The highly international and multicultural city is located on Australia’s south east coast, surrounding the largest harbour in the world and spreading up to the Blue Mountains in the west.
Sydney is also a blossoming centre of economy with CBC (Central Business District) in the heart of the city creating a fabulous skyline.
This former penal colony and the first European colony back in 18th century is now highly integrated into the global economic world and also belongs amongst the very top of most expensive cities in the world.
With important cultural suburbs such as Darling Harbour, Chinatown or Kings Cross, Sydney has plenty of possibilities being offered to tourists.
Circular Quay surrounded with two most recognized landmarks in Sydney, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, is an important transport point offering various ferry, bus or train interchanges.
The popularity of this iconic city can be also proved by the fact that more than half of the international visitors in Australia are heading directly there.
Sydney is also highly ranked among international university and English language schools‘ students.
Home to many museums, wide parks and international cuisine on every corner and also host to various festivals and sports events, Sydney is up for the challenge to be one of the most liveable cities in the world.
The Rocks: Sydney
The Rocks stands for the name of Sydney’s famous precinct, located right in the city centre.
This historic area is spreading on the southern bank of Sydney Harbour and borders with Sydney CBC and the famous Harbour Bridge.
The quarter has a rich convict history from the colony’s settlement.
The name comes from the material which the original buildings were made of – local sandstone (therefore The Rocks).
Thanks to the close distance, The Rocks provides stunning views over the harbour and especially the Opera House building.
The quarter is packed with restaurants, pubs and cafes as well as various boutiques, museums and galleries.
The Rocks is also home to Sydney’s greatest markets, The Rocks Markets, which are open every Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm.
The Markets offer everything from artistic pieces, souvenirs, jewelry, fashion and beauty products, delicious food and much, much more – all topped with a charming atmosphere.
SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium: The Sea Life Aquarium is one of the top attractions in Sydney’s Darling Harbour.
The Aquarium was opened in 1988 and takes visitors deep under the ocean waters showing more than 700 different species and around 13 000 sea creatures including sharks, rays, platypus, little penguins, seals, dugongs and a saltwater crocodile. It is one of the world’s largest aquariums.
The Sea Life Aquarium in Sydney is divided into 14 different themed zones including the impressive and unique Shark Walk (underwater tunnel walk through the Shark Valley), Tropical Bay of Rays, Discovery Rockpool, South Coast Shipwreck or Mangrove Swamps.
The tallest building in New South Wales’ capital city offers breathtaking 360 degree views over Sydney and thus belongs to top city’s tourist attractions.
The tower constructed in 1981 is reaching the height of 309 m and it is the second tallest observation tower in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Tower is located in the CBD area with Westfield shopping centre at its base and is visible from many adjoining suburbs.
The observation deck called the Sydney Tower eye is located on the fourth level of the Tower.
Other sections serve as function venue for up to 200 people, fine restaurant and a gift shop.
There is also a viewing platform extended over the edge of the main tower structure enabling stunning Skywalk tours.
The Queen Victoria Building: The impressive architectural gem coming from the late 19th century fills the entire city block on George Street in Sydney’s CBD.
The Queen Victoria Building, often shortened to QVB, is one of the most popular shopping centres in the city.
Originally a concert hall with number of coffee shops and offices, QVB today is home to more than 180 fine shops including boutiques, homewares and jewelry shops together with elegant cafes and restaurants.
From architectural point of view, QVB dominates with its domes on the rooftop and stained-glass windows.
The interior includes several displays such as The Royal Clock, The Great Australian Clock or the Queen Victoria life-sized statue.
Wild Life Sydney Zoo : Wild Life Sydney Zoo is another top attraction in Sydney’s Darling Harbour, right next to the Sydney Aquarium.
The wildlife park was officially opened in 2006 and features 1 km walkway going slowly through the whole complex.
The park has an unusual design while the upper level is enclosed by a glass roof structure designed to look like ribs of the rainbow serpent.
The Wild Life Zoo is divided into 10 zones with interactive displays and various exhibits including the Butterfly Tropics, Kangaroo Walk-About, Daintree Rainforest, Kakadu Gorge, Koala Encounters, Gumtree Valley of Devil’s Den, all featuring unique animals and typical Australian habitants.
Luna Park Sydney:
Luna Park Sydney with its iconic entrance gate in a shape of massive smiling face is located at Milsons Point, the northern shore of Sydney Harbour.
This amusement park opened in 1935 has been through several redevelopments and is today protected by government legislation.
Apart from Luna Park’s entertaining parts and wonderful rides, the area was also portrayed in various film and television productions and serves as a venue for different events and functions.
The Chinese Garden:The Chinese Garden of Friendship at the border of Sydney’s Darling Harbour and Chinatown is an oasis in the heart of the city.
The city garden surrounded by a wall provides beautiful insight into the Chinese cultural heritage.
Designed as a typical private garden by Chinese architects from Guangzhou, Sydney’s sister city, and opened in 1988, The Chinese Garden is a popular place and a peaceful getaway from city’s bustling atmosphere.
Some of the main features include number of waterfalls and lakes, the Dragon Wall, the Dragon Pavilion of Lotus Fragrance or the Tea House which serves Chinese tea and other small traditional refreshments.
The Cathedral Church and Minor Basilica: Full name of this site located in Sydney’s Hyde Park is The Cathedral Church and Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Mother of God, Help of Christians.
The Cathedral Church is the seat of Archbishop of Sydney.
The spiritual and historical building has beautiful gothic exterior as well as interior both made out of golden sand-stone. St Mary’s store number of treasures including Michelangelo’s Pieta replica, Stations of the Cross or Grave of the Unknown Soldier.
Sydney Cove is technically a place where first settlement in Australia was established. It is a part of Port Jackson area in on the southern shore of Sydney Harbour.
Sydney Cove is a place where Captain Arthur Phillip planted his flag declaring the possession of New South Wales colony as a British penal colony in January 1788.
Today, the area is a busy harbour neighbourhood called Circular Quay, hosting ferry quays and both train and bus stations.
The Museum of Sydney:
The Museum of Sydney is a historical museum standing on the ruins of the first Government House as of 1995.
The collection of the Museum is showing the colonial and contemporary era of Sydney through various pictures and objects and it’s focusing on showcasing stories of the city and its people.
The Hyde Park Barracks Museum: The Hyde Park Barracks, initially established to house convicts, was renovated in 1991 and today serves as a museum of the convicts era.
Museum allows visitors to try how daily lives of convicts looked like through different exhibitions, artefacts and video presentations.
The building of Sydney’s living museum is also on the list of UNESCO World Heritage and plays a significant role in Australian convict history.
Government House: With a perfect location within the Royal Botanical Gardens and overlooking the stunning Sydney Harbour, the Government House is the official residence of Governor of New South Wales (after multiple periods when the residence was moved to different place). The building was built in 1843 and it is a great example of Victorian Architecture.
Elizabeth Bay House: Elizabeth Bay House is a house is an example of the historical Colonial style.
It used to be marked as the finest house in the colony of New South Wales.
The House was once surrounded by a beautiful garden covering around 22 ha and now serves as a public museum with collections of early Australian furniture from Tasmania and Sydney.
A historic mansion dating back to the 19th century, Vaucluse House surrounded by 9 ha of gardens plays significant role in reminiscing Australia’s history thanks to retaining its original setting and interiors. Vaucluse House was turned into museum in 1915 and today can be also used as a venue for weddings or small functions.
The RAN Armament Depot Newington:
The original armament depot for the Royal Australian Navy within the Sydney Olympic Park is today a significant historical site and recreational area. During the World War II, the Depot included more than 180 buildings, electric railway and a wharf on the Parramatta River.
Sydney Harbour National Park: The protected national park spreading over 390 ha incorporates some part of the Sydney metropolitan area, such as South Head, Nielsen Park and the North Shore, where most of the Park is located.
The area protects some unique landforms around the Sydney Harbour, including multiple small islands and foreshore areas.
Some of the main features of Sydney Harbour National Park include amazing walking tracks, stunning beaches and swimming spots, breathtaking lookouts, picnic spots but also some historical buildings connected to the convict history and Aboriginal burial sites.