondi is Coogee, surrounded by parklands. This family-friendly beaches offers sea baths, picnic areas, barbecues and a playground. To get your daily exercise, walk or cycle from Bondi to Coogee on a dedicated path featuring ocean views.
For a day trip, take the ferry to Manly. Manly Beach is another family-friendly destination, with an ocean pool for safe swimming. Surf lessons are also available at Manly Beach and plenty of old-fashioned ice cream parlours in town provide a well-deserved treat after a day of play.
Once youÃ¢â¬â¢ve had your sightseeing and beach fix, you may want to spend some time at SydneyÃ¢â¬â¢s museums, where you can learn a lot about New South Wales and AustraliaÃ¢â¬â¢s history and heritage. Right next to Hyde Park is the Australian Museum, which offers a glimpse into the areaÃ¢â¬â¢s natural history and Aboriginal culture.
The Hyde Park Barracks, a 190-year-old heritage building, focuses on local Sydney history. The establishment was a prison before becoming an immunisation centre and then a court of law. Having touched on almost every aspect of Sydney life over the last two centuries, the Hyde Park Barracks are a proud testament to the NSW capital of yesteryear.
If Egyptology is more up your alley, head to the Nicholson Museum, which includes some mummies as part of over 25,000 relics and ancient artefacts. Indeed, this is the most comprehensive collection of antiquities in Australasia. Situated on grounds belonging to the University of Sydney, the Nicholson offers free admission.
Getting to Sydney
Almost every city in Australia and numerous locations in Asia and North and South America have direct flights to SydneyÃ¢â¬â¢s Kingsford Smith Airport. If you arenÃ¢â¬â¢t flying, you can take the train from Perth, Adelaide or Melbourne. Coach services are also available. Once youÃ¢â¬â¢re in Sydney, getting around is extremely easy, thanks to an efficient network of buses and local city trains.
For more travel information on Sydney, see our article on Free Things to do in Sydney.