Welcome to Sydney!
Sydney – the biggest city in Australia and the 12th most expensive city in the world! The capital of Australia’s ICT industry and the one that is so much loved by foreigners – more than 30% of the population of Sydney were born overseas! The city which shoots fireworks worth millions and the one that is chosen by celebrities as a place to live. Sydney is just spectacular! And there are too many places to see! But here we will show you the TOP 10 FREE MUST-SEE places in Sydney. Enjoy!
1. Sydney Harbor Bridge
134-metres-high Sydney Harbor Bridge is a very special bridge – it is the widest long-span bridge and tallest steel arch bridge in the world! It is also called “The Coat Hanger” due to its distinct shape. Moreover, it is located on the deepest natural harbor in the world! Yeah, the bridge is also available for pedestrians. Even if there is quite a huge fence on the sides of the bridge, you still will be able to see some nice scenery of the city. And let’s not forget about the construction of the bridge itself! In one part of the bridge, you will also find an entrance-free exhibition if you take some stairs up. There you will be able to get to know more about the time the bridge was built and also see some short movies about the construction works and fireworks on the bridge. And if you are there for something more, you can climb the bridge and enjoy panoramic views across the whole harbor. The price for that varies during the days, but it will be more than 100 AUD.
2. Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House is just there by the bridge. And it can also be called the city’s most well-known landmark along with the bridge. There is a huge story behind it. The cost of building the Sydney Opera House actually ended up at 102 million AUD instead of the planned 7 million. And it took 10 years longer to build it as expected. But now Sydney Opera House the third busiest opera company in the world! It is also said that if the shells on the Sydney Opera House were combined, they would form a perfect sphere. And can you imagine that the architect of the opera house has never seen his artwork in real life as he got in some fight with the government here? Yeah, this is definitely a place worth visiting. You can see it from outside and hang around totally for free, but a tour there will cost you 40 AUD. Besides the tour you can take the ticket to a show, the prices differ.
3. Royal Botanic Gardens
These gardens are located just by the Sydney Opera House. Those are heritage-listed major 30-hectare botanic gardens and public recreation areas. The Garden is divided into four major precincts – the Lower Gardens, the Middle Gardens, the Palace Gardens, and the Bennelong precinct. Within the four major precincts, there are many smaller gardens, you will find also a restaurant and visitor centre here. This is an amazing place to spend the day in! The plants here are incredible and green areas to relax provide all the necessary facilities as well!
4. Darling Harbor
This is a harbor and also a large recreational and pedestrian precinct. Here you will find many attractions to enjoy like, for example, a shopping center that includes Bowling Alley and Australia’s first retail Jet flight simulator. Darling Harbor also includes different markets, Australian National Maritime Museum and Powerhouse Museum, The Star Casino, Sydney Aquarium, Madame Tussauds, Sydney Wildlife World, Aboriginal Centre and so much more! Of course, the fee applies for the attractions, but just a walk on this scenic waterfront promenade is free and absolutely amazing!
5. The Rocks
The Rocks precinct is the historical part of Sydney – the place where the city began to build up. It was the place that Europeans first colonized in the 18th Century. Here you will be able to find some of Australia’s most acclaimed art, Sydney’s oldest buildings and pubs, and some great markets. See the most ancient buildings like Cadman’s Cottage, built in 1816 – one from the first 30 years of the colony that served as water transport headquarters. Also, Susannah Place Museum that reveals houses built by Irish immigrants in 1844. The Rocks has also a special market, held every Saturday and Sunday. The pubs in the Rocks are some of the oldest in Sydney. Some of them are The Australian Heritage Hotel (built in 1824) and Glenmore Hotel (built in 1921).
6. Free Museums
You can also discover the city in some of the many free museums around. Museum of Contemporary Art is containing more than 4 000 works by Australian artists, also works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. Art Gallery of New South Wales is the state’s main art gallery with an excellent collection of indigenous, colonial, European, and Asian art. The Rocks Discovery Museum will give you great information about the convict era. Nicholson Museum has the largest collection of antiques in Australia and the Australian National Maritime Museum will show you Australia’s links with the sea. And then comes The Mint, which houses an amazing collection of coins and tells the history through exhibitions, and also Australian History Museum is worthy to visit.
Let’s start with Hyde Park, which is the oldest public parkland in Australia. Here you can relax in the green areas, see fountains and churches around. And then there are Centennial Parklands which is a group of three urban parklands in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. These consist of the Centennial Park, Moore Park, and Queen’s Park that are listed on the New South Wales Heritage Register. Also, the Chinese Garden of Friendship that was built to symbolize Sydney’s friendship with its sister city Guangzhou in Guangdong, to mark Australia’s bicentennial in 1988.
One of the best shopping or just exploring experiences would be the Queen Victoria Building which is named to commemorate the Queen of England’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. Yeah, it’s Sydney’s premier shopping destination located in the heart of the city. The impressive one is also Sydney Fish Market – one of the biggest fish markets in the whole world! For this one usually, the tours are organized, but you can be the lucky one and try to get in for free. And then comes the bustling Paddy’s Market that dates back more than 150 years ago. Here you will find souvenirs, clothing, electronics and so much more! And these are only a few. Special markets are usually opening during the weekends. And try some night markets – for current ones information office will be able to help!
Yeah, this city is famous for its beaches! They all are so beautiful and every one of them is equipped with all the necessary facilities like toilets and showers, picnic areas, electric barbecues and more. But which beach to choose? There are some great and special ones like e.g. Bondi Beach, which was the setting for the Guinness World Record for the largest swimsuit photoshoot with more than a thousand women wearing bikinis. Then there is Manly Beach which got the name from the English founder of the city who was impressed by the indigenous inhabitants’ “manly behavior.” Palm Beach is home to some Australian TV shows, while Bronte Beach is a bit more local, out of the tourist crowds. Bilgola Beach is hidden at the bottom of a hill therefore very picturesque, and Shelly Beach is famous for many colourful fish on the coast. There`s a huge choice and each of the beaches will be adorable!
10. The Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains actually are not within Sydney, but if you have already reached the city, this place would be a must. Firstly, where the name came from? The Blue Mountains look blue because of the eucalyptus trees growing there. Can you imagine that 13% of the known species of eucalyptus around the world are found in the Blue Mountains? Yeah, that’s why the Greater Blue Mountains Area is being written on the UNESCO Heritage list. There are around 140 kilometers of walking tracks through the natural bushland, waterfalls, and impressive rock formations. This is a natural wonder of the world! Do not miss it!
Sydney – what a spectacular city it is! We are sure you will have a wish to stay here longer. We loved it! And we definitely can recommend you to visit Sydney!