Visiting Sydney is not just about hitting the main tourist sites, although these are worth a look. If you really want to get the most out of a visit to this city, you need to get to know the places that only insiders are aware of. These are the best highlights of Sydney that you will find, and are often so much more exciting than the obvious choices like the Sydney Opera House – although you will undoubtedly want to take a few photos there too. Continue reading our insider’s guide to Sydney and give them a try when you visit!
This is definitely the place to be in Sydney! Make sure that you choose a hotel near Newtown so that you can come back every night.
It’s the best area for food and drink, with venues like BlackStar Pastry offering the classy cuisine that locals love the most. King’s Street is the main road in this area and does get very busy in the evenings, so be sure to use public transport or simply walk around if you don’t want to get stuck in traffic.
Whether you want a café, a blues restaurant, or a cocktail bar, you will find it here. This is a great way to meet locals, as it’s one of the hipper areas where residents will visit on a Friday or Saturday night.
Circular Quay is right on the Sydney Harbour, so you will want to come here and check out the sights.
Of course, you can start with the Sydney Opera House, but there is much more to explore – including the Royal Botanic Garden and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which you will definitely want to see the view from.
Then there’s The Rocks, considered to be the birthplace of modern Sydney. It’s an area of cobbled lanes and historic buildings that you won’t want to miss. There are plenty of gastronomic opportunities here, too, including the foodies market which is held every Friday.
Through it all, you will have the beautiful views out over the Sydney Harbour to contend with, dominating most of your holiday snaps. It doesn’t get much better than a stroll in the fresh air here.
Museum of Contemporary Arts
The MCA is dedicated to modern art from around Australia and the rest of the world, a counterpart to other global museums like the Tate Modern or MOMA. There is always an exhibition going on here for you to visit, alongside the more permanent collections, and even live events.
It is located in a classic Art Deco building and also offers some unique shopping opportunities with publications, souvenirs, and gifts available. You can also sit down for a cup of coffee and lunch in the MCA Café, which looks out over the harbor.
Be sure to spend some time figuring out the deeper meanings behind the works of art on the walls here – they often have a real message to send. You are bound to stumble across an art student or two engrossed in what they see!
If you are looking for a place to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks, then look no further. Barangaroo Park is recognized as the best vantage point, but there are plenty of attractions during the rest of the year too.
It used to be an industrial estate until it was turned into a rocky outcrop populated with trees and scrubs, a testament to the power of nature reclaiming a spot.
Now, you can’t even tell what it used to be, as it represents a green haven in the middle of the city. There are many rock pools here to explore and walks to stroll along, and it’s becoming a cultural hub. It’s definitely worth dedicating at least half a day too. Even if all you do is sit down and enjoy the sunshine with a picnic, it will be time well spent.
When you visit Sydney, dare to stray a little further away from the obvious.
You will discover a beautiful city that is thriving in the modern world, with art, culture, and cuisine everywhere to be found. After you have crossed off all your tourist highlights, try these options as well.