Australia

Sydney’s Best Cool Neighbourhoods


From a vibrant cosmopolitan culture to laid-back lifestyle

and high-end style, the world-popular metropolis of Sydney has much to offer to its visitors. Sydney’s quite a diverse city and each of its neighbourhoods have a unique local flair. Whether you want to explore its arts scene, learn more about its heritage or soak in its relaxed vibe, Sydney will never leave you disappointed.

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Sydney, Newtown, image courtesy of JAM Project

Artsy Newtown

As Sydney’s centre of the alternative culture, Newtown is a neighbourhood with a recognizably shabby-chic atmosphere that will awaken the artsy soul in you. This bohemian area features some of the most popular vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney, charming galleries, and theatres, a vibrant pub scene with live music and a series of vintage and antique shops. Newtown is an LGBT-friendly hotspot for young people who want to experience Sydney’s nightlife and a vibrant, eclectic community. You can just stroll along its winding King Street and admire the street art murals done by local artists.

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Sydney, The Rocks, image courtesy of John Cooke

The Historic Rocks

For those who want to learn more about Sydney’s colonial heritage, the neighbourhood of Rocks is just the right place. Not only is this enticing suburb located within walking distance of Sydney’s famous landmarks, such as the iconic Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, but it’s also home to beautifully designed historic buildings. You shouldn’t miss the opportunity to get up early in the morning and explore its cobbled walkways and hidden courtyards before they come to life. If you enjoy boutique hotels, you can stay at the Harbour Rocks Hotel that features a charming rooftop terrace. This suburb has a quaint atmosphere that will simply consume you.

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Sydney, Bondi Beach image courtesy of Rasmus Lerdorf

Tropical Bondi Beach

Located just seven kilometres away from the city centre, on the South Pacific coast, Bondi Beach district has a unique tropical vibe with a cosmopolitan flair. Dotted with lovely relaxed bars and chic boutiques, this neighbourhood certainly has style, but it has managed to maintain its laid-back, surfy vibe. Iconic Bondi Beach is known for its golden sands set against the deep blue waters that inspire relaxation. After spending some time basking in the sun, you should cool yourself down with delicious ice-cream from one of its lovely gelato stores. Of course, you cannot stay in this area without trying to tame the Australian waves, so grab a board and start surfing.

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Sydney, Randwick image courtesy of Chris Krahe

Convivial Randwick

The suburb of Randwick has a welcoming and friendly atmosphere that will make you feel as if you were home. Radiating with a pleasant, village-like feel, Randwick will provide you with a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the urban city. This neighbourhood is also home to the University of New South Wales (UNSW) that fills the area with a lively student atmosphere. There’s plenty of exciting things to do in Randwick, ranging from relaxing at Coogee Beach to attending numerous cultural events at the UNSW. If you want to explore the area on foot, the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk will enable you to soak in the scenic landscape.

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Sydney, Darlinghurst image courtesy of surtr

Energetic Darlinghurst

What was once the centre of crime, sex, and drugs now is one of the most vibrant and dynamic neighbourhoods in Sydney. Darlinghurst, or Darlo as the locals love to call it, features chic buildings transformed from brothels, charming coffee shops that are always brimming with life and rainbow-coloured streets. This area is home to a daring and exciting community that never stops having fun. Whether you want to have a night or coffee of your lifetime, this is just the right place. If you want to have a taste of Darlo’s delicious cocktails, you should stop by the enthusiastic bar Hinky Dinks where you can unwind in a tiki-themed ambiance.

Each of these Sydney’s neighbourhoods has a unique atmosphere that distinguishes it from the others. All you need to do is take your pick and start exploring! And make sure to take along your handy DK Eyewitness Travel Guide to Sydney: we don’t travel anywhere without them!


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  • Marie Nieves

    Oh, Gregory, I’m so glad to hear that! Someday you will return, I know that. 🙂


  • Gregory George

    such sweet memories of our month spent in Sydney in 2004, Marie. Makes us want to return!!