Sydney, Australia is a very laid-back city in every way. The accent is on casual, with shorts and shirt-sleeves everywhere. Even the doctors making their rounds in the hospitals wear shorts. On the beaches, its speedos and string bikinis. Casual dining is most popular, but there are more formal dining places if you prefer them. The favorite drink is beer, consumed in enormous quantities by almost everyone of drinking age. Pubs are open at 10am for those who like an early brew. Sydney boasts a magnificent opera house right on the harbor, but formal dress is not de rigeur here either.
Weekends are spent at the beach surfing and barbecuing, enjoying the plentiful sun, with large coolers full of beer to cool off with. No uptight laws about drinking in public here. Australians (Aussies) are very friendly folk, and make visitors very welcome. Sydney lies on a narrow coastal plain, so a day trip to the mountains is readily available, or you can drive into the bush for a hike and a barbecue, but beware of all the poisonous spiders and snakes you find in the city downunder, and remember to shake your shoes before you put them on - poisonous spiders love to hide there. It's not unusual to see skinks (small lizards) on the walls at night, or to hear giant mosquitoes buzzing around the room, searching for a drop of your blood, even in the heart of the city.
Downtown Sydney is as modern as any city anywhere in the world, and just as cosmopolitan. You'll find almost any ethnic group there, although most tend to be on the lighter side since Australia had a strictly "all white" immigration policy until very recently. There are also many English, and those of English decent, since Australia was begun as a penal colony by Britain over 200 years ago. The British are affectionately know as "bloody pommies" (Prisoner Of Mother England) - the Aussie language is very colorful!
The magnificent harbor is a paradise for water enthusia...