With its high-rising skyscrapers and several landmarks, Sydney offers all the energy of a big city with over 4 million inhabitants – but despite everything with a certain flair. Surf spots and hiking trails are actually right at the doorstep, so despite a lot of concrete, there is plenty of room to breathe. For this reason, the vibrant metropolis offers something for everyone. It has many cultural highlights, such as the famous opera house, inviting beaches and trendy districts like “The Rocks” and “Darling Harbour”. The people of Sydney are well known for their fashionable clothes, British sense of humor and easy-going nature. A two-hour drive north, you will find the Hunter Valley, Australia’s oldest wine region, where delicious wines are produced permanently.
Already at the end of the 18th century, the famous navigator James Cook discovered a bay, which he named after an important politician in Great Britain at that time, Mr. Lord Sydney. The British initially used this place to exile dangerous criminals. In the meantime, Sydney developed into a large city and a flourishing commercial metropolis. The city owed this mainly to immigrants from Europe and Asia.
Sydney is located in a tropical climate zone. Because of its location near the Pacific Ocean, however, it is not quite as hot as in the interior of Australia. However, there are always sandstorms in the area around Sydney. The Australians call these “brickfields”, a hot and dry wind that blows from the vegetation less, hot inland towards the coastal areas of the south.
A small selection of the 8 top attractions in Sydney
Sydney Opera House – the city’s most famous symbol
The most popular tourist attraction is the shell- or sail-shaped “Opera House”, designed in 1959 by the Danish architect Mr. Jørn Utzon. According to the architect’s own specifications, its appearance was supposed to resemble the unfolding of an orange. After a long construction period of 14 years, it was opened in 1973 by the recently deceased Elizabeth II, who was then Queen of Australia. Since 2007, this has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Sydney Harbour Bridge – a steel arch bridge
Another landmark of the city is the steel arch bridge, the so-called “Harbour Bridge”, which was opened in 1932 already. It connects the north and south coasts of Sydney across the harbour called Port Jackson. Because of its shape, it is simply called “coat hanger” by the locals. In 2007, on its 75th anniversary, this bridge was listed as a national monument on the Australian National Heritage List. The Australian heritage agency’s justification states: the bridge symbolises the development of modern Sydney on the one hand and Australia’s bright future on the other. However, the two pillars clad in granite on each side are not part of the bridge’s support structure, but serve merely as decoration or as a museum.
Sydney Tower – the television and observation tower
Sydney’s tallest building is the 309-metre Sydney Tower. It is open to the public and has a viewing platform at a height of 251 metres. Here it offers a panoramic view, especially over the harbour.
The Rocks – a district in Sydney’s old town
Traces of Sydney’s past can be seen in the cobbled streets of “The Rocks”. This historic district is also home of cosy cafés and Australia’s oldest pubs. There is also a packed calendar of events throughout the year. The best way to do this is to hire a bike to explore the cult sights around the harbour.
Darling Harbour – the centre of entertainment
“Darling Harbour” is a large resort area with numerous hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, theatres, museums and entertainment centres. Most of these are pedestrianised. In addition to the culinary establishments directly on the harbour basin, there is, among other things, an indoor high-tech amusement park with an LG IMAX cinema, which has the largest flat cinema screen in the world (36 metres wide, 25 metres high, 900 square metres of surface area).
Royal Botanic Gardens – a botanical garden
The Royal Botanic Gardens is the largest of Sydney’s three botanic gardens. The garden is open daily and free of charge. A botanic garden is an extensive horticultural area in which foreign and native plant species are displayed according to various aspects.
Taronga Zoo – Sydney’s zoo located in the middle of the city
“Taronga Zoo” was officially established on 7 November 1916 and is located near Port Jackson in the suburb of Mosman. The zoo houses native species such as dingoes and platypuses as well as exotics including elephants and giraffes.
Bondi Beach and Manly Beach – a surfer’s paradise
“Bondi Beach” is both a district of Sydney and one of Australia’s most famous beaches, as well as one of the most famous surf spots in the world. It is located about seven kilometres east of the city centre of the metropolis.
“Manly” is also a district of the metropolis. It has gained fame beyond the borders of Australia because of its long ocean beach and the consistent waves, which are especially popular with surfers. In contrast to Bondi Beach, life in Manly is still much more relaxed. An old inscription on the harbour reads, “Seven Miles from Sydney, but a Thousand Miles from Care”, and this can still be felt today.
The best time to visit Sydney is sometime between March and May as well as September and November.
So then, why wait any longer – let’s get going.