Martin Browne, of his eponymous galleries in Paddington (13 MacDonald St., 61-2/9360-2051; and 72A Windsor St., 61-2/9361-0111), presents works by Pacific Rim and international artists.
Gitte Weise (94 Oxford St., level 2, Darlinghurst; 61-2/9360-2659) has an alternative eye, and hunts down the offbeat in mixed media.
Glimpse something refined at Rex Irwin Art Dealer (38 Queen St., Woollahra; 61-2/9363-3212): Gwyn Hanssen Pigott's exquisite vessels, Cressida Campbell's woodblock prints.
For jazz and blues in an intimate space, swing by the Basement (29 Reiby Place, Circular Quay; 61-2/9251-2797).
Local and international bands and deejays play pulsating beats at the cavernous Metro (624 George St.; 61-2/9264-2666).
a little ambience
Plumb your way into the cocktail haven of the three-level Burdekin Hotel (2 Oxford St., Darlinghurst; 61-2/9331-3066). Croony lounge CD's spin in the below-ground Dug Out Bar; lesbians gather at the top-floor Lava Bar; pool players congregate at the Cherry Bar, located in between.
Lithe waitresses samba through a sea of suits in the bar at the Hotel CBD (75 York St.; 61-2/9299-8292). Climb the stairs for snacks at Restaurant CBD (open until around 10 p.m.); up another flight for pool tables.
The fashion world finds its late-night way to the Grand Pacific Blue Room (Oxford and South Dowling Sts., Paddington; 61-2/9331-7108) after the restaurant folds at 11 p.m. and a band or deejay takes control.
Under local laws, these places can't serve you drinks unless you intend to eat—so if anyone asks, say yes. You can always "unexpectedly" change your mind.
There's lots of body piercing on view in the circular booths of Café Iguana (15 Kellett St., Kings Cross; 61-2/9357-2609).
Media and advertising executives trade gossip at the bar of the Bayswater Brasserie (32 Bayswater Rd., Kings Cross; 61-2/9357-2177).
Try a glass of Vin Santo at Bel Mondo's Anti Bar (Argyle Department Store, 1824 Argyle St., The Rocks, top floor; 61-2/9241-3700). Use the night entrance on Gloucester Walk, just off Argyle Street.
drink in the view
Horizons Bar at the top of the ANA Hotel (176 Cumberland St., The Rocks; 61-2/9250-6000) is a great spot to watch the sun set. —T.B.
Time Out Guide Sydney (Penguin)—A compact, comprehensive volume with savvy descriptions of accommodations, restaurants, and shops.
Day Trips Around Sydney by Bruce Elder (Seven Hills)—Beaches, parks, and small towns. —Martin Rapp
on the web
Sydney Interactive Visitors Guide —Save the airfare. It's all here: museums, shops, restaurants.
Sydney Party Rave and Club Information (www.cia.com.au/spraci/ index.html)—If you're looking to party all night, this funky site tracks the hottest gigs in town.
Sydney Morning Herald—check out the current listings for local cultural events
Get the listings for current museum exhibits in Sydney.
Fodor's online can get you the essential information that you need about Sydney and help you plan your trip.
The Lonely Planet guide to the city makes a good starting point for researching a visit down under.
The most famous Site in Sydney-- the opera house is online!
Olympics 2000 site can keep Olympic fans up-to-date on the plans for the next games.
A list of the 'best' of Sydney, all suggested by locals, including the best pizza, the best nightclubs, best bookshops, best walks, best beaches. A must.
—Nicole Whitsett with additional reporting by Natalie Filatoff and the T & L website editors
So what are you going to read in that sleek stainless steel café?An obvious choice is the Sydney Morning Herald, for its great home coverage on Thursdays and music and gallery listings in the Friday metro section. Try the local magazines Australian Vogue, Elle, and Marie Claire for style advice (or Oyster, if your taste is more alternative); Vogue Entertaining and Gourmet Traveller for culinary intelligence; Belle for design tips. To plug into the trashier end of Aussie pop culture, pick up a copy of Who, the South Pacific's answer to People. The Bulletin is a good bet for an overview of what's up down under. Or rent a convertible and cruise with the dial turned to Triple J Radio's mix of pop and indie tracks (105.7 FM).