Sydney is a giant, stretching nearly 80 km (50 miles) from top to bottom and about 70 km (43 miles) across. The harbor divides the city into northern and southern halves, with most of the headline attractions on the south shore. Most travelers spend their time on the harbor's south side, within an area bounded by Chinatown in the south, Harbour Bridge in the north, Darling Harbour to the west, and the beaches and coastline to the east. North of Harbour Bridge lie the important commercial center of North Sydney and leafy but somewhat bland suburbs. Ocean beaches, Taronga Zoo, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, and great shopping in the village of Mosman are the most likely reasons to venture north of the harbor.

Within a few hours’ drive of Sydney are the World Heritage–listed Blue Mountains and the renowned Hunter Valley vineyards. Although both these spots are worthy of an overnight stay, they're also close enough to visit on day trips from the city.

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  • 1. Centennial Park

    Centennial Park | Park/Playground

    More than 500 acres of palm-lined avenues, groves of Moreton Bay figs, paperbark tree–fringed lakes, and cycling and horse-riding tracks make...Read More

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  • 2. Elizabeth Bay

    Elizabeth Bay | Neighborhood/Street

    Much of this densely populated but still-charming harborside suburb was originally part of the extensive Elizabeth Bay House grounds. Wrought...Read More

  • 3. Elizabeth Bay House

    Elizabeth Bay | House/Mansion/Villa

    This 1835–39 mansion was regarded in its heyday as the "finest house in the colony." It retains little of its original furniture, although the...Read More

  • 4. Harry's Café de Wheels

    Woolloomooloo | Restaurant–Sight

    The attraction of this all-day dockyard food stall is not so much the delectable meat pies and coffee served as the clientele. Famous opera...Read More

  • 5. Paddington

    Paddington | Historic District/Site

    Most of this suburb's elegant two-story terrace houses were built during the 1880s, when the colony experienced a long period of economic growth...Read More

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  • 6. Royal Hotel

    Paddington | Hotel–Sight

    The Royal Hotel is an enjoyable Victorian pub with leather couches and stained-glass windows. It's a good place to stop for something cool to...Read More

  • 7. Shadforth Street

    Paddington | Historic District/Site

    Built at about the same time as Elizabeth Bay House, the tiny stone houses in this street were assembled to house the workers who built and...Read More

  • 8. Sydney Jewish Museum

    Darlinghurst | Museum/Gallery

    Artifacts, interactive displays, and audiovisual displays chronicle the history of Australian Jews and commemorate the 6 million killed in the...Read More

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  • 9. Victoria Barracks

    Paddington | Military Site

    If you're curious about the Australian military, you'll enjoy the free tours of this Regency-style barracks (built from 1841), which take place...Read More

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