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Lonely Planet Pocket Sydney

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Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher

Lonely Planet Pocket Sydney is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Splash about in the shallows of Bondi Beach, enjoy a concert at the famous Sydney Opera House, or stroll through the tranquil Royal Botanic Gardens; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of the best of Sydney and begin your journey now!

Inside Lonely Planet Pocket Sydney:

  • Full-colour maps and images throughout
  • Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests
  • Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots
  • Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices
  • Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss
  • Free, convenient pull-out Sydney map (included in print version), plus over 19 colour neighbourhood maps
  • User-friendly layout with helpful icons, and organised by neighbourhood to help you pick the best spots to spend your time
  • Covers Bondi, Coogee, Circular Quay, City Centre, Manly, Inner West, Pyrmont, Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Potts Point, Kings Cross, Haymarket, Darling Harbour, the Rocks, and more

eBook Features: (Best viewed on tablet devices and smartphones)

  • Downloadable PDF and offline maps prevent roaming and data charges
  • Effortlessly navigate and jump between maps and reviews
  • Add notes to personalize your guidebook experience
  • Seamlessly flip between pages
  • Bookmarks and speedy search capabilities get you to key pages in a flash
  • Embedded links to recommendations' websites
  • Zoom-in maps and images
  • Inbuilt dictionary for quick referencing

The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Pocket Sydney a colourful, easy-to-use, and handy guide that literally fits in your pocket, provides on-the-go assistance for those seeking only the can't-miss experiences to maximise a quick trip experience.

  • Looking for a comprehensive guide that recommends both popular and offbeat experiences, and extensively covers all of Sydney's neighbourhoods? Check out our Lonely Planet Sydney guide.
  • Looking for more extensive coverage? Check out our Lonely Planet Australia guide for a comprehensive look at all the country has to offer, or Lonely Planet Discover Australia, a photo-rich guide to the country's most popular attractions.

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet.

About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travellers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves.

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Circular Quay & The Rocks


The birthplace of both the city and the nation, this compact area seamlessly combines the historic with the exuberantly modern. Circular Quay’s promenade serves as a backdrop for buskers of mixed merit and locals disgorging from harbour ferries. Join the tourist pilgrimage to the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, then grab a pint at a convict-era pub in The Rocks.

MStart at Circular Quay and head directly to the Sydney Opera House. Follow the shoreline into the Royal Botanic Garden, then continue to Mrs Macquaries Point. When you've seen enough, backtrack to Circular Quay and call in to the Customs House. Continue around Circular Quay and pop up to Sailors Thai Canteen for lunch.

RSpend the afternoon exploring the Rocks. Start at the Museum of Contemporary Art and then head up into the network of narrow lanes to the Rocks Discovery Museum and Susannah Place. Continue through the Argyle Cut to Millers Point and wander up the hill to Sydney Observatory. Pop into one of Sydney's oldest pubs, perhaps the Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel, and then cut down to Walsh Bay and double back under the Harbour Bridge.


Local Life: A Journey up the Parramatta River


Sydney Harbour gets all the attention but a jaunt upriver is just as interesting. As you pass old industrial sites and gaze into millionaires' backyards, a window opens onto a watery world in the heart of Sydney where school rowing crews get put through their paces, groups of mates glide past on yachts and solo kayakers work up a sweat.

f Catch the ferry from Circular Quay to Balmain East (Darling St). The cheapest option is to use an Opal smartcard, which is capped at $15 per day.

Once a tough, working-class neighbourhood, Balmain is home to dozens of historically significant buildings. As you head up Darling St look for Waterman's Cottage (1841) at No 12; Cathermore (1841), Balmain’s first bakery, which later became the Waterford Arms pub, at No 50; and the Watch House (1854), Sydney’s oldest surviving lock-up, at No 179.

Australia's highest-profile pastry chef introduced the nation to macarons during a stint on TV's MasterChef. Call into his patisserie ( GOOGLE MAP ;; 296 Darling St, Balmain; sweets $2.50-10; h8am-6pm; fBalmain) to stock up on 'zumbarons', tarts and cakes as astonishing to look at as they are to eat.


Top Sights: Taronga Zoo


A day trip to Taronga offers so much more than the zoo itself: running the gauntlet of didgeridoo players and living statues at Circular Quay; the ferry ride past the Opera House and out into the harbour; the cable car from the wharf to the top gate; the ever-present views of the city skyline as you make your way down through 75 hectares of bushy harbour hillside. And to cap it all off, the enclosures are excellent, too.

Taronga Zoo is located in Mosman on the North Shore, roughly halfway between Circular Quay and Manly.

f Ferries from Circular Quay depart every half an hour.

% 02-9969 2777 ; ; Bradleys Head Rd ; adult/child $46/23 ; h 9.30am-5pm ; f Taronga Zoo

AA Zoo Pass (adult/child/family $51/25/143) from Circular Quay includes return ferry rides, the bus or cable car ride to the top and zoo admission.


City Centre & Haymarket


Before suburban sprawl started in earnest in the mid-19th century, this area (along with the Rocks) was Sydney. Today it's a towering central business district (CBD) – Australia’s economic engine room – with skyscrapers shadowing sandstone colonial buildings and churches. The breathless jumble of Haymarket and Chinatown provides the yin to the CBD's yang.

MSpend most of the morning exploring the Art Gallery of NSW, then stroll through the Domain to St Mary's Cathedral. Cross into Hyde Park and head straight through its centre, crossing Park St and continuing on to the Anzac Memorial. Pop down to Chinatown for lunch; Mamak is an excellent option.

RExplore Chinatown: wander through Dixon St and into Paddy's Markets. Head back along George St to the Town Hall and Queen Victoria Building. If the shopping bug bites, continue on to Sydney's main shopping strip, Pitt St Mall, in the shadow of Sydney Tower. Once you're all shopped out, spend the rest of your afternoon at the Museum of Sydney.


Darling Harbour & Pyrmont


Darling Harbour was once a thriving dockland, chock-full of factories, warehouses and shipyards. After decades of decline it was reinvented as a dedicated entertainment district, opening for the bicentennial in 1988. Dotted between the flyovers and fountains are some of the city's highest-profile attractions, while every other inch of the waterline is given over to bars and restaurants.

MStart early with the morning tour of the Sydney Fish Market and then catch the light rail to the Exhibition stop. Take a peaceful stroll through the Chinese Garden of Friendship and then cross through Tumbalong Park to the western side of Darling Harbour. Spend the rest of the morning inspecting the ships, submarine and displays at the Australian National Maritime Museum. For lunch, head to the Star's Café Court for dumplings at Din Tai Fung, followed by a sweet treat at Adriano Zumbo.

RAcross Pyrmont Bridge you'll find plenty to keep you (and the kids) amused for the rest of the afternoon. Three attractions are packed cheek-by-jowl; start with the Sydney Sea Life Aquarium and then – if you have the time, budget and inclination – tackle Wild Life Sydney Zoo and Madame Tussauds.


Inner West


The Inner West is a sociological stew of students, goths, urban hippies, artists, Indigenous Australians, Mediterranean immigrants and sexual subculturalists. Newtown shadows King St, lined with interesting boutiques, bookshops, yoga studios, cafes and an inordinate number of Thai restaurants. It’s definitely climbing the social rungs, but Newtown is still free-thinking and bolshy. Glebe is similar, if a little quieter.

MBegin your day at the Powerhouse Museum, where there's more than enough to keep you occupied for most of the morning. Catch the light rail to the Jubilee stop and pay a quick visit to Sze Yup Temple before walking around Jubilee & Bicentennial Parks to Blackwattle Bay. If you feel like indulging, stop at the Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay for lunch.

RCatch a cab to the White Rabbit gallery, then hop up to Newtown where you can spend the remainder of the afternoon shopping on King St. Take a short detour down Church St to explore the cobwebby corners of Camperdown Cemetery.


Surry Hills & Darlinghurst


Sydney's hippest and gayest neighbourhood is also home to its most interesting dining and bar scene. For the most part it's more gritty than pretty, and actual sights are thin on the ground, but there's still plenty to do and see here, especially after dark. Rows of Victorian terrace houses are a reminder of its working-class roots.

MSpend most of the morning wandering around the Australian Museum and then take a long, leisurely walk to lunch at Reuben Hills.

RAfter lunch, head up Albion St and wander through the heart of Surry Hills. Turn left on Bourke St to check out Object Gallery within the old St Margaret's Hospital complex. Head up to Taylor Square, the hub of gay community life, and cross into Darlinghurst. Take Forbes St and cut through the National Art School, stopping for a quick look around the gallery. Exiting on Burton St, turn right and continue to Green Park. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the Sydney Jewish Museum.

NHead out early and catch a cab to the Devonshire; it offers an excellent pre-theatre deal. After dinner, if you haven't booked tickets for a play at Belvoir or a gig at the Oxford Art Factory, take a stroll along Crown St. There are plenty of good bars and pubs to inspect along the way.


Kings Cross & Potts Point


If Darling Harbour is Sydney dressing up nicely for tourists, the Cross is where it relaxes, scratches itself and belches. In equal parts thrilling and depressing but never boring, this is the go-to zone for late-night blinders. In gracious, tree-lined Potts Point and Elizabeth Bay, well-preserved Victorian, Edwardian and art deco houses flank picturesque streets.

MStart your day with breakfast at Room 10. Take a stroll along Darlinghurst Rd, reading the bronze social history plaques set into the footpath along the way. The El Alamein Fountain marks the beginning of Fitzroy Gardens; stop to rummage through the weekend markets. Continue down to Elizabeth Bay and spend the rest of the morning in Elizabeth Bay House. Wander up the stairs near 17 Billyard Ave and head to Fratelli Paradiso for lunch.

RContinue along Challis Ave, admiring the impressive row of colonnaded mansions. At the end, there's a great view over Woolloomooloo from Embarkation Park. Turn left and stroll along leafy Victoria St. If you're planning a big night, head back to your accommodation for a pre-disco nap. Otherwise, while away the afternoon on the rooftop of the Kings Cross Hotel.


Bondi to Coogee


Improbably good-looking arcs of sand framed by jagged cliffs, the Eastern Beaches are a big part of the Sydney experience. Most famous of all is the broad sweep of Bondi Beach, where the distracting scenery and constant procession of beautiful bods never fail to take your mind off whatever it was you were just thinking about…

MGrab your swimming gear and head to the beach. Catch the bus to Bondi and spend some time strolling about and soaking it all in. If the weather's right, stop for a swim. Once you're done, take the clifftop path to Tamarama Beach and on to Bronte Beach. Take a slight detour up to Bronte's excellent Three Blue Ducks for lunch.

RContinue on the coastal path through Waverley Cemetery, Clovelly Beach and on to Coogee Beach. Board a bus back to wherever you're staying and freshen up for the night ahead.

NHave a beer on the terrace of the North Bondi RSL as the sun goes down and then head clear across the beach to Icebergs Dining Room for dinner with a view. Pop over to Anchor for a frosty margarita and then continue on to Neighbourhood for a nightcap.




Laid-back Manly clings to a narrow isthmus between ocean and harbour beaches abutting North Head, Sydney Harbour’s northern gatepost. With its shaggy surfers, dusty labourers and relaxed locals, it makes for a refreshing change from the stuffier harbour suburbs nearby. The surf's good and as the gateway to the Northern Beaches, it makes a popular base for the board-riding brigade.

MJump on the ferry at Circular Quay for the leisurely and extremely beautiful journey to Manly. Before it gets too hot, hire a bike from Manly Bike Tours, grab a map at the visitor centre in front of the wharf, and explore North Head, dropping into the historic former Quarantine Station on the way back. Return the bikes, cool off with a dip at Manly Cove and head to Belgrave Cartel for lunch.

RIt'll take less than an hour to breeze around Manly Art Gallery & Museum. If you're not planning on visiting Darling Harbour's Sydney Aquarium, Manly Sea Life Sanctuary is a trimmed down alternative – plus you can swim with sharks here. Head along the Corso and spend the rest of the day body-surfing and lazing around Manly Beach.


The Best of Sydney


There's no better introduction to Sydney's top sights than this stroll through the corridor of parkland that runs through the heart of Sydney, ending in the organised chaos of Circular Quay. The route can be marched in an hour, or stretched out to the best part of a day, with extended stops along the way.

Start Anzac Memorial; train Museum

Finish Circular Quay; train Circular Quay

Length 5km; two hours

There are cafes and restaurants in the Art Gallery and Royal Botanic Garden, or you could hold on until Circular Quay for a ritzy meal at Aria ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; %02-9240 2255;; 1 Macquarie St; lunch & pretheatre mains $46, 2-/3-/4-course dinner $105/130/155; hnoon-2.30pm Mon-Fri, 5.30-11pm daily; dCircular Quay) or a cheaper bite at Sailors Thai Canteen ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; %02-9251 2466;; 106 George St; mains $24-29; hnoon-3pm Mon-Fri & 5-10pm daily; dCircular Quay).



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