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Sydney Travel Guide

Last Updated: November 2020

Sydney, the state capital of New South Wales, is the oldest and most populous city in Australia with more than 5 million inhabitants. The city is divided by the Sydney Harbour into two parts, the North and the South. Most of the tourist attractions are situated in the South part of the city whereas the business area is located in the North part of Sydney. 

Sydney sees over 15 million domestic and international visitors per year. The three most recognizable landmarks are the natural harbor, the harbor bridge, and the Opera House. It is not only the emblematic Opera House and the Harbor that attracts tourists but also the sandy beaches, bays, and national parks. Sydney may be one expensive destination, but it's also one of the most well-worth visited places in the world. 



How to get there

Depending on where you come from, you have various transportation options to reach Sydney.


By Car

Australia is such an immense country, which makes driving from one place to another long. For instance, it takes around ten hours from Melbourne and twelve from Brisbane to arrive in Sydney. However, if you visit Australia for a few weeks, there's no better way to discover the country's hidden gems than taking a road trip. So, drive your car or rent one to see as many spectacular places as you can on your way to Sydney. 

All foreigners should hold an International Driver's License. Remember that driving in Australia is on the left side. 


By Plane

For international visitors, the only travel option to enter the country is by plane. Once you set foot at Sydney airport, you can take the train, taxi, rideshare, or rent a car. Within 20 minutes, you'll be in the city center. 

Trains run every 10 - 15 minutes from the airport, and the journey to the city lasts about 10 minutes. Then, from the Central Station, you can take a connecting train, bus, or taxi to your final destination. If you opt for the bus, board the Route 400 line. For a faster but more pricey transport, choose a taxi or rideshare service that will wait for you at the Priority Pick-up Zone or the Limousine Pick-up Zone. Numerous car-hire companies are situated both on-site and off-site if you decide to rent a car or a van.



By Train

If you don't mind the long journeys, then a train might be an option for you. The rail connection to cities like Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, and Melbourne is good. You can catch a train from Sydney Central Station. 


By Bus

Both government and private-owned buses link Sydney to other cities. The government ones are more reasonably-priced but may not offer the amenities of a private bus. Most of the companies operate from Sydney Coach Terminal.


Where to Stay

When looking to book accommodation in Sydney, there are two things to consider. The one is the district that you'd like to stay at, and the other is your budget. Most lodgings are conveniently located close to places of interest, touristy and less touristy, and are easily accessible via public transport. You can find from budget hotels, bed and breakfast guesthouses to luxury hotels. Be sure to check out some of the amazing new Sydney hotels to ensure your stay is as comfortable and luxury as possible. Sydney is one of the top 5 safest cities in the world, which means that you don't have to limit your search to only a few districts. 


Depending on your preferences, you should think about choosing one of the following neighborhoods for different reasons:

  • tourist attractions: Circular Quay, The Rocks
  • cafes and high-quality restaurants: The Rocks, Surry Hills
  • shopping: Darling Harbor
  • nightlife: Kings Cross
  • beaches: Bondi Beach
  • family-friendly: Bondi Beach, Manly Beach
  • couples: The Rocks, North Sydney
  • solo travelers and backpackers: Kings Cross


Things to do

Sydney is home to numerous historic landmarks, fabulous events, world-class restaurants, and golden beaches. For many visitors, Sydney is actually their first stop when arriving in the country. Although it was hard to decide what things and places to leave out of our list, we narrowed it down to three things that every tourist should see.

  • Spend your first day taking in the most famous landmarks of the city, the Sydney Opera House and the Harbor Bridge. One of the architectural masterpieces of the 20th century, the Opera House is a cultural hub, where every week more than 40 performances and shows take place. Inside the Opera House, there's a high-class restaurant for dining and drinking. There are also activities for kids and a gift shop to bring back home some memories. 

  • Your next stop should be the Harbor Bridge, another spectacular construction. The bridge functions as a transportation link between Sydney and the northern suburbs, and it's one of the longest arch-bridges in the world, spanning for 500 meters (1650 feet). You can even climb up the bridge for the best panoramic views.

  • A Sydney itinerary would be incomplete without a visit to the picturesque golden beaches. Even if you have limited time, you should see Bondi Beach up close. It is every surfer's paradise, but also a perfect place to swim off the beach, in one of the ocean pools, or indoors. In Bondi Beach, you'll lose the sense of time as there are plenty of restaurants, cafes, shops, and activities, like the 6km Bondi to Coogee coastal walk .

  • Worldwide renowned chefs and fine-dining restaurants make Sydney a foodie destination. Many of the restaurants use local produce to prepare dishes and offer visitors an authentic taste of the city. There are, of course, other more budget-friendly options, street food, Asian, Italian, and pretty much every cuisine from around the globe. 


Day Trips from Sydney

Once you feel that you've explored Sydney to the fullest and still have one or more days to spend, why not rent a car to drive to some nearby worth-visiting destinations. 



Blue Mountains

In less than a two-hour drive, a whole new wild world unfolds before you. This UNESCO World Heritage site spans 140 kilometers (87 ft), and it's home to rugged rocky formations, lush rainforest, underground caves, and magnificent villages. Plenty of activities to do in the Blue Mountains, such as hiking, mountain biking, and taking the Scenic Railway. The most famous natural attractions are the Three Sisters rocky formations, the Mayfield Garden, and the Jenolan Caves.

Palm Beach

One of the favorite road trips from Sydney is Palm Beach. During the hottest months of the year, the golden Palm Beach is the best escape from the city heat. 'Palmy' as the locals call it, it's only an hour drive from Sydney. Located on the Northern Beaches, Palm Beach hums with activity. Must do things there include strolling along the beaches, taking a surfing class, exploring the parklands, and visiting the Barrenjoey Lighthouse. 


The Hunter Valley

Hunter Valley is one of the leading wine regions in Australia, and it's only 2.5 hours north of Sydney. Dine and drink at the restaurants of the valley, chat with winemakers, and take a guided tour through the vineyards. Other activities include scenic hot air balloon rides, horseback riding or mountain biking. Before leaving, buy a bottle of wine or two to reminisce about the wine valley. 



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Hi there! 

We are Jacob and Taylor. Travel is our passion and we love sharing our experiences here at The Travelling Souk. Our hope is that you would be inspired by this little blog to try something new, embrace an adventure, and live life to the fullest. 

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