Alpha cities are cities that are considered to be of global importance. They are centrally located and have major social, economic and political clout. Some of the most well-known alpha cities include New York, Paris and Sydney, all of which are international business centers and economic powerhouses. Sydney has been called an alpha plus city thanks to its well-developed infrastructure, cultural diversity, tourism industry and global significance. Flights to Sydney from New York are some of the most popular flights into Australia, and Sydney is often the introduction to Australia for many people.

Australian Flag, Bondi,
Australian Flag, Bondi, (photo courtesy of Tourism Australia)

Sydney is Australia’s largest city and the capital of New South Wales. It hosted the 2000 Olympics, and the city continues to be a thriving metropolis today with a multitude of activities and attractions, such as the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Both are architectural icons but are also so much more. The Opera House is a spectacular structure that offers 11 acres of floor space, concert halls, restaurants and shopping, and its stately halls offer incredible views of the harbour. Visitors to the bridge can stroll across it or climb to the top for an unforgettable view of the city’s skyline.

Those in search of an adrenaline rush will almost certainly find it. Sydney has more than 30 beaches all covered with silky golden sand and lapped by crystal waters. Bondi and Manly are perhaps the best known of its beaches, but Bronte, Whale and Coogee are also quite popular. Visitors can enjoy picnics, cliff walks, surfing, swimming and snorkeling on the beaches. When night falls, Bondi really comes to life and shows a completely new side complete with nightclubs, pubs and dining.

The Rocks Markets, Sydney, NSW
The Rocks Markets, Sydney, (photo courtesy of Tourism Australia)

Of course, whether you are visiting Sydney on business or on holiday, you are sure to want to take home a souvenir of your visit. Head to The Rocks Market, which is home to more than 100 vendors selling almost anything you can imagine while street performers keep you entertained. Paddington Markets offer more than 200 stalls with Australian-made goods, including designer goods, Australian barbecue, freshly baked treats, coffee and juices, jewellery, paintings, textiles and more.

All the exploring, surfing and shopping is certain to help you work up a hearty appetite. Doyles is one of Sydney’s renowned seafood restaurants where you can sample leatherjacket, barramundi or even fish-and-chips. If seafood does not appeal to you, Sydney has plenty of ethnic options ranging from Italian and Thai to Lebanese and Indian. Check out Circular Quay for stunning waterfront dining, or enjoy a quiet meal al fresco in Glebe.