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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).Back 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
A solo traveller's guide to Sydney
Visiting Sydney as solo traveller? There's plenty to keep you busy on land and in the water, plus great views to keep you company.
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.
Top 5 free things to do with kids in Sydney
Sydney is well known as an expensive city, but here are five things you can do that the kids will love … and they won’t cost a cent.
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.
The hidden gems of Sydney, best explored by bus
There are treasures to be found riding the buses through Sydney’s CBD and suburbs. Keren Lavelle hops on and off three of the city’s busiest routes and explores Sydney by bus.
How to best spend Chinese New Year in Hong Kong
When the Chinese New Year rolls around, Hong Kong puts on an amazing show
Travelling with kids? Here’s what you should know
Master the art of holidaying with young kids to ensure your holiday is relaxing and stress-free with these tips from a well-travelled mum.
Birthday weekend? Here are the top 5 places to go
Where are the best places in Australia for a long weekend birthday bash? It all depends on how you like to party – here are our top picks.
The best of Sydney on a budget: top 5 things to do
Happily, you can drink in the delights of the Harbour City without spending much —here are our top budget-friendly tips for the best things to do in Sydney.