Sydney is the largest and most cosmopolitan city in Australia. Blending the history and sophistication of Europe, the oriental mystery of Asia, and the relaxation of the South Pacific, Sydney is a city as diverse as it is glamorous. You can laze away on its dazzling beaches, admiring some of the world's most beautiful landscapes. Its sunny climate is ideal for everything, whether you're there to yacht, surf, sailboard, swim, water-ski or just enjoy the sun. The harbour is at the very heart of Sydney and on a warm day, with a clear blue sky, there is no better place on earth.
For a fix of adrenaline, stroll through it magnificent streets, with their dizzying skyscrapers, delicious restaurants, and superb shopping. There's a rough and ready energy in the air, something of the raw and unrefined. From the high culture of the Opera House to the wild nightlife of Kings Cross, it's a city of every persuasion.
Sydney's come a long way from its convict beginnings, an infamous history that says so little of Australia today. Since the 1950s, the Anglo-Irish immigrants who made up the city's original population have been joined by successive waves of Italians, Greeks, Turks, Lebanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thais, and Indonesians. This ethnic mix gives Sydney a taste of the world, a unique flavor like nowhere else.
See the world as Australians do and you'll understand what they mean when they say, "Down Under."
What to see
One of the most recognisable images of the modern world, it also one of the most photographed, a true marvel of modern architechture. It's the one image that represents Australia, like the Eiffel Tower for France or the Coliseum for Rome. For those with the taste (and budget) for what it offers, expect world-class operas, concerts and events all year round.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Along with Sydney Tower, it's the best place to get a view of the city. It offers a panoramic view of Sydney Harbor and some amazing photo opportunities for the Opera House and Sydney city center. The bridge itself is a true feat of modern engineering, taking eight years to build and carrying eight lanes of traffic and two railways tracks. For the adventurous, there's the Bridge Climb: a tour across the bridge, the hard way. Clad in overalls and clipped to a safety line, you can walk, or rather climb, over its massive arch. Not for the faint at heart!
The world-famous Bondi Beach is a paradise for surfers from all over the world and the best place to meet people. At Manly Beach you can swim and relax or do some shopping on the "Corso". Both beaches are close to Sydney city center.
Where to eat
With its great ethnic diversity, expect to find tastes from all over the world, from fine European cuisine such as Italian and Greek to Asian specialities such as Vietnamese and Thai.
Where to party
Sydney comes alive by night. If you're looking for a great night out, some of the best clubs and bars can be found along Darling Harbor and in King's Cross.