Australia's largest city is a harbourfront delight
With its celebrated harbour, gorgeous beaches and busy city centre, you’ll never be lost for things to see and do here – Sydney is a truly international destination with a dynamic multicultural population and a buzzing events calendar.
If you’re visiting for just a few days, concentrate on exploring the vibrant inner city and the lovely beaches of the eastern suburbs. Tour the Opera House, climb the Harbour Bridge, see some theatre, surf (or sunbathe) at Bondi, or grab an artisanal coffee and browse the trendy boutiques of charming Surry Hills. If you’re staying longer, explore further afield. Sample a bowl of pho at Marrickville in the inner west, jump on a train and head to the Blue Mountains, or hike the Royal National Park.
Things to do
Book a table at one of the city’s best restaurants. Sydney is a fine-dining haven, and celebrated spots like Quay opens in new window and Aria opens in new window serve five-star views alongside top-class cuisine. If you’re looking for something a little more low-key and family-friendly, Chinatown, on the edge of the city centre, offers a variety of eateries – from order-at-the-counter food courts to the late-night chef’s favourite, Golden Century Seafood Restaurant opens in new window.
Bondi to Coogee Walk
The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk opens in new window follows the coastline through Sydney's eastern suburbs, taking in the stunning cliffs and beaches along its 6 kilometre path. Take the opportunity to explore some of the city's beachside suburbs and watch out for Aboriginal rock engravings near the path just south of Mackenzies Bay; between April and December you might see whales on their migration.
Harbour Bridge Climb
About three million locals and visitors have scaled Sydney Harbour Bridge. There are climbs opens in new window to suit most ages (climbers must be at least 10 years old and 1.2 metres tall) and levels of nerve. The views from up there, needless to say, are mind-blowing.
Sure you can hire a yacht, but the best tours of Sydney Harbour are far more economical. Sydney's iconic ferries opens in new window provide some of the world's most spectacular views from a public transport system – make the most of it to explore the endlessly scenic waters. The legendary Manly Ferry offers views of iconic sights like the Opera House as well as the huge mansions that line the harbour. When you get to the other side, walk to beautiful Shelly Beach.
Just 10 minutes from the city, bohemian Newtown has local design boutiques, cafés, classic pubs and a fascinating scene. Head there in the afternoon and wander along the main strip, King Street. Grab a table at either Hartsyard opens in new window (pictured) or Bloodwood opens in new window, two excellent local restaurants, for dinner. This is one of the biggest social hubs in the city, with plenty of pubs offering live music late into the night.
Travel time 20 minutes
Taxi Approx A$50
Train Airport Link every 10 minutes (weekdays). One-way A$16.40 (adult); journey takes 30 minutesBack to top
When to go
With their sunny days and mild temperatures, autumn (March–May) and spring (September–October) are ideal times to visit Sydney. Summer (November–February) can be very hot with late-afternoon storms. If your plan is to head to the southern reaches, winters (June–August) can be cold and wet.
It's claimed that Australia holds more festivals per capita than any other country, and Sydney hosts the lion’s share. The summer months are packed with events and activities for all the family to enjoy from the weekly Friday night bazaar at The Rocks, through to the world-famous New Year countdown. The queen of the crop is undoubtedly the Sydney Festival, which hogs the arts spotlight for the entire month of January.
Ready to find some cheap flights to Sydney?Back to top
Buses, trains, light rail and ferries criss-cross Sydney, making it reasonably easy to navigate. The easiest and best-value way to travel on public transport is to get an Opal card, available at stores all over the city.Back to top
Discover more about Sydney
This Sydney suburb has had a makeover - and it's looking good!
Unique boutiques, every kind of Asian food, quirky cafes, theatres and galleries - the area once called “Chinatown” has so much to offer, including the hip new Darling Square precinct.
If you only do one thing in the Sapphire Coast, make it this one
A glorious lake cruise and a gourmet feast of fresh-harvested oysters with a maverick tour guide proves to be one of the best things to do on the Sapphire Coast.
Is this Sydney's coolest suburb for shopping?
For the antithesis of mass-market disposable fashion, head to this inner-city suburb of Sydney, home to purveyors of unique and effortless style.
This South Coast region is amazing - here's why!
The NSW far south coast has plenty to offer, from whale watching and secret beaches to gourmet food and unique places to stay.
The standout eats at Sydney’s best wine bars
What time is it? It’s wine time! Sample these top Sydney wine bars for the winning cocktail of fab grub, cool vibe and cheeky drops.
These Sydney restaurants will transport you straight to the Middle East
Whether you want a gourmet dining experience or a fast food fix - these Sydney restaurants serve a delicious taste of the Middle East.
Gourmet degustations for under $100? Yes, it's possible
Multiple courses of gourmet food at some of the city's finest restaurants don't have to cost the earth - these tasting menus all clock in at under $100.
Where to dine with a water view in Sydney
Whether it’s world class dining with a view of Sydney Harbour or delicious food on the Northern beaches, these are the best waterside restaurants in the city.
Check out Sydney's coolest little 'hood - Enmore Road
Tucked between Inner West big-hitters Newtown and Marrickville, Sydney's Enmore Road is a hip little suburb with great restaurants, bars, shopping and culture.
Guess where Beau Ryan's favourite cafe is!
Former rugby league player-turned-media personality Beau Ryan has whizzed around the globe as the new host of ‘The Amazing Race Australia’ but he still gets a kick coming home to Sydney’s Sutherland Shire.
Pssst! These are the best happy hours in Sydney's inner city bars
If you thought Sydney bars were too exxy, think again. You can find fabulous drinks and nibbles at prices that won't break the bank around the city, if you know where (and when) to go.
More than a beach: Bondi’s best kept secrets
An entrepreneur and champion of natural beauty celebrates living beachside in Sydney’s heart of health and wellness.
A solo traveller's guide to Sydney
Visiting Sydney solo? There's plenty to keep you busy on land and in the water, plus great views to keep you company.
The ultimate couple's getaway itinerary for Sydney
Planning a romantic weekend in Sydney? Here are the best places to wine, dine and indulge.
Is it possible to find a non-touristy souvenir in Sydney?
Here's where to dodge the ubiquitous Harbour Bridge coathangers and find the least tacky memento of the Emerald City.
How to do Sydney with the family
We get the insider tips from a Sydney mum on where to take the kids on a holiday in the harbour city.
These are the coolest bars and pubs in Sydney
From inner city classics to cool spots in the suburbs, these Sydney nightspots are not be missed.
Sydney’s best restaurants with a view
Australia’s most recognisable city doesn’t just look good, it tastes good, too. Here’s where to go when you want great food with great views.
The hottest brunches in Sydney
From gourmet spreads to eggs different ways, all with a side of great coffee, these are the best Sydney spots for a laid-back brunch.