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Welcome to the land of the Sydneysiders or as those who have made Sydney home, like to call themselves. Built on hills around the Sydney Harbor, Sydney, Australia attracts more than 10 million tourists every year - and as you read on, you’ll see that there’s so much more to Sydney than its iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. With its scenic views, amazing European history, gorgeous weather, and rich lifestyles, this city definitely makes for one of Australia’s favorite hot spots.
Sydney Cove, site of the first European settlers, is located on the south shores. Sydney's Central Business District (CBD), the city’s main commercial area, extends southwards from here. Hyde Park, famous for its Archibald Fountain, can be found in the vicinity. One of the most popular attractions here is the Royal Botanic Garden – a favorite with cyclists and surfers alike.
The Circular Quay offers lies to the north and offers splendid views of the city’s two most popular landmarks - the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. The Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Sydney are also found here. Central station is located at the southern-end.
Darling Harbor is located adjacent to the CDB and is a popular nightspot. The Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney Aquarium and Sydney's only casino, The Star, can all be found in this neighborhood. Paddington lies to the east of the CBD and is famous for Oxford Street – a perennial favorite with tourists and shoppers. Centennial Park lies to the south of Paddington and is also a residential area.
Sydney is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the east. Bondi Beach, located east of Sydney’s Central Business District and Manly Beach, located close to the Sydney Harbor National Park, are the city’s two most popular beaches. .
Things to Do in Sydney
The Sydney Opera House is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and perhaps the city’s most popular attraction. If you’re interested in architecture, the Parliament House, the Queen Victoria Building, The Sydney Town Hall, and the Australian Museum are all considered heritage buildings.
The Sydney Tower Eye has an observation deck that offers 360-degree views of the city. The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb, kayaking or jet boating on the harbour are some other fun activities in this city. Go see the koalas at the Sydney Zoo or for those feeling adventurous, consider shark-dives offered at Manly’s Sea Life Sanctuary. The Taronga Zoo, an easy ferry ride from Circular Quay, also offers great overnight adventures.
One of the best times to visit Sydney is January, when the city hosts the Sydney Festival, the country’s biggest arts celebration featuring performances by both local and international artists all over the city. Vivid Sydney, the Big Day Out rock-music festival and the Sydney Film Festival are other popular annual events. Sculpture by the Sea at Bondi Beach is a large sculpture exhibit and also makes for a very interesting experience.
Rugby, Soccer and Cricket are the big sports here and major events are hosted by the ANZ Stadium, which was also site of the 2000 Summer Olympics. Other popular events in Sydney include the beginning of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and the City2Surf race.
Sydney Airport is the best way to fly into the city. Once you get here, try looking for a rental instead of a hotel since Sydney is an expensive city. Sydney vacation rentals in any neighborhood close to CBD are conveniently located to all the major attractions. If you are looking for cheaper options, neighboring suburbs may also offer apartment rentals and condo rentals. You can also rent homes further outside the city, especially if you’re traveling in large numbers and would like to stay together.