The Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge are two of the most iconic structures on the planet. Australia’s largest, oldest and most cosmopolitan city, Sydney, is also a harbour city.
Brimming with everything a cosmopolitan city should have to offer; history, culture, fashion, art, design, cuisine and nature; it is also set against a beautiful coastline with sandy beaches where locals and tourists alike take to the waves for a daily surf. Sydney’s ocean beaches include the internationally renowned Bondi, Coogee and Manly, while harbour beaches include Balmoral.
Where to stay in Sydney?
The city centre
The city centre of Sydney is a Manhattan-like skyline of skyscrapers overlooking the harbour. The commercial centre of the city, it is bustling with commuters each and every day and is home to some of the finest restaurants, bars and shops along with having a pulsating nightlife. It is here you will find the Opera House and Sydney Tower. The after-work crowd bring a great atmosphere to the local bars and opera aficionados and diners can be found down at East Circular Quay, the hub of the harbour.
Just to the west of Circular Quay, The Rocks is the historical precinct of central Sydney with a very different character and atmosphere from the neighbouring commercial and retail centre of Sydney. With beautiful sandstone buildings, history, culture and little laneways, it is Australiana by day, and a busy pub scene by night. It is also home to the first colonial village of Sydney and the iconic Harbour Bridge. It is an area best explored by foot down by the harbour and up on the winding maze of steep laneways and streets. Visit Cadman’s cottage, The Argyle Cut, The Garrison Church, the many museums, walk over the harbour bridge or have a picnic under it in one of the two parks on either side. For theatre buffs, The Rocks is home to the Sydney Theatre Company. They have a season of shows at both the Wharf Theatre and the Sydney Theatre. There is a great choice of shopping and dining here also and everything is within walking distance.
Darling Harbour is an extensive area almost completely dedicated to entertainment and tourism. It is located immediately west to the Central Business District. A small inlet, surrounded by numerous attractions and pedestrian boardwalks facing the water, it is a great place for children. The Pyrmont Bridge is a wide pedestrian-only swing bridge that crosses the inlet, linking the two sides and forming a loop walk around the area. The area has fantastic water views, ice-cream, playgrounds, parks, fountains and often free attractions on weekends. Although there is nowhere to swim, fountains are everywhere and free to jump under if the weather gets a bit too hot. Visit the Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney Aquarium, Sydney Wildlife World or take a harbour cruise. A fantastic place with lots to do, you will have lots of fun here. It is not just for the kids!
Sydney 6 Day Weather Forecast
Chance of Rain18°/11°
Chance of Rain20°/16°
Chance of Rain19°/12°
Just to the south of the city centre, this area is includes Australia’s largest China town, Capitol Square and the Haymarket. It is one of Sydney’s best dining precincts with great value restaurants, cheaper hotels and markets. With over 60 restaurants and food court stalls around Chinatown and Haymarket offering many Chinese regional specialities plus Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese and Malaysian cuisines, you certainly won’t go hungry.
If you are arriving in Sydney by long distance bus or train, this is the area where you will be dropped off. Visit Paddy’s Market, a famous large market place in Haymarket with lots of clothing, sunglasses, souvenirs and food. If it is shopping you are after, visit World Square, the large shopping precinct on George Street.