Sydney – the name is just enough to describe its serene beauty. Living in the state capital of New South Wales for the past one and half year, I should admit I fall in love with this beautiful city over again and again.
Situated on the east coast of Australia, Sydney is famous for numerous magnificent beaches.
The famous Sydney harbour bridge and Opera house serves as iconic image of not only Sydney, but just when you think of Australia which attracts millions of tourists every year and you cannot pass by without clicking snaps of these manmade architectural master pieces.
Here are few places in the heart of the city of Sydney where one can view famous tourist spots, hang out to do a wide range of shopping from clothes to souvenirs, eat, drink and relax.
1. Sydney Harbour Bridge
The bridge is constructed of steel and was opened to the public after spanning 9 years of construction. Due to the arch shape of the bridge it is nicknamed as “The Coathanger “.
With a total length of 1,149 m and height of 134 m above the sea level, the harbour bridge is the sixth longest arch bridge and the tallest steel arch bridge in the world.
The bridge handles a variety of traffic, which consists of trains, pedestrians, vehicles and bicycles connecting the Central Business District (CBD) to the Northern side of Sydney.
One can explore the bridge in many ways. Just walk across the bridge on the eastern side to have a view of the Opera house or just grab a bicycle and take the route on the western side.
Bridge climb with a group of climbers and climb leader who will entertain you about the history of the bridge and the safety measures. Depending on the type of climb chosen the duration varies from 1.5 to 3.5 hours. Bear in my mind to be fit for this climb.
Have a stunning view of the bridge by travelling in a ferry or a helicopter ride for a bird’s eye view. Also you can take a train towards the Northern line which runs along the one end of the bridge.
The firework in the harbour bridge on New Year Eve is a jaw-dropping event, which is famous worldwide. Though the fireworks are set across various places in Sydney, the one over the harbour bridge is a striking feature and attracts massive crowd gathering at different places around the harbour bridge to view the stunning fireworks.
The fireworks are set at two different timings, the family fireworks at 9 pm and the main one at midnight. There are various shows performed to entertain the crowd. If you plan to visit Sydney for New Year, then fireworks is worth a watch.
You can either watch it for free by occupying the different viewpoints as early as possible or you can book a cruise if you do not like a jam packed place though the cruise would be expensive.
2. Sydney Opera House
Listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Opera House is a multi venue art centre hosting over 1000 performances annually attracting more than a million people. There is a guided tour to take around the Opera House.
The design of the building resembles to a series of concrete ‘shells’ arranged in a layer. A Danish architect named Jorn Utzon designed the building and it was built in three different stages.
The Opera House houses a number of performance venues such as concert hall, drama theatre, studio, playhouse, Utzon room, Joan Sutherland theatre, a recording studio and an outdoor forecourt. The facilities include cafes, bars, restaurants and retail outlets.
3. Darling Harbour
Darling harbour is a place to relax. There are countless outlets to shop and eat a wide range of food. It consists of many wharf points where one can catch a ferry to various place.
There are many attractions to see in Darling harbour which includes Paddy’s market, Sydney convention and exhibition centre, Sydney wildlife, Aquarium, Wax museum, Australian maritime museum and many more to go.
Every Friday night there is a firework in the darling harbour lasting about 10 to 12 minutes, which is famous, and people come over to watch the fireworks over the dinner.
4. The Royal Botanical Garden
Located within a few footsteps from the Opera House, the botanical garden spreads over a large area housing wide range of plants. It is an ideal place for school excursions, family picnic to play around your game or rest and relax. It is also a great place to watch the New Year eve fireworks.
Various events such as celebrating one’s birthday party or wedding ceremony can be planned in this garden, which would be more colorful and entertaining than indoors.
The garden celebrated its 200th birthday and can see grass and small flowering plants on the engrave of the sign of 200 placed few yards from the entrance.
If you do not like walking over the large garden you can travel around the garden in the “choo choo” express train which takes around 25 minutes to cover the entire garden. It costs about $10/ adult and $5/children. It is a good experience to travel in the small train.
There are guided tours and aboriginal heritage tours. There are few outlets to eat, drink and shop as well inside the garden.
5. Paddy’s market
Sydney’s Paddy’s market has two large markets located in Flemington and Haymarket. The Sydney markets serves as central point to sell fresh produce by the farmers.
The Flemington is a larger market specializing mostly on fruits and vegetables at a cheaper price compared to the outlets and other stores. It also has wholesale sections catering to the public.
This market is open every Saturday and on Sundays other items such as clothing, kitchenware and other stuffs are available.
The Haymarket beside the Chinatown specializes sale of imported goods such as clothes, gift items and a large collection of Australian souvenirs at much cheaper price. There are also few sections to buy fruits, vegetables, spices, dry fruits and nuts.