Relocating to Sydney
Sydney, a multicultural city
The lively yet laid-back capital of New South Wales is the most iconic of all the Australian cities. Everyone knows the famous Opera House and the picturesque Harbour Bridge, but there is so much more to Sydney than what you have seen on postcards!
As the most populated city in Australia, Sydney is a bustling place that welcomes people from all over the world. Surrounded by the harbour and beautiful beaches, there is something about Sydney that makes everyday feel like a holiday. Sydney is the first stop for many travellers visiting Australia because it offers something so unique: the excitement of the city life perfectly mixed with the easy-going beach culture and breathtaking natural landscapes.
Sydney was settled by the British back in 1788, but before that it was inhabited entirely by indigenous Aboriginal people who lived primarily along the shoreline, fishing and hunting in the waters and hinterland of the area. The name Bennelong is recorded as a native name for the area.
The Sydney area is one of the richest Aboriginal archaeological sites in Australia thanks to the thousands of preserved engravings and rock art. Today, Sydney is one of the most multicultural cities in the world with residents speaking more than 250 different languages — Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese, Vietnamese and Greek being some of the most widely spoken languages in Sydney apart from English.
What is life in Sydney like?
In addition to being considered one of the most liveable cities in the world, Sydney ranks eleventh worldwide in terms of economic opportunity. There are many great opportunities for business entrepreneurship and high-quality education here, with the University of Sydney being one of the top universities in the world. Sydney is the world’s highest-ranking city for international students with over 100,000 students studying at universities and English language schools in the city.
The city is very well connected for public transport with a well-functioning system of trains, buses and ferries. The best option when using public transport is to get the Opal Card, which can be used on most travel services around Sydney and offers good deals for day and week passes.
Sydney’s climate is pleasant with warm summers, cool winters and year-round rainfall. In late spring and summer, temperatures range between 18-25°C while winters rarely get colder than 10°C. Apart from the occasional thunderstorm, Sydney is blessed with sunny weather, which makes weekends perfect for hiking, surfing or relaxing on the beach.
What is there to do in Sydney?
Thanks to TV shows (and Instagram!), Sydney has become known for its incredible beaches. Bondi Beach and Manly Beach are two of the most popular beaches around the city, and with good reason. Bondi Beach is just a stone’s throw from the city centre, so it is quick and easy to get there. The laid-back feel of the surfing community reaches all around the beach area with plenty of surf shops, cafes and eateries to keep you entertained. There is a fantastic hike of about 6km that starts at the Bondi Icebergs ocean pool and ends between Tamarama and Coogee beaches — a great way to get some fresh air and appreciate the beautiful outdoor sceneries of Sydney!
Along with these magnificent water views, Sydney is home to many parks and well-maintained nature reserves such as the Royal Botanic Garden and Hyde Park, the oldest parkland in Australia. The Royal Botanic Garden is a lovely place to spend afternoons and weekends. The garden often hosts events and activities to help residents and tourists make the most out of the warm Sydney sun. The Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, the largest park in the city, is another tranquil spot to put on your must-visit list. This park has a wealthy record of indigenous habitation with more than a thousand pieces of Aboriginal rock art and engravings.
As far as sightseeing goes, there is of course the celebrated Sydney Opera House, the most striking architectural landmark in the city. This World Heritage-listed building is an absolute must-see when you visit or live in Sydney. For science, art and history lovers, you will never have a dull moment in Sydney with the city’s diverse collection of galleries, museums and cultural institutions.
The Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Australian Museum are both excellent places to start if you want to learn more about Australia’s historical heritage and art scene. The Australian Museum is the oldest natural history museum in the country and offers a fascinating account of Sydney’s development over the past few decades. The impressive State Library of New South Wales is the oldest library country-wide at nearly 200 years old. The Museum of Contemporary Art, the Australian National Maritime Museum and the Powerhouse Museum are also not to be missed!
The city also hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the massive New Year’s Eve celebrations, which are the largest in Australia, the Sydney Film Festival, the Big Day Out rock music festival, the Sydney Festival (the largest arts festival in the country) and many more. Another cultural highlight on the calendar is the annual Australian Fashion Week. Sydney has it all — a diverse arts and culture scene, worldly communities, great schools and universities, and an energising atmosphere. A fantastic place to live, work and play!