Sydney

Sydney

Welcome to Sydney

We present you with a complete tourist guide through the largest and most visited city in Australia. This is the capital of New South Wales, located on the east coast of Australia. We have selected the most essential information about the city's attractions, famous tours, accommodation, restaurants, and all other tourist categories for all those who want to visit this popular destination. Our page also contains valuable tips on how to explore all the most important parts of the city as cheaply as possible, enjoy its atmosphere, and make extraordinary memories. Get to know Sydney with us and organize the perfect vacation in the land of kangaroos.

The most important information about Sydney

Sydney is the most famous and most visited city in Australia. It’s a pleasant and friendly city that greets people from all around the world. We will introduce you to Sydney and give you some useful information for your trip to the city.
  • History of Sydney - Sydney's early history started with Aboriginal settlements. They have spent at least 30.000 years in this area. However, Sydney's recent history began in January 1788, when England colonized the city. Its growth led to the finding of gold, which prompted many people to come to Sydney to open gold mines. Sydney saw significant economic expansion over the twentieth century, and it became a prosperous metropolis. Today, it is Australia's most visited city, welcoming visitors from all over the world. Its modern architecture speaks for itself and attracts a large number of visitors every year.
  • Geography and time zone - Sydney is the capital and the biggest city of New South Wales state of Australia. It’s located in the southeast of the continent at the coast of the South Pacific Ocean. This makes it one of the most important ports of the Pacific Ocean. Because it was for a long time a British colony, Sydney developed into a city that combines Australian style with European culture. The time zone of Sydney is under Australian Eastern Daylight Time which equals GMT+11.
  • The climate - the climate of the city is mostly mild and sunny, with short and moderate winters, and pleasant summers. Summer lasts from December to February, with an average temperature of 22°C. In Sydney, winter stretches from June till August, with a usual temperature of around 12°C. This kind of climate makes Sydney a perfect city to live in if you like staying outdoors
  • Demography - As a result of Aboriginal settlements and English colonization, Sydney became a multicultural city. Around 5 million people live here, with different backgrounds and origins. Almost half of the residents are born overseas, and around 25% percent of inhabitants are English, more than 23% Australian, and 10% Chinese.  
  • Tradition and culture - What is Sydney unique for? - This is a multi-ethnic city that welcomes visitors from all over the world and celebrates its unique beauty and wonder. Sydney is known for its architecture and stunning coastline. It's one of Australia's most visited cities for a reason. Sydney's most famous monuments are the Sydney House Opera and the Harbour Bridge. What also makes this city special is the coast which attracts many tourists every year. Sydney succeeded in combining coastal and inland culture and spirits. 

Sydney Travel Tips

This section will be pretty helpful in preparing for your trip to Sydney. From the city's currency and dialing code prefix to the city's most important emergency numbers. Once you are in Sydney, you should have them with you at all times.
  • Official Language and other languages spoken - Even though Australia has no official language, English is considered the national language. The same goes for Sydney. English is the most spoken language, the next ones are Arabic and Mandarian.
  • Entering the city: Procedures and requirements - Visa is not required only for citizens of Australia and New Zealand. Other travelers should have a valid passport and a visa. For more information, you should contact New South Wales or Australian Embassy in your country.
Emergency Numbers - The main emergency number is 000 that can be dialed at any time from both mobile and fixed phones.
  • Ambulance - 000
  • Police - 000
  • Fire Brigade - 000
  • Lifeline - 131 114
  • Kids Help Line - 1800 55 1800
  • Rape Crisis Center - 1800 424 017
  • Translating and Interpreting - 131 450
Money Tips
  • Currency - The official currency of Sydney, as well as the whole country, is the Australian dollar (AUD). The sign is the same as for the American dollar -$ and 100 Australian dollars equals around 72 American dollars, or €65.
  • Sydney is considered the most expensive city in Australia. Around €130 should be enough for one day in the city on a budget trip. Remember, even though Sydney may not be one of the affordable cities to visit, it’s worth seeing. You should nevertheless try to save some money. We will give you some advice on how to spend less money on your trip to Sydney.
  • Since you will need to use public transport, take advantage of taking any type of it for just $2.80 for a whole day. This is an excellent option if you want to explore some of the different parts of the city.
  • Get an Opal card for the metro. It’s a free card that you just have to load with money for the tickets. This card will save you some money since the fare is lower than the regular price.
  • Even though some of the most famous museums are expensive, others have free entrance. Take the chance to visit them. We recommend you to go to The Sydney Observatory and The Rocks Discovery Museum.
  • If you would like to explore the city and still save money, you should take a free walking tour. I’m Free Walking Tours is one of them. They are organized daily and the starting point is the city center.
Useful apps, free travel map
  • EatClub - This is a great app that shows you the nearest restaurants with great deals they are offering at the moment. This will be an excellent opportunity to eat in some of the most famous Sydney restaurants and also to save some money.
  • Hey You - If you are in search of a delicious coffee, try installing this app. It will give you information on the cafes near you and help you to find and choose the perfect cup of coffee.
  • Opal Card - We already mentioned Opal Card, which will make your rides in public transport more pleasant. And getting this app will help you to recharge the card for your ride fares. It will also show you where to take the bus and when to get off.
  • Gumtree - As well as Airbnb, this app provides you with information on accommodation in Sydney. You can find private rooms and apartments as well as a house share.
  • XE Currency - Since Australia has its own currency, it will help install the XE Currency app. You will be able to see the exchange rate in Australia and compare the Australian dollar to any currency.
  • TripView Sydney - last but not least, this app will help you get around the city. It shows all the transport lines you will need, alongside timetables and directions of every public transport. 

When to Visit Sydney?

The best time to visit Sydney is between September and November and March through May. During these months the temperature is cool and mild. But since most of the year is under nice weather, you can choose by your own preferences if you would like to travel out of tourist season.

How to get to Sydney?

Being one of the most visited cities in Australia, Sydney is well-connected to many other cities and countries. Different types of transport will get you to the city.
  • Plane - The main airports in the city are the Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport and Western Sydney Airport. They both operate with international companies from many countries in the world. Around €1.000 would be the average plane ticket price if you are traveling from Europe. But keep in mind that you may have to change at least one plane on your way to the city.
  • Train - Railway in Australia is well-developed and connects Sydney to many major cities of the country. The famous Indian Pacific rail network connects Sydney with Perth.
  • Bus - Buses are more often used than trains in most of New South Wales. They are well-connected to all the capitals and they are easy to book in advance. 
  • Boat - Many cruises connect Australia and especially Sydney to other countries. This is an excellent way of traveling since you will enjoy your trip over the open sea. They are more expensive than other travel options, but they are certainly worth it. 

Activities for tourists in Sydney

Sydney is a very vibrant and lively city with numerous attractions that will attire any type of tourist and traveler. Whether you travel with your friends or family for a vacation or an adventurer traveling with a backpack, you will enjoy Sydney. Here you will find some of the tours and events you can attend and spend the most amazing time in the most famous city in Australia.
Best tours
  • Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney: Aboriginal Heritage Tour - Aboriginal people, lived in the area that is now Sydney long before English arrival. They are significant historical actors, and studying about them will help in understanding the heritage. This walking tour will take you back to the city's origins.
  • Bonza Bike Tours: Sydney Classic Tour - The best way to know the city is by walking or taking a bike tour. It’s eco-friendly and also a nice and pleasant experience. You will have a 3.5 hours long tour on bile with a guide who will show you Sydney from a different perspective.
  • Culture Scouts: Inner West Tour - If you are an art and especially a mural fan, this will be a perfect tour for you. On this three-hour-long tour, you will get a chance to see one of the most famous street artworks in the city. This fun tour will be a great way to explore Sydney unusually and to meet other enthusiastic travelers with the same taste in art.
  • Sydney Harbour Cruise - Harbour Bridge is one of the most iconic attractions in Sydney. So don’t miss the chance to see it from the water. Take one of the many cruises and enjoy your tour while having a nice dinner.
Best Shopping
  • If you would like to treat yourself and your loved ones with high-quality clothing or footwear, you should visit some of the biggest malls and shopping centers in Sydney. Queen Victoria Building, Sydney Tower Westfields, Pitt Street Mall, and Darling Harbour should be your first choice. These places have numerous brand stores of famous designers such as Christian Louboutin, Gucci, Prada, Mulberry, Versace, and many others. You can enjoy your shopping in a nineteen-century-old building or in a modern mall, it’s up to you. But be sure, wherever you go, you will find something for yourself.
  • If you are a lover of markets and like buying handmade accessories, furniture, and unique souvenirs and gifts, we recommend Sydney’s Paddy’s Markets & Market City, The Rocks Market, and Glebe Markets. Here you will find plenty of vintage clothes and small things that will make perfect and authentic gifts for everyone. Also, you should not miss Newtown if you like street art and would like to support the local art scene. 
Events and festivals
  • Sydney Film Festival - This festival represents one of the significant events in the whole country. Every year, during June, many visitors can enjoy different movies, documentaries, and animations from artists worldwide. Since English is considered the main language in the city, it won’t be a problem to follow the program of the festival. 
  • Mardi Gras - The whole of Australia is considered open-minded and welcoming to people no matter their sexual orientation. That’s why Mardi Gras, a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans festival, is one memorable event that many people attend. It’s held in March and during the festival, you will get a chance to see a parade and other fun activities that promote awareness and beauty of diversity.
  • Sydney Festival - Every January, for three weeks, Sydney Festival colors the city. Here you can experience almost every type of art you are interested in. Music, theatre, opera, visual arts are just some of them. This festival has hosted many big names in the art industry such as Björk, Sir Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, and will do that in the future.
  • Sydney Harbour Regatta -Competitions amongst keelboats are held every year in March. This is a stunning spectacle that provides the Sydney Harbour a unique aspect during performances. This is a significant event for all Sydney citizens, and you should not miss it if you are visiting the city in March.
  • Vivid Sydney - Each year, Sydney transforms into a more colorful and energetic metropolis from late May to early June. Some of the city's most well-known monuments are transformed into works of art, and the entire city celebrates creativity and imagination. Aside from light shows and light works, Sydney hosts music activities that will add to the joy of the festival.

Tourist Attractions in Sydney

From famous buildings to huge green parks. Sydney has many things to offer. The most famous attractions are Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Those are must-see landmarks but don't miss the chance to visit the other ones that make this city unique and remarkable.
  • Sydney Opera House - It’s not just one of Australia’s but one of the world’s most recognizable attractions. Located in the elite and beautiful neighborhood of Sydney, this building can’t stay unvisited. Opera House is visited by several million people annually and hosts more than 1.500 performances of ballet, opera, and theatre.
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge - Second main attraction in Sydney, and one of its most visited landmarks. It will help you to cross the harbor but also to enjoy the fantastic view. The best thing is that is not just for vehicles, but also for pedestrians so that you can cross it on foot.
  • The Rocks - The Rocks is the oldest neighborhood in Sydney. It’s located between the Harbour Bridge and the northern edge of Sydney’s Central Business District, which makes it a great attraction to visit after visiting Sydney Opera House. This neighborhood has many restaurants, cafes, and souvenir shops.
  • Bondi Beach - If you are coming to Sydney, you should not miss the opportunity to go to Bondi Beach. It’s located just 7 kilometers from Sydney’s Central Business District, which makes it easily reachable. This sand beach is perfect for anyone who wants to take a break from the city and enjoy the sun and sea. 
  • Queen Victoria Building - This is a 19th-century building transformed into a five-story shopping center, a home to many stores and restaurants. The architecture of the QVB is remarkable and an absolute must-see.
  • Royal Botanic Gardens - Just right next to Sydney Opera House stretches on more than 27 hectares this green oasis. More than 7.500 species of plants live here, many of them native to Australia. A part of these gardens also make greenhouses and Rare and Threatened Species Garden.
  • Taronga Zoo - Would you miss the chance to see some of the most popular animals in Australia? Besides taking a tour through the zoo, you can get the ultimate Snore experience. This means you can stay overnight to enjoy the fauna during the evening. 
  • Australian National Maritime Museum - In its seven main galleries, this museum hosts maritime collections and exhibitions for visitors to see. Except for visiting the museum, you can take a tour of the vessels exposed. The ticket price is around €15.
  • Art Gallery of New South Wales - This museum was founded in 1872 and from that time it holds important collections of the country. Not only Australian but you can see parts of European and Asian heritage. One of the reasons why you should see this gallery is the free entrance.
  • St. Mary's Cathedral - This splendid church was built between 1866 and 1928 in the same manner as Notre-Dame cathedral, in Neo-Gothic style. This is also the first church built in Australia, so it should be on your list for visiting while in Sydney.

Accommodation in Sydney

Since Sydney is the most visited city in Australia, and as such, offers many various types of accommodation. From 5-star hotels to cheap beds in hostels. There is something for everyone, you should just explore your opportunities.
  • Hotels - When it comes to luxury hotels, the offer is very big. You can choose your place based on location, price of additional features. For the best experience, we recommend InterContinental Hotel, Hilton, or Park Hayat Hotel. They are all located in great places with amazing views. Prices vary depending on the season, but you can find a room, for around €300. You can enjoy your vacation in a 3-star hotel for less money, such as Sydney Boutique Hotel, The Grand Hotel, or YEHS Hotel. You can book a room in them for less than €100.
  • Rooms and Apartments - Airbnb is the ideal place to look for private room and apartment choices. On this website, you may discover economical accommodation in any region of the city, starting at roughly €55.
  • Hostels and budget accommodation - Hostels are the most affordable and welcoming option to stay in a city. If you've traveled before, you're already aware of this. A bed in a hostel room costs roughly €20, which is a fantastic deal. Aside from that, you'll have the opportunity to meet new people and possibly continue your journey together.

Best restaurants and places to go out in Sydney

Sydney is an energetic and lively city, with plenty of activities for tourists. Besides that, you can find many different restaurants and bars where you can try some great food and drinks. 
  • Where to eat - Maybe you didn’t know but the famous cake we all love, Lamingtons, comes from Australia. It’s recognized as the National Cake of Australia. So make sure to try it before you leave Sydney. Some of the restaurants you can find and many other dishes are Quay, The Gardens by Lotus, or Bea. If you would like to check out Australian street food such as Pigs in a Blanket, Fish and Chips, or Chiko roll, we recommend you to go to markets that have many stands with various food.
  • Where to go out - Sydney is a fun and exciting city, with go-out places that can suit everyone. No matter what you are looking for, you will find that special party or event you want to attend. If you’re going to have a lovely evening in an elegant bar, go to Smoke. If you are a fan of unique and well-known LGBT parties (we all know they are the most energetic ones), visit Stonewall Hotel. The best places to party are Goros and The Soda Factory.

Public transport in Sydney

Public transport is well-developed and has a big network for every type of transportation. If you are not in the mood for walking, you should always use whether train, bus or metro. Opal Card is not much costly, so you can enjoy your ride for a reasonable price. 
  • Buses - Buses connect all the parts of the city, making it one of the most used public transport in Sydney. They will take you to all the essential landmarks and attractions all over the city. The regular ticket price is around €1.5. Use your opal card to pay the ride fare.
  • Sydney Light Rail - Three lines operate through the city.  L1 Dulwich Hill, L2 Randwick and L3 Kingsford. With Opal Card, you will pay around €2.5 for a ride.
  • River Ferry - Sydney Harbour ferry services depart from Circular Quay's ferry terminus and reach places with main attractions in the city. It’s an easy way to get to distant places. For example, the river ferry is a great option to get from Taronga Zoo to Darling Harbour. The regular price in one way is around €5.
  • Cycling - Sydney is a perfect place to ride a bike all day long. You don’t have to worry about traffic or big crowds. Many bike paths are available for everyone who wants to get around the city environmentally conscious. Rent a bike and start exploring the city on two wheels.

Frequently asked questions about Sydney

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The most important information before going to Sydney?