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Tourist Places To Visit In Sydney
A harbour city and probably the largest metropolitan city in Australia, Sydney attracts tourists all year-round. With favourable temperatures and lots of activities to do, Sydney is sure to enrapture each visitor. There are different tourist places in Sydney to meet all your likings. From art and culture to beaches and wildlife, from the city life to some adventure sports, you can experience all this and more in Sydney. Some of the tourist places you should definitely visit while in Sydney are Sydney Tower, Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour, Luna Park and Taronga Zoo among others.
The tallest free-standing structure in all of Sydney, the 309-metre tall tower has an observation deck and a skywalk which allows you a 360° panoramic view of the city. You will also be treated to a 4D show before heading to the observation deck. Located in the City Centre, the tower has a large restaurant, a café and a buffet attracting a large number of tourists each year.
Sydney Opera House
Arguably the most iconic landmark of Australia, the Sydney Opera House was designed by Danish architect Utzon. Its shell-like façade is made of three types of tiles in a chevron pattern, looking a lot like sails. It houses over 9 venues for the performing arts and hosts more than 15000 shows a year, with footfalls that go over 8 million. You must take a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House to understand the minutest details about its history, architecture and its cultural significance.
Sydney Royal Botanic Garden
Spread over an area of 36 hectares, the Royal Botanic Garden boasts of some of the rarest species of flora. A short walk away from the Sydney Opera House, the gardens are divided into different sections showcasing the flora. Ideal for a leisurely walk, the gardens will also enlighten you to the various miracles of nature. The park opens at 7 am all year round, however the closing times depend on the different seasons.
For those seeking the authentic history of Sydney, your journey will not be complete until you see The Rocks. Located north of the City Centre, the area is best explored by foot. It is the southern terminus of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and is contrasting from the surrounding commercial and retail centre of Sydney. Visit the street market with over 150 stalls selling indigenous crafts, jewellery, photographs, etc. With a large variety of restaurants, pubs and bars in all price ranges, you will be spoilt for choice. However, among our top suggestions are Phillips Foote and Sailors Thai.
An extensive area, almost completely dedicated to entertainment and tourism, Darling harbour gives you an opportunity to experience all the revelries of Sydney. From the National Maritime Museum to Wildlife World and Madame Tussad’s, it is ringed by attractions on all sides. Full of parks, playgrounds and fountains, in case the sun is too hot, feel free to jump about under the many fountains.
Sydney Luna Park
Luna Park opened to the public in 1935. It is Sydney’s most iconic amusement park with fun-filled activities for the entire family. Head here for some thrilling rides, special attraction and some lip-smacking food. With spectacular views of the Sydney Harbour, a meal here at the Deck will be a memorable one. The park opens at 11 am from Friday to Sunday, and remains open until 9 pm. On Monday it closes at 4 PM and on Thursday at 6 PM. The park remains closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. Ticket prices range from $25 to $55.
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Located in The Domain in Sydney, the Art Gallery of New South Wales is among the largest galleries of Australia and the most prominent one in Sydney. It hosted its first exhibition in 1874 and allows free entry to the general exhibition places. This area houses local Australian art from the time of aboriginal settlement in the continent to today's contemporary arts. In 2003 a separate wing dedicated to Asian art was also inaugurated. The gallery also has a photography section and a section dedicated to Western arts. The Art Gallery of NSW is sure to be a delight for artists, photographers and others who appreciate different forms of expression.
You can also visit the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia which is located in The Rocks to see today's modern works.
A visit to the Taronga Zoo, located on the harbour-front will be delightful for children. It is a non-profit organisation that works towards conservation of native as well as foreign species of fauna. Inaugurated in 1916, the zoo is divided into 8 different regions being home to over 4000 animals. The zoo has a dedicated iPhone app which will guide you through the different exhibits. The Tiger Trek to get up close with the endangered Sumatran Tiger is one of the major attractions of Taronga Zoo. You can also get to meet the pride of 8 lions that stay in the zoo. Do meet Luk Chai and Pathi Harn, the two elephants born in the zoo.
For wildlife enthusiasts, the zoo also has accommodation facilities where you can camp the night in safari-style tents. This also includes a night safari and a couple of morning tours among the animals.
St Mary's Cathedral
Symbolic of the origin of the Catholic Church in Australia, St. Mary’s Cathedral is one of the finest examples of gothic revival architecture. The majestic arches of the main structure and the grand glass windows will surely take you back in time. The church is open from 8:30 am to 5 pm from Monday to Friday. Do not forget to pick up postcards or souvenirs on your way back from the church.
Queen Victoria Building
Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building is a significant monument of Australia. Its Romanesque architecture along with a quaint colonial vibe has made it a local favourite for a couple of centuries. Today the Victoria Building, all domes and pillars and stain-glass windows, is a shopping arcade. From boutiques to retails, galleries to dine-ins and cafes, its is an uptown chic place that looks like a museum.
Circular Quay is the gateway at Sydney Harbour that is surrounded by the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Royal Botanic Garden. The quay is historical as well as a hub of main junction of ferries, ships and tourist yachts. Pedestrians and joggers come here to enjoy the view. Tourists visit for cruises, guided walks, tours etc. You can do all of these and then visit one of the many cute rooftop cafes or street food courts.
Chinese Garden of Friendship
When in Sydney, do not miss the beautiful Chinese Garden of Friendship. It is a garden filled with traditional bamboo thickets, waterfalls dropping in hidden nooks and Chinese flowers blooming in beds. The botanical garden was first made during the reign of Ming Dynasty and has since been maintained as a symbol of Chinese culture in Sydney. Tour the whole garden, explore the Dragon Wall, and at the end of your day, find the Tea House for some quintessential Chinese refreshments.
A Chinese district in Sydney, Chinatown is the best place to visit for some Chinese food, shopping and an immersion into their culture. The streets are lively and stringed with dragon banners, all reds and golds. The shops sell antiques as well as Chinese gadgets, while the food stalls give you a gastronomical experience in the best kind of cuisine there is! Chinese festivals are the best time to walk down this district, but all other times are great too.
One of Sydney’s best, Bondi Beach is so famous thanks to the pop-culture of books and movies, that almost every tourist coming here wants to visit it at least once. Of course, all this hype means that Bondi is always crowded. Even as the fine sands glisten and water dips and laps with surf-worthy waves, the locals and visitors throng the beach. Swimming, surfing, sunbathing, whale watching and idyllic walks are coveted at the beach. And then when you are hungry, vendors, cafes and shacks welcome you with open arms and ever ready fish & chips!
Located on the harbour side, Redleaf Beach is another coveted one in Sydney. Swimming is one of the best here, as there are different pools including the Murray rose pool. Children also are kept safe in kiddy pool areas that are cordoned off. The months between March and May are the best for a visit, as are September, October and November. You can swim to your heart’s content, then take long walks and end your day soaking in the views of Harbour Bridge and Darling Point.
Shopping, surfing, dining, lazing, swimming… there’s a lot of varied things that Manly Beach offers. A cross between sunny beach fun and uber cool urban entertainment, the beach is unique. Take a ferry from Circular Quay to this harbour and enjoy a day with your loved ones. While you are welcome to build sandcastles to surf in the waves, there is Corsco, a pedestrian walk running parallel to the beach has many boutiques, cafes and even shopping malls. Scuba diving is also one sport that many come to indulge in here, as Manly has a couple of institutes offering scuba diving certificate courses.
Sydney’s Macquarie Street was named after one of the earliest governors of the area — Lachlan Macquarie. It extends from Domain, Hyde Park all the way to Harbor, and is one of the hubs of Sydney’s business districts. Since many of its buildings are quite old and designed by great architects of the past. Macquarie Street offers some amazing walking tours. You can walk down the street and catch the State Library of New South Wales, Sydney Hospital, Hyde Park Barracks, Parliament House, St. Mary's Church along the way.
Visit Hyde Park for its gorgeous design dancing back to the 19th Century, for its ancient trees that are thick and tall even today, for its alluring ode to nature. Hyde Park is one of Sydney’s most famous parks, located smack in the middle of Sydney’s Central Business District, doing everything an urban park does — walking tracks, green spaces, family corners and huge trees giving shade to everyone who wants a moment to relax. If it is some quality time you want to spend with friends or family, Hyde Park is the place to head to.
A district not for the underage, or the faint hearted, Kings Cross is all red light, tacky clubs, pubs and strip clubs. Here, the sun doesn’t set, as the nights are brighter than days. Sydney’s sleaziest area as well as known for its mafia connections, King’s Cross is not at all on your usual tourist itinerary. But if you are adventurous and want to see the night life of this city in its basest, rawest form, then do visit. Be careful and you will have the time of your life. And lately many a restaurants and cafes have also cropped up in the cross, making it respectable and safer.
Shopping you say? Bondi Junction is your answer!
Also called ‘Westfield Bondi Junction,’ this area specialises in hosting stores, boutiques and shopping centres. More than 400 shops line the junction on 500 Oxford Street near Bondi, from high end ones like Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany to department stores like Myer and David Jones. Street fashion and chic brands like Zara, H&M etc are not far either. So fill your wallets, settle into a pair of sneakers and walk down Bondi Junction to shop till you drop.