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A Guide to the Main Areas of Sydney’s CBD

Sydney’s CBD is one of the more varied and interesting downtown core areas of any city in the world. The following is a brief summary of the major areas and their attractions.

The Rocks

This historic part of the CBD is just steps from Circular Quay, and despite being one of the oldest sections of the city, The Rocks is known for its funky bars and restaurants, as well as its lively summer evening markets. This tiny enclave is packed full of character, and while it’s not exactly cheap, relaxing over lunch or a beer at a charming pub in The Rocks will have you feeling like you’ve gone back in time a couple of hundred years. As home to some of the fanciest rental apartments in Sydney, The Rocks is also the perfect part of the city to choose if you’re looking for a short, luxurious visit.

Circular Quay

The highlight of Sydney’s CBD, Circular Quay is where the downtown core meets Sydney Harbour, creating the spectacular skyline of one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Being on the southern side of the harbour, Circular Quay provides a link to the north shore by way of its ferry services, as well as easy access to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. On foot, you can get to Circular Quay by following George Street past Town Hall and straight down to the water. Otherwise, there is a CityRail train station here, making it easy to access from other parts of the city. No matter what time of the day or year, you are sure to find hundreds (if not thousands) of locals and tourists alike gathered down at Circular Quay.

Martin Place

Best known for its War Memorial, Martin Place is located right in the middle of the CBD, with its large open plaza the perfect place to relax outside of the office and enjoy a coffee or some lunch. Every year on April 25, Martin Place is packed with people for a sombre dawn service commemorating Anzac Day.

Town Hall

No longer regularly used as a government facility, the beautiful Town Hall building on George Street is one of the most popular meeting spots in all of Sydney. Town Hall steps is a very common place for Sydneysiders to meet up with friends before heading off for a night of partying, and on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night, Town Hall steps will be jam-packed. The train station here is the busiest in the central CBD, making Town Hall one of those places that you find yourself visiting again and again.

The Royal Botanic Gardens

Very few cities in the world have anything like Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens sitting in their downtown core, with this magical place located just minutes from some of the city’s tallest skyscrapers. A favourite place for office workers to have lunch or go for a run, these gardens are a big part of why Sydney is considered to be such a beautiful city.

If you haven’t spent much time in this amazing city, it is past time that you did. Check yourself into some short-term accommodation in Sydney and spend some time downtown. While the beaches in Sydney are a huge highlight, the CBD is where the action is.

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