What to do in Sydney: A City Lover's Guide

Tripoto
7th Mar 2014

Some more sculptures at Bondi

Photo of What to do in Sydney: A City Lover's Guide by Tsai Wharton

Andrew Boy Charlton Pool

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Visit the amazing restaurant Bills

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Exquisite view from Blu Horizon Bar

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The beautiful Bondi beach

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Bondi Icebergs

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Sculpture walk at Bondi

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Magnificent view from Cafe Sydney

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Opera Bar

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Shopping at Paddington Market

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A quick seaplane trip

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Visiting The Bathers' Pavilion

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Entire harbour from Mrs Macquarie’s Chair

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Cocktail at Jimmy Liks

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Sydney being one of the most traveled and well explored cities in the world is no stranger to a herd of tourists. This is one of the most iconic cities that I have been to. And the best part of this city is that in spite of having been here before, it always springs up some unknown hidden gems. My love affair with this city has spanned for over 20 years. With this travel guide, I hope you can share the same love soon. Below is a simple guide to what to do in Sydney. Follow it and you will be guaranteed one of the best vacations.

I’ll start off with one of my favourite activities- seaplane trip.  Taking off from Rose Bay it will bestow upon you some amazing view across the Northern Beaches, over the Opera house and Sydney Bridge. This experience will leave you speechless. If you want to promote this trip to a romantic getaway due to a special occasion, then opt for the package deal which includes the Jonas restaurant in Whale Beach. Continuing along the lines of beaches, there is no way to escape from the pleasures of walking along the coast of Bondi. Well if you are here during November, you would be pleased to know that Bondi plays host to the Sculpture Walk. This walk takes place on the coastal path to Bronte. The walk is an already beautiful one, the sculpture adds to the scenic splendor of this path.

But if you are looking to kick start this vacation with more grueling activities, there are many things you can indulge here even though you plan to be in the city for a short span. You can either be a part of the biathlon that takes place from Andrew Boy Charlton Pool in the Domain. In this you’ll cover the Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. It has a breathtaking view of the entire harbor with Sydney Bridge and Opera House. This view in the background will incite you to ascend uphill and then further down and end the race with a much required refreshing swim in the pool. If you are in the eastern suburbs then either a personal training session or boot camp with the Eastside Crew is highly recommended. If you are a water baby or plain swimming enthusiast, Icebergs at Bondi is the place you need to visit. Even though depending on where you are staying, this may be out of the way. But all the pain to find this place will be worth it in the end.

Once you decide to emerge out of the waters, you will be attacked by the countless eating options available in this single city. So making it easier for you to navigate, I have decided to put it into further categories.

Places to eat Breakfast

One of my favourites is Bills and the usual queue outside clearly shows its popularity. A place to let go off your diet and weight charts, indulge in their scrumptious breakfast menu. Another place which is should compulsorily be on your itinerary is Bathers Pavilion in Balmoral Beach. The serenity this place has to offer is well complimented with the delicious breakfast and brunch options.

Places to eat Dinner

Even after trying numerous places, Café Sydney still remains firmly at the top of my list. It is a perfect dining restaurant and has the most soothing ambience. It is a perfect way to end the evening in this city. Sydney is popular for fine dining venues. But if you are craving an experience different than the ones often sketched in every travel guide, head to Jimmy Liks. It’s most unlikely that you’ll come across this one until you hunt for it. The trip would be worth it ones you down their exclusive array of cocktails.

Places to Drink

If you are not an acrophobic or can at least subdue it for a few hours then you should definitely visit the dizzy 36 floors up Blu Horizon Bar in Shangri La Hotel. It is self explanatory as to how incredible the view must be from here. But if tripping on such great heights is not your thing, you can stick to Opera Bar at ground level.  It is located below the Opera House, on the harbor. The view from here is even more wonderful once the sun goes down.

Sydney is a city that champions in outdoor lifestyle. So living up to the city’s spirit, catch some fabulous outdoor cinema during the summers. The screen near Mrs Macquaries point has the harbour as the backdrop. Tickets sell out fast so book well in advance. Alternatively you can even visit Centennial Park. If you looking for anything from clothes to children's wooden toys and handmade chocolates then get a map and head to Paddington Market. Finally for stay, you can either opt for Shangri La which has a great central location or Ravesis which is your answer for a small contemporary boutique hotel.

This trip includes every place you need to be in this mini weekend break in Sydney. It is very discernible that you can’t get bored in this massive city swearing by joie de vivre. So get ready to be graced by the waters and enticed by the vibrancy of this Harbour City.Welcome to the best beach vacation!

First things first. A seaplane trip is something everyone should opt for. It seats just 5 passengers and a pilot which guarantees that everyone has amazing view throughout the journey. Taking off from Rose Bay and flying up along the Northern Beaches and coming back down over the opera house and Bridge is a unique experience.
Photo of Seaplane trip by Tsai Wharton
Well if you are here during November, you would be pleased to know that Bondi plays host to the Sculpture Walk. This walk takes place on the coastal path to Bronte. The walk is an already beautiful one, the sculpture adds to the scenic splendor of this path. If you have time, it's worth continuing the walk along the coast from Bronte to Coogee.
Photo of Bondi, New South Wales, Australia by Tsai Wharton
To get acquainted with you fir side, enroll in the biathlon that takes place from Andrew Boy Charlton Pool in the Domain every Thursday night between mid October and March. It’s a 4 km run and a 300 m swim. You run past Mrs Macquarie’s Chair and break into an uphill run to the turning point by the entrance gates. You will be greeted with the breathtaking views of Harbour on one side and the Opera house and Bridge on the other. Trust me the vista holds power to distract you from your sprint. The return 2 km is all downhill and finish off with a pool swim.
Photo of Andrew by Tsai Wharton
The spectacular sunset views over the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Opera House will win you over.
Photo of Mrs Macquarie's Chair, Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia by Tsai Wharton
The sessions take place at Bronte Beach at 6 am on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. What can be better than waking up to a work out by the sea soaking in some much needed sunshine.
For those who love swimming this place offers a great outdoor salt pool. They have changing facilities, so you could always follow an afternoon swim or just relax by the pool with a refreshing cocktail or peach bellini upstairs afterwards.
Photo of Bondi Icebergs Club, Notts Avenue, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia by Tsai Wharton
Then I headed to to the cozy restaurant in Darlinghurst. Bill Grainger’s has a delicious breakfast worth waiting for, especially the signature scrambled eggs and sweetcorn fritters.
Photo of Bills, Liverpool Street, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia by Tsai Wharton
You even have an option of visiting this place situated in the quaint tranquil bay of Balmoral Beach. The restaurant sits at one side of the Pavilion with its sister café on the other. It makes for a perfect breakfast and brunch venue.
Photo of The Bathers' Pavilion, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia by Tsai Wharton
I usually head to Cafe Sydney for dinner. Nothing beats rooftop venue with spectacular views of the harbour. It is on the rooftop of Customs House, which is right at circular quay, the outdoor terrace boasts giving you the promised view. Start off the evening in their relaxing lounge. Don't forget to get yourself a cocktail.
Photo of Cafe Sydney, Alfred Street, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia by Tsai Wharton
If you are looking for a casual place go to Jimmy Liks located in the leafy streets of Potts Points. I usually go there to taste their array of Asian inspired cocktails to kick off the night.
Photo of Jimmy Liks, Victoria Street, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia by Tsai Wharton
With an amazing view, this bar is up the 36th floor Shangri La Hotel. There is a dress code here of smart casual.
Photo of Blu Horizon Bar, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia by Tsai Wharton
You can either stay close to the ground level. This bar is located below the iconic Opera House. The bar is on the harbour and serves consistently good drinks and it’s great to be outside and feel the breeze off the water. This will be quite an evening
Photo of Opera Bar, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia by Tsai Wharton
Paddington Market is your best bet for clothes, children's wooden toys and handmade chocolates. It is an absolute favourite of not just the tourists but also the locals.
Photo of Paddington Markets, Oxford Street, Paddington, New South Wales, Australia by Tsai Wharton
You have been here to believe that such a stunning accommodation is available in any city. Located in the historic Rocks district, Shangri La has 563 guest rooms. It has versatility to both the leisure and corporate traveller. That's quite a rarity!
Photo of Shangri-La Hotel, Cumberland Street, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia by Tsai Wharton
Just set back from Bondi Beach the 180 degree bi folding windows attract a crowd of ‘want to be seen’ during the day and in the evenings is packed to a maximum. The cocktail bar offers surprisingly good cocktails and with views over the famous surf the hotel has a relaxed feel but with all the elegance you would expect from a boutique hotel.
Photo of Ravesi's, Campbell Parade, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia by Tsai Wharton
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