Downtown Sydney

Sydney is a bustling metropolis that spreads across the colossal and intricate bay like a coral reef of eclectic architecture. The wider Sydney area covers immense landscapes but only the region around the Harbour Bridge, which overlooks the vast body of water, is known as a central business district – the downtown. If you ever get a chance to go on an exhilarating adventure into the very eye of this exhilarating urban storm, here’s what you can do while you are out and around downtown Sydney.

Downtown - Sydney
Downtown – Sydney

For the ultimate experience: bask in Darling Harbour

If this is your first time in Sydney and you do not have too much time on your hands, then you should definitely head straight to Darling Harbour. This location will offer a sort of “focused” experience of many sides of Sydney and its downtown.  As you bask under the tropical sun, you can casually stroll along its docks and check out numerous exclusive restaurants and cocktail bars that are aligned on your right.

SEA LIFE Sydney aquarium is there if you want to see endemic flora and fauna of the underwater world. Madame Tussauds is also right there and you can cross the Pyrmont Bridge to go on a shopping spree in Harbourside Shopping Centre before you visit Australian National Maritime Museum and treat yourself with lofty dinner afterward. Darling Harbour is truly an amazing place to be if you are a Sydney first-timer.

Darling Harbour - Sydney
Darling Harbour – Sydney

For a beachside escapade: head straight to Bondi

While Manly Beach is the “upscale” choice for visitors who want to spend a day at the beach, if you really don’t want to part ways with downtown, you should definitely head straight to Bondi. The vibrant Sydney suburb is a home to one of the most famous beaches in this corner of the world and, while the beach itself is amazing, it is much more enticing due to the numerous “features” you can find around it – from nice restaurants, surfing clubs, skate parks, parlors, pavilions to incredible (and admittedly expensive) hotels. It is the most sublime beachside experience you can get this close to Sydney downtown.

Bondi - Sydney
Bondi – Sydney

For a cosmopolitan adventure: mingle in Chippendale’s rooftop bar

Chippendale lies in the heart of Sydney’s downtown, yet, once you find yourself roaming around its streets, you will be forgiven for thinking otherwise. This exclusive area boasts relatively calm streets, lined with lush trees with big green treetops, and a mixture of old facades and ultra-modern buildings. As an up-and-coming gentrified area, it is known for its bustling art scene and countless roof bars.

These are also places where you can meet some truly incredibly interesting people if you are in the mood for socialization. The amazing Old Clare Hotel is one of the establishments that boasts an incredible rooftop bar and a fair number of gorgeous rooms – as such, it is an excellent example of the popular “boutique hotel” locales that have become all the rage in the city.

Chippendale (The Old Clare) - Sydney
Chippendale (The Old Clare) – Sydney

For adrenaline junkies: climb the Harbour Bridge

While we are on the topic of pricing in Sydney, a climb to the top of the Harbour Bridge is pretty costly, but it is truly worth the price. If you like blood-pumping adventuring and urban exploring, this particular climb will be right up your alley – with the protective gear, you will work your way to the top of one of the bridge’s arches and enjoy a breathtaking view of the city. If you get a chance to do the climb when there is a sunset over the bay, you will struck the bonus reward!

Harbour Bridge - Sydney
Harbour Bridge – Sydney

For casual history enthusiasts: stroll through Randwick

Randwick is a favorite Sydney suburb among racehorse lovers and history enthusiasts because it has managed to retain most of its significant buildings and attractive facades. The area looks like a suburban dream and you will spend your time strolling around its tranquil streets dazzled by the houses and buildings. Each of the preserved structures of the Victorian Gothic architecture has an interesting and immersive story to tell, so get ready to become completely enraptured with Sydney’s colonial history.

Harbour Bridge - Sydney
Harbour Bridge – Sydney

Downtown Sydney, along with Manhattan and central Hong Kong, probably offers one of the most overwhelming and distinct urban experiences. Still, the downtown of Sydney offers a unique and eclectic mix of intriguing locales, diverse architecture, and dizzyingly adventurous layouts. Once you plunge into the urban verve of this town for the first time, you are bound to fall in love with its countless faces – especially if you are a person who enjoys wild nights in the “city of blinding lights”.


About the author

Marie Nieves is a lifestyle blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. On her travels she likes to read poetry and prose and surf the Internet. Her favourite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag. She spends most of her free time at home walking her Labrador Retriever named Max. She is an avid lover of photography and a regular author at High Style Life. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.

Travel Guide

When to go: The best times to visit Sydney are September through November and from March to May.

Documents: Everyone travelling to Australia must present a valid and approved travel document as evidence of their identity and nationality. The most common and preferred travel document is a passport, but other types of travel documents could also be accepted.

The vast majority of travelers need to present the following documents to officers in immigration clearance:

  • a valid passport or other acceptable travel document
  • a valid visa or authority (including electronic visas)
  • a completed and signed Incoming Passenger card, including health and character declaration.

See here for more information:

Currency: The local currency is the australian dollar.

Time zone of Sydney: UTC/GMT +10 hours