Australia’s most populous city, Sydney features a fascinating mix of modern architecture, extensive greenery, coastal setting and wild nightlife. From the futuristic Opera House to the lovely Royal National Park and from innovative art galleries to sophisticated restaurants, you will never get bored in Harbour City.
- I Sydney Districts
- II Understand
- III Getting around
- IV Sydney’s best architecture
- V Sydney’s parks and zoos
- VI Art in Sydney
- VII Sydney’s museums
- VIII Hotels after the Lockdown in Sydney
- IX Flights to Sydney after Reopening
Sydney is the Harbour City. It is the largest, oldest and most cosmopolitan city in Australia with an enviable reputation as one of the world’s most beautiful and liveable cities. Brimming with history, nature, culture, art, fashion, cuisine and design, it is set next to miles of ocean coastline and sandy surf beaches. The city is also home to the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, two of the most iconic structures on the planet.
Sydney is a major global city and an important finance centre in the Asia-Pacific region. The city is surrounded by nature and national parks, which extend through the suburbs and right to the shores of the harbour.
Sydney has a compact city core surrounded by sprawling suburbs, forming a vast metropolitan area. The city core, Central Sydney is shaped roughly like a stubby palm-up left hand: the heel of the thumb as City South, the thumb as the district Darling Harbour, the first finger as The Rocks, the palm with the second and third fingers as City Centre and the rest as City East.
Home to the busy Central Business District (CBD), centre of government and finance but also home to many famous attractions (including the Opera House and the Royal Botanic Gardens), fine restaurants and shopping. Take ferries from Circular Quay to the Sydney Harbour Islands.
Just to the west of Circular Quay. Once the colonial village of Sydney, the Rocks is now a cosmopolitan area with history, views and shopping. It is the gateway to the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.
An extensive leisure and entertainment area immediately to the west of the City Centre. Take an early morning trip to the fish markets and follow up by exploring the restaurants, boardwalks, aquariums, wildlife and museums around Cockle Bay. Then find a maritime pub or hit The Star casino.
The Haymarket, Chinatown and Central Station area is home to markets, cafes, Chinese culture and cuisine together with cheaper accommodation and shopping.
Kings Cross, Darlinghurst, Surry Hills, Woolloomooloo and Moore Park. Busy nightlife, coffee shops, fashion and entertainment by day.
Greater Sydney, the sprawling suburbs in the vast city metropolitan area surrounding Central Sydney spread for up to 100 km westward from the city centre. The traveller visiting the suburbs will find less crowded beaches, parks, cheaper shopping, commercial centres, cultural festivals and hidden gems.
History of Sydney
Sydney is the oldest European settlement in Australia, having been founded as a British penal colony on 26 January 1788 by Arthur Phillip. This day is now celebrated as Australia Day to mark the establishment of a new nation, although also regarded by many as Invasion Day that marked the beginning of the British appropriation of Aboriginal land. The settlement was named “Sydney” after Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney, who was the British Home Secretary at that time.
Sydney is one of the most cosmopolitan cities on the planet, with one third of its population born overseas. European settlement rapidly displaced the Aboriginal people of the Sydney area with colonists largely coming from England, Ireland and Scotland. The Australian goldrush attracted more immigrants, including a significant number of Chinese, with about one in six Australians with convict descent also having some Chinese ancestry. In the early 20th century, Sydney continued to attract immigrants – mostly from the UK and Ireland, with the White Australia Policy preventing non-European peoples (and even Southern Europeans) from settling. Australia’s immigration patterns, and consequently, that of Sydney, changed significantly after World War II, when migrants began to arrive from countries as diverse as Italy, Greece, Germany, Holland, China, New Zealand, India, the Philippines, Poland, Lebanon, Iraq, Vietnam, Thailand, South Africa and the Pacific Islands. Sydney’s culture, food and general outlook well reflect these contributions to the majority Anglo-Celtic institutions and social establishment.
Sydney is recognised worldwide for its vibrant Gay community. Every year, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is celebrated on the first weekend in March, drawing people from all over Australia and the world for the celebrations.
Sydney was the centre of the world’s attention in September 2000 when the city hosted the Summer Olympics – announced by the IOC Chairman at the closing ceremony to be “the best games ever”. The Olympics saw a major building and renovation program take hold of Sydney, positioning it as one of the great world cities of the 21st century.
Sydney’s subway lines are complemented by a comprehensive bus network. Water taxis serve the seaside areas of the city, while taxi cabs are widely available on the streets. The Central Station is linked to the airport by frequent direct train routes.
Sydney’s best architecture
One of the city’s most famous landmarks, Sydney Opera House is a modern architectural treasure and an Unesco World Heritage Site. Located at Sydney Harbour, its unique design resembles multiple overlapping shells. Close to the Opera House you will find the impressive Harbour Bridge.
Standing in Market Street, Sydney’s Tower Eye is a tall modern structure, from the top of which visitors can enjoy fascinating panoramic views of the city.From modern to colonial architecture, Rocks District is ideal for taking a glimpse of beautiful buildings which date back to the time the first European residents arrived to Australia.
Sydney’s parks and zoos
Sydney offers several green zones, both within the city centre and the wider metropolitan area. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Chinese Garden of Friendship, the Domain, Hyde Park and Sydney Park are a few fine central choices for relaxing strolls and joyful pick-nicks. Suburban parks and gardens include Royal National Park, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and Auburn Botanical Gardens, while Greater Blue Mountains Area, at the city’s western edge, houses hundreds of animal species, including some endemic such as koalas.
For an up-close look at Australian animals, visit Sidney Wildlife World, where you can see lively kangaroos, lazy koalas and tones of other endemic and international species. Dip in domestic underwater life by visiting Sydney Aquarium. Featuring a recreation of the Great Barrier Reef, the aquarium hosts dozen of colourful tropical fish and other local marine creatures. Walk down the see-through tunnels while great sharks swim over and around you.
Art in Sydney
Art Gallery of South Wales holds a wide collection of artworks from Australian artists, as well as other fascinating displays on Asian and European art, photography, prints and contemporary designs. If interested in contemporary art, also visit the Museum of Contemporary Art, Artspace Sydney and the stunning White Rabbit Gallery, which presents Chinese contemporary art pieces.
Brett Whiteley Studio presents the Australian artist’s actual studio, which has been maintained pretty much as he left it before he passed away in 1992, also featuring the unfinished painting he was working on at the time.
Founded in 1827, Sydney’s Australian Museum is the oldest museum in the country. Come here to see Aboriginal artefacts, dinosaur remains, endemic staffed animal species and some tools and utensils from several civilizations around the globe. Located at College Street, it is housed in an impressive 19th-century building.
Be introduced to the city’s history by paying a visit to Sydney Museum. First established in 1995, the museum is built over the remains of New South Wales first Governor’s residence, featuring educating displays of items, photos and multimedia presentations which chronicle Sydney’s timeline from colonial times up to date.
Part of Sydney’s Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Powerhouse Museum is named after the former electric tram power station building, which now occupies. Most of its collections focus on science and technology, including space science, steam power, media and communication. However, art and design displays are also exhibited in this fascinating museum, which is one of the city’s most visited attractions.
Hotels after the Lockdown in Sydney
|Hotel||Stars||Discount||Price per night, from||Choose dates|
Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour
Meriton Suites Campbell Street
Meriton Suites Kent Street
Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney
Flights to Sydney after Reopening
The Cheapest Round-trip Tickets from Sydney to Auckland
|Departure date||Return date||Stops||Airlines||Find Ticket|
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