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.
On one of the world's prettiest harbors, Sydney—Australia's largest city and the capital of New South Wales—is laid-back and cosmopolitan. It's best known for the striking Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, but also for its access to nature at Bondi Beach and more. Read on for our Sydney travel guide.
Things Not to Miss in Sydney
You can't visit Sydney without exploring the Sydney Opera House. Watch one of the world-class operas or book an hour-long guided tour to learn more about its architectural history. If you're willing to rise early, you can take a two-hour tour backstage tour. Other stops on your Sydney travel itinerary include:
• The Parramatta
• Royal Botanical Gardens
• Museum of Contemporary Art
• Coogee Beach
• Hyde Park
• Cockatoo Island
When to Visit Sydney
Summer lasts from December to February, and winter from June to August. The most rainfall is in the summer. Winter can become chilly, but is usually cool and very dry. Autumn, which lasts from March until May, is probably the time where the weather is at its most comfortable. The spring (September to November) is the best time to travel to Sydney because it offers the warmth of summer, but not as much rainfall, and the sun shines brightly for most of the day.
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.
- T+L 500 | Our Readers' Hotel Picks | Sydney
- T+L Select Guide | Restaurants in Sydney
- Travel visa info for travel to Australia
- New South Wales National Parks
- Australian Embassy
- Travel + Leisure, Australian Edition
- American Express Australia
- Find Sydney Hotels on Y! Travel
- For more to do in Sydney, visit NileGuide
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