Sydney is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and is certainly a favourite amongst those who want to see famous and iconic landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House. But those who live here know that there is much more to this city than meets the eye at first. Try these fun tips to get an insider’s perspective on the city most often mistaken for the capital of Australia.
The Newtown area is one of the coolest places to be in the city, with all manner of attractions waiting for you. The top bars in the city are here, including examples such as Websters where you can meet the locals over a drink. If coffee is more of your speed then you are also in the right place – Exotik is a fantastic location for an indie coffee, served up Australian style. There’s always something going on here, with a lively nightlife and plenty of culture during the day.
You can get a hotel nearby to ensure that you are always part of the action, and head just to the outskirts of the district if you want a bit of a quieter stay. There is excellent public transport in this area too, so you can get around to any of the other key attractions here without a problem.
Alright, so you wouldn’t want to leave Sydney without seeing those iconic sights. But what’s the best way to explore them? Head down to Circular Quay and you will find it. Departing from here are boat tours which will show you all of the marvels of the harbour, such as the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House itself. Once you are back on dry land, you will find yourself in one of the best areas for shopping and stopping off for lunch. You can easily spend a whole day in this part of the city. Boat tour in the morning, lunch at a restaurant, and shopping in the afternoon – what could be a better way to spend a relaxed day?
If you weren’t told how Barangaroo Park started off, you probably wouldn’t ever believe it. This beautiful landscaped area of parkland actually used to be an industrial estate, which was by all accounts a bit of an eyesore. The decision was taken to reintroduce nature to the area and create a place for Sydney residents to stroll around and have the odd picnic or two.
The park also has a little secret that non-residents don’t know: it’s the perfect place to watch the fireworks from on New Year’s Eve. Arrive early to get the best possible view of the celebrations! If you are visiting at other times of year, it’s still key to take some time out to relax here and enjoy the peaceful surroundings, which seem almost at odds with the hectic pace of the city.
Museum of Contemporary Arts
If you want culture and art, then you need to head down to Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Arts during your time in the city. They have both here in spades. There are plenty of pieces of art in their permanent collection, as well as exhibitions which come and go on a regular basis – check ahead to see if anything special will be visiting while you are around, and when it closes. While there is international art on display, you will no doubt be the most interested in seeing what is created by locals. Of particular interest and importance is the display of Aboriginal art, made by the peoples who have been on this land for their whole family history. It’s a good day out for adults or for families, and there is also a café and gift shop on site so you can satisfy all of your needs.
When you visit Sydney, don’t just do the obvious. There is so much to be found here, and if you stick to the tourist trails, you will miss the best bits. Our top tip? Make friends with an Aussie – they will be able to show you all of the latest hotspots and even show you the undiscovered gems that only the residents with the closest connection to the city will know.