Central Business District

Business and culture in the beating heart of Sydney.

Australia's stock exchange, reserve bank, and courts of law overlook Sydney Harbor in the Central Business District, or CBD. Power suits crisscross the CBD's congested streets and steal away to its parks during lunch breaks on the weekdays, but the neighborhood's energy abates with the arrival of Saturday morning. The CBD means business, but it knows the value of pleasure—an abundance of cafes, restaurants, bars, and clubs complement the esteemed entertainment of the nearby Opera House.

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On the Map

Central Business District is bordered by The Rocks, Millers Point, Woolloomooloo, Chippendale, Potts Point, Ultimo, Haymarket, Darlinghurst, Pyrmont, and Surry Hills

  • Public transit is Easy
  • Having a car is Difficult

International Airport: 18 minutes by cab without traffic or 28 minutes by train
Central Station: a short walk or bus ride away
Opera House / Circular Quay: a short walk or bus ride away
Bondi Beach: 35 minutes by bus

The Center of Commerce In the Heart of Sydney

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Corporate professionals navigate chaotic sidewalks in Sydney's Central Business District, Australia's largest commercial center.

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With Sydney Harbor to the east and Darling Harbor to the west, "The City" can almost feel like its own island.

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Built up during the mid 20th century, Sydney's CBD has drastically evolved during its relatively short life span.

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Towering buildings and iconic landmarks spring between refurbished theatres and modest edifices indicative of Sydney's heritage.

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Company headquarters summon fast-walking execs and high-end malls seduce fashion connoisseurs.

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Performers use Pitt Street as a stage.

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Digital listeners use stairs as chairs.

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During the week, the CBD overflows with activity.

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Cafes, gyms, boutiques, and grocers cater to professionals on strict time frames.

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The weekend ushers in the CBD's quieter side.

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Fewer people take Sydney's buses, trains, and taxis into the CBD on the weekend.

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Rush hour is real during the work week.

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Within 5 minutes walking distance you have a selection of some of the best cafes, restaurants and bars, supermarkets, movie cinemas, shopping and more!"

Easy Escapes: Lunch Hour In "The City"

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Urban Sydneysiders fill the green spaces between their corporate confines during lunch hour.

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Hyde Park hosts picknickers looking for quick nibbles and nourishing sunlight.

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In Sydney's CBD, every hour counts.

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Time is money.

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Professionals sneak in their favorite form of exercise during their time off.

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"The City" embraces active enthusiasm, and Sydneysiders' affinity for fitness doesn't get lost in the hustle of the CBD.

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Motion is progress.

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It's a good move.

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Being in the city there is understandably a bit of noise, it didn't really bother me but if you're a light sleeper take some earplugs."

Hanah

Visited in 2013

After Five: From Day to Night In "The City"

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Bankers, lawyers, and business execs take it easy along the harbor once the workday winds down.

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Views of the Opera House aglow complement urban Sydneysiders' food and beverage.

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The CBD, too, is loosening its tie.

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The neighborhood is gradually granting new bars and restaurants licenses to serve.

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Their enterprising presences enliven the CBD's hidden passages and sinewy side streets.

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The CBD takes pride in its work.

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It takes pride in its play.

Photography

Airbnb works with local photographers to capture the spirit of neighborhoods all around the world. The photography on this page includes work by:

David Maurice Smith is a Canadian photographer based in Sydney whose work focuses on travel, reportage, and long-term documentary stories. He is drawn to personal stories and is fascinated by the circumstances that are reflected in each of us. He works hard to visually explore and explain the inspiring, tragic, or somewhere in-between… In 2012 David joined Australia's prestigious Photographic Collective, Oculi.

David Maurice Smith

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Carly Earl grew up in the bush before moving to Sydney to pursue photography. She is a photojournalist for News Ltd, shooting features and front covers for publications, but still finds time for a range of freelance projects. Carly has developed a natural style to her imagery that captures the essence of the subject in a unique way. She loved discovering a new side of Sydney while exploring her suburbs for Airbnb.

Carly Earl

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