Before you’ve even landed, Sydney will have you hooked; try and book a window seat for your flight in, day and night the views impress. There’s always something going on somewhere in Sydney, there’s the thrill of turn a corner and stumbling across this or that – check out TimeOut Sydney for the latest. Sydney is one of the world’s most beautiful cities, it’s not an argument… Genetically blessed with endless sunshine, dazzling beaches, an illustrious vitality and so much more; there’s something in the air. If you’re not sure where to go or what to do, here’s a guide for the perfect day out.
Start your day off with a smoothie bowl Speedos, a beloved Bondi establishment, followed by a morning swim at the iconic Icebergs – don’t let the flashy facade scare you off, the daily entry fee is a reasonable $6.50 – or sunbathing on the famed Bondi Beach. If the crowds of eager out-of-towners, who start arriving by the busload as the day rolls on, at Bondi aren’t your cup of tea, head just 10 minutes along the cliff walk to the next bay where you’ll find the much smaller and less frequented – yet equally if not more beautiful – Tamarama, a favorite amongst locals. If you have an extra hour or two to kill in the seaside city, the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk is a must. Hugging the cliffs, meander along through the beachside neighborhoods, where the city meets the sea, savoring the refreshing ocean spray and dramatic vistas.
From Bondi jump on a bus to Bondi Junction and the take the T4 line, getting off at Town Hall station – this trip costs $3-$4 and is the cheapest option connecting the city with the beach. In the heart of the CBD, head down Pitt Street’s outdoor shopping zone to stock up on the latest uber stylish Aussie fashions, across to George Street and through the Queen Victoria Building, a Sydney architectural icon filled with luxury boutiques, cute cafes and sumptuous patisserie stands.
A trip to Sydney is no longer complete without a visit to the always busy Grounds of Alexandria. Slightly out of the way – uber or a taxi are definitely the fastest way to get here, still a 20 minute and +/- $20 ride from the CBD – this farm meets table urban hideout is the city’s worst kept secret. A farmers market come high-end dining concept that sprung up a few years ago in the middle of Sydney’s industrial heart has become a staple; if you want to go where the Sydneysiders go, this is it. Visit on weekends, and don’t expect to find a table immediately; call up and reserve or pop your name on the list when you arrive, with the wait not usually longer than 20-30 minutes, plenty time to stroll through the complex. The Potting Shed is a personal favorite, open all day and perfect for all occasions; in the eyes of some a touch too far in the hipster try-hard direction, but still oddly unpretentious and fittingly charming.
Walk off your lunch in the Botanical Gardens, with views across to the Harbor Bridge, Circular Quay and the unmistakeable sails of the Opera House. Sip on sundowners at Opera Bar, with a front row seat to one of Sydney’s most iconic views. Don’t be shocked by the prices – Cocktails are all $19+ and most glasses of wine sit in the $9 to $14 range -, if you haven’t been in Sydney long you’ll soon learn to accept these, a consequence of a series of consumption laws and high alcohol taxes.
Jump on the ferry from Circular Quay to Watson’s Bay for dinner overlooking the harbor, catching the vividly bright sunset… It’s pretty much as picturesque as it comes and if it weren’t for the infamous skyline just there on the horizon, you would think you’ve left Sydney hundreds of miles behind – just don’t forget to check what time the last ferry home is. Splurge with dinner at the Watson’s Bay Hotel Beach Club, where the menu serves up fresh summer favorites in a casual dining style with a cool beach bar vibe. Most main courses costing between $20 and $30. If you’re on a budget pack a picnic basket and blanket and settle down on nearby Camp Cove Beach, just a short walk from the pier at Watson’s Bay.
Sydney’s got the golden formula all worked out; with the distinctive laid back beach lifestyle, innovative and quirky food and bar scene – from speak easy themed bars, think Caribbean cool at The Lobo Plantationor travel back to an old-school diner at Soda Factory, to the multi leveled ivy, with pools and dance floors spread across this indoor/outdoor complex -, and a rich cultural heritage. It’s hard not to fall in love with city life when you’re in this stunning city.