Wants visit Sydney in 3 or 4 days? Where to sleep and where to go out in Sydney? Looking for a way to get to Sydney from the international airport? Everything you need to know to discover Sydney easily with maps with complete peace of mind. This article is made for you!
Don't be put off by the distance between your home and Australia! The (long) journey is worth it. Australia is a very large country / continent and there are all kinds of activities depending on the places you visit.
Since it's not possible to cover everything in one article, let's focus on Sydney with a rundown of the best places to enjoy the city like a local.
Here is the outline of this article, which you will also find in the menu on the right (feel free to use it to directly access the desired part):
- Just a little history in Sydney (for your good)
- What to know before visiting Sydney
- What to see in Sydney ?
- Where to sleep according to your budget, in which district of Sydney? Read my more complete article "Where to sleep in Sydney"
- Where to eat and where to go out in Sydney?
- Sydney's Best Beaches
- How to get to the city center from Sydney International Airport?
1) Sydney and its history
Sydney is the capital of the New South Wales region, but it is not that of Australia, which is Canberra, located at an equal distance between the two "rivals": Sydney and Melbourne. Australia is 14 times France.
The "official" discovery of Australia dates back to 1770 by James Cook. The country later became a British colony and gained its independence in 1901.
But it was the Dutch navigator Abel Tasman who first discovered the coasts of Australia, which he called "New Holland" in 1644, then the Frenchman Louis-Antoine de Bougainville. It is these three great navigators who will provide the first complete cartography of the continent.
When it was discovered, the country was populated by Aborigines (more than 250 different languages have been discovered), who were sadly driven out and returned to earth. For several years, the Australian government has recognized the mistreatment of Aborigines and the richness of their culture. Many actions have arisen in order to make the incredible Aboriginal culture known to the country's population and tourists.
Sydney, although never the capital of the country, is Australia's most touristic city with stunning views, historical monuments, abundant flora and fauna and stunning beaches.
In recent years, the city has hosted the Summer Olympics (in 2000), the WYD (in 2008) and with the opening of the Working Holidays Visa (PVT), it has been able to give itself a new life by opening its doors to many young foreign workers who came to learn English, have fun and breathe new life into beautiful Sydney.
2) Prepare your trip to Sydney
- Tourist visa for Australia
French citizens need a tourist visa to travel to Australia. It is valid for 3 months from your entry into the territory and obtaining it is very quick and easy: you just have to go to the immigration site, create your account and follow the steps.
The site is in English, so don't hesitate to ask for help to make sure everything is completed correctly so as not to slow down the process.
It is generally very quick (only a few days) but feel free to plan ahead to avoid any problems. Your passport must also be valid 6 months after your return date.
I also told you about the WHV for Australia, which allows you to stay in the territory for 1 year from the date it was obtained, travel in the territory, open a bank account there, and work. To obtain it, you must apply on the immigration website, be free of 450 Australian dollars, be over 18 but under 31 on the date of issuance of the visa.
- Safety in Sydney
Sydney is a very safe city for most areas. Of course, and as in all big cities, you have to take the usual precautions (be careful when you take out your mobile in public, don't leave your purse open, don't just walk in dark alleys ...) but in general, nothing to do! fear!
Also, Australians are used to tourists and can help you in any unfortunate situation.
- Health in Australia
You are never safe from a health problem or a minor accident. Healthcare costs in Australia can be extremely expensive! In addition, I advise you to take out medical insurance (from your mutual, travel agency or when booking your plane tickets) to avoid the risk of leaving all your savings there. However, you must be able to pay for healthcare costs before being reimbursed by the organizations you depend on once you return.
The good news is that the hospital infrastructure is impeccable and the doctors excellent. You can also find French- or French-speaking doctors and specialists by consulting the embassy's website.
- Vaccinations and other little concerns
No vaccine is required to enter Australian territory. However, it is recommended to update the vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus and polio (DTP) to include rubella, mumps and measles in children.
Be careful if you are allergic to pollen, and don't forget your ventolin if you have asthma.
In summer (mid-October to mid-March), mosquitoes are plentiful - don't forget your mosquito repellent!
You will see Australians everywhere with hats, caps and other headgear. In most schools, the hat is mandatory in summer. In fact, it is in Australia where we find the highest number of skin cancers.
Therefore, only one watchword: protect yourself!
All pharmacies and supermarkets sell sunscreens with different SPFs, don't skimp!
- Climate in Sydney
The stations are reversed in Australia. There it is cool in winter (especially from June to August) and very hot in summer (especially from January to February). The best months to go to Sydney are between November and March inclusive (especially if you are looking for some sun and heat!). If you go on these dates, choose an accommodation with air conditioning to ensure a little rest and to fully enjoy the days.
3) What to visit in Sydney?
He went ! You grabbed your tickets, tossed your bathing suits in your suitcase and now you have to ask yourself THE question: What do we do during our stay in Sydney?
- Let's take a look at the highlights of Sydney together via this Google map: What to see in Sydney :
- Visit the Sydney Opera House - Opera
Dedicated to UNESCO World Heritage since 2007 for its unique architecture (whether you see a sailboat or a shell, feel free to tell me what it makes you think of!), It is the highlight of the city.
Getting tickets to a concert or show can sometimes be very difficult, but you can go to the official site to try your luck. I still recommend that you take a tour to visit the interior of the opera, as wonderful as the exterior. I can recommend 2 tours for 2 different budgets - the behind the scenes tour which lasts almost 3 hours is fabulous ...
On the other hand, it is not cheap as it costs AU $ 175 per person. However, if you have the budget, don't hesitate! The Opera tour costs AU $ 40 and is already very full - you will see the different performance halls and the history of the monument. Small weak point, the explanations of all the tours are only in English ...
And if your budget doesn't allow it, no problem! Enter the lobby to see the interior architecture, walk through the store (but don't buy, the prices are prohibitive and you will find cheaper elsewhere!) And especially enjoy the exterior architecture and the excellent view of the Puente del Puerto!
- Port Bridge
It's Sydney's iconic bridge (we've all seen Nemo…). It connects the city center (central business district) and the districts of North Sydney. If you don't have vertigo and can afford it, you can venture over the bridge with Bridge Climb. It is quite an interesting activity, especially for the eyes once at the top, but I still recommend, if your budget is tight, not to put it in your priorities.
Admire the bridge from different points of view over the bay, it is magnificent and imposing and the ballet of ships passing underneath makes this show incredible.
Tip: If you're in Sydney for the New Years, you'll definitely want to see the famous Harbor Bridge fireworks show (and I get you, it's a must do). The crowd will rush around the Opera House to see it and you will be caught in the middle of a crazy world, so play "locally" and go see the fireworks show from north of Sydney, across the bay.
- Visit Sysdney's "The Rocks" district
This is Sydney's oldest district, located right next to the Opera House and great for walking, with its colorful little houses and buildings that are often home to great shops and art galleries, as well as chic and / or trendy cafes and bistros . Go first on Saturdays and Sundays: with its familiar little market, it is the meeting point for trendy Sydney people and you will love the family atmosphere that reigns there.
- to enlarge this Google map: What to visit in Sydney:
- Sydney Botanic Gardens - Royal Botanic Gardens
It is an incredible oasis of greenery and magnificent flowers (especially in spring), the perfect place for a picnic or a quiet walk, away from the noise of the City, under the shade of a tree, with unique points of view. Magnificent!
- Town Hall Square et le CBD (central business district)
The CBD or the City, as it is called, is the nerve center of Sydney. There is a real difference between the week and the weekend since almost all the large group offices are located there.
It is, therefore, an incessant ballet of costumes and briefcases, an orchestra of heels that click on concrete, buildings that have nothing to envy those of New York, food courts (closed places, often in shopping centers, where you can find all kinds of fast food restaurants) do you want any here ?, avenues to cross horizontally, vertically and diagonally.
It is also in the CBD where you will find that Sydney is an extremely clean city! And it is very nice. Apart from the big brands for shopping, just take the time to wander, to admire the old buildings like the City Hall that blend into the buildings.
Raise your head, it's dizzying!
Take a walk around town
- Reina Victoria Building (QVB)
Amid the hustle and bustle of the city, the QVB is an old building with a magnificent glass roof and magnificent stained glass windows, which houses beautiful shops and upscale restaurants.
Ideal to get some fresh air and discover the beautiful Australian brands.
- Visit Sydney's Chinatown
You cannot miss the entrance to Chinatown, since the area is "delimited" by two large arches, written in Chinese.
Enter the small shops that sell herbs with various and infinite properties, stop in front of the restaurant windows and do not hesitate to enter for a lunch or dinner where you will have nothing to fear about hygiene because everything is very well controlled in Sydney.
- Favorito: Darling Harbour
Darling Harbor is a short walk out of town and is a really nice family neighborhood.
Half a day is enough to walk in Darling Bay, eat something or have a juice on the stairs, in front of the docks, soak up the local culture, watch the world go by, the children on a school trip in their uniforms. , the pretty boats moored ...
When you are there, especially remember to go to the Chinese Garden of Friendship: a haven of peace and tranquility in the middle of the city! Beautiful and fresh gardens, very well kept, around a small lake.
- Sydney's Best Viewpoints - Milsons Point
Sydney museums and tours
- Dream Tales Tours
To see Sydney from a completely different perspective, immerse yourself in the city's Aboriginal culture and history to understand its spiritual connection to land, nature, animals, sea, and sky. It is the true Australian cultural heritage.
I recommend reserving the DreamTime Southern site and especially their The Rocks Aboriginal Dreaming Tour - a must do!
- Museo Powerhouse (MAAS)
It is an interactive, modern and contemporary museum, with exhibits that keep you awake and captivate you. Children will also be conquered by the world of this museum, which is open every day of the year except December 25, from 10 am to 17 pm and free for those under 16 years old (AU $ 15 for adults).
- Luna Park
Luna Park is a historic amusement park located in Milsons Point, in the northern part of Sydney. First impact: the view of the bay in front of the park and another point of view on the opera and the bridge.
It is a park that looks more like a fun fair in its attractions and entertainment, but it is worth seeing because it was opened in 1935 and has preserved many period decorations (of course, the safety regulations of the attractions have been revised).
- Taronga Zoo
Taronga Zoo is a 15-minute ferry ride from Sydney city center (runs every 30 minutes). There is a lot of controversy around zoos and the mistreatment of animals, but Taronga Zoo makes it a point of honor that all the species it houses are treated perfectly and live in the best conditions, almost reproducing. their natural habitat identically.
It is above all the best place, in the midst of lush vegetation, to see the Australian species that you will hardly find in the streets of a big city like Sydney: kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, wombats ...
- Sea Life Sydney Aquarium
Although Sydney is a bit far from the Great Barrier Reef where we find the richest marine biodiversity in the world, in Sea Life we find the most incredible species. It is a festival of colors, between sharks, penguins and species of fish of all kinds.
I already told you about The Rocks market, every Saturday and Sunday, essential, but here are other markets below, atypical, local and interesting!
- Rice market
Right next to Chinatown, this historic market is a maze of stalls where you can find souvenirs to take with family and friends. The quality is not always there, but the prices are much more interesting than in the shops in the city center.
- Paddington Market
Every Saturday from 10am to 16pm, the Paddington Market welcomes customers looking for something local. It is a more exaggerated and bohemian market than the usual markets where you can find all kinds of things, plants, jewelry, clothes, decoration ... all in a very eclectic environment. Often in the summer, groups take the opportunity to run their neighborhood and share their music.
- Pyrmont Fish Market
It is the largest fish market in the southern hemisphere (just that). So if you are not sensitive to smells, go to this great market where you can taste and admire the effervescence and good humor of Australian merchants.
4) Where to sleep according to your budget in Sydney
Sydney is a very big city and when you come as a tourist, the important thing is not to stray too far from the interesting places to visit! I can recommend several neighborhoods: the CBD (hypercenter) which has the advantage of being close to everything, Darling Harbor and Surry Hills, which are just a few minutes walk from the city center. I mean, in the purple zone below, I couldn't be clearer!
Also look at the Airbnbs, they are numerous and sometimes very advantageous in Sydney. The important thing is to look on a map because you can quickly find yourself away from the heat of the moment.
However, I advise you to avoid the Kings Cross area, which is very pleasant to go out at night, but less to sleep there, especially because of the noise of the party people!
Regardless, most hotels are in the purple zone so that's cool, just look.
- Small to medium budgets
The youth hostel network is highly developed in Sydney and this is a real advantage. In addition to the somewhat ramshackle hostels full of (very) drunk youngsters in the morning, some brands know how to make a difference. Take a look at my favorites (in terms of location, quality of service, and cleanliness).
The YHA network, in Australia, are everywhere and only in Sydney there are 7. The best ones are those in Sydney Central, Sydney Railway Square and Sydney Harbor The Rocks. They all offer dorm nights but also single or double rooms, very neat and clean, their staff is extremely nice and will be happy to help you if you have any questions.
You also have the WakeUp Youth Hostel, there is only one in Sydney, but it is right in the city, on Pitt Street. On the other hand, you should not be afraid of being woken up in the morning since every day at 9 in the morning the famous “Wake Up” alarm sounds. As for quality, nothing to complain about!
- Medium with high budgets
There is no shortage of hotels in Sydney! Here you have a small list of nice, pleasant and well located hotels, from € 80 a night for two people.
In the Surry Hills district, you have the 57Hotel (note: Surry Hills is not in the city center when you look on a map, but not really far away. On the other hand, if you have trouble getting around, avoid this area because there are many ups and downs).
Another, although the decoration is not incredible, the Megaboom-city, the services are quite correct and the location is a great plus.
Finally, the 1831 Boutique Hotel, a careful decoration, a quality service, a perfect location ...
5) where to eat and where to go out in Sydney
Sydney is a culturally rich city, very eclectic, with a mix of many nationalities who have come to settle down and take advantage of the Australian job market, climate and good humor. Suddenly, restaurants around the world are very numerous (with an Asian role, due to the proximity).
Here are some favorite examples, but the list is far from exhaustive!
- Ester Restaurant
In the Chippendale district, very close to the city, at affordable prices, you will taste incredible dishes! Remember to book in advance, especially if there are many of you. A special favorite for the "Prawns, Fermented Shrimp Paste Butter" dish (lobsters with flavored butter). A little slaughter.
Paper Bird: Korean influence, it is a mixture of flavors that will delight your palate.
10 William Street: Italian cuisine, a very comprehensive wine list, extremely friendly and smiling service, and delicious dishes.
- For breakfast or brunch
Our Place on Darling - The poached eggs with hollandaise sauce are to die for, the setting is very pleasant, and you can take the opportunity to walk the streets of the Balmain East district to digest.
Hemingway's Manly - In the Manly district, easily accessible by ferry from Circular Quay (where the opera is located), have brunch at Hemingway's! Very neat decoration, fabulous dishes, delicious coffees. Special mention for its “banana bread and passion fruit butter” (banana cake with passion fruit butter, served hot).
- Have a drink in Sydney
Terraces and rooftops are all the rage here and elsewhere, and Sydney is blessed with great views. I recommend The Rook, in the heart of the city for cocktails, or the Glenmore Hotel in The Rocks district for a beer. For a Mexican vibe, go to Tio's Brewery and ask the waiters to prepare you a cocktail of their choice.
- Dance late into the night in Sydney
Hudson Room - a great club in town, for dancehall, R'n'B, and hip-hop sounds around an eclectic crowd
The World's Bar - this Kings Cross institution has lost none of its party spirit. Perfect spot for those under 28 ... beyond that you might feel a little older.
Soft drink factory - In Surry Hills, meet up at the soda factory for the latest hits, perfect for having a good time with friends. Avoid it if you don't like overly commercial music.
Home - Hard to find, in the Darling Harbor district, Home is a giant club that will keep you going until the wee hours of the morning with sounds of electro, techno and house with excellent DJs. See the program on the Internet for hours and days of opening.
Note: clubs close much earlier than in France in Sydney (around 3am). So don't wait too late at night to get there.
6) The best beaches in Sydney
Sydney, we also go there (especially?) For its world famous beaches. Before giving you a list of must-see beaches, you can take half a day for a magnificent walk along the Sydney coast, following the instructions " Bondi a Coogee a pie ".
It is a path that is signposted, so it is impossible to get lost and you will go through different beaches, each one more beautiful than the other. Finding it is very simple, it is the path that runs along the coast from Bondi Beach to Tamara Beach (see map below).
- Bondi Beach - The most famous
It can be taken by storm quickly, especially by tourists, so prefer to go early in the morning. There you can rent surfboards or paddles and above all enjoy the ballet of the lifeguards in their disconcerting attire.
A little further down, you can walk along the shoreline from Bondi Beach to Tamarama Beach, a very pleasant walk awaits you, the " Bondi a Coogee a pie ".
- Manly Beach - ¡aplasta!
For a perfect day in Manly, take a morning ferry from Circular Quay (about 15 minutes by ferry). Have breakfast or brunch at Hemingway's, which I told you about earlier. Stroll down the main street and enter the charming surf shops, it's time to digest.
Then go rest on the magnificent Manly Beach with its incredible view! Watch out for seagulls - they are not shy (not at all).
- Balmoral Beach - second favorite
Away from the hustle and bustle of Bondi, Balmoral is a very pleasant family beach, often sparsely populated, as it mostly hosts people who live in the area. There are few snacks, so don't hesitate to plan a picnic.
Take the opportunity to stroll through the streets adorned with purple thanks to the pretty flowers that fall from the trees that mark the beauty of this neighborhood.
- Watsons bay
We also reached the bay by ferry and enjoyed a magnificent view of Sydney. It is a former fishing village, now an integral part of the city, the perfect place to relax and enjoy the best that Sydney has to offer.
- Palm Beach (1 hour from central Sydney)
Nothing to do with the United States but nothing to envy! A great place to surf with a nice lighthouse. Do not hesitate to take a walk on the beach!
If you've been to Sydney, what was your favorite beach?
7) How to get to the city center of Sydney from the international airport?
Sydney International Airport is just 8 miles from the city. To get there, two options are possible, with different budgets.
- Getting to Sydney by train / tube
For this option, you will first need to buy an OpalCard (the rechargeable transport ticket for the city of Sydney with which you can take trains / subways, ferries, buses, etc.). You can buy it at one of the ticket offices in the train station, directly at the airport, or at a WHSmith or Relay store (both are also present at the airport).
On normal days and times, trains run approximately every 10 minutes to the city center. You must follow the signs when you are in the "Arrivals" of the airport. The city is only 13 minutes from the airport with this option, making it the fastest option, for around AU $ 17 (around € 11).
- Getting to Sydney by taxi
The journey takes about 20 minutes (if you are not in rush hour and the traffic is quite dense) and will cost you between 45 and 60 Australian dollars (between 29 and 38 € approximately). Convenient if several of you share the costs and also if you are charged to drop it off at your hotel. Follow the little taxi pictogram when you are at the airport, the stop is very easy to find.
Well there you go, I think you have all the keys in hand to visitor Sydney.
Do not hesitate to leave a comment at the bottom of the page to give me your impressions, share a good address, a hotel, a bar ... Sharing is good;)
- And you, what did you like the most to see in Sydney?
- Do you have an interesting address to share?
- Do not hesitate to share in the comments your tips and the must-see places that have contributed to making your stay in Sydney magical!
See you soon!
Other items not to be missed!
- Where to stay in Sydney and in which neighborhood
- Visit the west coast of Australia
- Visit bali
- Visite singapur
- Visits Bangkok
- Visit Rio
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