Sydney perennially occupies the upper ranks of T+L readers’ favorite cities. And why not? Impressively cosmopolitan, almost embarrassingly handsome—but as breezy and casual as any sunsoaked harbor town—Australia’s largest city could win any visitor over on looks and climate alone. But you’ll also find a surfeit of cultural riches, from first-rate museums to colorful ethnic enclaves (and, of course, that famous opera house). Add innovative restaurants, verdant parks, and glittering beaches, and Sydney feels worlds away from the hardscrabble British penal colony of two centuries ago.
Cocktails at the Icebergs Club, overlooking the surf and sun-baked crowds of Bondi Beach.
A behind-the-scenes tour of the Sydney Opera House, which explores the landmark building’s famous architectural history.
A beer (or three, or four) in one of the city’s salty, lively old pubs—especially around the waterfront Rocks district.