An Alternative Guide to Sydney

The state capital of New South Wales is one of the premier travel destinations in the world. Modern and cosmopolitan Sydney is a vital global hub and the veritable nerve centre of Australia.

With close to 4.5 million people, Down Under’s foremost metropolis has a dynamic and diverse civic vibe, with myriad neighbourhoods and districts to explore. By day, the New South Wales capital offers spectacular and popular attractions like UNESCO World Heritage Site Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Bondi Beach. By night, the city comes alive and offers a rich tapestry of superb restaurants, nightlife and live entertainment.

While the skyscrapers of the Central Business District dominate Sydney’s attractive skyline, the city has plenty of green space in store, from Hyde Park and Wentworth Park, to The Domain and Royal Botanic Gardens. A short drive outside the city proper, the UNESCO World Heritage Greater Blue Mountains Area captivates nature lovers.

As complete a destination as Sydney is, it can be tricky to get off the usual track and discover a different side of the city. With that in mind, check out five alternative attractions in Australia’s main metropolis.

Catch a Big Event at Sydney Cricket Ground

You may know zilch about Test cricket, One Day International cricket or Australian Rules football. No matter. The best way to mingle with locals in Sydney is to catch a big event at Sydney Cricket Ground. For Sydney Swans footy action and first class cricket, courtesy of the New South Wales Blues, the 46,000-seat stadium in Moore Park is the place to be.

Head to Glebe Markets on Saturday

The inner city suburb of Glebe is a hive of activity every Saturday. The Blackwattle Bay community, some 3 km east of Sydney CBD, hosts a phenomenal alternative market, with scores of stalls to peruse and rummage through. From handicrafts to gourmet grub, Glebe Markets has it all. Consider the area for a lively Saturday afternoon in Sydney. Nearby suburbs like Glebe also have many fine, cheap hotels for travellers on a budget.

Explore King Street in Newtown

The suburb of Newtown is a hip haunt of live music and theatre, alternative shops and landmark pubs and cafés. Less than 5 km from the heart of Sydney, the cool community is a wonderful place to while away a few hours and discover some great architecture, not to mention vintage records and fashions.

Powerhouse Museum

This multi-purpose and interactive Sydney point of interest is not your average science museum. The eclectic Powerhouse Museum delves into a wide variety of disciplines, from decorative arts and space technology, to popular culture, fashion and media. A stone’s throw from Central Station (Sydney Terminal) and Darling Harbour, the museum is fun, affordable and conveniently open every day of the year, save Christmas.

Behind the Scenes at Sydney Fish Market

As the most remarkable fish market outside of Japan, Sydney Fish Market is the top attraction on Blackwattle Bay. The Pyrmont suburb gem is close to many of the best Sydney hotels and landmarks. The feverish hub of people and seafood operates a wholesale fish market, fruit and vegetable market and several restaurants and shops. While you can visit the market any time of day, the Behind the Scenes Tour is a memorable experience, the explicit highlight of which is the pre-dawn Dutch fish and seafood auction.

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