Sydney Bridge and Opera House

A Guide to Sydney

Looking for a cosmopolitan beach getaway? Look no further than Sydney. Sydney is one of our favorite cities because of it’s vibrant food scene, endless outdoor activities, stunning beaches, fantastic shopping, and friendly people.  

WHERE TO STAY IN SYDNEY

Establishment Hotel

There are a ton of great hotels to choose from in Sydney.  We love The Establishment because it is centrally located and walking distance to the Circular Quay Ferry terminal, Sydney Opera House, and Sydney Botanical Gardens.   

Surry Hills Apartment

If you’re looking to stay in one of Sydney’s trendiest neighborhoods, this is the perfect spot.  This eclectic apartment has a huge patio and is steps away from great restaurants, bars  and shopping.

WHERE TO DRINK & EAT IN SYDNEY

Gumption by Coffee Alchemy

Australians are serious about their coffee and there are tons of amazing cafes throughout the city.  One of our favorite spots was Gumption in The Strand. Their flat whites were fantastic and it’s the perfect first stop before exploring The Strand.

Concrete Duck

All the meals we had in Sydney were fantastic, but breakfast at Concrete Duck was by far one of the best of the trip.  The “Friar” Eggs Benedict, smoothies, and coffee were all excellent  

Gelato Messina

There is nothing like gelato on a hot and sunny day.  For some of the best gelato in the city check out Gelato Messina in Darlinghurst.  You’ll definitely be back for seconds!

Brown Sugar

Spending in afternoon in Bondi? Stop at this vibrant restaurant for breakfast or lunch.  The portions are generous and the food is fantastic.  The grilled chicken salad was one of the best we’ve ever had and the mint tea was delicious as well!

10 Williams Street

Love wine, a cozy atmosphere, and homemade pasta?  Us too! 10 Williams Street is a lovely spot to go for pre-dinner appetizers and drinks or to stay for a full meal.  We went around 6PM and while the restaurant was crowded, the wait was short. We tried about 7 dishes on the menu - the pastas were our favorites - and a few different European wines. Everything was excellent.  

Bourke Street Bakery

If you have a sweet tooth you will not want to miss Bourke Street Bakery.  We stopped at the Surry Hills location and while we were greeted by a line out the door, the wait was well worth it.  In addition to the delicious croissants, tarts, and muffins, be sure to try the savory pies and quiches.

Bulletin Place

Sydney is a city known for its plethora of whiskey bars, and Bulletin Place should be at the top of anyone’s list.  This speakeasy esque bar delicious cocktails and a well thought out array of whiskeys are complemented by its cozy atmosphere and great bar snacks.  It’s a lovely place to come after dinner or start your night.

Shady Pines Saloon

In the mood for an old-fashioned night out that entails whiskey, beer & loads of peanuts? Check out the Shady Pines Saloon. This Cowboy themed Surry Hills hotspot may sound hokey, but you’ll love the fun & unpretentious atmosphere.

THINGS YOU MUST SEE IN SYDNEY

Sydney Opera House/The Rocks

Before you go out on the town head to the the rocks right before sunset. Wander past the old buildings and head towards the Opera House. Grab a drink and a cheese plate at the Opera House Bar and enjoy the warm weather, beautiful harbour, and stunning sunset with locals and tourists alike.

Shopping

If you’re looking to shop start in Surry Hills.  There are countless boutiques and home goods stores. For home goods we loved Small Spaces and The Minimalist Store.  For chic Aussie apparel check out The Stables and Collector Store.

For the perfect souvenir head over to charming Macleay Street.  There are tons of lovely little antique shops that are perfect for finding unique souvenirs to bring home.

Our favorite shop in Sydney, Sorry Thanks I Love You, is located in the Rocks. Sorry Thanks I Love You is a minimalist’s dream.  The store features many artfully designed accessories, home goods, and gifts from independent designers.  Our favorite were the Lucy Folk sunglasses and Jewelry.

Finally, a shopping trip in Sydney is not complete without a stop at The Strand. This victorian era Arcade is full of charm, great shops, and well worth a visit.  

The Goods Line

The Good’s Line is Sydney’s version of New York’s High Line.  This beautiful green space is perfect for a stroll or a bike ride on a sunny day.  To top it off, head to nearby Chinatown for some delicious dumplings when you are done.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

For amazing views of the city and a bit of exercise, be sure to check out the the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  As a popular tourist spot the bridge can draw large crowds, so be sure to head out extra early to beat the rush.

Royal Botanic Gardens

After a few days exploring Sydney’s urban charm, the botanic gardens are the perfect getaway.  Situated a short walk from the Rocks, the gardens feel like a world away while still offering fantastic views of the city.  When you’re done wandering be sure to grab a bite at the charming Botanic Gardens Restaurant.

Bondi Beach

For the perfect beach getaway look no further than Bondi.  Located a 20 minute drive from the city, Bondi is paradise for surfers, sunbathers, and dog-lovers alike.  For an easy but beautiful excursion, try some or all of the Bondi to Bronte coastal walk, which offers beautiful cliffside views throughout.  As beautiful as Bondi is it can get mobbed on a nice day, so be sure to get there early!

GETTING AROUND SYDNEY

Walking was our favorite way to get around Sydney, as the city is very accessible by foot.  For longer distances, including the trip to Bondi, Uber is convenient and cheap.  The bus is also easy and accessible.