Sydney is a charming city, full of contrasts and with a personality of its own. In addition, summer has just begun. There is only one problem. It is very remote! Here are the essential places that you should not miss in your first visit to this Australian city:
Like the Eiffel Tower in Paris or Big Ben in London, the unique Sydney Opera House is arguably the most prominent symbol of the city. The silhouette of its arches serves to illustrate all kinds of propaganda in business and commerce and there is no selfie that is should go untaken: it is the postcard of the postcards. Designed by the Danish architect Jørn Utzon, it was built in 1973 and declared a World Heritage Site in 2007. It is accessed by walking along the pedestrian promenade of the bay. Note: the picture will be better when taken from a greater distance. Perspective!
Sydney Bay is the hub of tourism in the city and the most crowded space for visitors; In it, you’ll find the Opera Building as well as the bridge of the Bay. Together, they form another iconic view of Sydney. In the bay, the big cruisers dock and the small ferri crosses to the opposite bank from their piers. The Bay Bridge, operative since 1932, connects the financial district with residential neighborhoods. Those who do not have vertigo can be encouraged to climb to the top: a company organizes tours that crown the 134 meters of height of the structure.
In the area behind the bay is the area of The Rocks, where the first settlers of the city settled. Its cobbled streets and much narrower than the great avenues of the financial zone tell us about a past built in search of the myth of the New World. To get a good feel of the whole history of the development of the city, it is best to sign up for one of the two-hour organized tours that allow you to understand in detail the birth of this great city.
Located in the center of the city, opposite the Town Hall, in the imposing Queen Victoria Building. Strolling among the boutiques and tea shops of its interior transports you to the nineteenth century. The decoration is very harmonious and the shops have been able to respect the environment, which is certainly appreciated. It is an ideal place to have a mid-morning brunch before continuing to explore other corners.
Also known as The Finger, this dock from the early 20th century served for more than seventy years as an central hub for the export of wool. Today, after an ambitious restructuring, it is one of the trendiest areas of Sydney. On the right side stands an avant-garde hotel, while the left side was converted into ultra-luxury apartments. The resort also has a marina where you can dock your private yacht. At the bottom there are several restaurants that congregate junior executives who can pay without much pain accounts that do not fall from 80 or 100 dollars per head.
More trendy areas
Like all great capital, the most famous tourist places are filled with visitors who prevent them from pressing the real rhythm of daily life. There are charming areas far from the crowds of the bay and the Opera, with lots of young life and very interesting places. In the Surry Hills neighborhood there are hundreds of restaurants that overlook Crown Street, the main street where thirty-somethings brunch on London-style terraces.
More residential is the Paddington neighborhood: traditional houses of two stories painted in bright colors that can reach up to five million dollars in the market. Elisabeth Street is the main avenue on which a network of parallel streets is articulated, where it is difficult to choose which house we would buy…. if we were rich. Although it has fewer stores than Surry Hills – most of them on William Street – there are also art galleries, vintage music venues, minimalist boutiques and barbershops where they trim hipster beards for just over $ 50.
Kensington Street has a more college-like atmosphere and somewhat more underground locales where it’s easy to get Asian food. If your pocket allows us a culinary whim, we can dine at K St S Social Street, by chef Robert Daniels. And to finish the course of the coolest, nothing better than to order a cocktail in the Blue Bar of the hotel Shangri La, on the 36th floor. A privileged place on the bay, ideal to watch the sunset. One of those places where it is worth what you are charged for a gin and tonic.
The truth is that the beaches around Sydney look like a set of shooting an advertisement of sportswear where everyone is young and looks great. Although there are several options for bathing, Bondi Beach is preferred by most tourists. From the city center it takes about an hour by bus, and just under half an hour by car.
The giant waterfront esplanade of Bondi Beach is filled with bathers, surfers and tourists, who are betrayed to go down to the beach too dressed for the Australian dress code. In Bondi there is also one of the most famous swimming pools in the world: Bondi Icebergs Club. A saltwater pool on the ocean that draws swimmers when there is strong waves and falls in love with everyone who sees it from the top of the road.
From Bondi you can take a nice walk along the coast, taking advantage of a well signposted path that links to other beaches in the area, such as Tamara Beach and Coogee Beach. A highly recommended option for sports, enjoy the sea and sweat a little before a swim among hundreds of surfers who ride waves with amazing serenity.
Getting to Australia takes a long flight (or two) from the US but it’s well worth the journey.