Brimming with history, nature, culture, art, fashion, cuisine, design, Sydney’s set next to miles of ocean coastline and sandy surf beaches. Longterm immigration has led to the cities reputation as one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse cities in Australia and the world. The city is also home to the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, two of the most iconic structures on this planet.
Sydney is a major global city and one of the most important cities for finance in the Asia-Pacific. The city is surrounded by nature and national parks, which extend through the suburbs and right to the shores of the harbour.
Sydney’s 4,757,083 residents (according to a 2013 estimate) sprawl over an area of more than 12,350km². The timezone is identical with the majority of the state of New South Wales: GMT +10. The local timezone is AEST or Australian Eastern Standard Time. The city, as does the rest of the state, observes Daylight Savings time from October to April each year.
Sydney became the centre of the world’s attention in September 2000 when the city hosted the Summer Olympics – officially announced by the IOC Chairman at the closing Ceremony to be the “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 continues to attract and host large international events.
A perfect city for exploring on foot with a shop around every corner. Much of the inner city can be walked without trouble, however, in parts walking include crowds, uneven streets, heavy traffic, and skinny sidewalks. If that’s a problem, there are plenty of taxi’s to ride in and scooters to rent.
How to Travel
- Subway – The metro is the fastest transportation. Running 5am to 10pm every day.
- Bus & Train – Operated by an independent organization, busses and trains include wifi access for the public. You can take any bus or train marked with the (B Public) sign for free.
- Taxi – Available in all parts of the city. From a restaurant or hotel you can have them call the city taxi service.
- Car – Rental cars are easy to get and hotels have good parking prices. Once in the main city, you can often walk so we suggest returning the when you arrive.
- Bike – The best way to get around, other than walking, is by bike. If you don’t mind hills, you can bike anywhere. If that’s not for you, stick to the inner city with your bike.
Just a few miles away you can explore the history and legacy, drink wine and relax. You can wander the hills or be lulled by the fountains. If you have time, the attractions can fill 3 days. We’ve highlighted the best ones here.
History & Culture
Home to years of history, which stretched far and wide. Due to the characteristic weather, the earliest explorers completely bypassed the area. The first settlement in the area was founded 1770 as a mission community. In addition to the mission, a military fort was built.
Upon gaining independence, the area grew quickly. The old system gradually came to an end and private ownership of land became common. The first significant settlement on the outside of the area. As the new settlement gradually grew, a street plan developed and became attractive to settlers. Over the next years, the area officially became part of the surrounding country.
The area began to explode in population with many immigrants seeking fortunes, creating one of the largest imigrant populations. During this time, many large organizations and businesses grew and did very well. With all this success came quick growth and city planning and infrastructure were necessary. This led to better living conditions and many good years.
In the 1890’s, a large campaign began to improve the city, the success of which led to a renaming. In 1901, a natural disaster changed the city and a fire destroyed much of the area. The decision was made to start a rebuilding plan for the city, with new parks and landmarks.
After the Great Depression of the 1930’s, the city was mostly unharmed. It was during this time that government construction projects were conceived and built. It was also this time the government established a prison which would hold some of the most notorious criminals of the time.
After World War II, the city continued to grow in size and population. Planning projects at the time led to more downtown buildings and the destruction of many neighborhoods to build roads. In the same period, the city became a center of cultural movement, contributing to the current outlook.
More recently, the city has experienced a boom in business and population. Despite falling victim to the economic trouble, the city’s economy mostly recovered and neighborhoods continue to survive. Today the city is known for its cultural outlook and remains one of the top tourist destinations. Tourism is the city’s largest industry.
Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre in Sydney, Australia. It is one of the 20th century’s most famous and distinctive buildings. Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the building was formally opened on 20 October 1973 after a gestation beginning with Utzon’s 1957 selection as winner of an international design competition.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a steel through arch bridge across Sydney Harbour that carries rail, vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney central business district and the North Shore.
Bondi Beach is a popular beach and the name of the surrounding suburb in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Bondi Beach is located 7 km (4 mi) east of the Sydney central business district, The sweeping white-sand crescent of Bondi is one of Australia’s most iconic beaches. Reliable waves draw surfers while, nearby.
When to visit
Sydney is temperate and sunny all year.
Major events include
- Crowds are highest during summer (Dec–Feb) and during school holidays.
- Major events that increase hotel demand are the performing-arts–focused Sydney Festival (Jan).
- The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras (Feb–Mar).
- The Sydney Royal Easter Show (dates vary).
- The Sydney Film Festival (Jun).
- Severe thunderstorms are most likely Oct–Mar.