Ogle the architecture, grab a cocktail at the Opera Bar or – for the full experience – book tickets to a show. With seven performance spaces there’s always something on and you’re just as likely to see a risqué cabaret as you are a traditional ballet or full-blown opera.
Bondi is arguably Sydney’s most famous beach and for good reason. It’s incredibly picturesque, great for swimming and truly excellent for people watching. If the waves are rough, head to the more protected North Bondi or the famous Icebergs pool. If the day’s a bit grey, set yourself up with great food and perfect views at The Bucket List or, for something a little fancier, North Bondi Fish.
- Brunch on Crown Street
Surry Hills is famous for its café culture and nowhere in the suburb is more densely populated with options than Crown Street. Try the much-loved ricotta hotcakes at Bills, something organic at O Café, or one of the decadent sandwiches at Four ate Five.
- Catch the Manly Ferry
It’s hard to decide on the best part of a visit to Manly. Is it the ferry ride over from Circular Quay, where you get fresh salty air and spectacular views of Sydney’s famous landmarks? Is it the beach with its perfectly peeling waves and long stretch of sand? Or is it the inevitable pit-stop on Manly Wharf, where the smell of slow cooked meat wafting out of Papi Chulo and the happy outdoor tables at Wharf Bar lure you in? With such a tough choice to make, there’s nothing else for it but to take the trip and decide for yourself.
This stretch of coast is famously good looking and – as an added bonus – easy to traverse. Start near Wylie’s Baths in Coogee and follow the path through Sydney’s most iconic beaches, admiring the quaint charm of Gordon’s Bay, the big break at Bronte, homes of the rich and famous at Tamarama and the iconic view of Bondi Beach as you round the final headland.
The Museum of Contemporary Art takes up prime position in Circular Quay, giving visitors plenty to look at both inside and from the spectacular vantage point that is the rooftop café. There’s always an interesting exhibition to wind your way through as well as a steady stream of talks, workshops and events. During Vivid, Sydney’s annual festival of lights, music and ideas, the exterior of the building also becomes a canvas for fascinating light displays, giving you yet another reason to add this one to your list.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the city’s most recognisable landmarks and is both great to look at and great to look down from. Depending on how you feel about heights and organised activities, you can enjoy the view from the pedestrian walkway along the bridge’s eastern edge or book yourself in for an adrenaline-pumping climb along the top of the structure. On a clear day, there’s nothing better.
Sitting on the southernmost tip of Sydney Harbour, Watson’s Bay offers spectacular views, fascinating history and a truly excellent spot for a sunset cocktail. Catch the ferry from Circular Quay and enjoy fish and chips on the foreshore, a walk on the South Head Heritage Trail, a visit to Hornby Lighthouse and a refreshing drink at the Beach Club as the sun sets over the harbour.
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This little precinct in Chippendale is one of the best things to pop up in Sydney over recent years. On one side you have the hawker style Spice Alley, perfect for a casual meal with a group of friends, and on the other you have fine dining destinations such as Kensington Street Social and Automata. Add a cellar door, decadent dessert bar and a good old fashioned pub and you have the perfect place to spend an evening.
- Explore the Royal National Park
Sydney might be Australia’s biggest city but that doesn’t mean peace and quiet are hard to find. If you venture about an hour south of the CBD, you’ll come to the Royal National Park: 150 square kilometres of coastal cliffs, secluded beaches and rich bushland. There’s a hike for every level of explorer, a number of breathtaking lookout points and plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with the wildlife.
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