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Australia Holidays - Sydney - City Skyline Sunset View

Sydney Travel Guides

Sydney Travel Guides

Sunny, seductive Sydney is a high contender for the title of the world's most ideal city. It is slick and smart, the streets are clean, the parks sublime, the water in the huge harbour bright blue, and the landmark buildings breath-taking. Sydney's population is approaching five million, but it is easy to leave the frenetic urban pace behind with just a simple ferry ride to the North Shore for a bush walk, or a stroll along the harbour beaches, or any one of a number of day trips to explore the 'real' Australia on the city's doorstep.

Just like its characteristic white-sailed Opera House, Sydney seems to cruise effortlessly through nights and days filled with myriad entertainment opportunities, sophisticated shopping, memorable museums, and strings of beautiful beaches. Visitors find it exhausting to take it all in, even though the tourist precinct where most of the interesting attractions are to be found is concentrated in quite a small area around the downtown waterfront and harbour.

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Sightseeing in Sydney

Sydney is one of the world's top holiday destinations, offering a variety of attractions for all ages. Families can explore the sights at Darling Harbour, including one of the biggest and most impressive aquariums in the world; observe some fascinating Australian fauna and flora at Wildlife Sydney Zoo, and watch a film on the huge screen at the Imax theatre.

Those interested in history will want to explore the cobbled streets of The Rocks, a restored 19th-century village that was the site of Australia's first European settlement in 1788. The Rocks also gives access to the Pylon Lookout on the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge for an amazing view of the harbour, Sydney Opera House and beyond. Adventurers will definitely want to experience the iconic bridge from a more thrilling perspective though and can take part in an organised climb to the top of Harbour Bridge for breath-taking views and a sense of bold achievement. For even greater heights, visitors can test their mettle by experiencing the view from the open air, glass-floored viewing platform at the top of the 853ft (260m) Sydney Tower.

Shopping in Sydney

Shopaholics will not be disappointed with Sydney, a cosmopolitan city that offers international as well as local name brands, world-class shopping centres, streets that reveal a host of fascinating speciality shops, and discounted market stalls that offer anything from clothes to arts and crafts and edibles.

Most of the large department stores are within the city centre and within a few blocks of each other. For exclusive shopping, the QVB, or Queen Victoria Building, is an architectural masterpiece housing a large variety of designer label and speciality shops, while in a similar vein the nearby Strand Arcade houses some of Australia's top designer labels, as well as boutiques, jewellery shops and beauty salons. Downtown Duty-Free in the basement is a great place to pick up some bargains. Other centres include the magnificent Grace Bros department store, boasting vast quantities of goods; Sydney's oldest department store, David Jones; the Harbourside development at Darling Harbour; MLC Centre; Picadilly; and Centrepoint. Explore the streets of The Rocks, which hide myriad speciality shops, while Skygarden centre is home to the biggest bookstore in town, Borders, which also stocks a wide selection of magazines, CDs and DVDs.

Sydney's biggest market is Paddy's, open from Thursday to Sunday, which offers discounted mainstream items, while the Glebe (Saturday) and Bondi (Sunday) markets are traditional alternative markets with a good selection of clothing, arts and crafts, and second-hand goods. The Rocks has weekend stalls trading mainly in good quality crafts, collectables, and art. For something totally different the daily Sydney Fish Market is a fishy spectacle as well as a great place to feast on fresh seafood.