Sydney feels cosmopolitan and laid-back all at once. You're as likely to encounter business moguls and movie stars as bohemian artists and easygoing surfers. But what makes Sydney unique among cities of its size is that everyone always seems up for a good time. Sydney is fun. It's friendly. And it's never boring.
When to Go
Home to such glorious natural wonders, no time is like springtime in Sydney, which spans September to November. A relatively dry season means weather is less likely to interfere with your travels, and you can still enjoy the many beautiful beaches before the big crowds arrive for summer.
For three full weeks in January, the Sydney Festival brings the entire city to life in a whirlwind of artistic expression. World-renowned contemporary music acts along with dance, drama and other performing and visual artists entertain locals and visitors alike. Festival events are held in more than 30 venues across the city—many of them free of charge—and attract more than half a million people each year.
What to Eat
Seafood lovers should try barramundi, a definitively Australian fish often served pan-fried with an herbed butter sauce. Landlubbers with bold palettes may opt for kangaroo, which can be found in burgers, pizzas or simply as a grilled filet. But for a classic, every-day taste of Sydney, you can't go wrong with Vegemite on toast. Just don't overdo it.
Souvenir to Take Home
The national gemstone of Australia, you won't find a more stunning variety of opals anywhere in the world. Because of their extraordinary abundance you can find opal shops all over the city with prices you're not likely to see in most other parts of the world.
Sustainable Travel Tip
Sustainable travel isn't difficult in Sydney because the city itself has committed to an ambitious Sustainable Sydney master plan, and eco-friendly accommodations and activities are becoming not only commonplace but trendy. For green travel in Sydney, if you want it you can find it.
The spectacular Sydney Harbour doesn't have a bad side—you'll find photo-worthy angles from almost anywhere. But why limit yourself to a single location? Take the 30-minute ride on the Manly Ferry for 360-degree views of the ocean, the harbour and all the famous landmarks that dot its shores.