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Sydney – Lonely Planet Travel Video

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Sydney – Lonely Planet Travel Video

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Sydney is the largest city in Australia, and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney has a metropolitan area population of approximately 4.34 million and an area of approximately 12,000 square kilometres. Its inhabitants are called Sydneysiders, and Sydney is often called “the Harbour City”. It is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, reflected in its role as a major destination for immigrants to Australia.

The site of the first British colony in Australia, Sydney was established in 1788 at Sydney Cove by Arthur Phillip, commodore of the First Fleet. The city is built on low hills surrounding Sydney Harbour – an inlet of the Tasman Sea on Australia’s south-east coast. It is home to the iconic Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge and its beaches. The metropolitan area is surrounded by national parks, and contains many bays, rivers and inlets. Sydney has hosted major international sporting events, including the 1938 British Empire Games, 2000 Summer Olympics and the final of the 2003 Rugby World Cup. The main airport serving Sydney is Sydney Airport.

Sydney is considered an alpha+ world city, listed by the Loughborough University group’s 2008 inventory and ranked 16th among global cities by Foreign Policy’s 2008 Global Cities Index. According to the Mercer cost of living survey, Sydney is Australia’s most expensive city, and the 66th most expensive in the world. Sydney also ranks among the top 10 most livable cities in the world according to Mercer Human Resource Consulting and The Economist.

Culture

Sydney hosts many different festivals and some of Australia’s largest social and cultural events. These include the Sydney Festival, Australia’s largest arts festival which is a celebration involving both indoor and free outdoor performances throughout January; the Biennale of Sydney, established in 1973; the Big Day Out, a travelling rock music festival which originated in Sydney; the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras along Oxford Street; the Sydney Film Festival and many other smaller film festivals such as the short film Tropfest and Flickerfest.

Australia’s premier prize for portraiture, the Archibald Prize is organised by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The Sydney Royal Easter Show is held every year at Sydney Olympic Park, the final of Australian Idol takes place on the steps of the Opera House, and Australian Fashion Week takes place in April/May. Also, Sydney’s New Years Eve and Australia Day celebrations are the largest in Australia.

Tourism

In the year ending March 2008, Sydney received 2.7 million international visitors. The most well known attractions include the Sydney Opera House, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Other attractions include Royal Botanical Gardens, Luna Park, the beaches and Sydney Tower.

Sydney also has several popular museums such as, the Australian Museum (natural history and anthropology), the Powerhouse Museum (science, technology and design), the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Australian National Maritime Museum.

Transport

Most Sydney residents travel by car through the system of roads and motorways. The most important trunk routes in the urban area are the nine Metroads, which include the 110 km (68 mi) Sydney Orbital Network. Sydney is also served by extensive train, taxi, bus and ferry networks.

Sydney trains are run by CityRail, a corporation of the New South Wales State Government. Trains run as suburban commuter rail services in the outer suburbs, then converge in an underground city loop service in the central business district. In the years following the 2000 Olympics, CityRail’s performance declined significantly. In 2005, CityRail introduced a revised timetable and employed more drivers. A large infrastructure project, the Clearways project, is scheduled to be completed by 2010. In 2007 a report found Cityrail performed poorly compared to many metro services from other world cities.

Sydney has one privately operated light rail line, Metro Light Rail, running from Central Station to Lilyfield along a former goods train line. There is also the Metro Monorail, which runs in a loop around the main shopping district and Darling Harbour. Sydney was once served by an extensive tram network, which was progressively closed in the 1950s and 1960s.

Most parts of the metropolitan area are served by buses, many of which follow the pre-1961 tram routes. In the city and inner suburbs the state-owned Sydney Buses has a monopoly. In the outer suburbs, service is contracted to many private bus companies. Construction of a network of rapid bus transitways in areas not previously well served by public transport began in 1999, and the first of these, the Liverpool-Parramatta Rapid Bus Transitway, opened in February 2003. State government-owned Sydney Ferries runs numerous commuter and tourist ferry services on Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River.

Sydney Airport, in the suburb of Mascot, is Sydney’s main airport, and is one of the oldest continually operated airports in the world. The smaller Bankstown Airport mainly serves private and general aviation. There is a light aviation airfield at Camden. RAAF Base Richmond lies to the north-west of the city.

The question of the need for a Second Sydney Airport has raised much controversy. A 2003 study found that Sydney Airport can manage as Sydney’s sole international airport for 20 years, with a significant increase in airport traffic predicted. The resulting expansion of the airport would have a substantial impact on the community, including additional aircraft noise affecting residents. Land has been acquired at Badgerys Creek for a second airport, the site acting as a focal point of political argument.

Utilities

Water storage and supply for Sydney is managed by the Sydney Catchment Authority, which is an agency of the NSW Government that sells bulk water to Sydney Water and other agencies. Water in the Sydney catchment is chiefly stored in dams in the Upper Nepean Scheme, the Blue Mountains, Woronora Dam, Warragamba Dam and the Shoalhaven Scheme. Historically low water levels in the catchment have led to water use restrictions and the NSW government is investigating alternative water supply options, including grey water recycling and the construction of a seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant at Kurnell. As of May 2009, the plant was 80% completed, and was due to start suppling fresh water to Sydney at the end of the year. [99] Sydney Water also collects the wastewater and sewage produced by the city.

Four companies supply natural gas and electricity to Sydney: Energy Australia, AGL, Integral Energy and Origin Energy. The natural gas supply for the city is sourced from the cooper basin in South Australia. Numerous telecommunications companies operate in Sydney providing terrestrial and mobile telecommunications services.

Entertainment and performing arts

Sydney has a wide variety of cultural institutions. Sydney’s iconic Opera House has five theatres capable of hosting a range of performance styles; it is the home of Opera Australia—the third busiest opera company in the world, and the Sydney Symphony. Other venues include the Sydney Town Hall, City Recital Hall, the State Theatre, the Theatre Royal, Sydney, the Sydney Theatre and the Wharf Theatre.

The Sydney Dance Company under the leadership of Graeme Murphy during the late 20th century has also gained acclaim. The Sydney Theatre Company has a regular roster of local plays, such as noted playwright David Williamson, classics and international playwrights.

In 2007, New Theatre (Newtown) celebrated 75 years of continuous production in Sydney. Other important theatre companies in Sydney include Company B and Griffin Theatre Company. From the 1940s through to the 1970s the Sydney Push, a group of authors and political activists whose members included Germaine Greer, influenced the city’s cultural life.

The National Institute of Dramatic Art, based in Kensington, boasts internationally famous alumni such as Mel Gibson, Judy Davis, Baz Luhrmann and Cate Blanchett. Sydney’s role in the film industry has increased since the opening of Fox Studios Australia in 1998.

Prominent films which have been filmed in the city include Moulin Rouge!, Mission: Impossible II, Star Wars episodes II and III, Superman Returns, Dark City, Son of the Mask, Stealth, Dil Chahta Hai, Happy Feet, Australia and The Matrix. Films using Sydney as a setting include Finding Nemo, Strictly Ballroom, Muriel’s Wedding, Our Lips Are Sealed, Independence Day and Dirty Deeds. Many Bollywood movies have also been filmed in Sydney including Singh Is Kinng, Bachna Ae Haseeno, Chak De India, Heyy Babyy. As of 2006, over 229 films have been set in, or featured Sydney.

Sydney’s most popular nightspots include Kings Cross, Oxford Street, Darling Harbour, Circular Quay and The Rocks which all contain various bars, nightclubs and restaurants. Star City Casino, is Sydney’s only casino and is situated around Darling Harbour. There are also many traditional pubs, cafes and restaurants in inner city areas such as Newtown, Balmain and Leichhardt. Sydney’s main live music hubs include areas such as Newtown and Annandale, which nurtured acts such as AC/DC, Midnight Oil and INXS. Other popular nightspots tend to be spread throughout the city in areas such as Bondi, Manly, Cronulla and Parramatta.

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What to do in Frankfurt, Germany – Lonely Planet Travel Video

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What to do in Frankfurt, Germany – Lonely Planet Travel Video

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Frankfurt am Main commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2008 population of 670,000. The urban area had an estimated population of 2.26 million in 2001. The city is at the centre of the larger Frankfurt/Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region which has a population of 5.3 million and is Germany’s second largest metropolitan area.

In English, this city’s name translates into “Frankfurt on the Main” (pronounced like “mine”). A part of early Franconia, the inhabitants were the early Franks. The city is located on an ancient ford on the river Main, the German word for which is “Furt”. Thus the city’s name receives its legacy as being the “ford of the Franks”.

Situated on the Main River, Frankfurt is the financial and transportation centre of Germany and the largest financial centre in continental Europe. It is seat of the European Central Bank, the German Federal Bank, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and the Frankfurt Trade Fair, as well as several large commercial banks.

Frankfurt Airport is one of the world’s busiest international airports, Frankfurt Central Station is one of the largest terminal stations in Europe, and the Frankfurter Kreuz (Autobahn interchange) is the most heavily used interchange in continental Europe. Frankfurt is the only German city listed as one of ten Alpha world cities. Frankfurt lies in the former American Occupation Zone of Germany, and it was formerly the headquarters city of the U.S. Army in Germany.

Among English speakers the city is commonly known simply as “Frankfurt”, though Germans occasionally call it by its full name when it is necessary to distinguish it from the other (significantly smaller) “Frankfurt” in the state of Brandenburg, Frankfurt (Oder).

Population

As a major center of international commerce, Frankfurt is a multicultural city, home to people of 180 nationalities. In addition to the ethnic German majority, the city contain sizable immigrant populations fromTurkey, Albania, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, India, Pakistan, Italy, Spain, North African countries, Iran, and Lebanon. The Frankfurt area is also home to the second-largest Korean community in Europe, and to Germany’s largest Sri Lankan Tamil community.

For a long time Frankfurt was a Protestant-dominated city. However, during the 19th century an increasing number of Catholics moved to the city. Today a small minority of its citizens are Catholic. According to the Central Council of Jews in Germany, there are 7,300 Jews affiliated with Judaism in Frankfurt, giving it the second largest Jewish community (behind Berlin) in Germany.

Geographic location

The city is located on both sides of the River Main in the south-west part of Germany. The southern part of the city contains the Frankfurt City Forest (Frankfurter Stadtwald), Germany’s largest forest within a city. The centre of Frankfurt is located on the north side of the river.

Neighbouring communities and areas

To the west, Frankfurt borders the Main-Taunus-Kreis (Hattersheim am Main, Kriftel, Hofheim am Taunus, Kelkheim (Taunus), Liederbach am Taunus, Sulzbach (Taunus), Schwalbach am Taunus and Eschborn); to the northwest the Hochtaunuskreis (Steinbach (Taunus), Oberursel (Taunus), and Bad Homburg); to the north the Wetteraukreis (Karben and Bad Vilbel); to the northeast the Main-Kinzig-Kreis (Niederdorfelden and Maintal); to the southeast the city of Offenbach am Main; to the south the Kreis Offenbach (Neu-Isenburg) and to the southwest the Kreis Groß-Gerau (Mörfelden-Walldorf, Rüsselsheim and Kelsterbach).

City divisions and districts

The city is divided into 46 Stadtteile or Ortsteile which are again divided into 118 Stadtbezirke. The largest Ortsteil is Sachsenhausen-Süd. Most Stadtteile are incorporated suburbs (Vororte), or previously separate cities, like Höchst. Some like Nordend arose during the rapid growth of the city in the Gründerzeit following the unification of Germany.

Others were formed from settlements which previously belonged to other city divisions, like Dornbusch. The 46 city divisions are combined into 16 area districts or Ortsbezirke, which each have a district committee and chairperson.

History of incorporation

Until the middle of the 19th century, the city territory of Frankfurt consisted of the present-day Stadtteile of Altstadt, Innenstadt, Bahnhofsviertel, Gutleutviertel, Gallus, Westend, Nordend, Ostend, Riederwald and Sachsenhausen. After 1877, a number of previously independent areas were incorporated into the city, see list of current districts of the city.

Airports

The city is accessed from around the world via the Frankfurt Airport (Flughafen Frankfurt am Main) which is located 12 km (7 mi) from the city centre. The airport has three runways and serves 265 non-stop destinations. It ranks among the world’s top ten airports and is the biggest cargo airport in Europe. The airport also serves as a hub for German flag carrier Lufthansa.

Depending on whether total passengers or flights are used, it ranks as the second or third busiest in Europe alongside London Heathrow Airport and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. Passenger traffic at Frankfurt Airport in 2007 was 54.2 million. The airport can be reached by car or bus and has two train stations, one for regional and one for long-distance traffic. The S-Bahn lines S8 and S9 (direction “Frankfurt (Main) Hbf”, “Offenbach Ost or “Hanau”), departing at the regional traffic station take 10–15 minutes from the airport to the Central Station and the city centre, the IC and ICE trains departing at the long-distance traffic station take as well 10–15 minutes.

Despite the name, Frankfurt Hahn Airport (Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn) is not located anywhere near Frankfurt but is instead situated approximately 120 km (75 mi) from the city in Lautzenhausen (Rhineland-Palatinate). This airport can only be reached by car or bus. An hourly bus service runs from Frankfurt Central Station, taking about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Last year over 4 Million Passengers used this airport in order to use Low Cost Airlines like Ryanair.

Frankfurt Egelsbach Airport is a busy general aviation airport located south-east of Frankfurt International Airport, near the town of Egelsbach.

Roads

The streets of central Frankfurt are usually congested with cars during the rush hour. Some areas, especially around the shopping streetsZeil, are pedestrian-only streets. There are numerous car parks located throughout the city.

Frankfurt is a traffic hub of the German Autobahn system. The Frankfurter Kreuz is an Autobahn interchange close by the airport where the Autobahnen A 3 (Cologne-Würzburg) and A 5 (Basel-Hannover) meet. With approximately 320,000 cars daily it is the most heavily used interchange in Europe. The A 66 connects Frankfurt with Wiesbaden in the west and Fulda in the east. The A 661 starts in the south (Darmstadt), runs through the eastern part of Frankfurt and ends in the north (Bad Homburg). The A 648 is a very short Autobahn in the western part of Frankfurt.

Railway stations

Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof (or short Ffm Hbf) is the largest train station in Germany by number of platforms and railway traffic. Regarding daily passenger volume it ranks second together with München Hauptbahnhof (350,000 each) after Hamburg Hauptbahnhof (450,000). It is located between the Gallus and the Bahnhofsviertel, not far away from the Trade Fair and the financial district (Bankenviertel).

It serves as a major hub for long-distance trains (ICE) and regional trains (all Rhine-Main S-Bahn lines, two U-Bahn lines, several tram and bus lines). Local trains are integrated in the Public transport system Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (RMV), the second largest integrated public transport systems in the world. Only the Berlin integrated public transport system (VBB) is larger.

Frankfurt Airport Long Distance Station connects Frankfurt International Airport to the main rail network, most of the ICE services using the Cologne-Frankfurt high-speed rail line. It is one of two railway stations at the airport, the other is for local S-Bahn (lines S8 and S9) and regional trains, called Frankfurt Airport Regional Station.

The two major stations in the city centre are Hauptwache and Konstablerwache, both located on Frankfurts most famous shopping street, the Zeil.

Public transport

The city has two underground railway systems: the U-Bahn and the S-Bahn, as well as an above-ground tram system. Information about the U and S Bahn can be found on the RMV website.

Nine S-Bahn lines connect Frankfurt with the Rhine Main Region. All lines have a 30 minute service during the day but the majority of the routes are served by two lines thereby offering a 15 minute schedule. All lines, except line S7, run through the Frankfurt city tunnel and serve the stationsOstendstraße, Konstablerwache, Hauptwache, Taunusanlage and Frankfurt Central Station. When leaving the city the S-Bahn travels above ground. It provides access to the Frankfurt Trade Fair (S3-S6), the airport (S8, S9), the stadium (S7-S9) and nearby cities such asWiesbaden, Mainz, Darmstadt, Rüsselsheim, Hanau, Offenbach am Main, Bad Homburg, Kronberg and smaller towns that are on the way.

The U-Bahn has seven lines serving the city centre and some larger suburbs. The trains that run on the line are in fact lightrails as many lines travel along a track in the middle of the street instead of underground further from the city centre. There is only one line (U4) that is completely underground. The minimum service interval is 2.5 minutes, although the usual pattern is that each line runs with a 7.5-10 minute frequency which combines to approx 3–5 minutes on the city centre sections served by more than one line.

Frankfurt has 9 tram lines, with trams arriving usually every 10 minutes. Many sections are served by two lines, combining to give a 5 minute frequency during rush-hour. The tram runs only above ground and serve more stops than the U-Bahn or the S-Bahn.

A number of bus lines complete the Frankfurt public transportation system. Night buses take over the service of the U-Bahn and tram at 1:30 am to 3:30 am on Friday and Saturday nights.

Taxis

Taxis can be found outside most S-Bahn or U-Bahn stations and major intersections. The normal way to obtain a taxi is to either call a taxi operator or go to a taxi rank. However, although not the norm, one can hail one on the street.

Bicycles

Deutsche Bahn also rent out bicycles to the public. One finds them at many major road intersections and railway stations. All one has to do is make a phone call to hire them for €0.06/min or they can be hired per day for €15,-. The bicycles are a bit heavy but they do haveshock absorbers to ensure a smooth journey. The silver-red colour of the bikes with their unique frame make them easily visible and difficult to steal.

The public can now use a velotaxi which involves the operator using a tricycle with a sheltered passenger cab. There is room for two people and the service covers all of the city centre.

Frankfurt has also a network of modern cycle routes throughout city. Many of the long distance bike routes into town have dedicated cycle tracks. A number of city centre roads are “bicycle streets” where the cyclist has the right of way and where motorised vehicles are allowed access if they do not disrupt the cycle users.

Every first Sunday in the month there is a Critical Mass cycle event which starts at 2 pm at the Old Opera.


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