Anyone can go on a trip anywhere. Some people like to get away from their everyday life and let loose someplace new, and there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with that. The only issue that arises from the general vacation attitude is that you’ll wind up missing everything that’s around you. A vacation can be just as enriching as it is exciting. When you visit Sydney, try to experience it like a local. You’ll return home feeling fulfilled, and a little wiser about a different local culture.
Hotels are designed for tourists. They’re made to look shiny and lavish, decorated with generic themes and motifs. If you want to have a genuine experience, consider renting a room with a local. Many homeowners or apartment renters in Sydney will list their spare rooms for rent on sites like Gumtree.
You’ll be staying with someone who knows the area, and you’ll have access to amenities like a kitchen. While the person you’re renting from isn’t a tour guide, they’ll probably be able to answer any questions you have about getting around Sydney and what to do while you’re there.
There’s nothing wrong with hitting a few upscale Sydney restaurants, but the locals don’t go there often. They have their favorite places to buy food, and they also prepare meals at home using local ingredients. Going to restaurants and takeaway places that are off the beaten path will give you access to authentic food, and shopping at the grocery store will allow you to taste the things Australia is famous for – including the infamous Australian beef. Best of all – you’ll even save a few bucks in the process.
Of course you’ll need to visit Bondi Beach while you’re in Sydney – but so will every other tourist. There’s a lot of locals that hang out there, but they’re doing so for the novelty value. The locals have different beaches they prefer to go to, and these beaches are usually less crowded. The same goes for attractions and night life hotspots. Rather than doing things by the book, don’t be afraid to ask locals where they like to go. They know the little quirks of the area, and they can lead you to some real Sydney gems.
Art and history lend a hand to shaping the culture of an area. Making some cultural stops while you’re in Sydney will help you feel the forces that comprise the general attitude of the area. There are tons of museums in Sydney, and some of them offer free admission. Always check the news for local festivals and events. Attending these functions will help you see what’s important to the community, and determine where your interests overlap with those of a Sydney native.
Sydney is highly developed, and it will only continue to develop in the coming decades. Though there aren’t many easily accessible places to experience nature outside of the beaches, parks and botanical gardens do exist in peaceful pockets tucked away from the boom of the city. It’s these small details that many tourists miss, because they’re so caught up in Sydney’s busy bustle. Don’t forget to experience the native flora and fauna that define the area.
There’s a lot going on in Sydney, and it’s easy to be distracted. The city is lively, and rushes of people are constantly moving in all directions. Take some time out of your itinerary to step back and appreciate Sydney for the beautiful city it really is.
Emily Burgess is an avid blogger and traveler who enjoys writing about all aspects of self-improvement and discovering the world. Emily is currently sharing some of her ideas at Course Guru – experts in the field of online education. Personally, she’s a great fan of foreign languages.