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.

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Things to do: Sydney

  • Taster's choice

    Best restaurants

    Book a table at one of the city’s best restaurants. Sydney is a fine-dining haven, and celebrated spots like Quay and Aria 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.

  • Walk this way

    Bondi to Coogee Walk

    The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk 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. 

  • The high road

    Harbour Bridge Climb

    About three million locals and visitors have scaled Sydney Harbour Bridge. There are climbs 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.

  • Hit the water

    Harbour ferries

    Sure you can hire a yacht, but the best tours of Sydney Harbour are far more economical. Sydney's iconic ferries 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.

  • Lively 'hood


    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 (pictured) or Bloodwood, 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.

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Airport information

Sydney Airport (Mascot; SYD)

Distance to city centre 8km

Taxi You’ll find taxis outside both the international and domestic terminals. It will take around 20 minutes to get to the city centre and cost about AUD $45-55 (plus an AUD $4.50 airport surcharge).

Train Airport Link runs every 10 minutes and will get you into central Sydney in about 15 minutes. A one-way adult fare costs around AUD $20. 

Bus Public bus route 400 runs frequent services stopping at both the domestic and international terminals, travelling to Bondi Junction. The trip takes an hour and the fare is around AUD $6.

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When to go

With their sunny days and mild temperatures, autumn (MarchMay) and spring (SeptemberOctober) are ideal times to visit Sydney. Summer (NovemberFebruary) can be very hot with late-afternoon storms. If your plan is to head to the southern reaches, winters (JuneAugust) 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

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Getting around

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.

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