Luxury and lifestyle magazine Condé Nast Traveler included Sydney in its January list of the ’50 Most Beautiful Cities in the World’. Topping the list was Venice followed by Hong Kong, and Australia’s most populous city featured at number 18 on the prestigious list.
“We seek beauty in many forms: through art and architecture; from water views and mountain highs; in its people and its history. This list circles the globe, finding the most beautiful cities in the world from Italy to Iran,” writes Condé Nast Traveler.
“It’s almost not fair how pretty Sydney is. Australia’s biggest city benefits from a waterfront culture, with locals hopping on ferries to commute home – or play – at Bondi, Manly, and Redleaf Beaches, and the dramatic Sydney Opera House standing sentry in the harbour. Whatever the season, get spectacular views of the city from Sydney Tower’s glass viewing platform,” wrote two of the magazine’s editors.
Located on Australia’s east coast, the metropolis surrounds the world’s largest natural harbour and sprawls towards the Blue Mountains in the west. With a population of over five million people, Sydney is the secondary official seat and secondary official residence of the Governor-General of Australia and the Prime Minister of Australia.
“Of course Sydney is on the list and why wouldn’t it be,” says 30-year-old Greek Australian Sydneysider Maria Lucas in an interview with Neos Kosmos.
“This city is an addiction. It has an energy surrounding its beautiful waterside location and inner city sanctuary and despite housing prices skyrocketing, the population keeps growing,” Lucas says.
Brimming with history, nature, culture, art, fashion, cuisine, and design, Sydney is set next to miles of ocean coastline and sandy surf beaches. Decades of immigration have added to the city’s reputation as one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse cities in Australia and the world.
“If there is one thing I love about Sydney, it’s the cultural diversity and scenery that captivates anyone who visits. From a bustling city and harbour to the amazing geographical coastline that the state of NSW holds, the place feels really special. My absolute favourite Sydney spot is nestled amongst two of Sydney’s most famous beaches; it is an inlet called Gordon’s Bay. Only eight kilometres from the CBD, and a stone’s throw from my home, I feel that this is one of the most geographically stunning and natural coastlines in Sydney,” says Lucas.
“Australia in general is a blessed country with many natural, cultural, and human-made tourism resources, rich nature and unique wildlife and is a destination for visitors all year round. It most certainly deserves to be on the list”, says Professor Marianna Sigala, Professor in Tourism at the University of South Australia Business School in an interview with Neos Kosmos.
“There is indeed so much to do and see in Australia overall and Sydney in particular. The list is endless and it ranges from Aboriginal art to visiting the award-winning Mona Museum in Hobart (Tasmania), exploring the tropics and coast line of Broome and Kimberley Islands, swimming in the infamous beaches of Surfers Paradise and Bondi Beach, relaxing on wine tour experiences at the Barossa and Clare Valleys, McLaren Vale, Margaret River, Hunter Valley and eating fresh seafood at Port Lincoln. Of course, nothing beats the most picturesque port on earth, Sydney Harbour and its Opera House,” Sigala adds.
Overall, NSW is responsible for approximately 54 per cent of Australia’s economy and its capital is considered by many as the powerhouse driving the whole country, therefore it appeals immensely to the young population that craves to live and work there, despite the high cost of living and the overly expensive housing market that are synonymous with a large cosmopolitan city.
“Sydney is progressive. It has a vibe, it is inclusive and cohesive of anybody, and that’s what makes it a city I feel most comfortable in,” says 30-year-old Greek Australian Sydney resident Dean Constantine.
“However, this all comes at an expense that is significant. The biggest issue that I see is housing affordability, in particular, for young people. Wage growth has continued the trend of housing growth and this is a real issue. If we could only tackle foreign investment harder then maybe the younger population will have a chance,” he adds.
Entering the real estate market in Sydney does require sacrifice and thorough research.
Greek Australian director of NG Farah Real Estate Coogee Theo Karangis tends to agree.
“Sydney’s population con tinues to grow by approximately 100,000 new residents each year, continuing to lock in high levels of buyer competition. The average free-standing house price is over one million dollars, while NSW as a state continues to outperform every other major Australian state.
“Infrastructure projects in particular continue to consolidate value in the market which will continue to grow simply because supply continues to be outweighed by demand. This is extremely evident in the inner ring suburbs 7-10 kilometres from the CBD. Furthermore, international residents see Sydney property as the driver of confidence for investment and a safe haven for their financial plans,” Karangis explains.
As the largest, oldest, and most cosmopolitan city in Australia, Sydney, with its enviable reputation, has a compact city centre surrounded by sprawling suburbs coming together to form a vast and diverse metropolitan area.
The New South Wales’ state capital city is considered one of the most visited destinations in the country, especially due to the well-publicised lifestyle it offers and the following four world-famous landmarks.
Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House was designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, based upon his award-winning design of 1959. The World Heritage-listed building is now Australia’s most recognisable landmark. Visually referencing a yacht’s billowing white sails, it exerts a soaring, commanding presence on the harbour. Completed in 1973, it took 14 years and 10 thousand construction workers to build, at a final total cost of $102 million – 14 times the initial projected cost. The complex comprises multiple performance spaces where dance, concerts, opera, recordings, and theatre are staged.
Sydney Harbour National Park
Another city landmark is the Sydney Harbour National Park which protects large swathes of bushland around the harbour’s shoreline, plus several harbour islands. In amongst the greenery, visitors can discover walking tracks, scenic lookouts, Aboriginal carvings, beaches and a handful of historic sites.
Definitively Sydney, Bondi is one of the world’s great beaches; ocean and land collide where the Tasman Sea arrives in great foaming swells. Bondi is the closest ocean beach to the city centre (just eight kilometres away), has consistently good waves, and is great for a rough-and-tumble swim (the average water temperature is a considerate 21°C). When the sea is ‘moody’, visitors resort to the child-friendly saltwater sea baths at the southern end of the beach.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Opened in 1932, this majestic structure spans the harbour at one of its narrowest points. The Sydney Harbour Bridge carries rail, vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic between the CBD and Sydney’s North Shore. It was completed in 1932 and required 272,000 litres of paint to cover it – just for the first coat. It is the sixth longest spanning arch bridge in the world, and the tallest steel arch bridge.
Visitors can climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of an adventure experience. Stairs climb up the bridge from both shores, leading to a footpath running the length of the eastern side.