Whether you're visiting for a few days or a few weeks, explore the cafes, suburbs and harbour that make Sydney unforgettable.
With clear, blue skies and golden sunsets, Sydney knows how to sparkle. Whatever the weather, the locals make the most of the various outdoor activities on offer. Take your choice from the many cafes, museums and art events within easy reach of the city or explore outside the city with a day trip to the Hunter Valley, or Blue Mountains.
Enjoy a city that sparkles with a buzzing cultural scene, art, natural beauty and great food.
- Don't miss the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk taking in the dramatic sandstone coves and sweeping views out to sea
- Knock the big ticket icons off your list in one hit. Head to Circular Quay and spend an evening getting up close and personal with the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and the famous markets in The Rocks
- Get a totally unique view of the harbour and go on a kayak tourOpens external site in a new window leaving from Andrew Boy Charlton outdoor pool near the Botanic Gardens
- Only a 30 minute ferry ride away and with the feel of a small surfer town, ManlyOpens external site in a new window is a must see with its golden sands, hipster cafes and relaxed attitude to life. Don't forget to pack your boardshorts or bikini.
Sydney’s diversity, outdoor lifestyle and naturally photogenic scenery make it one of the most pleasant capital cities to visit.
CBD, Circular Quay and The Rocks
Nothing compares with seeing the water, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera HouseOpens external site in a new window with your own eyes.
The city centre incorporates the historic convict-built RocksOpens external site in a new window area and verges on Circular QuayOpens external site in a new window with its waterfront promenade. One of the most photographed locations in the world, stroll around to the Museum of Contemporary ArtOpens external site in a new window (MCA) in one direction and the Opera House and further to the tropical Botanic GardensOpens external site in a new window in the other.
Back towards the towering city skyline, many of the banks and corporates are clustered around Martin Place – a pedestrian-only precinct that runs from George Street through to Macquarie Street. You'll find big shopping destinations in the Westfield shopping centreOpens external site in a new window, historic Strand Arcade and Queen Victoria BuildingOpens external site in a new window with department stores, high street brands and many boutiques overflowing with lovely things to take home. An ever-growing list of gourmet restaurants, boutique cafes and casual pubs means you’ll never be short of inspiration on where to eat.
Darlinghurst and Surry Hills
Darlinghurst's main strip is Oxford Street, where Sydney's fabulous Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras ParadeOpens external site in a new window is held each March. If you love shopping, good food and wine or people-watching, then Oxford Street is for you. Inner-city Surry Hills is one of Sydney's most artistically-vibrant neighbourhoods. Start on Crown Street, stopping at small galleries and boutiques to explore this art, design and fashion hub.
Bondi and Sydney's beaches
Sydney is a playground for golden beaches. Head north to Palm Beach, south to the unspoilt beauty of the Royal National Park or enjoy some of the finest urban beaches on offer.
Justifiably famous for its beach, Bondi has a style all of its own and a broad appeal for everyone from backpackers to families to hipsters. A walk along the beachfront promenade gives you the chance to experience its carefree sun-drenched lifestyle. The main thoroughfare, Campbell Parade, has stylish surf wear shops, souvenirs, outdoor cafes, cool bars and fish'n chip shops. Hall Street has cool fashion and designer labels while Curlewis Street has numerous art galleries.
Only half an hour from Sydney by ferry, Manly has a distinctly holiday feel. Nestled between a tranquil inner-harbour beach on one side and a popular Pacific Ocean surf beach on the other, Manly combines a laid-back attitude with a sophisticated dining scene and stylish shopping.
Newtown and Western Sydney
Close to the city and with Sydney University nearby, Newtown is an inner city suburb that's always busy with an eclectic mix of students through to young families.
It still has a bohemian feel with busy bookshops, thrift stores and cheap and cheerful Asian restaurants alongside newly renovated pubs, artisanal bakers and serious coffee crafters.
As you head inland from the city centre to the foothills of the Blue Mountains, you'll uncover plenty of things to see and do in Sydney's West. A highlight includes historic Parramatta, Australia's second oldest European settlement, and ANZ Stadium, the location for the opening of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
If you like being on the water, travel to Parramatta from Circular Quay by Rivercat, following Sydney Harbour as it heads west to become the Parramatta River. There are plenty of things to see and do in Sydney's West – whitewater rafting, go-karting and even car racing with professional instructors.
Kings Cross and Potts Point
Kings Cross is best known for its vibrant night life and prime location at the top of William Street. You'll know you're there when you see the landmark neon Coca-Cola sign.
Adjacent Potts Point with its tree-lined streets is one of Sydney’s oldest neighbourhoods and a great place to start exploring the inner-city. Head there in the morning and join the locals at one of the many cafes before exploring the stylish boutiques or in the evening try one of the fantastic bistros. Don't miss the fantastic Beare Park or heritage listed Elizabeth Bay House, both with stunning harbour views.
This prestigious suburb, close to the city, is all winding streets, historic terraces and cottages and designer boutiques and cafes.
Head to the Saturday markets for a taste of local life. When you've wandered the laneways and bought as much as you can carry in the local shops and boutiques, there are plenty of great local watering holes where you can stop for a refreshing drink or something to eat such as the Paddington Inn or the Four In Hand. Still looking for something special? Try one of the two fantastic local bookstores Berkelouw and Aerial. Or if you're in the mood for a movie, forget the big chains and try the Palace Verona cinema that shows the latest arthouse and foreign flicks or the historic and beautiful Chauvel in the old Town Hall and be transported back in time.
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Sydney enjoys a subtropical climate with more than 340 sunny days per year. Summers are warm to hot and winters are mild. In summer (December to February) average maximum temperatures are around 26°C, with an average humidity of 65 per cent. Average maximum temperatures in winter (June to August) are around 16°C. Sydney’s rainfall is highest between March and June.
From the airport
Once you’ve arrived at Sydney Airport, getting into the city centre is easy with trains, buses and taxis all located within walking distance of the terminals.
Timetable information is available on the transport line 131 500, or go to www.transportnsw.infoOpens external site in a new window to plan your trip using the trip planner.
In and around the city
The best way to see the beauty of Sydney’s sparkling harbour is on board a ferry or cruise. Water taxis can take you to prime harbour locations.
Other ways to get around Sydney are hiring a bike, walking one of the famous coastal walks, or hiring a car and using the inner city toll roads for efficient cross-city travel. There are also buses and trains that can conenct you across the city as well as taxis, while Uber is also a great way to get around.
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