My first impression of Sydney, NSW

I arrived in Sydney on 1st February 2018 for the start of my Working Holiday Visa year. I don’t know what I was really expecting but I ended up quite excited to leave.

My first impression of Sydney

As far as cities go, Sydney is fairly small which is great if you are only there for a few days as it means you can see everything. Within our first 2 days we had seen all of the famous landmarks and more within the city centre. We had seen Sydney Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and Darling Harbour. We had seen malls, Hyde Park and the Royal Botanic Garden. We even bumped into a UFC star.

Sydney Royal Opera House & Harbour Bridge Sydney Harbour Bridge RainbowHyde Park, st Mary’s cathedral, Sydney

Sydney is also really expensive. We knew this before we arrived but it was even more expensive than we expected. We were paying $35 a night each for a bed in an 8 bed dorm. A basic burger & chips meal in an average pub was $28-$35 before you’ve even ordered a drink. Even a 600ml bottle of water in a supermarket was $3! We couldn’t see ourselves wanting to stay there to look for work.

Sydney library

A lot of people that we have spoken to felt the same way. Sydney is over hyped but really isn’t anything special compared to the rest of Australia. To date, I have been to 6 other towns & cities within Australia and I have enjoyed my time more than I did in Sydney.

My first impressions of Sydney are that it’s just another city that puts a price on everything and is somewhere that I would only want to spend a couple of days at a time there.

Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens

|| Related: 5 Day Sydney Itinerary ||

Have you visited Sydney? What impression did you get?


13 thoughts on “My first impression of Sydney, NSW

  1. Sydney is definitely one of those places that you either love or hate. It is expensive (although I’m not sure where the $28-$35 burgers are?! I’ve never spent more than about $18-$20 max for a burger and chips in Sydney! Maybe I’m just a cheapskate though haha) A few days is only really enough time to see the main landmarks, it has a lot more to offer other than just the tourist hot spots (opera house, harbour bridge etc). Next time you are passing through I would recommend a visit to the Blue Mountains, or stay up at the YHA by the Hawksbury River and explore Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, or take a trip to Cockatoo Island to explore the old convict and industrial precincts.

    Welcome to Australia, I hope you enjoy the rest of your time here! Feel free to drop me a note in future if you’d like any ‘off the beaten track’ ideas for your next trip to Sydney. Safe travels!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was there for over 2 weeks, I’d just not recommend longer than 5 days personally. Since leaving Sydney and exploring other places on the east coast I definitely think it’s over hyped and underwhelming there. I won’t be returning in a hurry but thank you! 🙂


      1. Ah okay, no worries! I agree there’s defiantly a lot of beautiful places in Australia outside of Sydney! I think I’m just bias because I live in Sydney 😂 if you haven’t been already then check out Byron Bay and the surrounding hinterland, it’s beautiful! And Melbourne area, the great ocean road is stunning!

        have a great trip!


        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve visited Byron but it was raining almost the whole time so we want to go back when it’s nicer! Can’t wait to visit Melbourne too!
        Thank you,


  2. I lived in Sydney for nearly 5 months (near Bondi Beach) and absolutely adored it! I didn’t really notice the price, coming from a city in the UK with similar prices to London haha, so I guess that wasn’t something that bothered me. Once I started renting a room, I explored areas further out from the city and found so many beautiful spots! I guess we all love different things, I went to Melbourne after that and was less impressed… It’s interesting reading how different people’s experiences are! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, we visited Bondi while we were there and I thought it was great. I just didn’t think the main city area was all that, it was built up so much to me about how amazing it is but I just felt it was just like any other city but smaller!
      As in you were less impressed with Sydney or Melbourne? I haven’t visited Melbourne yet 🙂
      I’m currently living Brisbane though, the south side. It’s definitely more my type of place!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Fair enough! Less impressed with Melbourne, but I spent a lot less time there so maybe I would’ve liked it more if I’d been there longer. I went to Brisbane for a bit too, definitely agree it’s lovely there – the Gold Coast is stunning!

        Liked by 1 person

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