• 2023.05.25
  • How to behave in Sydney, Australia. A guide.
Australians are very committed to being good citizens.
The sense of community is very much felt here, even in a big city such as Sydney.
There are some rules to follow living here, rules that perhaps may seem obvious for people from some countries but not moving here from Italy.

Rule number one is: behave well on public transport.
Respect for others is one of the first things that impressed me when I came to Australia for the first time, and one of the situations I noticed most was on public transport. Maybe it's because in Italy I took buses and subways for more than 10 years and I've always had to fight to have my own personal space…but here in Sydney I've always appreciated how civilized the people were on the public transport.
On buses, people get on from the front door only and move to the back of the bus.
It’s important, on any public transport, to always give away your seat to older people or people with mobility issues.

Rule number two is: do not swim outside the flags.
Anyone who has seen at least one episode of an Australian TV series or film will know the importance of swimming between the red and yellow flags.
In fact, these delimit the area in which it is safe to swim and their position is decided by the beach lifeguards based on the sea currents and weather conditions.
Beware that the position of the flags can change during the day!
Areas outside these flags are considered dangerous due to the presence of strong currents or because they are assigned to surfers.

Rule number three is: do noyt swim within the bay.
Sydney Harbor is one of the most beautiful natural bays in the world and it's only natural to want to swim in its blue waters, especially during the hot summer months. But don't be fooled, because Sydney Harbor can hold nasty surprises for you! First of all there is the pollution created by the ferries and boats that constantly navigate the waters of the port. Secondly, there is the disturbing presence of jellyfish and sharks, especially bull sharks, which have the bad reputation of being among the most aggressive species out there. Well, I don't know about you, but I prefer to swim in one of the beautiful city beaches and leave the bay for other recreational activities.

Rule number four is: do not drink alcohol in public places.
Australia is a so-called ‘nanny state,’ and as such it has rules and laws to control virtually every aspect of social life. The ban on drinking alcohol in many public places is, alas, important and must be respected. In particular, on most beaches and city parks, as well as on the streets of the CBD (Central Business District) and on public transport, it is strictly forbidden to consume alcohol and, in the case of transport, also to carry an open bottle or can containing alcohol. So if you want to avoid a big fine, drink at your home or in clubs.

Rule number five is: do not feed the seagulls, especially near the Fish Market.
If the Fish Market is certainly one of the destinations that I recommend not to miss during your visit to Sydney, what I absolutely do not recommend is feeding the seagulls that populate it. Not only does this hygienically suck in a place where you eat, but you risk that in no time at all your table (with you and your food included) will be literally stormed by dozens of seagulls, pigeons and other birds. And while you're at it, watch your food constantly because these birds won't think twice about stealing fish from right under your nose.


  • Alberto Ferrando
  • Jobcivil engineer

Hello everyone! I’m originally from Italy and I moved to Sydney, Australia, in 2012 after getting a job as a civil engineer. I love walking my dog along the beach, surfing and taking photos. I used to have a travel blog because I’m passionate about traveling and I love writing about it too. Sydney is my home base now and I wish to share how amazing it is to live here. I love to spend time outdoors and I’m always well informed about local events because my girlfriend works in event management.

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