While many people think Sydney is the capital of Australia, Sydney is actually the capital of New South Wales and one of Australia’s largest cities. The city is both a beachside town and a metropolis with some of the best surfing spots, landmarks, and activities. Sydney has something for everyone between its rugby, museums, and shore, and the laid-back attitude makes it a great vacation destination. Here’s everything you need to know before planning your trip to Sydney.
Best Times to Visit
September through November and March to May are the best times to visit the city. This is when the temperatures are most tolerable and it is less touristy. These months are considered the shoulder seasons and airline prices are more affordable.
How to Get Around
Sydney Trains is the best way to get around the city as they’re known for being easy to navigate for first-time users. While buses are an option, you’re likely to get stuck in traffic. Rental cars are available, but we warned that traffic in the city is heavy and Aussies drive on the left side of the road, which can be confusing for Americans.
Where to Stay
This 5-star hotel is close to the heart of Sydney but offers a wharf location over the Sydney Harbour. There’s an indoor pool, restaurant, bar, and fitness center in this lavish hotel.
Four Seasons Sydney
The location of the 5-star Four Season Sydney couldn’t be any better any the hotel overlooks the Sydney Harbour and is next to the historic neighborhoods The Rocks and Circular Quay. The hotel has a restaurant and bar, poolside restaurant, pool, and spa.
Grand Mercure The Hills Lodge
This 4 1/2 star hotel is within reach to all parts of Sydney via a free area shuttle hotel. Some of the amenities include a wellness skincare and spa and a restaurant and bar.
What to Do
Sydney Opera House
The sailboat-inspired-structure designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon during an international design contest in 1956, has more than one million tiles on its four roof shells and six theater and music venues. Outside catch views of the Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Regarded by many as one of the most beautiful natural harbors in the world, the Sydney Harbour’s 150 miles of shoreline and over 30 square miles of water, can’t be missed when visiting the city. One of the city’s most iconic landmarks, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which is one of the world’s largest steel arch bridges, towers above the waters.
The name comes from the sandstone rocks that line Sydney Harbour and the historic neighborhood is really unique. From the cobblestone streets and 19th-century buildings to the pubs, shops, restaurants, and galleries, the neighborhood is super cool.
What to Eat
These mincemeat and gravy-filled pies topped with tomato sauce aren’t ordinary pies and you’ll find them at local delicatessens.
Vegemite on Toast
This dish isn’t complicated and you either love it or hate it. It’s great for breakfast, lunch, or as a snack and it’s similar to British Marmite. Enjoy vegemite on toast with butter.
Often recognized as the “National Cake of Australia”, this treat named after Lord Lamington, a former Governor of Queensland, is a square sponge dipped in chocolate and coated in coconut flakes. Some bakeries add jam or top them with salted caramel or dulce de leche.