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Visiting Sydney, the cosmopolitan epicenter of Australia, is on every visitor’s itinerary.  The young, old, rich and the poor, the culture vultures, shopaholics, party animals, and adventure seekers all flock to the city to experience the best of Sydney’s sights and attractions.

The city’s locals will agree, it takes months if not years to really get to know Sydney, to get into its nooks and crannies and feel its day-to-day rhythm. But whether you plan on staying in Sydney for a few months, weeks or just a few days, there are 3 attractions you simply cannot miss in Australia’s greatest city.

Yes, they might be touristy, but they are certainly worth the hype!

1. Sydney Opera House

Australia’s most famous icon is an incredible piece of architecture, hosting more than 1,500 performances and one million audience members each year. Sydney Opera House, designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, is a brilliant design selected as winner of an international design competition in 1957. The opera house is home to a number of performance venues, including Concert Hall, Drama Theatre, and Outdoor Forecourt. The building also houses a recording studio, cafés, restaurants, bars, and shops. It is possible to admire the building not just from the outside, but to also explore it from the inside with a number of guided tours available throughout the year. You can explore the opera house, take a sneak peek behind the scenes, and experience the best that Sydney has to offer.

2. Bondi Beach

Once a working class suburb, today Bondi Beach is synonymous with Australia’s laid back beach culture and lifestyle. This 1 km stretch of golden sand attracts locals and visitors throughout the year. The beach is naturally scenic, and the esplanade running along the beach is just as popular as the sand. There are countless cafés, restaurants, and boutiques on the streets around the beach, offering a perfect place for some sun, surf, and great people watching in the city.

Occasionally, Bondi Beach also plays host to a number of surf competitions, art and cultural festivals, like the free outdoor sculpture exhibition, Sculptures by the Sea. Every Sunday, Bondi draws thousands of locals and visitors to the beachfront grounds of Bondi Beach Public School for the weekly farmers market.

3. Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour is an area in Central Sydney dedicated to dining, entertainment and tourism. During the day, the area is popular with tourists visiting Sydney’s big attractions — Madame Tussaud, Sydney Aquarium, and Australian National Maritime Museum. At night, the harbour comes alive with dinner parties, people strolling along the waterfront, and club goers. It’s a place loved by both locals and tourists alike, and a must visit for anyone looking to get a taste of Sydney’s buzzing lifestyle.

Darling Harbour. Photo by The Whites Blog via Trover.com

The list of Sydney’s attractions and top things to do in the city can go on and on. The locals have their favourite spots and advice on experiencing Sydney, while those that frequent Sydney as a visitor will share their own favourite spots and travel tips. But no matter where your adventure in Australia’s largest city will take you, it should undoubtedly begin at one of the above destinations.

*This post was brought to you by Hipmunk, and is a part of the #HipmunkCityLove campaign.

Essential Travel Info

Getting into Sydney: Most visitors fly into Sydney’s Kingsford Smith International Airport, the main gateway into Australia, serviced by more than 35 airlines.

Getting around the city: The best way of getting around the city is to use public transport. Type in your destination and starting location into Google Maps to find the best and fastest route using busses, trains, or ferries.

For more info on traveling around Australia, check out the rest of the posts in the Australia Travel Diary

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Visiting Sydney, the cosmopolitan epicenter of Australia, is on every visitor’s itinerary. The young, old, rich and the poor, the culture vultures, shopaholics, party animals, and adventure seekers all flock to the city to experience the best of Sydney’s sights and attractions.