Sydney’s a pretty good place to be laid over. If your ticket allows you to leave the airport, (check your ticket) you can have a good time in one of the world’s most exciting cities. Sydney’s a big place, and there’s a lot to see and do. Hostels in Sydney are excellent, and there are plenty of choices of where to stay.
Before you do anything, make sure you leave your luggage safely stowed away. Sydney International Airport has a service called Smarte Carte, which has a pretty straightforward scale of fees for types of luggage and terms of storage.
Things to do and see
The good thing about Sydney’s best known landmarks and attractions is they’re actually pretty close together in the business district.
1. Sydney Harbor- Circular Quay, Sydney Harbor Bridge, and the Opera House
Circular Quay is at the harbor end of George Street, a useful navigational street in the city. The Opera House and the Harbor Bridge are right there.
So are The Rocks, a great, good quality tourist shopping spot (even the locals don’t mind shopping there) The Museum of Contemporary Art, the opal dealers, and as much good food as you can eat wherever you look.
2. Sydney City and surrounds- Chinatown and Darling Harbor
Sydney city’s a business type of place, but the fun’s always pretty close at hand. At the other end of George Street is Chinatown, an Australian legend, where you can find the latest from Asia as well as the original Chinese culture. The shopping at this end of town is completely different. World Square, a former city block turned into a building, is a case in point. Old pubs, Tibetan eateries, Chinese herbal businesses, and the celebrated Paddy’s Markets, where you can buy anything.
3. Oxford Street and Paddington
At the lower end of the city next to Hyde Park South is Oxford Street of Gay Mardi Gras fame. If you follow Oxford Street through to Paddington, a few blocks away, you’ll find another different culture. This is the original inner city zone, and it has a fantastic hybrid of old Sydney, new Sydney, and the upmarket shopping boutiques and markets.
4. Bondi Beach
Despite its fame, Bondi Beach actually is a great beach. Just outside the city by public transport, Bondi Beach and Bondi Junction are good places for a great swim and exploration trip. It’s also a good way to check out the city and learn to find your way around all the best places in the eastern suburbs, which are literally only a few minutes away from the city.
At the end of Sydney Harbor near the Heads is Manly, which the proud locals claim to be the greatest place in Sydney, and it’s only a short ferry ride across the harbor from the city. Manly has great beaches, and if you take a tour, some of the best visual evidence of what an incredible part of the world Sydney really is.
The problem with getting laid over in Sydney is you’ll find you want to keep doing it. Don’t find this urge, because you can’t win.