Landlocked by sea and boasting unbelievably ornate attractions, Sydney is the most modern of cities. Spend your precious vacation at sun-kissed beaches, vast exotic zoos under the scarlet sunsets of Sydney.
A City With Sails
The coastal metropolis and the largest city in all of Australia, Sydney is enclosed by the gaping Sydney Harbour. Seated on a basin by the Pacific Ocean and home to an extensive fauna, Sydney is the oldest city of the continent. It attracts more than 10.5 million visitors every year and is the gateway to New South Wales. Packed with iconic destinations such as Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Mardi Gras, Royal Botanical Gardens, Taronga Zoo and the tranquil sandy beaches, Sydney is most tops the bucket list.
The House of Art
One of the unarguable masterpieces of human creativity, the Sydney Opera House is situated on the tip of the Sydney Harbour. The house presents more than 2000 performances every year by First Nation showcasing arts, culture, talks, ideas, theatre, dance and musical shows. The Sydney Opera House has been a vision to the people of Australia and is a UNESCO World Heritage site for its modern design and architectural inspiration.
A Rare Carnival
Vivid Sydney is a festival like no other featuring music, light, fun and the extraordinary illumination of the Sydney Opera House. The multi-award winning festival hosts performances by local and international musicians, talk shows by global thinkers and creators. Don’t miss out on this one of a kind celebration and the chance to view Sydney as a 21st-century dance ball!
The Prettiest Natural Harbour
The Sydney Harbour is surrounded by a long shoreline, iconic sites, wildlife parks and serves as a visible symbol of Australia. The prominent Sydney Harbour Bridge spans across the Sydney Harbour which hands you the dramatic views of the city. Spend an evening dining on a cruise, take a walk along the shore or ride a ferry to Taronga zoo passing by the world famous landmarks to experience this magnificent and capacious beauty.
Sydney Travel Guide?
Sandy beaches, yacht vacations, sunny harbours, and noble entertainments have made Sydney a holiday destination. It is rewarded with many names such as ‘The Harbour City’ and ‘The Emerald City’ for being a coastal metropolis. Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, Sydney Tower Eye and the city’s many museums have created high regard in the minds of people from the nook and corners of the world of the city. With contemporary architecture, love for art, palatable seafood, courteous hospitality, and culture so hip that you want to party every day, Sydney is a city that offers you so much to see and do. This Sydney travel guide is a summary of everything from things to do, what to eat, where to stay, to day trips, budget and culture tips for helping you plan the ultimate vacation.
Why Visit Sydney?
The once colony of British exiles, Sydney has become the vibrant city it was destined to be over the past century. Travellers have a fun time exploring the harbour city’s major attractions such as the Sydney Opera House, the various wildlife parks, gigantic aquariums, and esoteric art galleries. Whether you are travelling alone or with your family, Sydney has got you covered for all sorts of entertainment. The city is both a backpacker’s and a spendthrift’s dream come true. Viewing sunrises from Bondi Beach, strolling around the Rocks Market, and evenings with a view of the Sydney skyline from the Harbour Bridge are soul-healing affairs. Those who don’t mind spending money take a trip to the Hunter Valley and sip on the most extravagant wine. The megacity is humble with its visitors yet offers them a glimpse of a perfect tomorrow’s world.
Top 10 Things To Do in Sydney
Sydney Trip Planner
Things to keep in mind while packing for your trip to Sydney.
Weather in Sydney
Sydney is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world since the weather is always pleasant, thanks to its tropically balanced climate. However, if you want to know before you go, this is how the seasons in Sydney look.You can check the weather for your stay there, here.
Sydney in Spring
During spring, the temperature is mild and comfortable giving you just the right amount of sunshine that you need to explore the busy city. Look around to find beautiful lush green gardens and Jacaranda trees blooming on every single street. Alternatively, you can enjoy walks over the clear white sand beaches and explore the local street markets. Keep your eyes open as the city also offers an exciting array of activities and events during this season that is definitely worth checking out.
Sydney in Summer
Summers in Sydney can change rapidly from warm to hot so prepare by carrying lots of sunscreen, hats and sunglasses while packing for your vacation. Sydney is known for hosting a wide range of outdoor activities during this period including swimming, surfing, concerts and festivals. Christmas also comes towards the beginning of summer holidays, making it best weather to visit Sydney.
Sydney in Autumn
Autumn in Sydney is a good time for walking tours and day trips from the city. Discover the city’s top landmarks from the Sydney Opera House, the Royal Botanic Gardens to Hyde Park, Chinatown and Hunter Valley Gardens to experience the Aussie land during this season. It is the best time to visit Sydney if you wish to experience a fine balance between hot and cold weather.
Sydney in Winter
Unlike other destinations, Sydney winters are pleasant. It is a magical time in the city, where you can find plenty of activities to be a part of like whale-watching, hiking and even visiting the aquariums. Don't miss out on Vivid Sydney - a spectacular annual festival for light and music that has proved to give a memorable visual experience for all during winter.
Best Time of the Year to Visit Sydney
The best time to visit Sydney is from September to November, and February to May when the weather is pleasant and not as crowded. If you are travelling with a tight budget, June to August is considered to be the cheapest time to visit Sydney due to the city's winter season. Sydney enjoys a pleasant weather condition, so, if you can handle a temperature drop between 10°C to 13°C, take a budget trip and make the most of your experience.
Pleasant time to visit Sydney - September to November and February to May
Cheapest time to visit Sydney - June to August
Best Time To Visit Sydney For Different Kinds Of Travelers
Best Time for Staying Outdoors in Sydney: December - February
Best Time for Sightseeing & Museum Hopping: October, November, March, and April
Best Time for Honeymooners: Late spring (October and November) and early autumn (March and April)
Best Time for Budget Travelers: June - August
Best Time for Shopaholics: December - March
Daily Budget For Sydney
Average Daily Budget: $180
- Budget Traveler: $150
- Mid-Range Traveler: $200
- Luxury Traveler: $250
Budget Your Trip here.
Getting a visa to Australia is relatively easy when compared to other countries. People planning to travel as a tourist can apply for the Australian Visitor visa (Subclass 600) as a business visitor or to visit family. The visa is valid for a temporary stay of 3 – 12 months which leaves ample time to explore the city.
There are 5 subcategories of this visa: Tourist Stream, Sponsored Family Stream, Business Visitor Stream, Approved Destination Status Stream and Frequent Traveller Stream. You can read more about them here.
Install the local taxi app
More often than not people around the world don’t always use uber, since there are better options. As does Sydney. Here are a few uber-like applications you can use in Sydney.
Look out for no smoking signs
Sydney has the strictest rules when it comes to smoking in public places. You are not allowed to smoke in most places, especially school zones or will be fined. Watch out for no smoking signs before you like a cigarette.
Step into free art galleries
Many free art galleries are held in the city which you should not miss walking into. It showcases talent from the local and international artists and encourages more young minds to take up art. These galleries also exhibit the most interesting and vehement art which are underrated.
Hop on a ferry
Don’t shy away from taking a ferry ride when available. The locals here love their water rides and rightfully so. The salty breeze stroking your face, the wonderful view of the city horizon from the waters, and the sun shining warm over you are a thing to experience.
Located on Australia's east coast, Sydney boasts sunny beaches, serene parks, contemporary architecture and plenty of outdoor adventure opportunities. Hitting the sweet spot between easygoing and exciting, this dynamic city is the most visited by tourists from across the world. Sydney is a true-blue metropolitan city of the 21st Century, with a heady blend of different cultures and places. You could be walking down the lively streets of Paddington one moment and enjoying a meal at the Vietnam-inspired Cabramatta just 10 minutes later. There are plenty of things to see and do, and no time seems enough to cover all of them. Hence, we bring you out curated itineraries list that offers the best picks and mix of things to do in Sydney over two days time.
How to Save Money in Sydney
Here are some fun ways of saving money while in Sydney.
Stay over in a Hostel
Choose to stay over at a hostel rather than a luxury hotel. Yes, hotels offer that privacy and service to your doorstep, but hotels help you save a large margin on your travel budget while offering you to explore the city further. You will also get to spend more on food, cruises, shopping, and attractions. There are many like Sydney Harbour YHA, that offer you a room for as little as $30 a night.
Purchase the Opal card
Transportation can swallow a large portion of your travel budget. Fortunately, Sydney has a solution. The city has efficient connectivity by public transport and the Opal card offers amazing discounts on every ride you take. You can learn how to purchase the Opal card here.
Score the Sydney Multi-attraction Pass
Sydney is a popular tourist destination and it could be frustrating to queue up at every venue to buy tickets. Thankfully, the Sydney Multi-attraction Pass lets you access 4 prime landmarks in the city with one pass - Wild LIFE Sydney Zoo, Madame Tussauds Sydney, Sydney Sea Life Aquarium, and Sydney Tower Eye. Here is how you can get your hands on the Sydney Multi-attraction Pass.
Explore the streets with free walking tours Sydney’s streets are amusing as its major attractions and free walking tours are one way to traverse them. Free Tours Sydney and I’m Free Walking Tours are two of the most popular free walking tours to discover the city centre, Circular Quay and The Rocks.
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House is one of the world’s leading performance spaces, located on the banks of the gorgeous Sydney Harbour. Opened in 1973, the venue is home to six performance theatres, which together host more than 30 shows a week and 2000 events a year. The unique architecture depicts huge shells or billowing sails, thereby attracts visitors from all over the globe.
Here is a guide to Sydney Opera House Tickets to know all about scoring the best tickets and seats before your visit.
Listed below are the top shows that you should not miss!
Day Trips from Sydney
Visit the many attractions in and around Sydney with these spectacular day tours.
Sydney Harbour Cruises
Tranquil blue waters, a breathtaking skyline, and most importantly welcoming locals make Sydney a beautiful city in every sense. A trip to Sydney can be something truly special given you know where you're headed and what you're doing. While there are many experiences, one we would recommend not to skip is the Sydney Harbour cruise. A majestic boat will take you on a leisurely trip over the magical waters of Sydney Harbour as you marvel at the beautiful sights the city has to offer. A cruise works double duty by not only giving you a tour of the harbour but also introduces you to the city's iconic landmarks. Read on to know everything there is about Sydney Harbour cruise and how to pick the best one.
SYDNEY SIGHTSEEING CRUISE
Love exploring a city from the waters? Discover the refreshing vivacity of Sydney Harbour. Learn all about the harbour and the many people, places, and events that come together to make the harbour the exciting and lively place it is, from your guided commentary onboard.
SYDNEY DINNER CRUISE
Enjoy a premium dining experience on the high seas on some of the finest water vessels and enjoy the best a la carte dining, a comprehensive wine list, live music and dancing, all set to the gorgeous backdrop of nighttime in Sydney. These dinner cruises are simply magical!
Sydney City Passes
Sydney is flooded with tourists all year round. No matter where you come from, you will feel like this party is meant for you. But don't let that fool you. Sydney is as glamorous as any other cosmopolitan. If you are visiting Sydney, you need to experience all of these facets. A Sydney Multi-attraction Pass is your best bet in that respect. From skipping the long waiting lines to the most prominent attractions to saving a few bucks this pass is a lottery for those wanting to see the city fast and at a reasonable cost.
Here is our guide to know all about the Sydney Multi-attraction Pass.
Hotels in Sydney
Hotel stays offer a luxurious experience. The sea side windows, elegant suites, and tranquil swimming pools will only make your stay in Sydney more memorable. On average a 3-star hotel costs AUD 109 per night. You can explore hotels in Sydney here .
Dining in Sydney
Must-try Food in Sydney
While there is a wide assortment of dishes and desserts, here are some firm favourites.
- Sydney rock oyster
- Australian prawns
- Avocado on toast
- Bacon and egg roll
- Lamington cake
- Potato cake
- Yellowfin tuna
Valentine’s Day in Sydney
Valentine’s Day is that time of the year to celebrate love, affection, and romance, and make your partner feel special. With the balmy sun, azure waters, lofty skyscrapers, and lush parks, Sydney is the perfect place for every romantic. If you’re thinking of how to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Sydney, we’ve curated a list of the top ten experiences in the city to do especially with your valentine. Look through for something that suits you and your partner, and make the day memorable!
Festivals in Sydney
Sydney has a year long calendar of festivals - some cultural, some religious, some patriotic, a few music festivals and so on. Here are the top recurring festivals that you should know of:
- Sydney Film Festival: June
- Mardi Gras: March
- Australian Open of Surfing: March
- Sydney Festival: January
- Sydney Harbour Regatta: March
- Vivid Sydney: May-June
Sydney Culture Tips
You are not obliged to tip a hefty amount while in Sydney. There is no rule for tipping. Nevertheless, you can tip up to 10% of your total bill or what your budget allows you.
Keep the legal age in mind
The legal age in Australia is 18. People under the age of 18 cannot smoke, drink or enter pubs. It’s best to leave your kids at your hotel if you want to have a drink or two.
If you get invited to a BBQ or a cookout, don’t show up empty-handed. This is an untold rule in Sydney. It’s best to bring a bottle of wine or a home-baked snack to the party as a sign of gratitude.
Bring a ton of sunscreen
This goes without saying. Sydney receives the sun most of the year and you cannot avoid a fun time at Bondi Beach. If you are someone who gets tanned easily, you should apply ample sunscreen before going anywhere.
The best time of year to visit Sydney really depends on what you want to do while you're here. If you're looking to spend time outdoors and enjoy the city's many beaches, then late spring or early summer (September-November) is a great time to visit. However, if you're interested in attending one of Sydney's many festivals or events, then you'll want to plan your trip around the city's calendar. For example, if you're keen on catching the Sydney New Year's Eve fireworks display, then you'll need to be in town between December 31 and January 1.
The best way to get around Sydney really depends on your budget and where you'll be staying. If you're staying in the city center, then walking or taking public transportation is usually the easiest and most affordable option. However, if you're planning on doing a lot of exploring outside of the city, then you may want to consider renting a car. Just be sure to budget for parking, as it can be quite expensive in Sydney.
Some of the must-see attractions in Sydney include the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and Bondi Beach. Of course, there are many other great things to see and do in the city, but these are definitely some of the highlights.
There are a few ways to save money while visiting Sydney. First, consider staying in a hostel or Airbnb instead of a hotel. This can be a great way to save on accommodations. Second, take advantage of the many free attractions and activities that the city has to offer. And finally, make sure to cook some meals at your accommodation instead of eating out all the time – this will help you save on food costs.
Some things to know before visiting Sydney include the fact that it is a very large and multicultural city. As such, it's important to be respectful of other cultures and religions while you're here. Additionally, Sydney can be quite expensive, so it's important to budget accordingly. Finally, the city is known for its beaches, so be sure to pack your swimsuit!
Some of the main rules to follow in Sydney include being respectful of other cultures, not littering, and not smoking in public places. Additionally, it's important to be aware of your surroundings and not leave your belongings unguarded in busy areas. Finally, make sure to follow all posted signs and obey any other rules that may be in place in specific locations.
The best places to eat at in Sydney really depend on your budget and what you're in the mood for. If you're looking for cheap eats, then there are plenty of great options available. However, if you're willing to spend a bit more, then you'll be able to find some truly amazing restaurants. Some of our personal favorites include Mister Gee Burger Truck, Momofuku Seiobo, and Sepia.