Sydney

Welcome to Sydney

Australia's most populous and, arguably, most exciting city, Sydney really is a showstopper. Things have changed a little in the 200 years since Captain Cook and his First Fleet set up camp alongside Sydney's indigenous Cadigal people, yet it remains a city of diversity with its own unique cultural identity.

Renowned for its tolerance, the vibe here is distinctly cosmopolitan, so events such as the Mardi Gras, Oktoberfest, Carols In The Domain and Chinese New Year sit happily side by side, because Sydney's willingness to welcome just about anyone and anything, is precisely what defines it.

More than four million people live here but, beyond the iconic wings of the Opera House and the giant steel arch of the Harbour Bridge, the city retains an almost villagey atmosphere. There are dozens of little enclaves that revel in their individuality, from the Little Italy of Leichhardt and Haymarket's Chinatown, to the affluent Paddington and eclectic, gay-friendly Darlinghurst and Newtown.

Sydney is particularly proud of its progressive arts scene and status as one of the world's culinary capitals. And while it lacks the ancient architecture of a European city, Sydney's natural beauty shines bright. From the breathtaking vista across Sydney Harbour to the bronzed bodies of Bondi Beach, Sydney's outdoor playground beckons visitors to let their hair down and sample the good life. Go on, jump in and splash around a little.

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Quick facts

  • Inhabitants in Australia:
    approx. 22.6 million
  • Inhabitants in Sydney:
    approx. 4.6 million
  • Official language
    English
  • Currency
    AUD
  • Time zone
    UTC+8 to UTC +11
  • Emergency number
    000
  • Constitution
    Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy: Queen Elizabeth II, Prime minister, Julia Gillard
  • Country phone code
    +61
  • Country code
    AU
  • Local transportation
    Ferry, bus, train