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A study in contrasts. The Opera House stages more than 1,500 performances a year, attracting nearly 1.25 million people. On the other hand, February's Mardi Gras pulled in 450,000 just to see the riotous closing parade.RESTAURANTS/FOOD

Sydney is a bona fide sophisticated food capital. Current faves: Otto, on the harbor and buzzing with Beautiful People; Longrain, for Thai food and high style; and Banc, classy and supremely well calibrated.PEOPLE

That likable accent, the laid-back charm, and a natural approach to service—it's no wonder our readers rate Sydneysiders tops in the world.SHOPPING

If you tire of designer outposts and the Queen Victoria Building arcade, stroll to Oxford Street on Saturday morning to take in the Paddington Markets, followed by antiquing in Woollahra.VALUE

One American dollar equals almost two Australian, so good deals are everywhere. Stock up on Aussie designers like Colette Dinnigan here, before the export tax is tacked on. Advertisement Close

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World's Best 2001: Top Cities: Sydney this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines.

Top Cities: Sydney