It’s nearly been a year since I moved for a semester abroad to this wonderful city, and with my nostalgia I want to share with you the top 10 reasons why you should take the opportunity to travel there. If you’ve already thought about going then this post is to give you the final push, if you haven’t then this post is to convince you, you should.
1. The Harbour
It may be cliché, but the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge really make the Harbour of Sydney a unique place. With the central business district behind it, you will find amazing views no matter which direction you look. It is great to get there and watch the sunset and then enjoy a glass of wine at the Opera bar where the prices are no higher than the rest of the city.
2. The beaches
Again cliché, but the beaches of Sydney really are an important part of the city. If you get tired of the big city life, hop on a bus or a ferry and you can relax on beautiful beaches. There is the most famous one of course, Bondi beach, where you can find many surfers. But if you walk down the coastline from Bondi, you will find many more beaches, such as Clovelly, Bronte and Coogee beach. The walk from Bondi to Coogee is about 6 km and a famous walk to do to get a good glimpse of Sydney’s coastline. There are many others around the city, but another one worth mentioning is Manly beach, it is one of the Northern Beaches of Sydney and the ferry ride to get there is said to be one of the nicest ride to do in the city.
3. The Blue Mountains
Barely an hour by train from Sydney you can find the beautiful Blue Mountains. It is only about 100 km away from Sydney, but it will feel like you’re a world away from the city. The name Blue Mountains comes from a distinctive blue haze that is caused by the oil of Eucalyptus trees mixing with water vapour. The scenery is breath taking and once you are done taking it in, you can get go for a stroll in one of the many small towns you will find in the area. Return to Sydney on one of the boats available for a full wonderful experience.
4.City of Villages
Sydney is sometimes referred to as the city of villages because it is made up of diverse urban communities. All the inner city suburbs make up the city as a whole, but they each have their own characteristics. You have the Central Business District and Harbour, full of skyscrapers and where you can experience the cosmopolitan life. If you go down south from there you will get the rest of the city centre, Chinatown and Darling Harbour. I have to mention the area of the Rocks, where the city of Sydney began and you can find a bit of history. For fashion there is the suburb of Paddington, where you will find Oxford Street, full of shops, bars and cafés. Paddington, and Surry Hills are suburbs full of old Victorian houses which give them quite the charm. Surry Hills is more alternative than Paddington and there you will find vintage shops and cosy cafés. Newtown and Glebe are also more alternative suburbs of Sydney. In short, no matter what you prefer in a city, Sydney offers it to you.
There is always something happening in Sydney, whether it is the Saint Paddy’s day parade or the Sydney’s Writers Festival, there is always something fun and cultural to do. Around May there is Vivid Sydney, the Festival of Light, Music and Ideas. The Opera, the Harbour Bridge and the Central Business District offer a light show and you will get to see these iconic places under a new light. The walk from the Harbour to Darling Harbour, which is adjacent to the city centre of Sydney, is also lit up and full of interactive games.
6. Live music
Soda Factory is just one of the many places where you can catch incredible live music for no entrance fee. Located in one of the coolest inner city suburbs of Sydney, Surry Hills, it is only of the cool bars you can find in the area.
7. Asian Food Courts
In Chinatown you will find a few food courts where meals are under 10 AUD and the food is amazing. Probably the closest you can get to some parts of Asia without actually going there.
8. Dolphins and whales
Just off the coast of Sydney, you can get on a boat and see groups of dolphins swimming. During the mating season for the humpback whales, they will be migrating just off the coast of Sydney as well. This happens between April and December each year, and since it is mating season, some of them will be jumping around to impress their mates. You can get on special boats to go spot them, but if you’re lucky you might just see them off the coast, or if you’re unlucky you might just be surfing at Bondi Beach and get hit by one.
If you go to Australia, it is likely that you want to see Koalas, Kangaroos and Emus. In the area of Sydney, you can do so by either going to the zoo right in the city, or by going to the closest wildlife park or, even better, by camping out in nature (though then you most probably won’t see a Koala) The closest wildlife park is Featherdale, located on the way to the blue mountains. Wildlife parks are created for breeding and conservation programs so we never have to lose the beautiful animals of Australia.
10. Nature in the city
Right in the city you can find Hyde Park and the Botanical Gardens. The Botanical Gardens are particularly impressive and spectacular. You will find wild cockatoos and many more funky birds. Walking through Hyde Park, you will find opossums at night and walking next to an ibis bird will become part of your daily life.
This list barely does justice to this city and I only have one last thing to say, book your tickets and go find out for yourselves.