Sydney’s beaches aren’t the only spots that heat up over summer. The place lights up from Jan 6-28 as the annual Sydney Festival (sydneyfestival.org.au/2018/) transforms pockets of the city into a cultural hub of ideas, theatre, dance, art, music and circus. And if you are in the city tomorrow night, the New Year celebrations are world class. Connections from the UK come courtesy of BA (britishairways.com) and Qantas (qantas.com).
Read Telegraph Travel’s full guide to visiting Sydney.
At the Park Hyatt. The Sydney Opera House winks from across the pond and morning laps in the rooftop pool are taken in the shade of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. When Pippa Middleton honeymooned in Sydney, she did so here. It’s extremely expensive – double rooms from AUS$1270 (£722). At a much more affordable price and still centrally located (albeit without the harbour views) is Hotel Harry. While breakfast is not offered, they make up for it with a rollicking good Bar Publico serving some of the best Latin food in town. Double rooms from AUS$172.
Find more of the city’s best hotels.
Take in the collections at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, then go through The Royal Botanic Gardens. Pass Sydney Opera House, and continue through Circular Quay to The Rocks, Sydney’s oldest precinct. Bookend your tour with art by finishing up at The Museum of Contemporary Art.
Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb at dusk – assuming you have a head for heights (bridgeclimb.com; from AUS$163).
Read our complete guide to the best attractions in Sydney.
Discover the ancient history of central Sydney through The Rocks Aboriginal Dreaming Tour (dreamtimesouthernx.com.au; AUS$44).
Westfield at Centrepoint Tower is the go-to for fashion ranging from chain stores to high-end design houses. A walk up Oxford Street will take you to The Intersection in Paddington, a hub for Australian designers.
See more of the best shops in Sydney.
Take the spiral stairs down to Restaurant Hubert for decadent French décor, live jazz and killer cocktails. Cocktails around AUS$19.
Fratelli Paradiso (fratelliparadiso.com) on Challis Avenue in Potts Point serves modern Italian fare with a side of strong cocktails and a healthy dose of Sydney’s most stylish strolling past. Expect to pay around $AUS80, including wine.
See our complete guide to Sydney’s best restaurants
Off the map
Take the 20-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo, where harbour and city views serve as a backdrop to the animal encounters. There is a cable car that will pick you up from the ferry station, taking guests over the tops of the enclosures. Bonus. (taronga.org.au/taronga-zoo; Adults: AUS$46 or AUS$41.40 online).