5 Things You Must See in Sydney

Krishang Nair, ‘25,  is a Behavioral Economics major studying at UNSW Sydney this Fall 2023. 

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear “Sydney?” The Opera House? The Harbour Bridge? Finding Nemo? You can watch Finding Nemo anywhere, but you can see the Opera House only in Sydney. The city of Sydney is known for its coastal views blended with a modern cityscape, home to the world-renowned Opera House, the magnificent Harbour Bridge, and heaps of world-class beaches. This post will guide you through the 5 places you must visit when exploring Sydney. 

  1. The Sydney Opera House is easily one of the most beautiful man-made structures in the world. From a purely subjective opinion, it is unlike anything I have ever seen. I am one to gasp out of wonder and scope, and the Opera House provided both. Its elegance paired with its undeniable immensity allows it an almost magnetic-like pull. Once you lay eyes on it, you will, without a doubt, gravitate toward the behemoth structure. If you are not a fan of the Opera, fear not, the Opera House boasts an incredible bar below along with a few restaurants for you to enjoy some fine dining and drinks with an impeccable view of the harbor. 
  2. The Harbour Bridge definitely falls on this list, and despite it lingering in the shadow of the Opera House, it boasts form as well as function. This bridge is vastly important as it connects the north and south of Sydney very conveniently allowing cars, trains, and pedestrians across. For those in love with heights, the Harbour Bridge allows guided climbs all the way to the summit and back with incredible views of the city all around. 
  3. Maroubra Beach is the premier spot for beachgoers and surfers alike located in the suburb of Maroubra in Sydney. Boasting the best barrels in Sydney, the beach is sprawling with surfers. If you don’t surf, however, the beach is still incredibly enjoyable. There is a free outdoor gym, full of weights and machines, as well as a vast skatepark right behind the beach. The beach stretches 1 km in length leaving plenty of room even, on a crowded day, for everyone to soak up some sun (after applying some SPF, of course). Though I may be a bit biased living in Maroubra, its beach is certainly my favorite in Sydney so far.
  4. George Street is the main shopping street in the Sydney CBD (Central Business District). With an immense collection of world-class brands occupying huge stores, it is without a doubt one of the priciest areas in Sydney. Some of the brands like Louis Vuitton, Apple, and Burberry all have enormous retail spaces, most definitely one-upping those in Philly. There are a vast number of eateries and restaurants spanning the street and the entire street is connected via tram. 
  5. The Queen Victoria Building (QVB) is a shopping center boasting 5 floors of retail spaces. I got the chance to visit the QVB on my second day in Sydney and I was told that the brands get more and more expensive, the higher up in the building you go! With brands like Kenzo, Boss, Saba, and Prada on level 2, I was curious to know how out of my league I would be on level 5. So up I went, and the stores I saw had names I had never heard in my life. Names like “Kalmar Antiques” and “Leica” sound intimidating enough. Regardless, the vibe is very vibrant due to the constant flow of people in and out of the building. When on a shopping spree in Sydney, definitely check out the QVB, even if it’s just to window shop!