Live like a Sydney local

Sydney is unstoppable, and nobody knows that better than the people who live there.

Here's our local's guide to finding a great Sydney moment at any time of the year.

Major Sydney events for 2018

No matter what time of the year you visit, Sydney is always putting on a show. Whether you're looking for bright lights, high fashion or big tackles, there'll be something exciting happening around every corner. We’ve picked out some highlights from the Sydney events calendar to get you started.

Vivid Sydney

Vivid Sydney is the world's largest annual festival of light, music and ideas. For 23 days during May and June each year, it transforms the CBD with amazing light installations, excellent music and stimulating workshops. The excitement spills into the surrounding streets, as everyone gets wrapped up in the colour, light and ideas. Vivid Sydney 2018 runs 25 May - 16 June.

Mammoths - Giants of the Ice Age

This exhibition takes you back millions of years to when mammoths roamed the earth. Star of the show is Lyuba, an intact 42,000-year-old baby woolly mammoth who’s on her first trip downunder from Siberia. The exhibition is exclusive to the Australian Museum in Sydney and on until 13 May 2018.

Evita at the Sydney Opera House

The original West End production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita, starring Tina Arena, will be performed at the Sydney Opera House from 13 September to 3 November 2018. It features some of Andrew Lloyd Webber's best-loved songs, including 'Don’t Cry For Me Argentina', 'On This Night of a Thousand Stars', 'You Must Love Me', and 'Another Suitcase in Another Hall'.

Running, sculpture and the NRL Grand Final

Other events you might like to plan your visit around include the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival in September; Sculpture by the Sea in October, featuring more than 100 sculptures along a two-kilometre coastal walk; and NRL Grand Final in October, which captivates the country like the Superbowl does in America.

Shopping the way the locals like it

Everyone knows Paddington; it's been the mainstay of alternative Sydney shopping for years. But have you discovered some of the other inner-city suburbs? We have a few recommendations, based on where the locals like to shop in central Sydney.

  • Right next to Paddington, Surry Hills is the place to add to your vinyl collection or buy an edgy piece of art.
  • Newtown is bohemian and arty, with food and fashion to match. Wander down King Street to discover vintage shops, themed boutiques and healthy café food that is truly delectable.
  • Birkenhead Point, because everyone loves a bargain or three. This brand outlet area has close to 200 stores and you can get there by Shopper Hopper ferry, which leaves from Circular Quay and Darling Harbour.
  • Balmain, which is also accessible by ferry, for fashion, homewares and jewellery. At Balmain Markets you can hunt for vintage fashion, pre-loved books, antiques and collectables.
  • Rozelle on the weekend. The open-air market has a bit of everything; there's great food too.

History, culture and art at Carriageworks

Housed in the Eveleigh Rail Yard, Carriageworks offers up a little something for every sense. Regular exhibitions show off world-class art, while performances from local musicians - such as the Aboriginal collective Klub Koori and the design and creativity festival Semi Permanent - are treats worth flying to Sydney for. Weekly farmers' markets offer delicious local breads, meat and veggies, as well as flower stalls loaded with scented wonders from the region.

Carriageworks is Australia's biggest multi-arts centre and a great stop for anyone with an appetite for culture. The unique venue is a heritage site complete with an original railway carriage and blacksmiths' workshops, giving the whole experience an authentic industrial feel. The artists, stalls and performances change regularly, with new exhibits and features popping up all the time.

Start planning your trip to Sydney

Keep exploring Sydney