Start your tour of Sydney in the splendid Sydney Harbor (officially Port Jackson). Unless you have a month to spare, don’t attempt to take in every attraction along the city's vast, 149-mile shoreline and outlying islands. Instead, stick to the south shore, which is home to many of the main attractions.

Sydney Neighborhoods

Central Business District (CBD)

Sydney’s multicultural, commercial hub is comprised of government buildings, office towers, hotels, fine dining, and nine shopping centers.

Circular Quay

The harbor’s Circular Quay is the depot for ferries that connect visitors with many of the city’s attractions, including Taronga Zoo and Luna Park. Also here: the infamous Opera House.

The Rocks

At the southern end of the Harbour Bridge is “The Rocks,” one of Australia’s oldest neighborhoods and home to upscale restaurants and bars. It’s also tops for harbor views.

King's Cross

Trendy cafes, bars, and hotels are starting to redefine what was once a sketchy red-light district. Strip clubs, adult bookstores, and cheesy nightclubs, however, still have a strong presence.


Known as “Darlo,” this eastern suburb 20 minutes outside central Sydney celebrates the gay and lesbian community with its annual GLBT Mardi Gras. Stanley Street’s is renowned for Italian grub.

Darling Harbour

This scenic, open-air street-mall is comprised of pricey, touristy restaurants, cafes, and pubs. Kids love the Sydney Aquarium, the Imax Theater, and the lush “Chinese Garden of Friendship.”


With top-notch waves for surfing, Manly rivals popular Bondi Beach. The Corso, Manly's commercial hub, is loaded with restaurants and late-night bars. Hop a quick, 30-minute ferry from "The Rocks" to get here.

Bondi Beach

Exceedingly popular Bondi Beach is a given for swooning and sunbathing. Campbell Parade, Bondi's main drag, bustles with eats, drinks, and partiers. Nearby beaches Clovelly, Coogee, and Tamarama, are slightly less pretentious.


Chinatown is a smorgasbord of Asian culture, oriental architecture, and yum-cha eateries where patrons enjoy dim sum brunches and green tea. Paddy's Markets is a must for bargain shoppers.

Surry Hills

Victorian architecture, arts, and antiques abound in this revamped former slum. Fashion outlets, cafes, and innumerable pubs cater to a rapidly growing arts community.

"The Shire"

Sydney's most well-to-do neighborhood celebrates great beaches and good shopping. Northie's, the best pub for a "Sunday session" (rough translation: a full day of drinking), is also here.

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