Sunset over Sydney Harbour
Sydney Harbour
Sydney

A coastal metropolis that hugs its harbour like a proud parent, Australia's biggest city does 'quality lifestyle' better than most. Its enviable climate, laid-back vibe and beachside culture sit comfortably alongside world-class restaurants, a vibrant arts scene and retail hotspots. Let our travel guide show you the way.

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Places to stay

Soak in iconic views of Sydney Harbour, The Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge from one of the centrally based hotels located in the Rocks or Circular Quay or Woolloomooloo. All of these areas are based along waterfront promenades, so you’re perfectly placed to explore Sydney on foot after breakfast. Visit the photogenic Royal Botanic Gardens for a free tour to learn about native Australian flowers, Eucalyptus trees and Aboriginal culture, and then head over to the Museum of Contemporary Art to immerse yourself in art. If your idealcity break involves shopping, choose a centrally located hotel in the CBD near Westfield Sydney and Pitt Street Mall.

Prefer a boutique hotel, guest house or bed and breakfast? Head to East Sydney, Surry Hills or Sydney’s Inner West, where the lively neighbourhoods are packed with diverse restaurants, wine-bars and alfresco cafes. Keen to stay at Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach? With options ranging from hostels to luxury homes and 5 star hotels, there’s a style of accommodation to appeal to everyone. 

Things to do

Your Sydney experience wouldn’t be complete without a taking in the dramatic sandstone caves and sweeping views of the ocean along the Bondi to Coogee costal walk. You can also visit the heritage-listed Taronga Zoo where you can get close to adorable cuddly koalas or elegant giraffes and then continue north to Manly to experience the small surfer town, relaxed vibe and boutique stores.

Summer in Sydney is a wonderful time to visit - you can enjoy a scenic coastal walk from Rose Bay to Nieslon Park in Vaucluse, head for fish and chips at Watsons Bay, then see the fireworks at Darling Harbour. If you’re visiting in January be sure to grab a ticket for the open air cinema at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair or one of the music and art events which make up part of Sydney Festival. 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.

Take your pick of day trips from Sydney to the stunning Blue Mountains, the award-winning wineries in the Hunter Valley, the nation’s capital Canberra or south to idyllic Hyams Beach with its crisp white sand and eye-catching aqua water. Get ready to explore one of the most beautiful cities in the world when planning your Sydney itinerary.

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Things to do in Sydney | Qantas travel guide Discover the top things to do in Sydney | Qantas travel guide
More about Sydney dining Friends stolling along in Newtown

Food and drink

Foodies flock to inner-city Surry Hills and Chippendale to eat, filling up on various international cuisines including flavoursome Greek cuisine at Kepos Street Kitchen, juicy burgers from Marys in Newtown or inventive Japanese dining at Toko. For some of Australia’s best fresh seafood, take the light rail to Sydney Fish Market where you can fill up on a bucket of prawns, Sydney Rock oysters or barramundi and chips by the marina. Restaurants like the whimsical Bennelong, the magical Golden Century (try the dim sum!) and the stylishly seasonal Chiswick are some of the most inventive kitchens in the world.

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More about Sydney shopping Friends stolling along in Newtown

Fashion and shopping

Love to shop? Then Sydney is fabulous, with all luxury international brands, innovative designers, master artisans and beautiful arcades. In the city centre, the 19th century grandeur of the Queen Victoria Building defines shopping elegance with three levels devoted to fashion, jewellery and gifts. A stroll away is the Strand Arcade, another gorgeous arcade where you’ll find hatters, shoemakers, jewellers, cafes and restaurants. Walk through this charming arcade to Pitt Street Mall and Westfield Sydney with more than 250 stores. The city is also home to some of Australia’s top designers and their flagship stores, including Dion Lee, Alice McCall, Zimmermann and more.

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Getting around

From the airport: once you’ve arrived at Sydney Airport, getting into the CBD is easy with airport trains, Uber, taxis, shuttles and buses and all located at the terminals. Timetable information is available on the transport line 131 500, or visit Transport NSW to plan your trip and get an Opal Card.

In and around the city: the best way to see the beauty of Sydney’s sparkling harbour is onboard a ferry or cruise. Water taxis can take you to prime harbour locations. Other ways to get around Sydney are hiring a bike, walking, or hire a car and use the inner city toll roads for efficient cross-city travel. Buses and trains can conect you across the city as well as taxis and Uber.

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