When you hear the words ‘Sydney’ and ‘attractions’, what springs to mind? Images of golden beaches like Bondi and Manly, imposing bridges like the city’s famous Harbour Bridge, or the iconic and extremely photogenic Sydney Opera House? If so, you’re not the only one.
I’m lucky enough to have lived in Sydney once upon a time for nine months and to have visited twice since. While I relished the fact that I could sit on the steps of the Opera House or laze in the sun in Bondi, I liked getting off the beaten track too.
If you’re curious to find out what Sydney has to offer that doesn’t involve covering yourself in sunscreen or dodging tourists, read on…
Around 4km south west of Sydney’s CBD (Central Business District) is Newtown, the city’s bohemian neighbourhood. The suburb is a mix of alternative cultures, ethnicity, sexuality and lifestyles. The main strip is King Street, which is peppered with shops specialising in eclectic furniture and hard-to-find books. Elsewhere in the area, on Enmore Road you’ll discover goth and punk stores, while South King Street is vintage-store heaven.
Thanks to its location close to Sydney University and the University of Technology, Glebe is the city’s student neighbourhood. As a result, it has its fair share of writers, artists, bohemians and activists. So just like Newtown, Glebe is another suburb that attracts those who prefer a more alternative lifestyle. It’s full of bookstores, art galleries and a well-known market that takes place on Saturdays, making it a good place to take refuge from the CBD at the weekend.
Regardless of whether you’re in the market for some fresh fish or not, a trip to the Sydney Fish Markets is one worth making since this is the largest market of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and the world's second largest seafood market in terms of variety outside of Japan. Best visited early in the morning around 7am, for a real insight make sure to do the ‘Behind the scenes’ tour.
Yes, Bondi. I’m not talking about the beach which you’ll almost inevitably visit…I’m talking about the suburb. Away from the golden sand, Bondi is one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Sydney, which is probably because I called it home once upon a time. If you’re not a sun worshipper, I’d still recommend visiting. Campell Parade, Bondi’s main thoroughfare, is a great place for people watching, while there’s great boutique shopping too. It’s also the gateway to one of the world’s best coastal walks between Bondi and Coogee.
Sydney might not seem like a city oozing with Italian culture but if you make the trip to the Leichardt you’ll see its significant influence on at least one of the suburbs. Unsurprisingly, eating is the main pastime here. Walk along Norton Street and you’ll stumble upon delis, cake shops, cafés and restaurants. For a more in-depth look at the area’s history go to the library at the Italian Forum, or if you’re in the mood to stretch your legs follow the walking trail from Leichardt along Sydney Harbour’s foreshore to Gladstone Park in neighbouring suburb Balmain.
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