So you’ve got your beginner’s guide to Australia. And Sydney is up there on the list, but there is so much to see and do!
You can make the most in a long weekend in Sydney, to explore, or to recharge, it will only leave you wanting more. Here are a couple of suggestions that will help you make the most out of the time you have and make it memorable too.
Where to Stay
If you’re travelling with a group of friends, staying in a hotel is the best way to go. Go for a room with a view overlooking Sydney and pick a hotel which is just a short walking distance away from Darling Harbour, Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. Best picks of Hotel?
Hotel Pullman Grand Sydney Harbour
Close to all of the major attractions in Sydney, including the historic rocks district, the Harbour Bridge, and the Sydney Opera House. This hotel has one of the most spectacular views of the Sydney Harbour, including the Harbour Bridge. Overlooking Circular Quay, the floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies allow guests staying in the Harbour View Suites to relax and watch the sunset in privacy. This really is the best of both worlds, with views to die for, and a central location close to major attractions and public transport services.
The Langham Sydney
With a recent multi-million-dollar redevelopment, which lasted four months, one of Sydney’s most prestigious hotels has been given a facelift. You can expect to find a Parisian style here, with hand-designed rugs, handmade lighting, and marble fireplaces, along with the ever-popular High Tea, and the indoor heated pool which has a star-dappled ceiling depicting the night skies of the Southern Hemisphere.
Each room type (from the Grand Langham to the Observatory Suite) boasts views of either the Sydney cityscape or Western Harbour, and guests can usually state a preference for one or the other. If you’re travelling with your pooch and expect him to be treated as an honoured guest as well.
Pier One Sydney Harbour
Pier One Sydney Harbour is in an enviable location, offering views of some of the best sights in Sydney. Guests wanting to spend some time gazing at the Sydney Harbour can choose from the Harbour View Balcony Suite or the Harbour View Suite, and there are also other rooms offering views of The Rocks and Walsh Bay. The contemporary style and special elegance of this hotel make it hard to beat for anyone looking for a stunning view of the Sydney Harbour.
Adina Apartment Hotel Sydney Harbourside
Adina Apartment Hotel Sydney Harbourside is located just footsteps from some of the world-class attractions of Darling Harbour. The premier 1 Bedroom King and Twin View rooms feature a balcony, courtyard or partial harbour view.
In this neighbourhood you’ll also find some of the best dining and hippest bars in Sydney. Adina Apartment facilities include a swimming pool, sauna, and fitness centre which overlooks Cockle Bay.
If you’re going solo or with a partner, and would like to hang on to that home-like feeling you love so much, house sitting is the thing for you. Total privacy, a comfortable bed, your own backyard and a furry little creature running around are essential for travellers who get homesick, even though they are staying for just a couple of days.
What to do
First things first, go to the beach and catch some waves. Surf at Shellharbour’s Killalea Beach, aka The Farm which is the perfect place whether you’re a beginner or an experienced wave rider.
Then, visit some of the Sydney’s biggest attractions such as Taronga Zoo, The Sydney Sea Life Aquarium, Madame Tussauds, famous Manly and Bondi beaches, Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Tower. After a long day of sightseeing, treat yourself to a world-class spa experience. The Darling Spa has it all – Moroccan hammam, jacuzzi, every type of massage imaginable, facials and body wraps. And for the perfect end of the day, enjoy a movie at the at Leichhardt’s Palace Norton Street Cinema or witness a spectacular opera show at the Sydney Opera House.
What to eat, where to drink
The Paddington, ran by chef Ben Greeno, is an exciting mixture of a restaurant and a pub. This fun in-between place offers dishes like the rotisserie, with chucks of lamb and whole birds.
Bennelong Restaurant, a part of the Sydney Opera House, makes its meals with the best produce Australia has to offer. Try their delicious red claw yabbies with lemon jam or a line-caught Southern squid with charred pickled cucumber.
Yellow offers a unique dining experience in a form of a vegetable-oriented menu. Dishes like kohlrabi and enoki mushrooms, a parsnip pappardelle, or whipped coconut and carrot sorbet show that you don’t need meat to prepare extremely delicious food.
And for a little snack between the meals, go to cult bakery chain Bourke Street Bakery and try their treats like a pear and rhubarb muffin or a chicken, sweet potato, pea & lime pickle pie.
If you’re a fan of a cocktail, be sure to check out one of the country’s best cocktail bars, also ranked as one of the best in the world – Eau De Vie. Their staff are some of the best mixologists in the business, and you’re guaranteed a show and a half too!
For all the wine lovers out there, Sydney has a special treat – winery-hopping with a helicopter. Go through as many of the area’s 40 cellars in style. You don’t need to worry about how much you had to drink or how will you drive back home when you’re going on a tour with a chopper.
So, make a plan and use your 72 hours of freedom wisely. There is no limit to what Sydney has to offer, whether you decide to go on an exciting adventure exploring the city or just do something relaxing and really take a break. Whatever you choose, you’ll surely find it here.