While I was on a Working Holiday in Australia, I spent almost 6 months in Sydney. Sydney is an amazing city with many things to do. Although some people say it’s ‘just another big city’, in my opinion it’s so much more than that. When I initially arrived in Sydney I thought I would be here only for a little while, so I could get used to living in Australia. I fell in love with the city quickly and ended up spending most of my time there. I’ve written down my favorite things to do!
Exploring the city
Of course one of the first things I did when I arrived in Sydney was visiting the Opera House. It appears to be much whiter in pictures than it is in reality, but it’s still a beautiful building. I ended up spending a lot of time in this area because there is a lot going on. I’ve stayed to watch the sun set behind the Harbour Bridge, walked around the Royal Botanical Gardens, visited the Contemporary Art Museum and spent a lot of time exploring the Rocks.
Sydney Central Business District
If I wanted to meet up with friends, usually we’d meet up somewhere in the CBD. There is so much going on here so we would always find something to do. Pitt St and George St are great if you want to do some shopping. If you’re interested in architecture, make sure you check out the Queen Victoria Building, Town Hall and the Sydney University. My favorite place for food is the Regent Place, which always had surprising things to offer.
Darling Harbour is a great place to walk around and eat. Really, there’s so many restaurants out there and most of them ARE incredibly good. There’s always heaps of things going on here and it can get very busy, but it has a really nice vibe. One of my favorite things about this area is Tumbalong park, where they organize cultural festivals during the whole summer. I even went to a Serbian Festival once which really made me feel at home in this city.
This is one of my favorite areas in Sydney. Newtown is known for being a very creative place with a lot of artsy people. There’s many cafes and bars but also some interesting (and slightly odd) shops. I’ve spent hours walking around thrift stores and shops that sold antiques and uncommon objects. Around Newtown you can find different murals and artwork. You can find great art pieces in small alleys so make sure you look out for them.
Exploring the beaches
If you’re a beach bum like me, you’re in for a treat. Sydney has some amazing beaches and although the ones close to the city can get very busy, if you take a short train ride there’s plenty of quieter beaches waiting.
I think everyone who has thought about visiting Sydney has heard of Bondi Beach. It is one of the most iconic beaches in Australia and you should definitely visit it. There’s always things going on in and around Bondi. It does get very busy though, so skip it during the weekends if you don’t like that. One of my favorite things to do in Bondi is the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk. The walk is quite easy but incredibly beautiful. It takes you to 6 different beaches in 2-3 hours. I would usually take a break at Tamarama, a small beach that is good for surfing. The most beautiful beach is Gordon’s Bay which is good for scuba diving and snorkeling.
I find Coogee pretty similar to Bondi – the beach is big and can get crowded but the vibe is nice and there’s always good food and drinks around. The reason why I recommend Coogee is because there’s a couple of beautiful natural pools that I really enjoyed going to, like the Giles Baths and McIver Baths (or Ladies Baths). I love all the natural pools around Australia because they are just so photogenic. The Ladies Baths were a personal favorite because the only ones allowed in there are women and children. So yay for topless tanning without perverts!
Although I didn’t like the main beach at Manly too much (so many seagulls!), there’s a couple of beaches a bit further away, like Shelly beach. Shelly beach is fairly small and there’s no waves so it’s perfect for swimming. The water here is super clear which makes it great for snorkeling too! Manly has some nice shops and restaurants and during the weekends there’s a market with a lot of handmade stuff.
About an hour and a half north from Sydney is Palm Beach. This beach is huge and quite far away from everything, that’s why it doesn’t get too crowded. I liked it because at the very end of the beach you can climb up a cliff to the firehouse, which makes an incredible viewpoint.
If you feel like leaving the hustle and bustle of Sydney, I would recommend hopping on the train to Cronulla. Cronulla is a cute town with an alright beach, but if you get on the bus to Salmon Haul Reserve, you are really in for a treat. Salmon Haul has some beautiful small beaches with green and blue waters. Although there’s always people there, it’s not super crowded. Of all the beaches around Sydney that I’ve been to, this one is by far the most beautiful.
There’s still so much more to see and do in Sydney, but I do think I’ve spent my time there in a pretty good way. In my next blog on Saturday I’ll be talking about my favorite places for food and drinks, so if you’re interested in that; stay tuned!
Have you ever been to Sydney? What was your favorite spot?
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