Year after year, Sydney, Australia finds itself at the very top of many “best of” travel lists. Best nightlife, best sightseeing, best hotels, best beaches, you name it, and Sydney has it! Known for its incredible weather, cosmopolitan flair, and friendly locals, students who study abroad in Sydney will instantly feel welcome. With this city’s variety of activities and icons, the stunning city of Sydney will definitely please students of all backgrounds too.
Whether you’re a daredevil, a foodie, a culture queen, or all three, you don’t want to miss out on touring and exploring the top 10 things to do in Sydney for students studying in the heart of Australia:
1. Tour Sydney Opera House
As iconic as Big Ben or the Eiffel Tower, the Opera House is one of the top Sydney points of interest! You can opt for a tour to get an inside look into the building, which will give you a whole new appreciation and perspective on just how much work it took to create this architectural masterpiece.
2. Sunbathe at Manly Beach
The most visually stunning beach near Sydney and quite possibly in the world. You can access this beach by ferry from Circular Quay (the district right on the water which includes the Opera House). There is something here for everyone, whether you’re looking to hang 10, snorkel, or just looking to relax and sunbathe on the beach.
3. Climb Sydney Harbor Bridge
Definitely a pricey adventure, but on a good day, is worth it for the views. Plus, your Instagram game will never be stronger. With a group of other travelers and a professional guide, you’ll learn a ton about the city’s history as well as the story behind the building of this iconic bridge.
4. Explore the Rocks District
This area has an historic, older vibe compared to the modern feel of the rest of the city. Hidden alleyways lead to fantastic markets and colonial buildings and is a must-see while checking out the Opera House. You can even gaze at the shining stars at the Sydney Observatory and ogle at artefacts at the Rocks Discovery Museum.
5. Stroll the Bondi to Coogee Walk
Bring your camera because this cliff-top coastal walk offers incredible #instaperfect views of the local beaches, cliffs, and parks, and it has plenty of opportunities for swimming and surfing. Don’t rush it, you’ll need a couple hours to soak everything in.
6. Enjoy the Blue Mountains
Definitely worthwhile. Accessible by car or train, make sure to visit the local town of Katoomba and take the world’s steepest railcar. Also, check out The Three Sisters Lookout; this three-peaked section gives you a perfect scenic view of the mountains and plenty of photo opps.
7. Ooh and Aaah at the Taronga Zoo
Again grabbing a spot on another “best of” list, this world-famous zoo is known as one of the best. From squirrel monkeys to bilbies to wombats, you’ll find animals you don’t see in most countries’ zoos. It has something to offer for everyone, and as a bonus, has incredible views of the downtown Sydney.
8. Cheer Loudly at an Australian Rugby Match
Go see The Wallabies play! Australians are very proud of their rugby and take it very seriously. See for yourself what the hype’s about. Just don’t get pissed whether or not they win. Even if you’re not a sports lover, it is a serious must-have experience with the locals on our top 10 things to do in Sydney list.
9. Dive into Nighttime Shenanigans
Let your hair down, ooh and ahh over the views, and kick back with new mates in one of Sydney’s many bars and neighborhoods. Here are the top seven worth mentioning:
- Shangri-La Hotel – Great top-floor bar with amazing views in the heart of Sydney!
- Surry Hills neighborhood – Tons of great shopping, cute cafes, bars, etc.
- Newtown neighborhood – More of a “hipster” vibe with lots of trendy restaurants and bars.
- Bondi Icebergs – View is spectacular of Bondi Beach. There is nothing between you and the water except frameless glass to give you an up close and personal view of the beach. Great food and drinks as well.
- Soda Factory – Good live music and fun atmosphere.
- Baxter Inn – More of an underground “dive” bar with a speakeasy feel. Candlelit atmosphere with walls of whiskey and good music.
- Shady Pines – If you’re from the States and feeling a little homesick, this is a more of an “American style” bar. Very popular and yet again another good place for music with a relaxed atmosphere.
10. Savor the Aussie Flavors
Two words sum up Australia’s classic dish: meat pies. You’ll find these around every corner in Sydney and in every variety. Even if you’re not a fan, it’s worth trying at least once. Fish and chips, vegemite, and kangaroo meat (it’s hard for some; think of them like deer— no, no DO NOT think about Bambi) are other quintessential Australian staples you’ll find in the city. Because Australia has been influenced by so many other cultures, you’ll be able to find a world of other foods in Sydney without any trouble.
As you can see, there is so much to see and experience in Sydney for students who choose Australia for their study abroad experience. This list of the top 10 things to do in Sydney will give you a good head start. You’ll love the city so much that you’ll end up wanting to study abroad in Oz for a full year, which we highly encourage!
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