From its spectacular New Year's fireworks to its stunning harbour setting, Sydney is truly one of the world's most attractive cities and it's no wonder that Sydney has long been a popular destination for travellers in Australasia and beyond. Whether you're keen to enjoy the warm weather ‘down under’ when it's winter in the UK, or if you simply want to make a getaway during your summer holidays, Sydney offers a variety of arts, entertainment and sports events to cater for every tourist's taste. r
r As Australia's largest city, Sydney offers a wide range of cultural attractions. The most visited parts of the city are, of course, its most iconic landmarks: the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. However, Sydney holds an array of other popular attractions that should not be overlooked if you're visiting the city. Sydney Tower, for example, is the city's tallest free-standing structure at 305 metres high, and its observation deck offers visitors staggering views across the city. r
r Furthermore, Sydney has a dedicated artistic tradition; a range of Australia's best artistic companies hail from the city, including Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Dance Company and Sydney Theatre Company. Sydney is also famous for its distinct gay community, which centres on Oxford Street and plays host to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras every year. r
r In fact, the Mardi Gras is only one of Sydney's numerous annual festivals. Every January, the city stages the Sydney Festival, which has been Australia's largest and most popular cultural festival since its inception in 1976. Its annual programme includes over 50 free events which span across a range of genres: from classical and contemporary music to dance, drama, circus events and public lectures. Attracting around 1.5 million people every year, the Sydney Festival truly captures the spirit of what makes Sydney such a great city to visit. r
r Sydney is also home to the Sydney Film Festival; moreover, since the opening of Fox Studios in Sydney in 1998, the city has become steadily more prevalent on cinema screens around the world. Famous movies that have been filmed in the city include Mission Impossible II, The Matrix, Moulin Rouge and the last two instalments of the Star Wars franchise. r
r Travellers hoping to see something of Australia's history while in Sydney will not be disappointed with the variety of museums in the city. The biggest are the Australian Museum (a centre for natural history and anthropology), the Powerhouse Museum, which showcases exhibits on science, technology and design, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Australian National Maritime Museum. r
r If you live in Britain, you're sure to be able to find plenty of flights to Sydney on a daily basis throughout the year. So whether you're keen to enjoy the warm weather ‘down under’ when its winter in the UK, or simply want to take a break to the Emerald City during your summer holidays, you'll always be able to find a suitable way to travel to Sydney.
Martin McAllister is a freelance online journalist. He lives in Scotland.