Impressions of Sydney


I was horrified on Monday to wake up to the news of the fanatical gunman holding hostages at a cafe in the Central Business of Sydney. I’d just flown back home after a 5 day stay in the city the previous Friday. A black stain on what I found to be a safe, relaxed and exciting city.

But I don’t want that horrific incident to cloud my memories of my stay, so I’ve decided that I should still record my impressions as a reminder of what was a great short break.

The weather was a little crazy while I was there with some dramatic storms and heavy rain. But I had sunshine as well and although the temperature during the second half of the week was only(!) in the low twenties that was quite comfortable for wandering around and exploring.

The City


  • Like Melbourne, Sydney felt very familiar and British and overall I’ve felt very much at home
  • Very busy, lively and energetic
  • Very much a high-rise city of modern tower blocks
  • Easy to get around
  • Plenty to see and do


 The People

  • A real mixture of different ethnic groups
  • Generally very friendly and helpful

Getting Around


  • Very busy traffic in the Central Business District where there seemed to be permanent traffic jams.
  • The main way of getting around is on buses. There is a very comprehensive network and the buses seemed to run very regularly, but travelling through the city centre was quite slow.due to the heavy traffic.
  • A great ferry network centred on the “Circular Harbour”
  • Relatively cheap – visitors should get themselves an Opal card which you load u and can use on the buses, ferries and trains. Daily spend is capped at $15.


Eating Out

  • To say there is plenty of choice is an understatement. Lots of food shops, cafes and restaurants selling every type and style of food.
  • Eating out was relatively inexpensive compared to the UK (helped by a favourable exchange rate)


  • Two very good art galleries – the Art Gallery of New South Wales and (my favourite) the Museum of Contemporary Art


  • Theatre and opera at the Opera House and other venues
  • A number of museums
  • Street art in the trendier renovated old inner city districts




  • For some people this is what Sydney is all bout! Some great beaches all within half hour of the Central Business District on public transport.
  • Some stunning coastal scenery at Manley and on the coast between Bondi and Coogee.




  • Lots of modern glass and concrete skyscrapers from the late 20th and early 21st Centuries.
  • Some grand Neo-Classical and Neo-Gothic buildings in the Central Business District
  • Plenty of traditional Victorian style houses and buildings out in the suburbs


  • A large number of Art-Deco buildings all around the city.
  • And an international icon!


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