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How to Spend a Weekend in Sydney, Australia

Sydney Harbour Bridge | © Geoff Jones/Courtesy of BridgeClimb
Picture of Paris Donnatella Callan
Updated: 27 November 2017
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When it comes to spending a weekend in Sydney, the mind boggles with the wealth of possibilities. From nature and wildlife to impressive architecture and sensational tourist attractions, killer nightlife, a buzzing dining scene and bars too boot – this cosmopolitan city truly has it all. Here’s the ideal way to spend the weekend in Sydney.

Friday

Evening

Kick off the weekend with cocktails at Bulletin Place are a must. This Sydneysider hangout is the perfect place for a chilled pre-dinner drink. Boasting some of the most delicious concoctions in the city (with a daily changing cocktail menu) these mixologists are bound to impress.

Courtesy of Bulletin Place

Next, stroll through Sydney’s Central Business District towards the Chinatown Night Market. Running from 4.00pm-11.00pm, visitors can be sure to find some of the best examples of Asian street food amongst the hordes of stalls selling everything from clothes and accessories to art and household items.

Chinatown Night Market Sydney
© Alpha/Flickr https://flic.kr/p/6UnL8j

Dinner at Chinese Noodle Restaurant ensures some of the finest dumplings in Sydney. This place is fun; it offers fast service, is super cheap and is perfect for kicking back after a long week.

Chinese Noodle Restaurant Exterior
© Alpha/Flickr https://flic.kr/p/6sj8gt

Later, take a leisurely walk through Chinatown to The Darling in Darling Harbour. As part of The Star entertainment complex, guests will not only be indulging in Sydney’s only five-star luxury hotel (as rated by Forbes) but will be welcomed by a wealth of possibilities including gaming, bars, shopping and a spa.

Saturday

Morning

Wake up fresh and head East to Bondi Beach Farmers. Running from 9.00am-1.00pm, this is the perfect way to start the day with artisan coffee and one-of-a-kind market finds.

Bondi Beach Farmer’s Markets
Bondi Beach Farmer's Markets | © Vincent Wong/Flickr https://flic.kr/p/MJ5VQ

A weekend in Sydney wouldn’t be complete without catching a wave at the world-famous Bondi Beach. From well-versed wave riders to newbies, Bondi has perfect conditions for all levels of surfers. Those less acquainted with the sport can grab a lesson from popular surf school Let’s Go Surfing.

Courtesy of Let’s Go Surfing

After learning the language of the sea, relax with gourmet fare at Brown Sugar, a Bondi brunch staple serving up some of the best bistro grub around. Think local produce, organic ingredients, artisanal coffee, fresh salads and homemade gelato.

Afternoon

As afternoon washes over the day, stroll along the Bondi to Bronte walkway (2.5 kilometres, one way) or follow the trail all the way to Coogee (6 kilometres, one way) and take in breathtaking coastal views, rugged cliff faces, sandy beaches and dramatic landscapes against the backdrop of the wild Pacific Ocean.

Bondi to Coogee Walk
© Ben Holliday/Flickr https://flic.kr/p/SdxaZQ

Later in the afternoon, hop a short bus back to Surry Hills, a trendy inner-city suburb just moments from the city. Surry Hills is known for its effortless on-trend ease, hosting a wealth of speciality coffee shops, cafes, bars, wait list-worthy restaurants, vintage store and clothing boutiques. Start with a wander down Crown Street, taking in stores like Nique, The Standard Store, Cream on Crown and Miss Brown Vintage, before grabbing some afternoon bevvies (Aussie slang for alcoholic drink) in quaint little dive bar The Cricketers Arms Hotel or The Forresters.

Evening

In the evening, head out to Newtown, the heart and soul of Sydney’s nightlife scene. Amidst the hordes of young creatives, musicians, artists, locals and tourists, wander down King Street, taking in the undeniable energy, before dipping into Mary’s. Mary’s is a gritty rock ‘n’ roll bar serving up some of the best burgers and beers in Sydney.

Mary’s Burgers
© insatiablemunch/Flickr https://flic.kr/p/pwuXT4

After a hearty feed, enjoy the endless nightlife options on offer in Newtown. Top spots to hang out at include Courthouse Hotel (a 19th-century hotel with an awesome outdoor courtyard), 1989 Kitchen & Arcade (a Sydney-famous video game arcade café and bar) or The Midnight Special (a bluesy little bar with live music and a great underground vibe).

Street Fighter
© Ash Berdebes/Courtesy of 1989

Rest after a long day of pounding the pavement in The Urban Newtown, one of Sydney’s trendiest boutique hotels. This industrial-chic spot attracts only the coolest clientele who share the best insider secrets on where to eat, drink and dance in town.

Sunday

Morning

Rise and shine at the crack of dawn (quite literally) to catch the sun rising from the viewpoint of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with BridgeClimb. The impressive structure, which towers 134 metres above sea level, undeniably provides the best undisturbed views of Sydney’s Central Business District, the Sydney Opera House, surrounding waterways and streetscape.

Sydney Bridge Climb
Courtesy of BridgeClimb

After grabbing a light bite in Henry Deane, the glamorous bar of Hotel Palisade, with stunning floor-to-ceiling views of the Sydney Harbour.

View from Henry Deane
Courtesy of Hotel Palisade

Afternoon

The afternoon holds the opportunity to kick back and join in some of Sydney’s finest fun-filled activities. Hop the Ferry from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo; this excursion holds fun for all the family with a peaceful boat ride and harbourside views of the city. There are also impressive animal exhibits and educational programs at this world-class animal and environmental conservation.

Luna Park
© Lenny K Photography/Flickr https://flic.kr/p/q2NmtF

Alternatively, a ferry ride from Circular Quay to the old-world amusement park, Luna Park is must-see for anyone hitting Sydney’s highlights over the weekend. Opened in 1935, the entrance gates’ face has become synonymous with this city and all the fun to be had here. Hitch a ride on the ferris wheel to see Sydney from a different perspective.

Evening

As evening descends, head to the Opera Bar on Sydney Harbour for a bite to eat before catching a show at the iconic Sydney Opera House. With over 40 shows a week, ranging from dance to music and opera, there will be heaps to choose from.

Courtesy of Opera Australia

Wind down the night with a few post-show drinks amidst the arts crowd at Theatre Bar at the End of the Wharf – a tasty little number for theatre goers. Set in the surroundings of Sydney Theatre Company, only moments from Sydney Opera House, you’re bound to rub shoulders with some of Sydney’s finest talent.

Courtesy of Theatre Bar at The End of the Wharf

Rest after a long weekend in the esteemed Park Hyatt Sydney, the crème de la crème of luxury hotels with panoramic views of the city and every amenity available.

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