Sydney has long been known for its stunning beaches and harbours, its vibrant nightlife and bustling markets, but not enough has been said about city’s charming neighbourhoods that contain the very essence of the city. It is here that you will find the Victorian houses of yesteryear, the artsy museums of today, the popular markets where the local shops and the local cafes where the goodness of food comes alive like nowhere else in the city.

Here’s our list of top five neighbourhoods that you must explore on your visit to Sydney, Australia:


Circular Quay

One of the major tourist districts in Sydney, Circular Quay hosts a majority of popular tourist attractions in Sydney including The Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Rocks, the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Sydney Opera House. Along its harbour, the area remains lined with some of the best restaurants and outdoor cafes that are frequented by tourists for the impressive view of the harbour and the Circular Quay skyline. A major transport hub, Circular Quay is also home to a number of ferry quays, bus stops, and a train station that lend this area much of its hustle and bustle.

The Rocks District

Largely known as the Rocks, this oldest district in Sydney is characterised by its historical cobblestoned streets, old sandstone buildings as much as it is by its contemporary resorts, hotels, restaurants, cafes, museums, galleries and markets. The Rocks Discovery Museum, Cadmans Cottage, The Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Sydney Observatory are few of the most popular attractions of tourist interest in this district. When here, don’t miss the chance to visit famed The Rocks Market boasting over 200 miscellaneous stalls, selling everything from fashion accessories to homeware, art and craft to jewellery.

Surry Hills

The creative heart of Sydney, Surry Hills is one of the most dynamic areas in Sydney. Overflowing with drinking and dining options including restaurants, clubs and bars, Surry Hills is pulsating with life, especially around evenings. The old Victorian houses stand alongside the modern apartments and fashion designers share space with tech start up founders, making Surry Hills one of the most diverse localities in Sydney. Some of the streets that you must explore here include Wander Crown Street, Bourke Street and Cleveland streets.


Paddington is for tourists seeking culture and sophistication in Sydney. Famous for its boutique stores on the William Street and Oxford Street as well as a number of art galleries and museums, Paddington features an interesting amalgamation of culture, art, history and shopping for tourists at one place. If it is popular attractions that you are seeking here, it’ll be worth your time to visit the Sydney Cricket Grounds, Sydney Football Stadium and Victoria Barracks. When here, you must also check out the Paddington Market, a massive flea market that is held at the Uniting Church grounds for souvenirs to take back home.


Sydney’s premier beach resort, Manly is for some seaside revelry with friends and family. Featuring some of the best stretches of beaches and bike trails, Manly encourages laid-back days centred on sun, sand and surf. Although, it is common to spot tourist checking out the gift stores containing indigenous art and handicrafts along the pedestrian-only Corso, the fun here is at the beach. The beach-side restaurants and shacks serve mouth-watering food and host some of the liveliest parties in Manly and for an adventure loving soul, good surf is just a few metres away.

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