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On a sunny day, the waters of Sydney Harbour glisten like shards of sapphire, reflecting the iconic Opera House that needs no introduction. But the city’s heart and soul lie in the warmth and charm of its communities.
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Sydney’s "CBD" is a hive of commercialism. Shopping is the star attraction – explore the Queen Victoria Building and Pitt Street for luxury and brand-name stores, or venture to The Strand for boutiques. Hyde Park is Sydney's heart. When night falls, trendy wine bars and flashy nightclubs come to life.Accommodations in Sydney Central Business District
One of Sydney's most stunning beaches, Bondi radiates health and vitality. Enjoy coffee at one of the seafront cafes or a jog along the promenade. You can also take a breathtaking coastal sea walk to Coogee. Westfield Bondi Junction is a shopping mecca, and at night the streets come to life with bars and live music.Accommodations in Bondi
Manly is brimming with natural beauty and outdoor activities. The golden sands and azure waves of Manly Beach are the centerpiece. Stroll to tranquil Shelley Beach, or enjoy the stunning views at Sydney Harbour National Park. Dive with Grey Nurse Sharks at Manly Sea Life Sanctuary, take surf lessons, or go parasailing and biking.Accommodations in Manly
The tree-lined streets, historic buildings and quaint shops give Potts Point a Parisian feel. Heaven for foodies, there’s no shortage of bars and restaurants. Stroll down to Embarkation Park. Nightlife is more refined here than in Kings Cross, but the residents still party hard! Enjoy Beach Haus or partying at "The Backroom."Accommodations in Potts Point
Home to Sydney’s enormous Chinatown, there’s no shortage of restaurants in this area. Discover science and design exhibitions at the Powerhouse Museum, or rummage for a bargain at vibrant Paddy’s Markets. Join the locals on Friday night and wander through Chinatown for dinner, then top the night off with karaoke or cocktails!Accommodations in Haymarket
Darlinghurst is trendy, alternative and fabulously quirky. Sydney’s annual Mardi Gras takes place against the backdrop of Oxford Street’s colorful vintage, retro and boutique stores. Visit the area’s art galleries or listen to live music at the Oxford Art Factory.Accommodations in Darlinghurst
The bright lights of Kings Cross sum up its atmosphere perfectly – flashy, brash and a bit loud. "The X" (in local lingo) is the city’s premier nightlife area. There’s an abundance of restaurants, clubs and bars, and the area can get rowdy on Friday and Saturday nights!Accommodations in Kings Cross
As Sydney’s second business hub, Parramatta is full of history and modern development. Westfield Parramatta is a five-story shopping mecca, with nearly 500 shops. Church Street is lined with outdoor dining. Escape the bustle in the natural haven of Parramatta Park. For activities, try Parramatta War Memorial Swimming Pool or the Riverside Theatre.Accommodations in Parramatta
Chinatown is bustling with color, taste and culture the whole year round. Allow yourself at least once to be drawn into one of the restaurants serving yum cha (traditional Chinese lunch). Market City is home to Asian specialty shops, as well as Paddy’s Market, which is full of fresh produce and souvenirs.Accommodations in Chinatown
You’ll never run out of things to do here. WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Star Casino, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and Madame Tussauds provide hours of fun, and kids will love the playground at Tumbalong Park. King Street Wharf is a hive of activity day and night, filled with harbor-side restaurants, shopping, bars and clubs.Accommodations in Darling Harbour
Spend an afternoon wandering the cobblestone lanes of this historic district, or enjoy a beer in some of Australia's oldest pubs. Marvel at the stunning 360-degree view from the Pylon Lookout at the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge, or absorb the splendors of the Museum of Contemporary Art.Accommodations in The Rocks
Sarah's spent her whole life in Sydney and loves the beaches and nightlife.
Ivy is a wonderland of dining, cocktails and beautiful people where "Sydneysiders" love to play! Enjoy a cocktail or catch some of the world’s hottest DJs playing at Pacha Sydney nightclub. On a summer Sunday, dip your toes in the rooftop pool; the Marco Polo pool party sizzles into the evening.Accommodations nearby
Lara loves to hike, picnic, and admire the beautiful scenery in the Blue Mountains.
Wet'n'Wild Sydney is the best place to spend a summer day. One of the world’s biggest water-themed parks, it includes the double Sky Coaster, a Tropical Cyclone and even a beach with white sandy shores. The 40 slides and attractions cater to everyone, even the kids with their own Wet'n'Wild Junior Zone.Accommodations nearby
Travel-crazy Cassandra loves Sydney's restaurants, especially those in Bondi, Crow's Nest and The Rocks.
For a local experience in Sydney, I recommend the Baxter Inn, a whiskey bar in the heart of the CBD. This converted basement bar has 156 choices of whiskey, as well as all your old favorites. For great service, free pretzels and fun, be sure to check it out!Accommodations nearby
Outdoor enthusiast Neil enjoys the countless opportunities for swimming, surfing and bushwalking in Sydney.
Away from the crowds of tourists, Shelly Beach is just a short walk from Manly. Protected from the ocean swell by a reef, enjoy use of the free barbecues or snacks from the kiosk. Take a stroll on the track around the cape, offering spectacular views of the Northern Beaches and North Head.Accommodations nearby
Australian-American Tristan loves breakfast at an awesome café, followed by an afternoon at the beach.
Kürtősh is a small cake/pastry café conveniently located on Crown St. in the heart of trendy Surry Hills. Picture this: little tables, tiny stools, dim lighting and endless shelves full of amazing cakes. Best of all, you can purchase cakes by weight, so you can choose the size of your piece!Accommodations nearby
Christina has been around the world and is sure that nothing compares to Aussie produce and flavors.
Berkelouw Paddington Bookshop & Cafe have books, wine and great coffee. Peruse a large range of new, rare and secondhand books then sink into a good read with a drink in hand. They also serve tasty treats and play host to great events like book launches and writer’s nights.Accommodations nearby
Leyne plays gigs around Sydney’s Inner West and her life is filled with music.
Plan B Small Club in the city center presents local and international bands and DJs, like AC/DC, The Presets and You Am I. A visit to Plan B Small Club can see you moshing to post-punk, dancing to Hawaiian pop and sipping cocktails while listening to 50's vinyl, all in one night!Accommodations nearby
Luke has called Sydney home for 7 years and surfs every day.
My favorite surf spot in Sydney is Bronte Beach. It’s located in the eastern suburbs, just south of Bondi. In the correct weather conditions, there is also an incredible right hand reef break. In addition, Bronte has a lovely cliff walk, linking to nearby beaches.Accommodations nearby
Londoner Andrew has lived in Sydney for two years and enjoys Sydney’s bars and restaurants.
Sydney Cricket & Sports Ground Trust is an international sporting venue complex that hosts a range of sports. No matter what type of ticket you buy, each venue in the complex has great views of the playing field. These venues are easily accessible to the surrounding city pubs and bars.Accommodations nearby
Kiwi Bernadette has spent 15 years in Sydney living everywhere from Parramatta to Bondi.
The inner city is full of tasty treats! Chicken Laksa on Hunter Street is a must. Spice I Am on Wentworth Street has the best Thai you’ll ever eat! If you’re a fan of dumplings, check out Din Tai Fung at World Square. BBQ King serves delicious roast pork!Accommodations nearby
Booking.com asked travelers...Was it cheap, fast, or easy to use? What made it so simple to get around in Sydney?
Public transport was convenient but bus drivers very rude and unfriendly and unhelpful! In other country's the buses have signs telling you the next stop not in Sydney! You get on the bus and have no idea when to get off! The taxi drivers are also very rude and unfriendly, not a first good impression when you arrive into the country!See all 56 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...What was the most entertaining thing you saw in Sydney?
being part of the audience at reality TV show X Factor. Fantastic experience to see behind the scenes but need to be aware of how much time it takes!See all 87 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...How can you enjoy the sights in Sydney while avoiding the crowds?
Use the Sydney public transport system. Taxi's and rental cars are too expensive. Trains are frequent and ferries will take you anywhere.See all 101 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Describe what other people like you would like about shopping in Sydney.
There are great factory outlets in Surry hills or catch a train ti Green Square for more shopping outletsSee all 102 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Did the theater performances in Sydney live up to their reputation?
We travel from interstate regularly for music performances. Always excellent entertainmentSee all 35 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...The beach means different things to different people. What did the beach in Sydney mean to you?
This was mostly enjoyment of the harbors and docks, with ships and a picturesque quality.See all 37 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Is there more to shopping in Sydney than just brand-name stores?
Markets are great ie. Glebe and PaddingtonSee all 55 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Where should people go if they don't want to eat in a tourist trap?
The Greens North SydneySee all 56 answers
Kingsford Smith is Australia’s busiest airport, and a town in its own right with some 200 shops and a range of restaurants. Airport Link trains are the fastest way into the city and depart every 10 minutes. A taxi to the center will cost you 45 to 55 AUD. For bus services, there are clearly marked bus stops on the arrivals level outside the terminal. Shuttle services and car rentals are also available.
Central Station is the hub of the Sydney Trains network. Connect to suburban, intercity, country and interstate trains here. Many bus services depart from the adjacent Eddy Avenue and Chalmers Street or from the nearby Railway Square on George Street. Coach bus services depart from Eddy Avenue. Taxi stands are at most major exits.
Sydney’s fleet of air-conditioned buses connects the entire city and is one of the faster ways to get around, thanks to the city’s dedicated bus lanes. Look for the dark blue and yellow signs; timetables are displayed at most stops. Tickets are available on board or at stations, newsstands and convenience stores. For something different, purchase a ticket for the Sydney Explorer bus – these red open-top, double-decker buses stop at 34 of Sydney’s major attractions.
Sydney’s major taxi stands are at Western Forecourt, Elizabeth Street and the corner of Chalmers and Devonshire Streets. It’s easiest to hail a taxi on the street (if the light’s on, it’s available). Taxis are convenient but expensive – drivers might ask where you’re going before they let you in. If you’re traveling late at night, there’s an hour when no taxis are around (usually 3 am); drivers usually change shifts after pubs close.
Sydney’s Light Rail network connects Central Station with Sydney’s Inner West area, extending to Lilyfield. The network has a limited reach and number of stops, so it’s easier and more convenient to take the train or bus to the districts further outside the city. To find light rail stops, look for red signs with "Tram Stop" in white. Tickets are available at ticket machines as well as station ticket offices.
Several roads run between Kingsford Smith Airport and the city. There are plenty of car rental desks at the airport. Some of these roads incur toll charges, so plan your journey accordingly. With lots of traffic congestion, driving in the city can be intimidating for first-time visitors. Although free on-street parking is virtually non-existent, there are plenty of expensive parking garages that are clearly marked throughout the city.
Boasting 360 degree, revolving views of the Sydney skyline, 360 Bar and Dining offers a sophisticated dining experience. It features seasonal menus, made from the freshest local produce.
Featuring a friendly yet intimate ambience, Subsolo offers a range of delicious Spanish cuisine. Enjoy tapas, paella and the specialty spit roaster grills.
Set in a modern space inside the Shark Hotel, Holy Basil offers a delicious menu of Thai and Laos fusion. A great selection of stir-fries, curries and noodles, and make sure you try the deep-fried ice cream for dessert!
Dubbed Sydney’s temple of cheese, GPO Cheese and Wine Room is designed with the feel of an underground artisan cheese cellar. Enjoy à la carte options or truly indulge in a selection of cheese and chocolate fondue platters.
Enjoy sophisticated dining in the elegant dining room of an Art Deco skyscraper at Rockpool Bar & Grill. With friendly service and excellent produce, you can sample wood fire grilled meats and seafood. Enjoy an after dinner drink at the bar.
Located on level 4 of the ivy, Uccello is set in beautiful surrounds boasting views of the rooftop pool. The menu offers rustic Italian dishes, with simple yet stunning presentation.
Featuring an industrial, rustic vibe, Jamie’s Italian is adorned with metal chairs, graffiti walls and an energetic vibe. Enjoy fresh handmade pasta or try the impressive antipasti plank. But be prepared–queue.
Set in a basement bar, Frankie’s Pizza is a cheesy Italian pizza place with a rock’n’roll twist. Chow down on a thin crust pizza then head–the back bar for a drink and a game of pinball.
Located in the heart of the city, Ichi-ban Boshi offers delicious Japanese takeaway food. There’s a large variety of tapas-style entrees, as well as the tradition noodle and rice favourites.
The perpetual line outside Mamak’s door is testament–their consistently incredible food. Light and tissue thin, their roti canai is the stuff dreams are made of.
Overlooking Japanese gardens and decorated with eclectic art, Tetsuya’s offers a serene city dining experience. The restaurant features a 10-course degustation menu, with a matching wine course.
For a delicious Brazilian BBQ experience head–Braza Churrascaria! Indulge your inner carnivore as waiters bring offerings of various meat skewers–your table. Head–the bar afterwards–try traditional sugar cane spirit!
Enjoy relaxed, al fresco dining whilst taking in the water views of Cockle Bay. Baia THE ITALIAN offers a variety of traditional Italian dishes, from fresh seafood–pastas and pizzas.
Perched on the balcony level of Cockle Bay Wharf, Blackbird Café offers beautiful food and an extensive menu. Enjoy steak, pasta, seafood or even try the kangaroo! There’s even a live DJ on Friday and Saturday nights!
Boasting spectacular views of the city skyline and Darling Harbour, The Meat & Wine Co is a sophisticated, but relaxed steakhouse. Enjoy a mouthwatering selection of steaks, ribs and flame-grilled skewers.
This upscale eatery boasts traditional Korean BBQ in a trendy, modern setting. Enjoy your favourite Korean favourites like bulgogi, bibimbap or seafood pancakes, washed down with an inventive soju cocktail.
BBQ King has been a Sydney institution since 1979, and their popularity doesn’t seem–be waning. Late-night revelers can indulge in roast duck pancakes and pork belly with the locals.
Located within a restored wool-trade factory, Shipleys offers gourmet breakfast and sumptuous buffet and à la carte dinners. Delight in the freshest seafood and international cuisines.
Known for its tasty pork katsu, bento boxes and blended fruit smoothies, Miso Japanese Restaurant is hidden away inside Sydney’s World Square complex.
With a cosy and intimate setting, Beppi’s has been serving up the freshest Italian classics for many years. Enjoy exceptional service and authentic pasta, seafood and meat dishes.
Set within a designer space inspired by French Colonial Vietnam, Red Lantern on Riley offers an extensive menu with a focus on shared dishes. Enjoy rice paper rolls and crisp rice flour crepes.
Overlooking the shores of Darling Harbour, Nick’s Seafood Restaurant offers a delectable seafood dining experience. Enjoy the flavours of oysters, char-grilled seafood and the stunning Nick’s seafood platter.
The water views complement the relaxed atmosphere and delicious flavours at Georges Mediterranean Bar & Grill. Enjoy fresh and vibrant dishes, then head–the bar–round the night out with a cocktail.
Open until 4 am every day, this award-winning restaurant boasts an extensive wine list, and you can take your pick of lobster, crab or abalone from the tanks on display.
If you enjoy participating in your meal experience, the Korean BBQ at Dae Jang Kum is a late-night staple. Make sure you try the banchan, the hotpot and the mouthwatering soups!
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