Sydney City Guide Introduction

Sydney is a big, vibrant, pleasure laden city. With her glittering harbour, stunning beaches iconic bridge and postcard darling Opera House, she’s hard to resist as a holiday destination.

Yes, yes, Sydney knows she looks good, but that’s part of her charm. Once you explore a little deeper you’ll soon discover all she really wants is for visitors to have the time of their life.

Measuring up the same size as London, and twice as big as New York, there’s a world of adventures for families, couples and friends to explore - from five star luxury to penny pinching budget getaways.

Best time to visit

Sydney is comfortable to visit at any time of year, but while summer time is party time the 30C weather is tropical these days with high humidity broken by the odd torrential downpour. March-May and September-November (around 25C) brings milder weather, ideal for seeing the sights and attending internationally and nationally significant events.

Major events in Sydney

  • Summer is nothing if not eclectic. You’ll find BBQs on the beach, cricket at the SCG, the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras prancing along Oxford Street and free music events in The Domain, while the Sydney Festival brings international acts, film and entertainment to the harbour and CBD.

  • Families will love the Royal Easter Show in April.

  • For the gourmands, July is the Aroma festival, full of coffee and chocolate as well as Manly Food and Wine Festival and October is Good Food Month.

  • Winter in Sydney isn’t quite as chilly as southern cities. You can still work on your UV rays outdoors to look your best for August’s Rosemount Sydney Fashion Festival.

  • In October, there’s no better venue for sultry romantic fun than salsa dancing at the Darling Harbour Fiesta. And even mums and dads get down time while the kids enjoy the live acts, music and storytelling at the Sydney Children’s Festival.

    Getting around Sydney

    Travelling around is easy. You can bus it, train it, stroll or catch a ferry - where getting from A to B means soaking up one of the planet earth’s most gorgeous views - such as the trip from Circular Quay to Manly, right around Sydney Harbour.

    The Sydney Pass links ferries, buses and trains for cheap travel to attractions and venues such as Taronga Zoo, Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney Olympic Park, Luna Park, Sydney Aquarium and many more.

    Hotel.com.au Staff Favourites

    The Hotel.com.au team have road-tested some of our Melbourne hotels and here are a few personal recommendations of their favourite places to stay.


  • 4 star
    161 Sussex Street Sydney 2001 Australia
    With a stay at Four Points by Sheraton Sydney, Darling Harbour, you'll be centrally located in Sydney, steps from Wildlife Sydney and Sydney Aquarium. This 4-star hotel is close to Sydn...more
    3 self rated
    Corner George And Campbell Street Sydney 2000 Australia
    Conveniently located next door to the historic 19th-century Capitol Theatre in the Sydney CBD (Central Business District), Capitol Square Hotel offers budget accommodation. Darling Harb...more
    4.5 self rated
    169-179 Thomas Street Haymarket 2000 Australia
    Novotel Sydney Central is in the heart of Haymarket, walking distance from Railway Square and University of Technology Sydney. This 4.5-star hotel is close to University of Sydney and S...more
    3 self rated
    44-46 Macleay Street Sydney 2011 Australia
    Located in trendy Potts Point, Devere Hotel offers air-conditioned accommodation with flat-screen TVs. It features a restaurant and a business centre. Kings Cross, Sydney’s nightlife ca...more
    4.5 self rated
    34 52 Harrington Street The Rocks 2000 Australia
    With a stay at Harbour Rocks Hotel Sydney - MGallery Collection, you'll be centrally located in The Rocks, steps from Susannah Place Museum and Museum of Contemporary Art. This 4.5-star...more
    4 self rated
    55 George Street Sydney 2000 Australia
    Located in the historic Rocks district, Holiday Inn Old Sydney boasts a rooftop swimming pool offering views of Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. It offers modern rooms feat...more
    3.5 self rated
    70 Murray Street Sydney 2009 Australia
    With a stay at ibis Sydney Darling Harbour, you'll be centrally located in Sydney, steps from Harbourside and minutes from Australia National Maritime Museum. This hotel is close to Syd...more
    3 self rated
    22 Shelley Street, King Street Wharf Sydney 2000 Australia
    Located near the waterfront in Sydney's desirable location of Barangaroo, Ibis Sydney King Street Wharf features 91 rooms to enjoy a visit to the city of Sydney. Located just minutes fr...more
    4 star
    433 Kent St Sydney 2000 Australia
    Centrally located between Darling Harbour and Sydney CBD (Central Business District), Mantra on Kent offers modern self-contained apartments with a flat-screen cable TV, a DVD player an...more
    4 self rated
    55 North Steyne Road, Manly Sydney 2095 Australia
    Located opposite Manly Beach, one of Australia’s most beautiful and popular beaches, Novotel Sydney Manly Pacific is just 15 minutes' ferry ride from Circular Quay and the Sydney city c...more
    5 star
    68 Market Street Sydney 2000 Australia
    With a stay at Swissotel Sydney, you'll be centrally located in Sydney, steps from Westfield Shopping Centre and Queen Victoria Building. This 5-star hotel is close to Sydney Opera Hous...more
    4 star
    14 Kings Cross Road Potts Point 2000 Australia
    With a stay at Larmont Sydney by Lancemore in Potts Point (Potts Point - Kings Cross), you'll be minutes from King Street Gallery and Fitzroy Gardens. This 4-star hotel is close to Sydn...more
    4 self rated
    100 Bayswater Road, Rushcutters Bay Sydney 2011 Australia
    Vibe Hotel Rushcutters offers stylish accommodation renovated in January 2017, just 5 minutes’ drive from Sydney city centre. The fitness centre features views of the rooftop heated swi...more
    5 star
    93 Macquarie Street Sydney 2000 Australia
    This luxury hotel features an outdoor heated pool and sundeck that overlooks Sydney Harbour and Circular Quay. The award-winning restaurant and bar offers views of the Royal Botanic Gar...more
    4 self rated
    5 York Street Sydney 2000 Australia
    Located in the heart of Sydney CBD (Central Business District), The York by Swiss-Belhotel offers air-conditioned apartments with a private balcony and free WiFi. Guests have access to...more
    4 star
    Cnr Of George And Bond Streets Sydney 2000 Australia
    Located close to Sydney Harbour and Circular Quay, Mantra 2 Bond Street is just a 1-minute walk from the heart of the Sydney CBD (Central Business District). The Rocks, with its mix of...more
    5 self rated
    95 Liverpool Street Sydney 2000 Australia
    Located in Sydney’s landmark World Tower on floor 61 and above, these luxurious suites feature floor-to-ceiling windows offering panoramic city views. Guests have access to an indoor po...more
    5 self rated
    329 Pitt Street Sydney 2000 Australia
    Located in the heart of Sydney CBD (Central Business District), Meriton Suites Pitt Street offers 178 luxurious modern suites. Guests have access to an indoor pool, a hot tub, a sauna a...more
    4 self rated
    528 Kent Street Sydney 2000 Australia
    Offering modern luxury apartments in the heart of Sydney CBD (Central Business District), Meriton Suites Kent Street boasts an indoor swimming pool, a fitness centre, sauna and hot tub....more
    4 self rated
    2 Cunningham St. Sydney 2000 Australia
    APX World Square offers spacious apartments with a private balcony and full kitchen in the heart of Sydney CBD (Central Business District). APX World Square is a 5-minute walk from the...more
    5 self rated
    488 Kent Street Sydney 2000 Australia
    Offering free WiFi and a fitness centre with a sauna. Fraser Suites Sydney features luxury apartments with modern furnishings, kitchen facilities and views of the city skyline. Located...more
    3 self rated
    27-33 Wentworth Avenue Sydney 2010 Australia
    Travelodge Sydney offers self-contained accommodation just 2 minutes’ walk from Hyde Park and trendy Oxford Street. The property features a fitness centre. All air-conditioned rooms hav...more
    5 star
    176 Cumberland Street, The Rocks Sydney 2000 Australia
    Wake up to breathtaking views of the iconic Sydney Opera House, the Harbour Bridge or Darling Harbour each morning. You will be spoiled for choice at the Shangri-La Hotel, with a day sp...more
    4 self rated
    243 Pyrmont Street Sydney 2009 Australia
    Overlooking Darling Harbour, Oaks Goldsbrough Apartments offer stylish accommodation with cooking and laundry facilities. Situated in a historic 19th century building, many apartments o...more
    5 self rated
    11 Jamison Street Sydney 2000 Australia
    This award-winning 5-star luxury hotel in the heart of Sydney offers stylish accommodation, along with 2 restaurants, 2 bars, a day spa, swimming pool, fitness centre and business centr...more
    4 self rated
    383 - 389 Bulwara Road Sydney 2007 Australia
    Just 3 minutes’ walk from the Powerhouse Museum, Metro Aspire Hotel Sydney offers refurbished rooms with private balconies. It features a restaurant and bar, function rooms and a tour d...more
    4 self rated
    90 William Street Sydney 2011 Australia
    Offering spacious rooms with scenic views of Sydney Harbour Bridge or the city skyline, The Sydney Boulevard Hotel is just 5 minutes' walk from Hyde Park. It features a fitness centre,...more

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