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17 Things Tourists Should Actually Know Before Visiting Sydney

Avoid the Bondi crowds and get yourself on a ferry to the North Shore.

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We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community what advice they would give to tourists visiting Sydney. Here’s what they said:

1. Rent an Airbnb in an inner city suburb rather than stay at a hotel.

Instagram: @cntraveler

Stay in Surry Hills, definitely. I had an Airbnb apartment there and it was gorgeous. There are so many cafes and quaint little bookstores closeby. Plus, it’s accessible to everywhere else.


2. Explore the Inner West for great food, quirky shops and markets.

Instagram: @newtownsydney

Newtown was one of my favourite suburbs. Definitely hit up the Blacksheep on King Street for a low key vibe, and free unlimited childhood video games like Pacman and Mario. Go to Mary's for the best burger of your life. Brewtown Newtown has delicious cronuts and chai tea. Glebe has one of the best markets on Saturdays. Also check out the University of Sydney. It's gorgeous.


3. Avoid the obvious bars with a view and seek out local spots.

marcharries / Via

Instead of grabbing an overpriced drink right near or at the Opera House, head to a bar like The Glenmore for a perfect patio view of the Opera House with a colder, and much cheaper drink in hand.



4. Seek out some of the quieter beaches on the North Shore.

neridahlouise / Via

There is a beautiful walk from Manly Beach to Cabbage Tree Bay, where you can go snorkelling, and there is a surf school right on the beach if you want to give that a try. There’s an awesome cafe called the Boat House at Shelly Beach with really nice food that is very popular with the locals.


6. Explore hidden beaches and tracks. There are so many breathtaking walks that wind around different areas of Sydney.

sydneytrailrunner / Via

Sirius Cove is a great hidden beach and park, and it leads on to a trail that can take you from Taronga Zoo to Chowder Bay.


7. Blu Bar at the Shangri-La hotel has amazing views and is open to the public.

sulkz / Via

Even if you're not staying there, go for a drink at the bar at the top of the Shangri-La Hotel. It's on the top, 36th floor and has an amazing view of Sydney.

Gyan Yankovich


8. Save $$ by skipping the Harbour Bridge climb and getting the same view from Pylon Lookout.

_sh7ii / Via

If you don’t have the cash to climb the bridge, get a view just as good from the Pylon Lookout for just $13. It's even cheaper if you’re a student!


10. Allocate a budget for transport, and pack comfy walking shoes.

ihaig72 / Via

The biggest struggle for a tourist in Sydney is the transport. It isn’t a city built for walking in the style of Washington or New York, and the public transport is hardly renowned. Make sure that you allocate plenty of cash to pay for taxi fares, or get your walking shoes on to walk the long distances sometimes required.


11. Travel to different areas by ferry. The experience is much more zen than battling traffic or navigating other forms of public transport.

kshanks90 / Via

The ferry to Manly from Circular Quay is the cheapest and best "harbour cruise". Take a snorkel on a clear day and explore the reef off Shelley beach when you arrive.

Cianne Scanlan - Facebook


12. Speaking of public transport, Opal Cards are free and easy to obtain.

Instagram: @iyavillania

You can get Opal cards for free at convenience stores. Don't bother asking Sydney Transit about getting one at the station.

Brad Esposito

13. Some of the best beaches in the Eastern Suburbs are the small, secluded ones.

_zoealexandria_ / Via

The most beautiful beaches are the small ones. My favourite is Milk Beach, which is a small, secluded beach next to Hermitage Bay and easily accessible. It has very white sand (thus dubbed Milk Beach) and beautiful blue water.

Cara Wallen - Facebook

14. Go shopping (or window shopping) at the historical Queen Victoria Building in the CBD.

Instagram: @innerwestisbest_

The QVB and Pitt Street Mall are a great way to spend a day if you want to browse in big chain stores like H&M, GAP, and Sephora, as well as look in the windows of all those high end designer brands. The QVB has the added advantage of being extremely pretty and making you feel like you're in the 1930s.

Jo Männistö - Facebook

15. There's fun to be had in lesser known areas, such as Western Sydney, too. A day trip further beyond to the Blue Mountains is worthwhile.

Instagram: @michalpirog

There's Wet 'n' Wild, the drive in cinema, aqua golf, and indoor skydiving. If you go a little further you'll hit the Blue Mountains, where you can see the Three Sisters and Jenolan Caves.

Johnny Bright - Facebook


Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.