Sydney – Our number one city
For the 10th consecutive year Sydney has been voted the world’s best city (Top 10 Cities Overall) by the international “Travel & Leisure Magazine”. It scored an 87 per cent approval rating among travellers and tourist industry workers. It was fourth after Florence (87.09%), Rome (86.15 %), and Bangkok (86.11%).
The last two years it has been number one on this list. Judge by yourself and take a trip to one of the worlds most beautiful cities!
Sydney is one of the largest cities in its land size. It reaches across 1580 square kilometres. This is the same as London and more than double New York’s 780 square kilometres. Amsterdam is 167 square kilometres, and Paris is a mere 105 square kilometres. There are 1, 426, 266 dwellings in Sydney.
Sydney’s population is 3,536,000 people.
Sydney is Australia’s oldest city, the economic powerhouse of the nation and the country’s capital in everything but name. It’s blessed with sun-drenched natural attractions, dizzy skyscrapers, delicious and daring restaurants, superb shopping and friendly folk.
Although it’s come a long way from its convict beginnings, it still has a rough and ready energy, and offers an invigorating blend of the old and the new, the raw and the refined. While high culture attracts some to the Opera House, gaudy nightlife attracts others to Kings Cross.
It’s a city blessed with long stretches of heavenly beaches, a pleasant climate that sees over 300 sunny days a year, an economy that’s stronger than it should be, a stable local government, and a population of open-minded, outgoing entrepreneurial types who are itching to show the whole place off.
Time Zone: GMT/UTC +10 (Eastern Standard Time)
Telephone Area Code: 02
Sydney wasn’t a planned city and its layout is further complicated by its hills and the numerous inlets of the harbour, its focal point. The centre of Sydney is on the south shore of the harbour, about 7km (4mi) inland from the harbour heads. Skyscrapers in the Central Business District (CBD) vie for dominance and harbour views, but the city’s relentlessness is softened by shady Hyde Park and The Domain parkland to the east, Darling Harbour to the west and the main harbour to the north. The Sydney Harbour Bridge and the harbour tunnel link the city centre with the satellite CBD of North Sydney and the suburbs of the North Shore. Sydney Airport is about 10km (6mi) south of the city centre. Central station, Sydney’s main train station, is in the south of the city centre, and the main bus terminal is located outside it.
Dollars and cents. Notes: $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 bills. Coins: 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, $1 and $2. The Australia dollar is floated on the world currency market and is presently fluctuating at around 74 to 75 cents to the US$.
Sydney, like most parts of Australia, presents no real health risks for foreign visitors. Tap water is good, restaurants and eating places are required by law to maintain a high standard of food preparation, and the city is generally clean. Smog is less of a problem than with cities such as London, Hong Kong and Bangkok, but is still quite high. Exposure to the sun can be a problem for those who are fair-skinned. Also, those with little experience in swimming in the surf should be cautious when swimming at Sydney’s famous surf beaches, Bondi and Manly, and should always swim between the warning flags erected by lifeguards. Medical costs in Australia are not exhorbitant like in the United States and Europe, but travel insurance is still recommended.
Handy to Know:
Electricity voltage: 240.
Units of measure: metric.
Public phones: 50-cent local calls (Sydney metropolitan area).
Phone directory assistance: 1223 (Sydney area), 1223 (Australia), 1225 (International).
Phone international dial out prefix code: 0011
Coffee: around $3.50 a cup, sometimes less, quite often more in tourist areas.
Petrol (gas) in cents per litre: approximately 120 (as at September 2006)
Emergency phone number for police, ambulance and fire is 000.
Sydney is also one of the safest cities to live in, with a reputation for fine eating. Two Sydney restaurants have been named in the world’s top 50 for 2006, with Tetsuya’s ranked fifth and Rockpool coming in at 30th.
The Restaurant Magazine awards were unveiled to the cream of the culinary world at a ceremony at London’s Science Museum on Monday.
The Fat Duck, in the village of Bray, west of London, which is famed for its curious signature dishes such as “snail porridge”, was knocked from its perch as the world’s best restaurant, with the accolade heading south to Spain.
El Bulli, near Rosas, northern Spain, regained the title it won at the inaugural World’s 50 best restaurants awards in 2002, swapping places with The Fat Duck. Tetsuya’s and Rockpool owners Tetsuya Wakuda and Neil Perry were at the awards to hear their restaurants named among the world’s best.
Tetsuya’s fifth ranking was down one place from last year, but his assistant Vicki Wilde said he was ecstatic with the result.
Bruce Gow is the owner of www.bestrealestate.com.au/ [http://www.bestrealestate.com.au/], an Australian real estate agent guide.
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