Things to do

A city reawakening: people share what they missed about Sydney

People watching, Opal cards and haircuts: surprising and heartwarming things residents, workers and visitors longed for during Covid.

  • Annie and Mara, Park Street

    “We’ve just come from our aqua aerobics class at Cook and Phillip Park Pool. Annie has been going for 20 years and I’ve been going for 9. It had to stop for months and months last year. We were very happy when it reopened!” – Mara

    “I really use the city, I come in 3 times a week, once for aerobics and once for the hairdressers. I especially like the Strand Arcade. I love the old buildings and the alleyways, and I love the Recital Hall.” – Annie

    Credit: Anna Kucera / City of Sydney
  • Jean, Town Hall

    “2020 was full of surprises. It made you miss the city noises. Like your Opal card, the trams, the seagulls – everything!

    “It was a time where you could focus on something else, like an unusual hobby. You have to find a way to adapt”

    Credit: Anna Kucera / City of Sydney
  • Tess and Connor, Pitt Street

    “I’ve come into the city today with my son to do a little bit of shopping and have an adventure on the bus and the train.

    “I used to be based in the city for work, but since Covid I’ve been working from home. I now come in very rarely because I have a young child and my partying and shopping days are mostly behind me!”

    Credit: Anna Kucera / City of Sydney
  • Dawn, Barangaroo

    “I work in Parramatta and it feels really good to be here in the city today. The sun is out, the restrictions have been eased and everyone is interacting with each other. People seem to be smiling more!”

    Credit: Anna Kucera / City of Sydney
  • Frances, Wynyard

    “I’m still only back in the office about 1 day a week. Over the last year, I’ve missed going out to new bars, going out to eat, and OMG I’ve missed dancing so much!”

    Credit: Anna Kucera / City of Sydney
  • Irene, Chinatown

    “I’ve been in Sydney for 5 years and I now live around Haymarket. My favourite place is Darling Harbour, I enjoy walking around the towers and seeing the views at night.”

    Credit: Anna Kucera / City of Sydney
  • Sanjana, Royal Botanic Gardens

    “I live in Liverpool. I’m so tired of sitting at home with nobody to look at, which is why I’ve come into the city today. It’s great to sit here in the Royal Botanic Garden, people watch and catch some sun.

    “I’ve just moved here from Melbourne to find work. There’s so much green here. Melbourne’s green but Sydney is something else, there’s trees everywhere!”

    Credit: Anna Kucera
  • Clara and family, Royal Botanic Gardens

    “We thought we should jump on the opportunity to come to Sydney for Easter because there were no border restrictions. We missed out at Christmas, so we quickly booked flights as soon as we had the green light.

    “We’re really happy to be back in Sydney. I just love the weather, being close to the ocean, grabbing a ferry or seeing the Opera House, all of those things that you don’t have in Melbourne.”

    Credit: Anna Kucera / City of Sydney
  • Andrew, Pitt Street

    “I stayed working in the city the whole way through 2020. This year already feels a lot busier. I much prefer the hustle and bustle and the people watching. I love going for a beer on a Thursday or Friday after work.

    “My favourite part of Sydney is going for a run past Circular Quay. It’s cliché but always fantastic to see. It’s people around the world’s vision of Australia and we get to see it every day!”

    Credit: Anna Kucera / City of Sydney
  • Tanut, Chinese Gardens of Friendship

    “Last year through Covid, I worked as an Uber Eats driver. Since the city is busier, I now have a job in a kitchen in the Galeries. I love working with food! My favourite place to go out is Darling Square – there are so many restaurants.”

    Credit: Anna Kucera / City of Sydney
  • Sydney and Novi, George Street

    “Yes - my name is actually Sydney! We’re from Indonesia, my mum named me Sydney as she was going to take me home as a souvenir, but we never ended up going back.

    “I’ve been back in the office since May. It feels so much busier now. Today everyone has stopped wearing masks on transport, which is a big change but everyone’s still following the rules which is good.” - Sydney

    Credit: Anna Kucera / City of Sydney