Simple Ways to Experience Sydney Like a Local, But as a Tourist

Simple Ways to Experience Sydney Like a Local, But as a Tourist

There's more to Sydney than the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Take these simple suggestions to make your trip a little more local.

Contributed by Count the Love

When you think of Sydney, you’d most likely think of the typical iconic landmarks such as Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is without a doubt that those are ‘must see’ attractions while you’re visiting the city but Sydney definitely has more to offer than just that!

Personally for me, I seek more than just a holiday when I travel. In addition to seeing the world, I think it is equally important to learn and appreciate the different lifestyle of another country. There is no better way to experience a different culture than to actually live it and while there is no running away from being labeled a tourist when going on a holiday, I believe that you can still blend in like a local if you participate in their way of life just like how the locals do. As the saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”.

So here’s me sharing my humble adventures in Sydney with you guys on how to experience Sydney like a local, but as a tourist.

1. Have brunch

Brunch, especially on the weekend, is a huge part of the Australian’s lifestyle. That, and coffee! There are heaps of cafes in Sydney offering the best of the best brunch menu.

Nothing like a good cup of coffee accompanied by a good meal to start your weekend after a hectic week at work.

2. Take the public transport

When you’re on a holiday, and you have a lot of places to visit for sightseeing, you’ll be thinking of the most convenient way to get around and that is definitely… the taxi.

I wouldn’t recommend doing so in Sydney as not only it is expensive, you’re also missing out on the chance to people-watch and admire the beautiful scenery while navigating around with buses and trains.

It’s not that difficult, I promise you! All you need is the Opal Card, which is equivalent to an EZ-Link card in Singapore, Make sure to top-up to a sufficient value before using it. It may take a longer time to get to your destination as compared to taking a taxi but your wallet would appreciate it so much more. Don’t worry if you feel lost and are unable to understand the train system – you can always ask the train station staff for help and they will be more than happy to assist you!

If your accommodation happens to be in the city area, that’s even better! You can conveniently commute by foot as most of the tourist attractions are mainly in the city. That will cost you absolutely nothing, except for maybe a fresh set of legs at the end of the day.

3. Do yoga

As we can observe, yoga has become a huge element of lifestyle in all parts of the world so no surprise that there are a lot of yoga studios is Sydney.

I’m not exactly a yogi (as people would call it) but I do practice every now and then to enjoy the physical benefits from the stretching and strengthening. Also, because I worked at a yoga studio, I thought it would be really cool to experience the yoga scene in Sydney, as different cities will have a different vibe to it. Besides, when you managed to squeeze in some exercise time while you’re on holiday, that’s a win-win!

I went for an 8am Flow Class at In Yoga, located in Surry Hills. I have never felt prouder for dragging my lazy ass out of bed on an early Sunday morning to exercise while on a holiday. I was extremely pleased with myself at the end of the 1.5-hour session.

4. Immerse yourself in the arts scene

Australia is generally renowned for its enthralling arts scene. Whichever cities you’re in, there are always a bunch of museums and art spaces to visit or art festivals and events to attend.

Being an art junkie myself, I made sure to reserve a day to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art when I was in Sydney. The best part of this activity is that it is free! Most of the museums in Sydney have free admission unless you’re going for a specific art exhibition, which may require an entry ticket.

So I let myself get lost in the museum while admiring the historic art pieces and educating myself a little bit more about the arts culture in Sydney.

5. Drinking with a view

Other than coffee, some Australians also need a huge dose of booze in their lifestyle. While you can find heaps of cafes in Sydney, there are equally plentiful pubs & bars too! Happy Hour is a good time to enjoy a pint of beer or a glass of wine at an extremely affordable price, from AU$5–10, while enjoying a good conversation with friends or strangers.

I didn’t do much drinking during the trip but I am a sucker for rooftop bars, so I went to check out one of the coolest rooftop bars located in a hipster neighbourhood of Paddington. The city view was spectacular!

6. Enjoy the beach life in Bondi Beach

Lastly, it’s an offence if you don’t visit the famous Bondi Beach while in Sydney! It doesn’t matter if you’re a local or a tourist, Bondi Beach is a must go if you’re all about the beach life.

The beauty of the deep blue sea overwhelmed me, it is completely different from the beaches we have in Singapore. If you’re in Sydney in the summer, the weather is perfect for a tan session, catching the waves or simply just having a picnic at the beach with a group of friends.

things to do in sydney

If you’re feeling more active and have an interest in trekking, you can even do the coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee beach. It is an approximately 6km walk and the duration to complete it will differ according to your speed and time spent admiring the stunning views while taking insta-worthy pictures. You can always take breaks and seek refuge at the nearest picnic shelters or cafes as there are plenty available in the area as well.

Also read: A 4D3N Sydney Itinerary: All You Need to Explore the City

These are definitely not the major tourist attractions that you’ll find yourself going for. However, I assure you that it will contribute to a Sydneyficant trip regardless. It’s always the little things that we take for granted that matters!😉


About Author


Alawiyyah is an adventure seeker. She believes that it's important to meet new people and explore new places to broaden one's horizons. Aspiring to be a writer, she loves sharing her travelling experiences and her personal thoughts on her blog and hope to inspires others to seek adventures of their own.


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