Here are Travel Channel's picks on what to see, where to stay and what to eat in Sydney, so you can tell your mates all about this beautiful city on the harbour.
The fourth largest public gallery in Australia, the Art Gallery of New South Wales is the place to experience Australian culture. Established in 1897 and only a 15-minute walk from the center of Sydney, the gallery features European and Asian art alongside the art of its countrymen from settlement to modern times. General admission is free.
Located right next to the historic Sydney Opera House, the Royal Botanic Gardens are free and open every day -- making it perfect for those days when all you want to do is soak up the beauty of Australia. The first botanist assigned to building the collection started in 1817, making the gardens Australia’s oldest scientific institution.
Kathryn's on Queen is a luxury B&B located minutes from all the big Sydney attractions like Bondi Beach and The Star Casino. Located in a National Trust-listed Victorian terrace house, this boutique inn has only 2 guest rooms; it doesn't get much more exclusive than Kathryn's.
If you need a break from shrimp on the barbie, then try the bustling Fratelli Paradiso for stylish Italian cuisine. Along with its adjoining bakery, this sophisticated eatery serves seasonal Italian meals finished off with authentic desserts.
Walk the fig-lined paths through Hyde Park (named after the original Hyde Park in London), and see the Archibald Fountain, built in 1932 in honor of Australia's contribution in World War I. In the 1800s, the citizens of Sydney, along with sheep and cattle, shared the park with the military who used the space for drills.
Named after the Aboriginal word for "water breaking over rocks," Bondi Beach ranges from a gentle swimming area at one end to a dangerous riptide at the other. Regardless of how adventurous you're feeling, Bondi Beach is a great place to see wildlife such as whale and dolphin pods, and if you're lucky, a fairy penguin.
If you weren't able to get one of the 2 rooms at Kathryn's on Queen, then there is always the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney. Take in stunning views of the harbor from one of the hotel's 531 rooms or 121 suites.
When you think you've done all there is to do in Sydney, then visit Centennial Park. This large urban park, which was initially a swampland, is one of the few places in the world that lets you ride horses in the middle of the city.
While in Hyde Park, check out this statue of Captain Cook -- the first European to land on Australia's shores. As if his "discovery" of the continent wasn't enough, his name is also Australian rhyming slang for "look."
See Sydney in all its glory by taking a walk along the Harbour Foreshore. If you'd like more guidance as you explore the harbor, you can take a walking tour along the foreshore where you'll hear Australian folk tales and learn the city's secrets from a local guide.
The Queen Victoria Building was designed and commissioned for the purpose of employing craftsmen who were hit hard by a recession in the late 1800s. Originally a shopping and entertainment center, it was converted into a library and offices. Ever since a renovation in 1984, it's reclaimed its roots as a stylish center of commerce.
Find this gorgeous salad of fior di latte mozzarella, beets and heirloom tomatoes at the Bar at 10 William Street, a hip, but tiny eatery featuring an extensive wine list and a modern Italian menu.
One morning, saunter over to La Buvette for a French-style brunch of smoked salmon brioche and espresso. The petite street café specializes in French pastries and has a breakfast menu worth waking up for.