In today's post, Sydney puts a list of 10 things you can do to be a part of the local culture and city life when you arrive in Sydney for your semester abroad.
While a summer semester abroad may not seem like a long enough time (like a fall or spring semester abroad) to explore all the different things that Sydney has to offer, here's a list that I've put together based on my experience. I can 100% say that this is a good place to start—regardless of how long you'll be abroad. Here are some of my favorite things that I’ve done while abroad in Sydney.
1. SPEND TIME AT THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
First, spend time at this iconic landmark. Yes, it’s a huge tourist attraction…but that’s for a reason. If you don’t have the money to actually go to a show or a behind-the-scenes tour, but you want more than just a picture outside, try a sunrise yoga class.
2. TRY NEW FOOD
Whether that’s kangaroo, Tim Tams, meat pie, vegemite, dumplings from Din Tai Fung, etc... Get out of your comfort zone!
3. VISIT VARIOUS MARKETS AROUND TOWN
You can find food, clothing, jewelry, souvenirs, and everything else! Some of the few markets that I checked out were Glebe, Carriageworks, and The Rocks.
4. GO TO A SPORTS GAME
Rugby is huge in Sydney, but I had the best time at the AFL games that I went to. For more about the sports culture in Sydney, see my earlier post!
5. VISIT THE BEACHES
My favorite trip to the beach was when I went surfing, but if that’s not your speed...no worries, mate. There are also coastal walks like Manly-Spit or Bondi-Coogee, or you can just relax and watch as the waves come in and the people go by.
6. FIND SOMEWHERE AND BECOME A REGULAR
Sydney has a huge cafe culture, so whether you’re big on coffee, tea, pastries, or just in it for the atmosphere, you’ll easily be able to find a place that suits your needs.
7. GO TO DIFFERENT FESTIVALS
There are several put on throughout the year! When I got to Sydney, the Vivid lights, music, and ideas festival was about to start, and right after I left, the Bastille French food, wine, and art festival happened. Other festivals throughout the year include a Chinese New Year celebration, pride celebration, and things like running and music festivals.
8. BECOME ONE WITH NATURE
You can do this at places like the Grounds of Alexandria or the Royal Botanical Garden. Take a free tour with a volunteer guide, walk through on your own, or just sit at one of the benches throughout the area and relax as nature flourishes around you.
9. GET GELATO MESSINA
They were voted best gelato in Australia—and I’d have to agree. And believe me, I tested quite a few other places. They have 35 flavors at all times, and then 5 more weekly specials like dark chocolate gelato with blackberry and rose puree or caramelized white chocolate and peanut gelato with peanut crunch. Honestly, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
10. TAKE A WEEKEND TO TRAVEL
Clearly Sydney is fantastic, but if you need to leave to get a different take on Australian culture, you can try a trip to Melbourne, Brisbane, or Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef.
Stay tuned for more of Sydney's journey in Sydney.