Sydney

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Sydney is the Harbour City. It is the largest, oldest and most cosmopolitan city in Australia with an enviable reputation as one of the world's most beautiful and liveable cities. Brimming with history, nature, culture, art, fashion, cuisine, design, it is set next to miles of ocean coastline and sandy surf beaches. The city is also home to the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, two of the most iconic structures on the planet. Sydney is a major global city and one of the most important cities for finance in the Asia-Pacific. Sydney hosted the 2000 Olympic Games, and continues to attract and host large international events. The city is surrounded by nature and national parks, which extend through the suburbs and right to the shores of the harbour. (less...) (more...)

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Points of Interest in Sydney

If you plan to see and do things where you need to buy tickets, you can save money by planning beforehand what you are going to do. Like in some other popular destinations you can buy one and two day unlimited access passes to a range of sights and activities. There are also five in one passes valid for five sights out of about 20, as well as combo tickets for the activities in Darling Harbour and Sydney Tower.

Landmarks

  • The Sydney Harbour Bridge crosses the harbour from the The Rocks to North Sydney. There are many different experiences centred around the bridge. You can walk or cycle across, picnic under, or climb over the Harbour Bridge. See the details in The Rocks.
  • The Sydney Opera House. The Sydney Opera House is simply one of the most famous structures ever built. It is in the city centre.
  • Darling Harbour is a large tourist precinct and includes a range of activities, restaurants, museums and shopping facilities.
  • Sydney Olympic Park. Home of the 2000 Olympics and now parklands and sporting facilities.
  • Luna Park, 1 Olympic Dr,  +61 2 9033 7676. Milson's Point. Is a large theme park situated near the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Its mouth-shaped entrance can be seen from many areas of Sydney as well as the large Ferris Wheel.
  • Sydney Tower also called Centrepoint Tower or AMP Tower. The tallest structure in Sydney, the tower contains a buffet, cafe and a rather large restaurant and attracts many visitors a year. The tower is in the City Centre.
  • St Mary's Cathedral. Sydney's main catholic cathedral. Corner of St Mary's Road and College St. The cathedral is in the City Centre.
  • Royal Botanic Gardens- The Royal Botanic Gardens were first established in Sydney by Governor Bligh in 1816. The gardens cover 30 hectares and adjoin the 35 hectares making up the Domain, there are over 7500 species of plants represented here. The gardens are at the north eastern corner of the City Centre and overlook Sydney harbour.
  • The State Library of New South Wales is the oldest library in Australia. It is in the city centre.

Historical areas

  • The Rocks has sites preserved from Sydney's early settlement.
  • Parramatta to the west of Sydney is the site of many of Sydney's oldest buildings from colonial times.
  • Macquarie Street in the City has a string of historical sites, from the first hospital in the colony, to the Mint to Hyde Park Barracks, to the Conservatorium which was the original government house stables. Sydney Hospital was first known as "The Rum Hospital", it was the first major building established in the colony.
  • La Perouse, near Botany Bay, in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs contains the grave of an early French explorer, museum, and old fort.
  • The walk from Manly to Middle Head passes many coastal artillery fortifications built into the cliffs of Sydney Harbour during the late nineteenth century.
  • Mrs Macquarie's Chair and walk near the Botanical Gardens in the City
  • Anzac War Memorial at the eastern end of Hyde Park in the City Centre. The memorial commemorates the memory of those Australians who lost their lives during war. It houses a small museum, an impressive statue and the Pool of Remembrance. Sydney's Anzac War Memorial was built in the 1930s.

Museums and galleries

Some of Sydney's museums are free to enter including the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Museum of Contemporary Art. You may be charged to enter certain exhibitions. Sydney Museums generally do not have 'free days' that you can find in other parts of the world but some historic houses may be free on certain public holidays, though tend to attract large crowds.

  • The Australian Museum is much the old style natural history museum. Usually a special exhibition on as well. The museum is near Hyde Park in City Centre.
  • The Australian National Maritime Museum has inside and outside exhibitions - much of the history of Australia is a maritime one, and much of it is in this museum in Darling Harbour.
  • The Art Gallery of NSW has mostly classical, but some modern and Aboriginal art. Near the Botanical Gardens in the city centre.
  • The Powerhouse Museum has some buttons to push, some technology, but some interesting displays of Sydney in the 1900s, in the City West in Ultimo, right on the boundary with Darling Harbour. Exhibits designed for children also.
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art in the city centre, near Circular Quay.
  • The Museum of Sydney in the city centre.

Or see one of the smaller chic Art Galleries in East Sydney.

Wildlife

In captivity

  • Taronga Zoo Large zoo whose animals have the best view in the world, a short ferry trip from the City on the North Shore.
  • The Koala Park Sanctuary in the Outer West.
  • Sydney Aquarium. In Darling Harbour.
  • Sydney Wildlife World' adjacent to the aquarium in Darling Harbour.
  • Featherdale Wildlife Park in Western Sydney

and just out of Sydney, the

  • Australian Reptile Park. About an hour north of Sydney, has kangaroos, wallabies, dingos, and more.
  • Symbio Park in Helensburgh.

In the wild

  • Whale Watching see whales migrating the Pacific coast. There are boats from Darling Harbour or Circular Quay.
  • Bats (Flying foxes) nest next to the fernery in the Botanic Gardens in the city, and fly to feed over the city buildings and Harbour Bridge at dusk, you can see them on the eastern side of the Opera House at sunset.
  • Rainbow Lorikeets swarm around the trees in many suburbs at dusk, making a tremendous chatter Sulphur Crested Cockatoos are commonly seen in the leafier suburbs all day.
  • Ibis are an unusual wader bird, that has made its home in the suburbs, especially in Hyde Park in the city
  • Possums are a native marsupial at home in the urban environment. Look up carefully in tree lined streets, or in Hyde Park after dark. Locals regard these critters as somewhat of a nuisance as they have a habit of nesting in the warmth of house roofs and love to brawl noisily at about 2am above your bedroom.
  • Kangaroos, Wallabies, and Rosellas. These can be spotted with patience in most of the Sydney National Parks, including the Royal National Park, ask the local rangers where they tend to be seen in the late afternoons. This is a great way to experience Australia’s native wildlife in their natural habitat compared to seeing these amazing animals confined in zoos, but requires considerably more time and patience.

Sydney Harbour

Sydney's large natural harbour was the reason that the original penal settlement was established in the area, near what is now known as Circular Quay. It is now well developed, with skyscrapers, highrises, and houses all around its shores, but it is still very beautiful.

The harbour is served by ferry services that transport passengers around the harbour. An excellent way to see both the harbour and Sydney attractions is to take a ferry east from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo or Manly or west under the Harbour Bridge towards Parramatta. These are reasonably priced and a favourite for tourists. If time is short, for a shorter route, the ferry between Circular Quay and Darling Harbour will let you ride under the Harbour Bridge and see the central part of the harbour.

Catch a ferry from Circular Quay to Manly. Before returning to the Sydney CBD, walk from the Manly ferry wharf along the Manly Corso to famous Manly Beach. A great day, afternoon or evening out at a fraction of the price of a commercial harbour cruise.

You can take a cruise on Sydney Harbour. There are many cruises to choose from and they depart from Darling Harbour or Circular Quay. For a bigger adrenalin rush, try the jet boats that zip around the harbour [12] at breakneck speeds.

Sydney Harbour can be viewed from the city or from on of the many walks next to it, most of which are easily accessible by ferry or bus.

The world famous Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race begins every year on Boxing Day, on Sydney Harbour. Thousands of spectator craft take to the water to farewell the yachts as they set off on their grueling journey to Hobart. Seaworthy craft can follow the yachts through the Sydney Heads into the open ocean. You can also see the race from a harbour vantage point like Watsons Bay. where you can see them sail towards you across the harbour, and then cross to the gap to see them sail down the coast.

You can visit the Harbour Islands by ferry or water taxi.

Swing by the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Art Gallery of New South Wales on the edge of the gardens. While you're in the area visit Mrs Macquarie's Chair for a picture postcard view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House in one picture. You may have to compete with the numerous wedding couples on weekends.

  • Scenic Flights, e-mail: contact@redbaron.com.au. Adventures and Flight Training, +61 2 9791 0643. A fantastic way to see Sydney Harbour is from the air. Red Baron Adventures do scenic flights over Sydney Harbour and the Northern Beaches most days of the year (weather permitting) in an open cockpit Pitts Special bi-plane. They also have heart stopping Aerobatic Flights available for the more adventurous (note: these are not done over Sydney Harbour). Flights range from $440 to $660 and go for between 45 min and 80 minutes.

Aboriginal Sydney

Far from being confined to the inland areas, Aboriginal people extensively occupied the Sydney area prior to the arrival of European settlers.

  • Rock Carvings, can be seen in the Royal National Park - catch the train and ferry to Cronulla and Bundeena. There are extensive carvings in Kuringai National Park, near West Head that are accessible only by car. Closer to the city, there are examples at Balls Head and Berry Island, near to Wollstonecraft station. There is an interpretive walk at Berry Island.
  • Meeting of Civilisations. Interpretive centre is at the site of the landing place of Captain Cook, at Kurnell.
  • Bangarra Dance Theatre, is a modern dance company, inspired by indigenous Australian themes.
  • Aboriginal Art. A wander through The Rocks and you will find many places exhibiting and selling contemporary Aboriginal art. The Art Gallery of New South Wales the City Centre has an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Gallery, which is free to visit.

Circular Quay

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Opera House

Government House

Customs House

Sydney Tower

St. James Church

Museum of Sydney

Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA)

The Rocks Markets

Hyde Park Barracks Museum

Hyde Park

Martin Place

Cockle Bay Wharf

Darling Harbour

Chinese Garden of Friendship

ANZAC War Memorial

Old Supreme Court Building

Theatre Royal

Sydney Observatory

panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners

Popular events in Sydney in the near future

Date: Category: The event list provided by Eventful
The event list provided by Eventful

About Sydney

History

Sydney is the oldest European settlement in Australia, having been founded as a British penal colony on 26 January 1788 by Arthur Phillip (now celebrated as Australia Day, the national public holiday, with major festivities around the city and the Harbour). The settlement was named "Sydney" after Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney, who was the British Home Secretary at that time.

Climate

Sydney is comfortable for travellers to visit any time of year. The city enjoys over 300 sunny days each year.

  • Summer (December to February) is the best time to enjoy Sydney's beachside outdoor lifestyle. Temperatures usually reach around 26°C (about 79°F) but it can be very hot, with temperatures climbing to over 40°C (104°F) for a few days each summer. Summer days can be humid, and sometimes have searing dry winds, but hot days frequently end with a "southerly buster", a cold front sweeping up from the south, bringing a clearly noticeable drop in temperature, as wells as rain and thunder. Within hours, the storm can pass and the evening continues cooler. Hot, windy days can create a risk of bushfire, and on days of severe risk national parks and walking trails may be closed. Occasionally low pressure systems drift down from the tropics, giving periods of more unstable weather. You won't need to pack much more than T-shirts to visit Sydney in summer, but remember your hat and sunglasses.
  • Autumn (March to May) is still warm with mild nights. There can be good days for the beach in March, but you can't count on it. It is a good time for visiting attractions, going to the zoo, catching ferries around the harbour without the summer crowds. You may need a warm top for the evenings, especially for May.
  • Winter (June to August) is cool, not cold. Average July maximum temperatures are 17°C, and daytime temperatures rarely drop below 14°C, but night-time temperatures can fall to below 10°C. Most rain falls as a result of a few off-shore low pressure systems, which usually result in two or three rainy weeks during winter. The Bondi Icebergs will be in the ocean doing their morning laps, but most of Sydney will be well away from the beach. It does not snow in Sydney, and unless you intend spending long periods outside, you can usually get by with just a warm top. Sydney is a year-round city, and only the outdoor water-parks close for the winter. If the beach isn't your scene, and you don't like the heat, winter may be your time to visit.
  • Spring (September to November). Spring days are great for exploring Sydney's attractions, bushwalking, cycling, and the outdoors. Beaches are generally patrolled from the end of October, and Sydneysiders start flocking to the beaches in November.

Sydney's Western Suburbs, which lie away from the coast, tend to be hotter during the day and a little cooler during the night. They miss the afternoon sea breezes and the night-time warming effect of the ocean.

Sydney has air conditioning in all public buildings, and on some public transport. It is common to catch a bus or train without air conditioning on hot days. Carry water during summer and remember sun protection year round.

Sydney Climate and Weather information is available online at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology [1].

Activities

Beaches

Sydney's beaches are the perfect place to spend a warm summer day, where you can swim or lie on the sands to your heart's content. The most popular are Bondi Beach, Manly and Coogee, although many others have their own charms. They might not be miles of golden beaches like Queensland, but there's a great variety, ranging from ocean beaches nestled between towering headlands in the Eastern Suburbs to quiet bays facing the harbour in Mosman. Bondi and Coogee are backpacker haunts while Manly and Cronulla feel like separate seaside towns. Soak in the crowded atmosphere amongst the other sunseekers in the eastern beaches, or be one of the few enjoying the solitude in the Northern Beaches and the Royal National Park. Brave the ocean waves, or splash about in the shallower rock pools. Even in winter, you can join the hardy souls keeping to their exercise regime in the cold waters.

Surf at one of Sydney's many surf beaches, a quintessentially Australian experience. The major beaches (Bondi, Manly, Cronulla) have surf schools and places where you can rent surfboards. Locals have their own secret favourites in the Northern Beaches and Maroubra, and can be fiercely territorial.

Kayak and canoe

Sydney's waterways offer great canoeing and kayaking, and you can explore Sydney's bushland, history, and exclusive waterfront properties. There are lots of places to hire them from, or to even go on a guided tour.

  • The Spit or Manly to kayak the harbour.
  • Lane Cove National Park and the Royal National Park have canoes and kayaks by the hour - see turtles and birdlife as you paddle
  • You can paddle on the Georges River from Woronora, or the Port Hacking river from Bundeena.
  • You can hire canoes at Rose Bay, a little bit east of the city.

Fish

If you've got the time and inclination, Sydney offers decent fishing during the warmer months. It's not recommended to fish in Sydney Harbour due to pollution. Do not eat fish caught in the harbour, as Sydney Harbour fish are tainted with dioxin which is harmful to humans. However signing up with a fishing charter to take you out of the Harbour into open water, Middle Harbour or Pittwater is a rewarding experience. You'll likely catch something of decent size and even if you don't, being out on a boat in Sydney is one of the great Sydney experiences in the warmer months (if you can afford it).

Walk

Sydney has a huge amount of green space, much of it beside the sparkling harbour or ocean, so walking is a great way to experience the city's parks, reserves and remnant bushland. There are also great walks through the more built-up areas, allowing you to check out the city's modern architecture and its colonial heritage. The following are just a few of the better-known routes.

  • Across the Harbour Bridge from The Rocks on the south side to Milsons Point on the north side (or vice versa).
  • Coogee Beach to Bondi. Following the eastern coastline past several of Sydney's beautiful beaches - stop off for a swim if you get too hot.
  • Manly to the Spit. Along the foreshore of Sydney Harbour.
  • Bradleys Head. Take a ferry to Taronga Zoo wharf and then head to your right along the promontory. There's pristine bushland (almost unchanged from the time of European colonisation), quiet beaches, and knockout views across the harbour, and in the warmer months you'll spot plenty of Eastern Water Dragons, a type of large lizard. Once you reach the tip of the headland, you can either amble back to the wharf or - if you're feeling more ambitious - follow the track several more kilometres to Clifton Gardens, ogling the gigantic houses along the way. From there, you can either hike all the way back to Taronga or get a bus to a ferry wharf.
  • Circular Quay and surrounds. Start underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge, then walk past The Rocks, Circular Quay, the Sydney Opera House, the Royal Botanic Gardens and Mrs Macquarie's Chair. For an extended tour of the city centre, covering these and other major sights, see Walking tour of Sydney.

Sports fixtures

  • Winter: The winter football season generally begins with trial matches in February, before the season proper kicks off in March and runs to late September or early October. Sydney's most popular winter football code is rugby league (often just called 'football' or 'footy' by locals - although never just 'rugby', which refers to rugby union). Nine teams from the national competition are based in Sydney and the sport is an important part of the city's culture - many teams play at least some of their games at intimate grounds in their suburban heartlands, and this can be a good way to experience the traditional heart of the sport. Other major sporting teams playing in Sydney over the winter are the Sydney Swans and Greater Western Sydney Giants (AFL), the NSW Waratahs (rugby union) and the Sydney Swifts (netball).
  • Summer: Sydney's primary summer sport is cricket, which you'll find being played (in somewhat modified form) on beaches and in backyards across the city. The professional stuff is largely based at the Sydney Cricket Ground close to the CBD: the traditional New Year's Test, between the Australian team and whichever foreign team is touring at the time, commences around the 3rd of January and runs for four to five days. Later in the summer, international one-day and/or Twenty20 matches are held at the SCG.

The primary domestic tournaments, contested between Australian state teams, are the Sheffield Shield (first-class), Ford Ranger Cup (one-day) and KFC Big Bash (Twenty20): they are usually sparsely attended and so are much cheaper to attend than internationals. Some one-day and Twenty20 matches are played at ANZ Stadium at Olympic Park rather than at the SCG, but the cavernous stadium is far inferior to the grand old ground if you really want to get a feel for cricket culture. Australia's professional soccer tournament, the A-League, runs over the summer and struggles to attract a great deal of public enthusiasm; Sydney's team is Sydney FC, which plays out of the Sydney Football Stadium.

Bike and skate

Cycle around Centennial Park in the Eastern Suburbs or Bicentennial Park at Sydney Olympic Park. Or mountain bike on the challenging hills around the parks, forests and waterways surrounding Sydney and through some spectacular countryside.

Sydney has many skate parks and bowls in its suburbs, and one of the most popular is the one next to Bondi Beach. Sydney also has three indoor ice skating centres, and the closest to the city centre is Macquarie Ice Rink in the Macquarie Park-Ryde area. The two others are near Canterbury station and next to Norwest in the Hills District.

Performing arts

Sydney has three theatres which show major international productions, the Capitol Theatre in Haymarket, the Theatre Royal under the MLC Centre in the CBD and the Lyric Theatre in The Star in Pyrmont Bay. Usually one of the latest theatre blockbusters will be on show at these theatres. Slightly more on the cutting edge, with more locally produced drama can be found at the Sydney Theatre Company, in Walsh Bay in The Rocks, or occasionally at the Opera House Drama Theatre. Similar productions are often on at the Seymour Centre next to Sydney University just off Broadway on City Road.

Smaller theatres, some with lesser known performers, featuring new and local writers can be harder to find. Try the Belvoir St Theatre in Surry Hills in City East, or the Newtown Theatre in the Inner West. Amateur theatre, especially musical theatre, proliferates in Sydney, with over 30 amateur musical theatre companies providing a fun night of theatre for around $20 per ticket in the suburbs. Check the Riverside Theatre in Parramatta, the Zenith Theatre in Chatswood on the Lower North Shore, or the Sutherland Entertainment Centre in Sutherland.

For classical music fans, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra plays at the Opera House and at [13] Angel Place Recital Hall [14]. If the Sydney Symphony aren't playing, the Recital Hall may have other performances of interest. The Conservatorium of Music often hosts performances on a smaller scale. [15].

Opera Australia perform at the Opera House in the City Centre.

A handy guide for performing arts in Sydney is the Spectrum liftout, which you'll find in the Sydney Morning Herald's voluminous Saturday edition. It contains reviews and features on all things cultural, as well as fairly comprehensive listings towards the back.

Cinema

Sydney has mainstream movies showing on multi-screen cinema complexes all around Sydney, including the City Centre and Moore Park. The two main operators are Event Cinemas [16] and Hoyts [17]. For arthouse, or more obscure movies, try the Chauvel, Verona and Academy Twin cinemas on Oxford Street in the City East, or the Dendy near the Opera House in the City Centre or in Newtown, or Cinema Paris at the Entertainment Quarter at Fox Studios at Moore Park in the City East. Many of the larger cinema complexes offer premium seating and services for a premium price.

For a different experience, look out for open-air cinemas in the Royal Botanical Gardens or Centennial Park. There is one drive-in movie left open in Sydney, at Blacktown in the Outer West.

The IMAX Theatre, which provides a movie experience with the largest cinema screens in the southern hemisphere in Darling Harbour.

Drag shows

As one of the biggest and most famous gay capitals of the world, Sydney is the place to catch a drag show. If you’ve never experienced the glitz and glitter of professional drag acts, then you really shouldn’t leave town without heading to one of the top drag clubs in the city.

In Darlinghurst, drag queens like Polly’s Follies in the Stonewall Hotel or the spectacular Disgraceland in Nevermind are some of the best acts in town and you’ll marvel at the costume changes and the sheer amount of make up. However, make up aside, the transformation from men into women is incredible and these ladies sure know how to entertain. Drag shows are popular with hen nights and birthday parties, but really they’re great fun for anyone who wants a night of pure unadulterated entertainment. Some drag acts are part of cabaret clubs, so there's a wide variety of acts throughout the evening. Other clubs are solely dedicated to drag performances and it’s a whirlwind of costume changes, make-up and incredible dance moves.

Festivals

Sydney is home to a number of major and minor festivals and calendar events each year. Listed chronologically these are:

January

  • Sydney Festival (Festival Of Sydney). An arts festival aiming to be international in reach, inviting acclaimed international artists to exhibit their work or perform in Sydney. A number of free outdoor events are held alongside the festival including the hugely popular Jazz in the Domain, Symphony in the Domain, and Festival First Night. Concerts held in the Domain and Hyde Park in the City Centre. The Bacardi Latin Festival in Darling Harbour is held in early January as part of the Sydney Festival, and contains a week of Latin dancing and music.
  • Field Day Festival: 1 January 2014, - DAttracts the infamous Sydney NYE party-goers as well as rested Sydneysiders. The festival offers an exemplary cross section of leftfield bands, artists and DJ's for the true music lovers' delectation. Past artists have included The Presets and Kaskade.(date needs updating)
  • Big Day Out. An Australia-wide rock/alternative music festival with a side of dance, plays to up to 60 000 Sydneysiders at a time for one or two days in late January (normally on the January 26th public holiday). Past acts have included Nirvana, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against The Machine, Muse, the Chemical Brothers and Marilyn Manson from overseas, and Powderfinger, Regurgitator and Gerling from Australia. It normally sells out the day of ticket release.
  • St. Jerome's Laneway Festival. An alternative/indie music festival held in January/February each year (see website for upcoming dates), where bands play in laneways around the city, this this festival a rather unique vibe and atmosphere. The Festival attracts both international and domestic artists, which has included such artists like Feist, Architecture in Helsinki and Born Ruffians. If you're interested in getting involved in the Sydney 'underground' or alternative/indie scene, this festival is a good start.
  • Sydney Fringe Festival. Features fringe art in the form of film, TV, performance and sport.

February

  • Soundwave Festival. An Australia-wide rock/alternative music festival that focuses primarily on heavy metal and punk rock. The festival is usually held in Sydney on the last Sunday of February. Previous headlining acts include System of a Down, Slipknot, Iron Maiden, Faith No More, Nine Inch Nails, The Offspring and Deftones.
  • Good Vibrations Festival. A multi-genre festival held in February every year attracting major international acts like Fatboy Slim, Cypress Hill, Kanye West, Beastie Boys and Snoop Dogg.
  • Future Music Festival. Held in late February every year, drawing in an enviable array of international and domestic artists like Paul Oakenfold, Basement Jaxx, N*E*R*D ft. Pharrell Williams, and CSS.
  • Chinese New Year. Widely celebrated by Sydney's Chinese community, with the centre of festivities being at Chinatown. Look out for Lion dancing, Dragonboat races at Darling Harbour, and of course plenty of good food.

March

  • Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. A festival organised by and for the gay community. It includes sports, cultural and arts events that run throughout February, culminating in the Mardi Gras parade in Darlinghurst on the first Saturday of March each year. The festival began as a street protest, and has grown into a huge celebration.
  • Royal Easter Show. Is the major agricultural show in New South Wales, and is held around Easter each year at Sydney Olympic Park. Farmers from all over the state come to show their prize produce. But it isn't just an agricultural show: a huge number of amusement ride operators set up for the show as well, together with vendors of the worst kind of child baiting junk food: fairy floss and deep fried hot dogs (known as "dagwood dogs" or "pluto pups").
  • Sydney French Film Festival (The Alliance Francaise French Film Festival). Offers an impressive and ambitious panoramic view of contemporary French cinema, screening the films at Palace Academy Twin in Oxford St, Darlinghurst, Verona in Paddington & Norton Street in Leichhardt.
  • Cockatoo Island Festival. 25-27 March. Where lots of friendly people enjoy a fabulous mixture of music and culture while discovering one of Sydney's best kept secrets.

April

  • Sydney German Film Festival (Audi Festival of German Films in Australia). Shows contemporary German films.

May

  • Vivid Sydney. Sydney illuminated and on fire
  • Biennale of Sydney. A contemporary arts and multimedia festival held in winter in even numbered years.

June

  • Sydney Film Festival. Shows over 200 movies in 16 days, including an enormous number of Australian movies, most of which will premiere at the festival.

July

  • Arabic Film Festival. Shows dozens of movies over a week at Parramatta.

September

  • Lavazza Italian Film Festival. Showcases the finest that Italian cinema has to offer, picking contemporary films from the vibrant Rome International Film Festival to the more established events such as the prestigious Berlinale and the world-famous Cannes Film Festival; and a selection of Italian Classics from the archives of the Cinecittà Studios in Rome.
  • Sydney Underground Film Festival. The festival programs unique, quality independent films that transgress the status quo and challenge the conservative conventions of film making. The festival is devoted to renewing local interest in independent and experimental film as part of an international underground film culture and aims to change an ingrained culture of cinematic complacency and revitalise an enthusiasm for cinema.

October

  • Crave Sydney. Showcases the city's best restaurants, established and up-and-coming young chefs, food and wine culture. "Hats off dinners", the night noodle markets at Hyde Park, and hands-on cooking classes. Food festivals and markets all around Sydney
  • Musica Viva Festival. Sydney's premier chamber music festival. The festival presents a rich feast of masterworks and musical treasures played by some of the world's finest practioners, interspersed with music of different cultures.

November

  • Sculpture by the Sea. Join tens of thousands of Sydneysiders as they take a leisurely walk between Bondi Beach and Tamarama Beach to admire the numerous larger than life sculptures set up at both beaches and along the walk. Bring a camera to take snaps of the weird and wonderful exhibits.

December

  • Homebake. A rock/alternative/dance festival featuring only Australian acts. It is held in the Domain in the city centre.
  • Carols in the Domain. Held annually in the Domain in the city centre on the last Saturday before Christmas. Attracts around 100,000 people (so plan to get in there early for a good spot) with candles sing along as night falls.
  • New Year's Eve. Features massive displays of pyrotechnics around Sydney Harbour and the Harbour Bridge (including fireworks shot from the bridge itself). There are two shows, a "family show" at 9PM, and the major fireworks display at midnight. Immediately following the 9PM Family Fireworks, the spectacular Harbour of Light Parade begins. Over 50 vessels make a majestic passage on a 15km circuit around the Harbour, featuring illuminated emblems representing the Sydney New Year's Eve theme, glittering either on their hulls or masts. Many of the hotels and bars near the Harbour hold special parties with high cover charges, and boat cruises sell for a premium. Or get in early for the free alternative with some cheese, fruits, wine, picnic blanket and some friends on a warm summer night by the harbour. Save some sympathy for Northern Hemisphere cousins freezing in Times Square waiting for all the excitement of a ball dropping by a couple of metres.

Food

Prices in Sydney's restaurants vary. Breakfast at a standard cafe (food plus a coffee or juice) can cost anywhere up to $20 for a full English breakfast or other substantial meal. A main meal in a mid-range restaurant is around $25 - $35. Upper mid-range averages around $35 - $45. At the real top-end places a dinner for two with wine can run up to $400-500 and beyond.

For the more budget-conscious, Sydney's multicultural demography means plenty of quality ethnic cuisine for cheap eats, particularly Asian restaurants in Chinatown where rock bottom priced food (but no less tasty) can be found. Plonk down at a laminate table shoulder to shoulder with hungry locals for some bubble tea and a sizzling plate of delicious Asian food. Many restaurants in the city will also offer "lunch specials". For example, a good Korean "set lunch" can be found for less than $15. A bowl of noodles in Chinatown will run you $8 or $9. Some Thai curry with rice at any of the many restaurants all over Sydney will cost about $10.

Newtown in Sydney's inner-west (approx 4km from the CBD) is renowned for its inexpensive cafes and restaurants on King St, in particular Thai food. It is highly popular among students from the nearby University of Sydney.

Fine dining

Sydney is also home to some of the world's best restaurants and their chefs. But if you want to try Sydney's finest rated restaurants during your visit, a booking must usually be made well in advance. There's Tetsuya’s and Est in the City Centre, Marque in the City East and Flying Fish Restaurant & Bar in Pyrmont. Another famous Sydney celebrity chef is Neil Perry, who runs Rockpool at The Rocks, as well as the Rockpool Bar and Grill in the city, not far from Circular Quay, with Spice Temple downstairs.

If you want to splurge on the location, try Quay in the The Rocks or Matt Moran's Aria, both of which have harbour and bridge views, but Guillaume at Bennelong has them beat handily, where you'll be dining in the Opera House itself. You may be lucky on a weekday and get a walk-up table at one of the restaurants in Campbells Cove in the The Rocks.

For fine dining away from the central Sydney, try Jonah's in the far Northern Beaches - go for lunch, the view is stunning.

Take away

Take away food in Sydney can be as cheap as buying the ingredients and making it yourself, and many stores specialise in take-away food. There will usually be a picnic table, park or beach nearby to eat whatever you can select. Quintessential Aussie takeaways include the meat pie (minced beef with gravy sauce in a crusty pastry shell), sausage roll (sausage mince in a puff pastry casing), usually topped generously with tomato sauce/ketchup, and fish and chips (inherited from the British to be sure but loved by all Australians).

Most restaurants will do take-away food as well, but almost certainly at a premium to the cost of buying food from a take-away. Outside of the city an occasional restaurant may offer a 10% discount for take-away. There are few online services like EatNow that allow users to order food online from the variety of restaurants and take away in a particular area.

Eat streets

Just about every suburb in Sydney has a restaurant or two, a cafe or coffee shop, and a place that sells takeaway food. However, there are a number of places in Sydney where you can window shop through many restaurants and make your choice.

All of Darling Harbour is like this, there are restaurants of every variety all along the waterfront. East Circular Quay in the City Centre is similar, along with the International Passenger Terminal on the west of Circular Quay - however many of the restaurants in this area are expensive and loved more for the view than the quality of the food. There are (pricey) exceptions, such as Cafe Sydney, Aria and Sailors Thai.

In the east of the city, Victoria Street in Darlinghurst and Crown Street in Surry Hills (between Oxford and Cleveland Streets) has a large range of funky cafes, small bars, pubs, patisseries and restaurants. Darlinghurst and Surry Hills has it all, from cheap Asian take-aways to high end restaurants. Many trendy restaurants in this area don't take bookings; often you wait at the bar for a table. These suburbs are popular with hipsters, yuppies and the gay community.

Just east of the city is Woolloomooloo Wharf which boasts a fantastic view across the harbour and several upscale restaurants, including excellent steak, Chinese, Italian and seafood restaurants. Perfect for lunch on a sunny day.

King Street, Newtown, centered on the railway station, has a constantly changing selection of good value restaurants, pubs, cafes and bars. You can find many various types of cuisine here; mainly cheap Thai, but also Vietnamese, Italian, Turkish, Japanese and modern Australian. This area isn't touristy, but popular with students from the nearby Sydney University. The area has its own alternative style, which makes for great people watching.

On the Lower North Shore, Willoughby Road at Crows Nest has consistently good Indian, Japanese, Thai, steak, and a handful of small bars. Military Road through Cremorne and Neutral Bay have a smattering of decent restaurants, mostly Japanese. Kirribilli has a few nice cafes and restaurants, and a short after dinner stroll will take you by some of the best views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Parramatta, to the west, has an eating strip, many with alfresco options. Harris Park nearby is Sydney's Little India with a good number of very affordable, authentic Indian restaurants.

In the North West district, Castle Hill has many restaurants on Terminus St as well as at "The Piazza" which is adjacent to Castle Towers shopping centre and features a pleasant, lively atmosphere with a fountain in the centre of the ring of restaurants.

Modern Australian

Thanks to Sydney's (or rather, Australia's) multicultural mix, "modern Australian" is usually characterised by a fusion of cuisines. Think entrees spiced with a Thai-inspired chilli dressing, mains with a hint of a Chinese-style ginger-based marinade or sunny Tuscan flavours- all in the same menu. Many of Australia's celebrity chefs are of ethnic backgrounds, and many have trained overseas, bringing with them a world of experience back home.

  • Visit the Sydney Fish Markets in Pyrmont (within walking distance of Darling Harbour) for a lunch of fresh seafood of almost any description. Sadly the cooked seafood on offer is overpriced, greasy and frankly an embarassment. Avoid. For a proper seafood lunch at the fish markets, bypass these shops and go directly to one of the many fishmongers. Pick out the best freshly shucked oysters, cooked Balmain Bug or lobster tails, glistening prawns and sashimi. Take it out to tables outside and enjoy getting your hands dirty. Otherwise, head upstairs to Fisherman's Wharf Chinese Restaurant for some wonderful Cantonese seafood or yum cha.
  • Hit a steakhouse and try Australia's world-famous prime Angus beef. Easily accessible upmarket Sydney city steakhouses include I'm Angus at Darling Harbour, Prime and Kingsley's in Woolloomoolloo in the City East. For a truly top end experience of some of Sydney's very best steak and seafood in luscious deco setting, try Neil Perry's Rockpool Bar and Grill in the CBD. Dress up and bring your Amex.

Alternatively, many CBD pubs offer $6 to $10 steak "meal deals", provided that you also order a particular alcoholic drink at the same time. You can also go to Phillip's Foote at The Rocks to cook your own steak on a BBQ.

Multicultural

For those who are after authentic multicultural culinary experiences, there are unique "food districts" scattered around the greater city. The range of food available is huge and isn't necessarily expensive. It is usually possible to find a restaurant of any nationality, specialising in almost any cuisine.

  • Yum cha in Chinatown is very good, arguably even better than Hong Kong since many of their best chefs moved to Sydney in the 1990s. Yum cha is an entire meal comprising many small dishes called "dim sum" (Mandarin: dian xin). The food moves in roving, heated trolleys around the restaurants, although some places have now abandoned the trolleys and instead give you a menu to tick your items which will be brought to your table. Some only have trolleys for specials or on weekends. Expect queues on weekends and brusque service all days - it's all part of the charm of yum cha.
  • Eat Chinese (Cantonese) in Chinatown, Chatswood on the North Shore. For more northern Chinese flavours, including Shanghainese and Pekingnese, head to Ashfield and Strathfield. Some outer suburbs are particularly known for their Chinese restaurants - recommended examples are Eastwood (north-west), Parramatta (west) and Hurstville in Sydney's southern suburbs which all have a number of restaurants offering more home-style Chinese food. They are all accessible by public transport.
  • Eat Indian in one of the many restaurants in the Outer West with all types of Indian cuisine (North Indian, South Indian, vegetarian, meat, etc).
  • Eat Indonesian in Anzac Parade, Kensington, Kingsford & Maroubra.
  • Eat Italian in one of the restaurants in Leichhardt's Norton Street, or nearby Ramsay Street, Haberfield in the Inner West. Or in Stanley St in East Sydney - a walk from the CBD.
  • Eat Japanese in Neutral Bay or Crows Nest.
  • Eat Korean in Liverpool & Pitt St in City, Strathfield, Eastwood and Campsie.
  • Eat Kosher in Bondi. Many great restaurants throughout the area.
  • Eat Lebanese in Cleveland Street. Baba Ghanouj, Lahem Begin and Baclawa here. For the very best Lebanese, head out to the Middle Eastern enclaves of Greenacre or Lakemba.
  • Eat Nepalese in Glebe Point Road, Glebe, in the Inner West.
  • Eat Portuguese in Petersham in the Inner West.
  • Eat Spanish in Liverpool Street in the city.
  • Eat Thai in one of the many low priced Thai outlets in Newtown's King Street in the Inner West.
  • Eat Turkish in Auburn. Closer to the city, there try Enmore Rd Enmore / South King St Newtown in the Inner West. Get your Sucuklu and Pastirmali here.
  • Eat Uyghur on Dixon Street, Haymarket (Chinatown)- fiery, flavour-bursting food originating from the Turkic regions of Central Asia.
  • Eat Vietnamese in Marrickville. The most authentic Vietnamese can be experienced in Cabramatta or Bankstown. If you have the time, Cabramatta particularly is a fascinating and worthwhile day trip. So awash is the suburb with Vietnamese restaurants, groceries, butchers, craft shops, clothing stores and restaurants - not to mention Vietnamese people - you'd swear you were walking around Saigon rather than Sydney.

Many of the areas mentioned above also sell produce related to the original nationality of the locals.

Food festivals

It always seems like there's a food festival occurring every weekend in one of the suburbs of Sydney. Usually the idea is that restaurants take part, providing smaller portions of their signature dishes around $7-$12 a plate. Some also focus on ethnic cuisine — a great opportunity to sample unfamiliar food. Look out for the Sydney International Food Festival [27], a major festival which showcases Sydney's food culture. It's held in October, and includes the night noodle markets operating in Hyde Park in the City Centre.

Vegetarian and special diets

Vegetarians are well catered for. Every restaurant will usually have at least one vegetarian dish. Indian restaurants can be relied upon to provide a wider selection. The trendy East Sydney and Inner West suburbs have many choices, Cabramatta in the western suburbs have many Asian Buddhist cuisine restaurants that are vegan and vegetarian.

There is an awareness of gluten-free and dairy-free diets in Sydney, and again the more trendier inner city suburbs are more likely to cater for these diets.

Customs

Cafés serving breakfast start opening at 6AM and breakfast is usually served until 11AM, or occasionally all day. Orders for lunch start at about noon and continue until about 3PM. Many cafes will start closing late afternoon, although a few may remain open for dinner.

Restaurants usually open for dinner around 5PM-6PM and while there are exceptions (usually concentrated in areas with active nightlife), last orders for dinner are typically taken around 10PM. Restaurants in business areas open for lunch as well. It is common for restaurants in suburban locations to sometimes be closed on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday nights.

It is more expensive to get a sit down meal in the evening, than it is for lunch.

Tipping

The general rule on tipping in Australia is that it is not compulsory and generally not expected. This remains true for most cafes, and for counter service in Sydney. However for a full service restaurant in a tourist areas and mid to higher end restaurants a tip would be expected by the waitstaff. Most Australians will still not tip, and you should feel free to follow their lead should you wish to. Some snootier waiters may raise an eyebrow, but nobody will follow you or give you a hard time. Otherwise a 10% tip added to the bill or rounding the bill up to the nearest $10, $20 or $50 to a maximum of 10% (depending on the size of the bill!) will usually meet their expectations. They may be expecting a little more if you have an American accent, as they are well aware of what Americans tip at home.

Dress codes

Australians are casual. While most people make an effort to dress up for fancier restaurants, there is no requirement and both restaurants and diners alike are relaxed about dress standards. There are no restaurants in Sydney that require jackets for men for instance, and jeans (nice - no holes) are common in even the most expensive and posh Sydney restaurants. Wear what you feel comfortable in.

Publications

  • The Good Food Guide, published by the Sydney Morning Herald, is a well-regarded restaurant guide on the Sydney food circuit. The guide uses a reviewing and scoring system similar to the Michelin publications overseas. While the majority of restaurants included are in Sydney, a number of regional NSW restaurants are also included. The GFG can be picked up at any good book store and is also available for download as an iPhone application, with monthly or yearly subscription options.
  • Timeout Sydney has a regular section on eating out in Sydney, with emphasis on affordable destinations. There is a paper publication as well as a web site.
  • There are also numerous blogs on the internet devoted to food and eating in Sydney written by a clique of dedicated, self-confessed Sydney foodies. These websites can be a good source of information from an everyday diner's perspective. They are great for the scoop on lesser known gems and foodie destinations, as well as covering other topics such as events, cooking and shopping.
  • For the well-heeled and truly gourmet, the glossy pages of Gourmet Traveller magazine cover the latest in Sydney food fashion and the upmarket restaurant scene.
  • Eatability.com and Urbanspoon are websites similar to Yelp! in the USA, containing reviews and rankings of restaurants by the masses.

Drinks

Sydney has an enormous number of places to drink and party. Thanks to recent changes in legislation, there is now a burgeoning scene for quirky and unique small bars, and the city's cultural life has enjoyed a refreshing growth in night-time choices. There's a litany of clubs and venues for entertainment, and as with most Australian cities, Sydney has a strong live music scene. The majority of pubs and smaller clubs close before 3AM and some as early as 12PM, particularly if there are nearby residents. A limited number of venues have 24-hour licenses.

Busy venues will have door staff checking photo identification to determine that you are over 18. Admission is also commonly refused to those who seem visibly drunk. More popular venues have discriminatory door practices, the most common of which is refusing entry to groups of men who are not accompanied by women. Some pubs and most clubs will admit children accompanied by adults as long as they don't approach the bar or enter an area where there is gambling. Check with staff at the venue. Some pubs don't provide a nice environment for children some nights.

Many places have at least a basic dress code, enforced all hours in the city, and usually after 7pm in the suburbs. For most generic pubs, men should wear closed toe shoes (not running sneakers), full-length pants, and a shirt with sleeves (not a singlet). For clubs, men should don neat business-style shoes. In almost all cases, women can dress more freely, but a small number of places require closed shoes or dressy sandals or high heels.

Many pubs are called hotels, but only very few can ever offer you a place to sleep. Hotel pubs are usually found on a street corner with at least one ground-floor bar, and are usually a few floors high (though not all floors may be open to the public).

Entry charges for live music or DJs are usual and range from $5 to $30 depending on clientèle. Entry charges are rare if you're going into a pub for a drink.

There is a taxi shift change at 3AM, and it is notoriously difficult to catch a taxi anywhere between 2:30AM and 3:30AM. Also beware that there is currently a government enforced lockout at many establishments between 2 and 5AM - which means that you need to stay inside or you won't be able to get back in - even if you go out for a cigarette (smoking is illegal inside). Ask the bouncers or some locals if you're unsure and they will tell you which places are affected by the lockout and which aren't.

Some types of nightlife are concentrated in particular areas:

  • Backpackers drink near the hostels, and will find a lot of fellow budget travellers in pubs in the Eastern Suburbs Beaches like Bondi Beach and Kings Cross in the City East
  • In some ways Irish pubs are a global phenomenon, but they've certainly taken Sydney by storm. Irish pubs are concentrated in both The Rocks area and the southern area of the city. They are outrageously popular on the 17th March for St Patrick's Day.
  • Sydney's large gay scene is concentrated on Oxford Street in City East although it still has a large range of pubs and clubs for all ranges of sexuality and is a prominent nightspot for many party-goers. Sydney's queer community also can often be found on King Street in Newtown which offers a more relaxed place to gather and far fewer yobs.
  • Sydney's bohemians, artists, and students mostly hang about in the Inner West. King Street in Newtown is littered with great joints. Try the Midnight Shift or Corridor for awesome music and a low key vibe. Bloodwood is a must for killer Bloody Marys. The Courthouse is everyones local, either that or the Town Hall Hotel, which is open the latest on the strip. Hook round to Erskineville Rd. for even more choice of unique places. A meal at The Rose on a sunny afternoon is a must. Opposite the Hive Bar will have eccentric DJs spinning rare dub 45's. Surry Hills is also a hot spot, with many of the larger venues that host bigger events. The Oxford Arts Factory and The Standard, both on Oxford St., are two great venues where you'll catch larger touring bands and other acts. Yulli's on Crown St have excellent drinks. The Flinders host local bands and has an American dive bar flavour. Try student bars Manning at Sydney Uni, the Roundhouse at UNSW and the Loft at UTS which all offer pleasant, hassle free environments, and noone checks if you're a student. Manning Bar is also great for a meal as they have their Manning BBQ. The Clare opposite UTS on Broadway, though very ratty looking, is a similarly popular place for students. There are many great bars and pubs on Broadway, such as the Lansdowne Hotel which also offers cheap lunch meals for $5-6 on some days of the week.
  • Nightclubs are mostly found in the Kings Cross area. This is the central party district for late club nights. In addition to this there are clubs in the CBD, Surry Hills (along Oxford St.), and Darling Harbour. Try The Kings Cross Hotel for many levels of local bands and DJs. Nearby the World Bar is a must for more great entertainment. GoodGod Small Bar and Danceteria in the CBD absolutely has the best vibe and music in town.
  • Sydney has a big scene for microbreweries, including The Lord Nelson (The Rocks), The Schwartz Brewery (City), Young Henry's (Newtown) and the Local Taphouse (Surry Hills).
  • Business pubs also cater to the city crowd: lawyers, financiers and brokers and are very busy Friday nights when the city workers are let loose for the week.

There are many great nightclubs in Sydney, unfortunately they are very spread out so it would be a good idea to get an idea of were you want to go. Check guides in Friday's newspapers, or the free guides available in music stores and youth clothing stores.

Tipping

Most bars and clubs in Sydney will simply return your change, and no tip is expected. Some more upmarket bars will return your change on a tray. Most Sydneysiders will simply collect the change from the tray, however feel free to leave the coins on the tray if you would like to tip. Working out a percentage of the drink cost, or tip per drink is never required.

Shopping

See the Sydney District Pages for things to buy in the City, and other Sydney districts.

Most stores will accept VISA/Mastercard credit cards, and only a few take only cash. American Express is generally accepted only at larger stores.

Currency exchange

As with the rest of Australia, currency exchange offices operate in a free market, and the small convenient exchange booth you pass on George Street, by the Opera House or at the airport can charge 15% or more over the best rate you can obtain elsewhere. As always, check rates and commission carefully. Know today's rate and be prepared to walk away if the amount of money they calculate isn't what you would expect. Banks typically offer much better rates, but are only open business hours on weekdays.

You may find it better to pay by credit card and use ATM withdrawals and have the certainty of getting the rate and fees provided by your bank.

Opening hours

Main department stores and speciality stores open around 9am and close around 6pm, staying open until 9pm on Thursday. On Sunday expect them to open around 10am in the suburbs, and around 11am in the city centre, and to close at 5pm. There are a few locations where you will find shops opening a little later, such as Darling Harbour which is open until 9pm every weeknight.

Large supermarkets will be open from 6am until midnight.

Many convenience stores, fast-food restaurants and petrol stations within the Sydney metro area are open 24 hours a day.

Banks will usually only open weekdays, with only an occasional branch opening Saturday morning. Travel agents (not including booking agents in tourist areas) close on Sundays.

Souvenirs

Those quintessential Aussie souvenirs - stuffed koalas and kangaroos, various "Australiana" knick-knacks - can be found in any souvenir store around the city, as well as in airport shops. Authentic Aboriginal/indigenous arts and crafts, such as traditional paintings, hand-made didgeridoos, are expensive, and the range in Sydney is much smaller than in Alice Springs. For those who only wish to take home a replica, as a memento of their trip to Australia, head to Paddy's Markets [18] in the Haymarket area of the southern end of the city. The markets also sell a huge range of souvenirs at much better prices than regular souvenir stores. Dollar shops (see "Food and Essentials" below) also sell souvenirs at bargain-basement prices, albeit at a much reduced quality.

Fashion

Australia's unique style and creativity means Sydney is developing on the international fashion circuit, as designs from Australians such as Wayne Cooper, Collette Dinnigan, Akira Isogawa, Lisa Ho, Oroton and Easton Pearson are seen around the globe. In fact, around 60 Australian labels are currently exporting their designs to boutiques and department stores in Asia, Europe and the United States.

The greatest concentration of clothing and accessories stores are to be found in the northern half of the CBD, starting from the Town Hall precinct, neat the Queen Victoria Building.

  • Queen Victoria Building. In the City Centre is a renowned, beautifully maintained, 19th century sandstone building, home to over 400 stores. The stores in the building are laid out in a hierarchical style- literally. The basement level has cheap, casual-fashion stores with a food court, the street level mid-range brand-name chains and level 3 is where various Australian designers, some European labels and Italian shoe stores are located. It is one of Sydney's more photogenic pieces of architecture. Located on George St adjacent to Town Hall and Pitt St Mall.
  • The Strand Arcade. In the City Centre remains a majestic beauty in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Sydney's CBD. Many retailers including The Nut Shop, Elie's Leather Repair and Strand Hatters have traded for decades, becoming well known Sydney institutions. Today the centre is a unique mix of Australian and International designer fashion (including Alex Perry, Akira, Lisa Ho and Alannah Hill) and speciality stores catering for a discerning, sophisticated clientele.
  • Castlereagh Street in the City Centre is lined by many of Sydney's most expensive European-label boutiques and jewellery stores. It is also home to the flagship store of Australian department store chain David Jones.
  • Department stores. There are only two of these in the City Centre, Myer [19] and David Jones [20], located practically next door to each other near the Pitt Street Mall, and joined by an above-ground covered pedestrian walkway. Both offer your standard department-store range of goods.
  • Pitt Street Mall is a pedestrian mall in the City Centre. It is one block long between Market Street and King Street and is one of Australia's busiest and most cosmopolitan shopping precincts. Despite the areas small size, it is home to many flagship chain stores. It has now become a part of Westfield Sydney.
  • Oxford Street just east of the city is lined with shops, bars and nightclubs. The section between Taylor Square and Queen St, Woollahra is particularly good for mid-high end Australian fashion designers and boutiques. Some of these boutiques and other fashion retailers sell at Paddington Markets [21], which are held in the grounds of the Paddington public school every Saturday from 10am.
  • Queen Street in Woollahra also east of the city is an upmarket shopping destination with high-end boutiques, food and homewares stores.
  • King Street, Newtown in in the inner west is a long strip of inexpensive boutiques, and the odd chain store, with plenty of places to stop for a coffee or wine along the way!
  • Shopping centres. Westfield has several large shopping malls around Sydney in Bondi Junction, Chatswood, Parramatta, Hurstville and Miranda, as well as Warringah Mall. The Bondi Westfield offers the most upmarket experience, with many European fashion labels available. Another large shopping mall chain is Centro.
  • Factory outlets. Birkenhead Point and DFO in the Inner West have brand name fashions at discount prices. Market City in Chinatown also has a few smaller factory outlets.

Food and essentials

Prices are inflated in convenience stores and in tourist areas, and it is worth seeking out the supermarkets - even in the city centre. The main Supermarket Chains in Sydney are Woolworths [22], Coles [23], Franklins [24] and Aldi [25]. See the local guides for locations.

Postcards

Postcards are least expensive at post offices (75c) or discount stores. Convenience and souvenir stores may sell a wider range of (more expensive) postcards, but generally they do not sell stamps. An overseas stamp for a postcard costs $2.60 [26].

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Sydney on Wikivoyage.

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