With its enviable setting on Sydney Harbour, the New South Wales capital is the first port of call for many visitors to Australia. It was settled back in 1788 on the lands of the Gadigal people and has grown to become a sophisticated city and among the world’s most beautiful. With an abundance of attractions, world-class restaurants and iconic landmarks to discover, it’s easy to see why it lures so many residents and tourists alike.
In this article, we’ll explain why Sydney is one of Australia’s most tourist-friendly cities and what makes it an easy (and safe) place to explore. It boasts no shortage of accommodation where you can relax at the end of a busy day sightseeing, with choices to suit all budgets found online at rentola.com.au. In addition to apartments overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge and family-friendly homes in the Northern Beaches area, you’ll find charming terraced homes in the inner-city suburbs. With a comfortable base, you’re all set to discover what makes Sydney such a welcoming destination.
Is Sydney Tourist Friendly – Attractions
One of the main reasons why Sydney is such a wonderful place to visit is its diversity of experiences. There is so much to discover that you’re likely to just scratch the surface during any one stay. Be sure to gaze up in awe at the Opera House and cruise beneath the Harbour Bridge or peer down from the “Coathanger” during a bridge climb.
Wrapped around the glistening waters of Sydney Harbour is the Royal Botanic Garden, which is planted with species that are native to Australia and beyond. It’s a short walk from the Art Gallery of New South Wales where you’ll find an inspiring range of works by Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creatives.
You can delve into Sydney’s storied past with a stroll around the cobblestoned streets of The Rocks or enjoy 360-degree views from the Sydney Tower Eye, then discover the lively markets and authentic restaurants of bustling Chinatown. Families shouldn’t miss a visit to the beloved Taronga Zoo or a day on the sands of the famous Bondi Beach.
As one of the safest countries in the world, Australia experiences little crime or violence that will impact tourists. But as with visiting any major city around the globe, tourists should be aware of what is going on around them and keep their valuables secure at all times. Police have a visible presence in the city centre and during public events that attract a crowd and the chances of being pickpocketed are slim.
When using public transport, particularly at night, you should always wait in well-lit areas of bus and train stations. Taxis are always metered, so you don’t have to negotiate fares or run the risk of being ripped off. While some parts of Sydney have experienced gang violence, these areas are outside of the city centre and away from tourist sites, so they are unlikely to impact visitors.
Sydney has an extensive and efficient public transport system that comprises trains, buses, light rail, metro rail and ferry services. All of these are covered by the Opal card, which you need to tap on and off when entering and exiting all public transport services. Opal cards can be purchased and loaded with money at newsagents, supermarkets and at Sydney Airport. Most train stations, ferry terminals and light rail stops around the city also have machines that you can use to top-up your card. Rather than purchasing an Opal card, you can also use your credit card or debit card to tap on and off and the money will be automatically debited.
If you’re travelling with kids aged 3 and under, they travel for free on public transport throughout New South Wales. Once they turn 4, they are eligible for a Youth Opal card, which entitles them to concession fares until the age of 16. After turning 16, they may still be eligible for concession fares, provided they are a student and can provide proof.
The Opal card not only covers Sydney’s metropolitan area but also services into the Blue Mountains, the Hunter Valley and the Southern Highlands. You can use it to travel by train to the beach towns along the Central Coast or explore the beautiful Illawarra region.
Alternatively, you can opt to rent a car, with driving in Sydney’s suburbs and surrounding countryside considered safe and easy. It’s best to avoid driving in the city centre where public transport is a much more efficient means of getting around. If possible, plan your driving itinerary so that you aren’t on the road during peak hours as commuters are getting to and leaving work.
One of the most scenic ways to discover Sydney’s sights is from the Big Bus, an open-top, double-decker bus that includes commentary, so you can learn a bit about the places you’re seeing along the way. In addition to the City Tour, which takes in Sydney’s most famous landmarks, the Big Bus operates a route to iconic Bondi Beach.
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