Things You Should Know Before Visiting Sydney (Guest Post)

sydney opera house and skyline
by Roxana // 13 Comments

We know a lot of you probably have Australia on your bucket list.  Of course, a trip down under would not be complete without spending some time in Sydney,  so we thought we would share some insights from Roxana, a local expert.   We connected with her since she is also a big fan of Austin, Texas.   

We are excited to share Roxana’s expertise and thoughts on Sydney with you.  This insight is helpful for those thinking about going to Sydney.

Note: The following information and photos are provided by Roxana.

Sydney Overview

I may as well come clean from the start… I adore Sydney.  After four years of working as a tour guide, I came to realize that a lifetime would not be enough to visit all the sites this bold, vibrant and wonderful city has to offer.

Sydney is much more than just sunny tropical sandy beaches and laid-back lifestyle.  During the peak season, millions of people flock to the land down under to explore its beauty and embark on an epic adventure.  Here are the top tips you should know before visiting this bustling city.

Things to Know Before You Go to Sydney

For those that have not been to Sydney before, there are a few things that might surprise you.  

It’s hot

One of the Sydney’s greatest attractions is definitely outdoor life.  Spending a day on a beautiful, sun-drenched beach, while sipping a cold drink or swimming in the sea sounds like a perfect way to unwind.  

However, many underestimate how surprisingly warm summers can be with temperatures rising up to 40 degrees (Celsius).  If you don’t want to get a nasty burn, wear sunscreen and cover up when you are outside in the scorching sun.

Don't forget the sun is strong. - "Things You Should Know Before Visiting Sydney (Guest Post)"
Don’t forget the sun is strong.

Dark humor

Each and every nationality has its own distinctive sense of humor and so do the Aussies. Don’t be surprised when you hear them making jokes about convict colonies and their first landing onto Australian soil.  

Their humor is usually pretty ironic, full of extremes and, above all, self-mocking, which many visitors find surprising.  They simply tend to look for the lighter side in some difficult situations.  So, don’t get offended by their jokes, as they probably just want to make you feel more relaxed.

Sport is God

Aussies are simply crazy about any kind of sport and like spending hours talking about it.  I have gone to a few football games just to try to discover where this craze for sports comes from.  It’s a difficult question to answer, but it seems that it’s an essential part of their identity.  

Not only are they really passionate about it, but they are, actually, very good at it.  Many athletes are the biggest celebrities here.  So, if you want to start a friendly conversation with an Aussie, just make an interesting remark about some sports event, and you’ll get them talking right away.

Have a chat

One of the things you should bear in mind is that Australians can be very chatty and sociable.  They easily take part in any conversation and can talk about various topics.  

You may also be fascinated by the versatility of accents that you may encounter.  So, don’t be surprised if you get involved in random chit-chats when you least expect it, especially if you have an exotic accent that would instantly grab their attention.

Be open-minded

The culture is diverse - "Things You Should Know Before Visiting Sydney (Guest Post)"
The culture is diverse

Aboriginal islander culture is remarkable, complex and diverse.  You might not have the chance to see many Aborigines, considered to be the oldest living culture on the Earth.  The indigenous cultural heritage is unique and precious not just to the Australians but to the whole world.  

It’s crucial to show some open-mindedness and awareness of cultural diversity.  Australians will most definitely appreciate it.

What to do, where to go

Like most cosmopolitan cities, Sydney also has a wide array of breathtaking historical and cultural sights.  You also shouldn’t miss Sydney’s iconic photo spots.  

Sydney Opera House (pictured above), which is the most recognizable landmark of Australia.  It is famous for its complex structure that resembles white sails of a yacht and should definitely be on the top of your list.

Royal Botanical Garden - "Things You Should Know Before Visiting Sydney (Guest Post)"
Royal Botanical Garden

Another thing that is worth seeing is the marvelous Royal Botanic Garden that contains unique plant life and is a perfect place for jogging and picnics.  If you are looking for some jungle adventure, you can spend the night under canvas in Taronga Zoo, watch the most beautiful sunset and wake up with the sounds of wilderness.  

From going kayaking on one of Sydney’s popular waterways to seeking independent stores and antique shops, there are numerous ways how you can spend some quality time without spending too much money.

You should also consider a visit to Melbourne while you are in Australia.

Famous foodie culture

Sydney offers many outstanding famous restaurants where you can try delicious food, taste savory wine and enjoy in the fantastic ambiance.  

Currently, one of the most popular restaurants is Quay, located in Sydney Harbor, with fascinating views of the city.  Eleven Bridge is another famous restaurant that offers a diverse selection of modern Australian dishes. Besides these, there are more than forty restaurants that undoubtedly deserve your attention and the standouts include Sepia, Aria, Mr. Wong, Café Paci, Ume and many others.

There is no shortage of amazing restaurants! - Things You Should Know Before Visiting Sydney (Guest Post)
There is no shortage of amazing restaurants!

If you want to Move to Sydney

Many get so enchanted and fall so in love with Sydney that they never want to leave.  If you’re one of those travelers, there are a few essential things you should know before making this life-changing decision.  There are a wide range of serviced apartments available either for a short-term stay or for sale.  

Check out which enlists a number of property solutions and provides professional advice to buyers and investors.   Another option is to find a real estate agent to make the process of finding housing easier and more efficient.  

Of course, you will also need a job.  Try searching a website such as Seek, My.Career, Scarlet Recruitment and Michael Page.

A different perspective on Sydney - "Things You Should Know Before Visiting Sydney (Guest Post)"
A different perspective on Sydney

So there you have it, some of my thoughts on Sydney.  Does anything surprise you? Do you have plans to visit?


Expert Tips for Visiting Sydney

  • Be prepared for the weather and the strong sun.
  • In addition to the Sydney Opera House, you should also be sure to see the Royal Botanic Garden and the Tarongo Zoo.
  • Go hungry! There are plenty of excellent restaurants, especially in the Sydney Harbor area.
  • Be sure to also check out these tips for traveling to Australia.

Last Updated on March 1, 2022

About the Author

In addition to years of experience in the travel industry, Roxana is now lifestyle consultant and a blogger/editor at and