I’ve been in Sydney for almost two weeks now, and I’ve definitely got some highlights and favorites that you should try when you come, too!
The Sydney Opera House, Royal Botanic Gardens, and Hyde Park
Sydney is filled with open spaces, parks, and botanical gardens. Bask in the sun, go for a run, or read a book, but just make sure that you spend some time in a few of these places! If you come to Sydney during the months of May or June, make sure you don’t miss the light show around the Sydney Opera House, called Vivid Sydney, which you’ll learn more about if you keep scrolling down!
Kangaroo, Emu, and Crocodile Pizza at the Australia Hotel
Well, I know it may sound strange, but kangaroos in Australia are comparable to deer in the United States. There is an overpopulation of kangaroos here, and it’s easy to find Kangaroo meat and hyde in many places here, for a very reasonable price. As part of my program’s itinerary, we had lunch at the Australia Hotel and ate kangaroo, emu, and crocodile pizza. None of them taste very strange, so when you come, I’d say give it a try!
The University of Sydney Campus
This campus is truly beautiful! As I mentioned above, Sydney boasts of many open spaces that are great for many different types of activities. When we visited the University of Sydney, we ran into a field of what we thought were very colorful flowers, but when we got closer, we noticed that these were plastic hands “planted” into the ground (first picture from left to right). I was offered a “hand” (no pun intended) by someone working at the university, and was told that this activity was done in remembrance of the aboriginals of Australia (who are the oldest existing aboriginal community in the world!). After that, we walked around the university and found this awesome graffiti tunnel (great for photo ops…ehm, third picture from left to right).
The Coffee Bar in Paddington
Ah…coffee…I can never get enough of you. Coffee here is amazing, and this was one of the first cafés I visited in Sydney. I’ve gone to many more now, but I do recommend you get your daily fix here. My favorite type of coffee for now is Mocha. Make sure you know your different coffee types before you come (espresso, macchiato, mocha, cappucino, latte, ristretto…and the list goes on).
The Markets around Sydney (Paddington, Haymarket, Paddy’s and Eveleigh)
If you come here and you don’t visit a market, you’re missing out! From farmers’ markets to vintage markets, you will always find something different in each. So far I have visited the three markets I mentioned above. In Paddington and Eveleigh, I was able to find delicious infused olive oils, great quality cheese and pastries, organic meats and vegetables, and fresh juice. If you want to save some money on groceries, make sure you visit Haymarket in Chinatown, where you can get 3 bags of a combination of vegetables for $5! Also, if you’re looking to buy some souvenirs, you should visit Paddy’s market (also in Chinatown), where you’ll find the exact same $30 souvenirs for half the price.
Bondi Beach and Manly Beach
Great views, great waves, and great company – what else could you ask for? These two beaches are fantastic, and I’m sure there are many more you could go to here. If you want to do some surfing, I would recommend visiting Manly Beach (if you’re more daring or just better at surfing than I am, then try Bondi). The waves in Manly are a little calmer, there are less people, and the tide is lower. For fantastic breathtaking views on a coastal walk, visit Bondi Beach. You won’t regret it!
The Museum of Sydney
…and pretty much every other museum in Australia! There is so much to learn in each and every one of them, and a great perk is that many of them are free as well! What I enjoyed the most about the Museum of Sydney was learning about how Australia came to be as well as the history of the aboriginals of this continent. Also try to check out some of the art galleries in here. Although the art is much more recent (you’ll see many paintings dated from the 20th century onwards), the creativity of Australians is amazing!
Sydney Harbour Cruise (and the Sydney Harbour Bridge)
I was lucky enough to travel to Sydney around the same time when the festival of lights, Vivid Sydney, was happening. This event focuses on creativity, in which different areas, buildings, and sculptures around the Sydney Harbour are lit up, creating a mesmerizing show of lights and music that is oh so pleasing to the senses. If you want to get the full view of everything, make sure you either have a walk around the area or take a Sydney Harbour Cruise to see the lights from a different perspective.
The Walkabout Wildlife Park
From left to right: kangaroo, koala, kangaroo, echidna. Shall I say more? These furry little animals are adorable! You’ll get to see these and more (such as emus, tasmanian devils, and dingoes), as well as learn a lot about these animals and their surroundings. You’ll also get to learn about how aboriginals lived and survived in the bush. Definitely worth it!
Stay tuned for another blog post on my adventures in Sydney and some tips for when you come, too! And don’t forget to…
Try something different every day…