Travel,

How to experience Sydney like a local?

Sydney is a vast urban landscape bustling with activity and brimming with history and culture. The pearl of the Eastern coast shines bright throughout the year! However, the best time to witness its charm, in a pleasant and warm weather, is a period between September and November, or from March to May. These are shoulder seasons, when the airline prices fall, and the temperatures are comfortable. This time of the year is also suitable for people who want more than just cruising from one spot packed with tourists to another.

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In the urban jungle

In Sydney, you will probably want to check out all of its wonders on foot, so keep the sun protection around. Still, note that this particular concrete jungle was not built for wandering around on foot, so be prepared to allocate a big chunk of the budget to transportation. Navigating the urban core and battling the traffic is not the most pleasant experience, which is why I highly advise you to make the most of the ferries and harbor cruises.

If you do choose to go through the public hustle and bustle, grab an Opal card at a local convenience store. Also, it might be a good idea to use a visa gift card for comfy shopping without provisions. It serves much like a debit card, and you can take advantage of it wherever you want.  Depending on the budget, you could do some (window) shopping at the historic Queen Victoria Building in the CBD.

Hide and seek

I have no need for it, but renting via Airbnb is often preferable to paying for the hotel. Apart from the financial benefits, this decision lets you stay more in tune with the authentic local life, and forge some new friendships. But if you are looking for a quiet place to stay, you can visit the Sunny Hills. A charming part of the city dotted with cafes and quaint bookstores. And if a low key vibe is your thing than definitely head for the Newtown. It is a perfect area to sip chai tea and eventually eat out in one of their delicious burger joints.

Know that locals steer away from the overcrowded bars with views. In fact, they usually opt for local hidden gems. The Glenmore bar, for example, goes easy on your budget, while offering a view of the Opera House. Another place which lets you feast your eyes is Blu Bar on the 36th floor of the Shangri-La Hotel. Those who are staying who crave for some natural environment, however, should not miss the chance to see the enthralling Blue Mountains.

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A local flavor

Sydney is celebrated for its beaches, and Bondi is the cream of the crop. Yet, due to the chockablock out there, I would advise you to avoid it. The entire coast is teeming with possibilities, and on the northern parts you can find some quieter, more idyllic type of beaches. Check out the Eastern Suburbs and the Milk Beach— dip your toes into the deep blue water that is swamped with tortoises, and melt your stress away on the pristine white sand.

At last, I loved taking a walk from the Manly Beach to Cabbage Tree Bay and engaging in activities such as snorkeling and surfing. On top of that, cafés on the Shelly Beach give you a chance to taste the foods adored by the locals. Dumplings and brunch are among the most beloved, and the Dumpling King is my favorite.  Just remember to stay open-minded, do not hesitate to make spur-of-the-moment decisions, and Sydney will embrace you.

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An open secret

The most populous city in Australia is a great destination for vacation, but I would forget about guides full of usual suspects, and embark on an adventure to discover the well-kept local secrets. Explore hidden beaches off the beaten track, soak in the sun, and feel the rejuvenating breeze coming from the ocean.  Immerse in the local ambience like a Sydneysider, and the only problem that you’ll have will be leaving this enthralling metropolis.