Top Twenty Travel Tips for Visiting Sydney

Sydney is one of the most popular places for tourists in the world. Whether you’re visiting for a few days from interstate or stay for longer, this list provides useful tips on where to stay, and what to do, see, and eat. From accommodation, such serviced apartments, to food and shopping, you’ll never run out of ideas on your trip.

Where to Stay

1. The CBD – try an apartment or a hotel in the CBD for the most convenient location. You can enjoy the great harbour views and have easy access to the major iconic attractions like circular quay, the opera house, and bridge.

2. Manly – great views and chance to take a ride on the Manly ferry and enjoy the harbour.

3. Other Harbour Locations – Balmain, North Sydney, Mosman, and Rose Bay all have ferry services.

4. Sydney City Fringe – Cheaper options but transport will be more limited in these areas to cars and taxis, while walking into the city will take more than 30 minutes. Includes Surry Hills, Woolloomooloo, Darlinghurst, Prymont, and Ultimo.

5. Eastern Suburbs – Bondi Beach has cheap accommodation but traffic in and out of the area can be slow.

What to See, Do and Eat

6. Take a Day Trip to the Blue Mountains – spectacular views only 90 minutes away from the CBD

7. Do the Harbour Bridge Climb – possibly the most picturesque bridge climb in the world. Daily guided climbs and admire the spectacular views from 134 metres above the harbour.

8. Take a Ferry Ride and See the Harbour and Opera House – there’s nothing quite like being on the water and passing under the magnificent Harbour Bridge.

9. Dine in Style – Australia is famous for its fresh produce and fine food. Dine in style at any of Sydney’s world-famous restaurants in view of the harbour.

10. Go Shopping – Sydney has a huge variety of shopping strips and markets. For higher end fashion, try the Queen Victoria Building, World Square, Pitt St mall, Strand Arcade in the CBD. Paddington, Bondi and Newtown each have many interesting boutique shops for higher end shopping. Factory outlets are located at Birkenhead Point, Olympic Park, and Alexandria. Weekend markets offer travellers an excellent shopping experience. Try the Glebe Markets, Paddington Markets, Rozelle Markets, and the Rocks Markets on weekends. Sydney also has major shopping centres in suburban and inner city locations.

11. Visit Chinatown – try Chinatown for a change of atmosphere and great food.

12. Opera Performance or Theatre at the Opera House – check into the Opera House for an exciting theatre or opera performance. There is always something interesting on.

13. Walking Tour of King’s Cross – King’s Cross is Sydney’s red light district and a tourist attraction. Take a walking tour and look out for landmarks such as the El Alamein fountain, the fire station, and the rail station.

14. Hit the Beach – there are some 150 beaches in the Sydney area. Some of the most popular beaches are Bondi, Manly, Cronulla and Coogee. Be warned, it can get crowded on weekends during warm weather!

15. Helicopter Sunset Ride – take a helicopter ride at sunset and see the harbour from a new perspective.

16. Taronga Zoo – just 12 minutes from the city by ferry and is home to over 2,600 animals. Just the place for you if you’re keen on seeing some Australian wildlife.

17. Sydney Aquarium – located right in Darling Harbour and displays over 650 different species of marine life.

18. Eco Whaling Cruise – yes, Sydney has whales and dolphins swim right in the middle of the city’s harbour. Most cruises run during the migratory season from May to August and September to November.

19. Jet Boat Ride or Sailing in Sydney harbour – take an exciting jet boat ride or sign up for a sailing experience right in the harbour.

20. Take a Day Trip – other than the Blue Mountains, you can try the Hunter Valley, South Coast, Port Stephens, Mudgee and the Southern Highlands.

Frugal Travel Tips For Sydney, Australia

There is so much more to Australia than kangaroos and koala bears. In Sydney, that so much more can even be frugal. After much contemplation, the top frugal choices were narrowed down to the ferry system, the Royal Botanical Gardens, and the Art Gallery Of New South Wales.


Seeing Sydney from the water is a must. Frugal tourists don’t pay for a boat ride. They take the ferry.

Ferries have been operating in Sydney for more than 135 years. Today, for the price of a day pass (including ferry service), tourists can travel to Manly Beach to watch the surfers and play beach volleyball, to Darling Harbour to see the Australian Maritime Museum (the museum is free), Taronga Zoo (admission charged), and be able to snap great photos of the cityscape, the Opera House, and the interesting Luna Park. All from their seat on the ferry.

Royal Botanical Gardens

The Royal Botanical Gardens is 30 hectares of parkland in the heart of Sydney, hugging the shoreline. Highlights are the iconic Opera House on one side (tourists can peak inside for free but for a better look, they need to either pay for a tour or buy an event ticket) and Mrs. Macquaries Chair, a seat carved into stone where the wife of Governor Macquarie liked to sit and watch the ships come in, on the other. Wildlife include the grey-headed flying foxes (giant bats), cockatoos, and other colorful birds. A kind local gave me some food to feed the birds.

The Royal Botanical Gardens are also a great place for the fitness buff. Nothing like jogging along the shoreline at dawn or dusk.

Art Gallery Of New South Wales

My favorite experience in Sydney is taking the guided tours of the Aboriginal Art Collection in the Art Gallery Of New South Wales. Not only am I given an understanding of the fascinating art styles by an enthusiastic guide (I’ve done the same tour twice with different guides and received new information with each tour) but she also explains bush tucker, hunting styles, religion, women’s lib, and other topics of interest. Admission and the tour is free.

Sydney is a world class city with world class tourist sights. Using the ferry system to get around, visiting the Royal Botanical Gardens, and taking the tours at the Art Gallery Of New South Wales will allow the frugal tourist to experience more for less.

Travel Tips – Gold Coast Australia – The Southern Coast Queensland

Ask anyone who has traveled extensively which journeys they have enjoyed the most and I think you’ll find a surprising common answer. An answer that no travel agency advertises – because they can not provide it. I know this answer is true for me – and I have traveled extensively.

The answer is; having a knowledgeable local show you the area you are visiting. Let me tell you of one of my experiences to demonstrate. I had traveled the world many times since leaving my birth place in Austria at the age of 4.

At age 50 I was finally on a plane headed for Vienna on a visit to my father, my first return trip to the country of my birth. I had been to Europe so many times but Austria was never on the travel itinerary. My father lived in Africa and had only recently returned to reside in Austria himself, after a three months visit to me in Australia.

I was surprised at the emotions of nostalgia that passed through me as the plane circled to land at the Vienna airport, returning me to my birth country. Surprised because I had always thought of myself as a “fair dinkum Ozzie”; having lived in Australia since the age of 7.

I had a wonderful stay for a week with my father – one of the highlights was a guided tour by my father of the Kunst Museum. However I noted that the tour taxed my fathers failing health and I declined any further offers to tour me around Vienna. Instead I visited the impressive city on my own, did a little shopping and had a fine time.

On my return to Australia I told everyone that I had a lovely trip and described Vienna from a tourist’s point of view.

A couple of years later I met a charming Austrian couple [let's call them couple X] on the island of Gotzo – Malta. We were staying in the same hotel and we hit it off immediately. Gotzo was a fantastic trip as close friends of my mother’s were spoiling us with tours of Gotzo and Malta daily. They were locals and had an in-depth knowledge of the history and current affairs of this fascinating part of the world. I introduced couple X to my mother’s friends and they invited them to tour with us as well.

Before leaving Gotzo couple X insisted that if I come to Vienna again that they would love me to stay with them. As it happened my next stop was Vienna and I took them up on the offer, after spending some time with my father.

Couple X showed me Vienna from a local’s perspective and what a memorable joy that was. Although my first trip to Vienna was a good trip the second visit accompanied by knowledgeable locals was fantastic. They took me to their favourite music venues, restaurants, shops, churches, forests and filled me in on every little detail that I had totally missed on my first trip.

A year later I picked up couple X in Sydney, Australia and drove them to the Gold Coast – the Southern Coast Queensland, showing them all my favourite haunts along the way. For the following two weeks they stayed with us and I toured them around the Gold Coast. We went to the beach daily in the mornings, had lunch at our favourite cafes and then usually headed home for an afternoon sleep. In the evenings we dinned in our favourite restaurants, followed by a variety of the great entertainment offered on the Gold Coast. We also spent a couple of days visiting the Gold Coast Hinterland, where I introduced them to Queensland’s incredibly diverse fauna and flora.

They enjoyed the trip so much that they came again a year later and are planning to come again this year.

This couple travel a lot and they have stated to me that their most memorable and enjoyable travel adventures have always been the ones where a local can tour them around.

Understandably we don’t get the opportunity to have a local tour us around wherever we want to travel. However the internet affords us the opportunity to find local stories about the places we want to visit.

So the next time you are planing a trip, consider looking further than the usual travel brochure. Do searches for websites that describe the place you intend to visit from a local’s perspective. Reading local stories will give you a flavour of the people and places that you are interested in traveling to.Wondering where to have your holiday? Well, we have something to offer you. Check out this most trusted site and learn how you can get a day tour in Nairobi or to a Giraffe Center today!