Bondi Beach, Sydney NSW © Hamilton Lund/Destination NSW
Sydney suburb guide
From buzzy beachside suburbs to edgy inner-city precincts, Sydney’s neighbourhoods celebrate the city’s beauty and diversity.
Where: Bondi, Coogee, Manly
What makes it special: Stay in one of Sydney’s best-loved beach neighbourhoods and you won’t just have the waves at your doorstep – you will find a whole range of diversions, from stunning coastal walks to some of Sydney’s best cafés, bars and restaurants. Some beaches, like the world-famous Bondi and the nearby Coogee, are close to the city centre. Others, like Manly – picturesquely wedged between an ocean beach and a calmer harbour bay – are a little further away, but the upside is the million-dollar views you enjoy during the ferry ride from Circular Quay.Show more
Sydney’s inner east
Where: Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Paddington, Potts Point, Kings Cross.
What makes it special: Strolling through the former working-class suburbs of Darlinghurst and Surry Hills, their streets lined with bars and bistros, cafés and galleries, it’s hard to imagine that these areas were once the haunt of Sydney's gangsters and criminals. These days, it is urban professionals and hip young things who make this their playground, drawn by Darlinghurst’s picturesque terraces and Surry Hills’ tree-lined streets. There is plenty of history on display as well, including Darlinghurst’s handsome sandstone gaol – now an art school – but once the scene of public hangings.
Where to eat, stay and play: To the north, trendy Potts Point has always been popular with the rich and famous, which is reflected in its grand mansions and fancy restaurants. In between lies Kings Cross, the once-notorious nightlife hub now better known for its wine bars. High-end shopping more your thing? Head to the ever-so-chic boutique neighbourhood of Paddington, known for its terrific food and bespoke designer shopping.Show more
Where: The Rocks, Barangaroo, Darling Harbour
What makes it special: Iconic architecture, big-ticket attractions and superb water views collide in these central harbourfront locales. The Rocks is Sydney’s oldest neighbourhood, set within strolling distance of some of the city’s biggest attractions including the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and the Royal Botanic Garden. Right next door sits Barangaroo, the city’s newest neighbourhood, where glass-walled office towers overlook a harbourside park and an inviting selection of restaurants. Further along the waterfront is Darling Harbour, where there’s hours of fun for families.Show more
Sydney’s inner west
Where: Chippendale, Newtown, Marrickville
What makes it special: Once a gritty industrial hub, the clutch of suburbs stretching west of Central Station have evolved into one of the city’s most lively and liveable precincts, packed with cafés, backstreet bars, breweries, galleries, restaurants, and independent boutiques, with nearby Sydney University lending to the area’s youthful, bohemian character. On the precinct’s western fringe, Marrickville has carved out a reputation as the city’s hottest (and best value) international dining district.Show more