Sydney, also known as the Harbour City, is one of the most interesting and exciting cities of the Southern hemisphere that offers an abundant cultural heritage, historical background and a diverse art scene. It’s also one of the top destinations for millions of tourists that visit each year so it’s wise to come prepared if you plan to see its amazing landmarks, stunning beaches, vibrant club scene and enjoy its great food in the company of friendly Sydneysiders.
Keep reading to learn 5 basic things you need to know before you head off to the capital of New South Wales.
The first thing you need to know about Sydney is that this city doesn’t have s centre. It’s more of a heterogeneous mosaic made up of ten distinct towns where each has its own particular charm and character making Sydney truly unique.
The upmarket Harbour areas and the CBD offer a typical metropolis look with its skyscrapers and busy life and if you plan on seeing all of it, you’ll need to have a car that will allow you to travel around independently and make unplanned trips. Another very interesting part is Redfern that will give you a true taste of Aboriginal history and culture.
The biggest problem for any tourist in Sydney is the transport which is why everyone’s advice is to set aside some money for transport and pack a pair of comfortable, light-weight hiking shoes. The city wasn’t built for walking and its public transport is notorious.
Starting with your arrival at the airport after a long and exhausting flight, rely on private airport transfers in Sydney to get you safely and hassle-free to your first destination. Once you get settled in your hotel, one of the best ways to travel to different areas is by ferry. It’s certainly the cheapest and a great way to see the Harbour.
As for the previously mentioned notorious public transport, if you do plan to use it, obtain Opal Cards for free at local convenience stores. They can be topped up online and will allow you to use Sydney’s buses, trains, light rails and ferries uninterrupted.
You might start with a typical stop at the University of Sydney but you’ll soon discover it’s anything but typical – it’s gorgeous! For quirky shops, markets and great food, head to the Inner West and hit the suburbs of Newtown for a variety of fun activities, from playing Pacman and Mario at the Blacksheep on King Street to enjoying delicious cronuts and chai tea at Brewtown Newtown.
Skip the obvious bars and look for the local hotspots. Instead of sipping your overpriced cocktail at the Opera House, head to a local bar with a perfect patio overlooking the Opera House and enjoy the breeze with a much cheaper and tastier drink in your hand.
Sydney is famous for its stunning beaches but if you prefer less noise and crowd, visit the beaches on the North Shore. At Manly Beach and Milk Beach, you’ll be able to go snorkelling and surfing and then quench your thirst and grab a bite to eat at the local beach boathouse.
If you’re feeling adventurous, Western Sydney is the place where you’ll enjoy the rides at the Raging Waters, catch a movie at the drive-in cinema, play some aqua golf and try indoor skydiving. Make sure you also visit the Blue Mountains and its amazing caves.
What to eat and drink
Australia is the home of some of the best wines and beers so a trip to the local breweries will be worthwhile. Book a tour through the wine region and sample their awesome products but also make sure you try the famous Australian coffee, the Flat White, among other artisan coffee blends.
Experienced travellers recommend sushi in Sydney as well as visiting local pubs for a taste of really good pub food. Such is the unavoidable Chicken Parmy – fried chicken breasts on top of a salad with fries on the side. Portuguese chicken fast-food chains are also worth your visit and if you’re a fan of Asian food, there are Asian restaurants in almost every street.
Always wear sunscreen!
The final tip is essential in ensuring you have a pleasant trip in the hot Australian climate – never go out without sunscreen! Even on a cloudy day, you can get sunburn due to the fact that between 5 and 9% of the ozone layer over Australia has been destroyed since the 1960s.
These are just a few basic things you should know before heading to Sydney. Keep them in mind, do some research on your own and make the most of your Australian adventure!