What is desperately missing from Sydney?


3d-question-markWe all love this city, but perhaps there’s something you’ve secretly wished was in Sydney.

Perhaps it’s a particular store chain or service… a change to the city’s infrastructure… or something else other cities have, but is just missing here for some reason.

Don’t say ‘nothing’, that’s cheating! Every city can be improved upon, so what do you think is currently desperately missing in our city?


  1. Suburbs without hipsters. Are there any left? If so please help as I am desperately searching to escape their pretentious attitude

  2. I was born and raised in sydney, currently living in the USA
    the thing i dread most about returning to sydney is the fact that everything is closed at night!!!
    there is no street food or cafes that you can hang out in at night time
    all the clubs are now forced to close at 3am and alcohol is no longer available after 10pm!
    all the commercial places, clothes shops, cafes all close at 5pm!?!?
    it seems to me that sydney is not a sociable place at all but instead a place to work 9-5 until youve paid off that ridiculously expensive apartment you bought 20 years ago when you were still young

  3. More culture centres. Customs House at Circular Quay is exemplary. It has everything in the one place: Libraries of books, magazines, media, media and internet appliances, galleries, coffee and eating venues, many salubrious chairing and lounges. On the ground floor inside the entrance atrium below a large transparent floor resides a 3D scale model of the city of Sydney CBD and harbour environs. Up till about 10pm it would have to the coolest meeting place.

  4. An actual music industry (I think it had one in 70s-80s-90s…what happened? a video game industry, more opportunities for the creative arts-

  5. […] site provides a slightly more quirky look at life in Sydney. Contributors answer questions like What is desperately missing in Sydney? and Where is the best picnic area in Sydney? Fun and interesting reading for anyone relocating to […]

  6. BICYCLE LANES as in Copenhagen!! I don’t dare do ride around in between cars here, but in Copenhagen where I am from I and almost everyone else, ride their bicycle everyday and everywhere. Fresh air, faster than buses, good exercise, reduces CO2 and hey, just a big advantage for a world city like Sydney.

  7. Laura, Centennial Park is the one for dogs off the liesh and also alcohol at BBQs and picnics etc….very large spacious park too. A bit of a trek from the CBD but not too far. Agree with Phil though that Botanic Gardens and Hyde Park are nice for close to the CBD.

  8. Street food, carts etc serving hot dogs and meat pies.
    A proper supertall landmark skyscraper.
    Density, this city has too many suburbs, and not enough apartments.
    Quality street side cafes, far too few of them in the CBD.
    A world class art gallery.
    Can’t agree with JO, overly friendly big cities become fatigue inducing with all the forced people interactions. Sydney has the perfect balance between friendliness and leaving people alone to get on with their business IMHO.

  9. more theme parks, more friendly people, less road rage, bring petrol prices down, cops need to be more alert, road works should only be at night, and people in sydney need to learn to serously relax without the drugs.

  10. This could be an obscure answer.. But I’d say a more unified culture in the way of sporting, musical and artistic interests. It doesn’t feel like we’re very strong in those areas, as much as we could be.

  11. dog beaches. there isnt a single beach within my area where i can let my dog have a paddle without being handed a hundred dollar fine

  12. -NO POKIES!!!!!!!! Blow them up!!!!!!!!
    -Good public transport with an integrated smart card that lets you travel on buses, trains and ferries without having to use the 20th century method of buying separate tickets. I thought we lived in a civilised city. Less gridlock. Less reliance of getting cars everywhere.
    -And I agree with Laura, there are no good parks. I’m not talking sprawling Botanical Gardens, I mean little public squares, well maintained, with a sense of community, lots of shade (using trees, not those big sail things), and more cafes and conversation in them.
    -Better journalism coverage of our city and more rival newspapers.
    -No faceless malls
    -More respect for our heritage instead of old, Art Deco homes in the suburbs being torn down and replaced with houses devoid of personality

  13. Pubs with free live bands. Isn’t it amazing to just get into a pub, sit down, drink, and chill out with your mates while listening to a live band?

  14. Better cycling routes. More emphasis on public transport and possibly recreational facilities like a big “recreational” centre.

  15. I think the AGNSW and the new MCA are pretty world class galleries Jo.

    I love living in Sydney but have a few suggestions…

    I think the majority of Sydney lacks a community friendliness. Redfern and Surry Hills are leading the way with their casual bars and cafes, galleries and events that spill out onto the footpath.
    I would like more tables and bars that spill into the street, this would need to be enabled with more liberal licensing laws.

    I also think that giving pedestrians right of way in built up areas gives a friendly and free feeling. Melbourne does this really well. The trams mean that people often are in the middle of the road and the car drivers seem to just accept and give way.

    I think the whole city would transform for the better if the proposed George St ‘car free zone’ went ahead. Hopefully this would make room for more civilised, less pretentious, wine and novelty bars with later closing times and help balance out the anti-social behaviour.

  16. @Laura Centennial Park is off leash, as is Berry Island Reserve which allows dog swimming in North Sydney. There is also a designated area at leichhardt Canal with dog friendly off leash cafe plus a dog swimming pool in Rushcutters Bay. My labrador is pretty damn spoilt for choice these days!

    Drinking in public places unless within licensed bar or cafe is standard due to people abusing it in the past. It’s also a rarity in the States and Europe.

    What we could do with more than anything is a repeal of the “no right of first use” law in NSW which allows people to move in next to venues of any kind and then complain about noise. It has caused issues for venues, cafes, festivals, industry and hell, even public schools. Buyers and renters need to be aware of where they are moving and not change the culture of the area to suit their own personal purposes.

    Travel is another area for improvement, whether that be public, by bike or in car- but it is pretty hard with a city like Sydney where growth outstrips planning to make that work without cheesing someone off.

  17. Dreamworld & White Water World or something very similar, Luna is good but doesn’t quite cut it. That’s all, other than that it’s perfect ;-)

  18. Diners! Somewhere casual where you could go at any time of the day or night for coffee, all day breakfast, pub style food and home style meals. Our cafe’s can be a little pretencious, overpriced rye bread doesn’t make it gourmet.

  19. Sydney needs more street food. Similar to what we can find in South East Asian countries where it’s cheap and tasty…

  20. @anonymous- we have Luna Park
    @Laura-just because Phil doesn’t agree with you, it doesn’t make it him ignorant. I have been to many parks overseas, and the Botanic Gardens rival the best of them. Dogs can go off leashes around the beaches, which are natural reserves unto themselves (a rarity amongst World Cities).

    To be honest, I find that of all the World Cities that have grand parks, only the ones in the rich countries of Western Europe (and NYC) would be better than what we have, and even then because of their uniqueness, which is definitely something the Botanic Gardens have to claim for it.

    A lot of the World City parks are pretty decrepit; expansive, perhaps, but not always well kept or well designed.

  21. Phil, I do believe that you can’t let your dogs off leashes in any of those parks, nor can you drink alcohol. And if you have never seen the public parks in other countries than you really can’t compare

  22. All great suggestions bar Laura. WTF are you talking about!? The Botanic Gardens, Hyde and Centennial Parklands are all within walking distance from the CBD. If there’s one thing this city does well, it’s parks!

  23. Sydney is the only major city I’ve ever been to that doesn’t have an amazing public park. We are in desperate need of a park that has somewhere to chill out and read a book, a place you can take your dogs and somewhere you can have a picnic with a glass of wine. Seriously, Europe has the most amazing parks ever, Sydney take note.

  24. A major airport outside of the city – and a sense of soul, style and history (melb has all these in spades). Nic

  25. Their not missing, credit to those that are there, but they are few for a city this size. Pubs that have free bands that you can just lob into and enjoy the music, a drink and good company. As well as promoting local musicians.

  26. Good/courteous driving skills and manners
    The ability to look people in the eye, hold and smile
    More straight, grounded, single men
    Better public transport – extend certain ferry / more express bus routes
    Better policing of bus lanes
    A world-class museum/gallery


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