Our top picks for restaurants, bars, accommodation and things to do when visiting Sydney

We love a weekend away to Sydney and have visited more than our fair share of times. A weekend in Sydney is never long enough! There is so much to do, eat, drink and see.

The best time to travel to Sydney is typically during the summer. Anytime from November to February, the temperature is consistently above 30 degrees. Winter is still a good time to visit and explore Sydney. However, you won’t be able to make the most of the famous hot sandy beaches and spectacular sights in the city.

Below we have collated a list of all of our favourite bars, restaurants, accommodation options and things to do – have a read through and start planning your next getaway in Sydney!

Our favourite Bars in Sydney:

You are seriously spoilt for choice when it comes to going out for a drink in Sydney. Below we have listed some of our favourites, ranging from casual drinking spots, to table service venues where the cocktails can cost as much as a main meal (eeek!). But without fail, all of these bars know how to mix an excellent drink:

  • Scout (Surry Hills)
  • The Opera Bar (Sydney Central)
  • The Baxter Inn (Sydney Central)
  • Cantina OK (Sydney Central)
  • Old Mate’s Place (Sydney Central – Rooftop)
  • Lobo Plantation (Sydney Central – Underground Bar)
  • The Barbershop (Sydney Central – Hidden Bar)
  • Bulletin Place (Circular Quay)
  • Maybe Sammy (The Rocks)
  • Ode (Bondi)
  • Doss House (The Rocks)
  • Earl’s Juke Joint (Newtown)
  • Mary’s (Newtown – Burgers and Bar)
  • Shady Pines Saloon (Darlinghurst)
  • Bancho Bar (Haymarket)
  • The Bearded Tit (Redfern)
  • Bibo Wine Bar (Double Bay)

Our favourite Restaurants in Sydney:

So many restaurants, never enough time! To make it a little bit easier for you we have listed some of our personal favourites below:

  • Saint Peter (Paddington)
  • 10 William Street (Paddington)
  • Yellow (Potts Point)
  • Bella Brutta (Newtown)
  • Mary’s Underground (Circular Quay)
  • Totti’s (Bondi)
  • Sean’s Panaroma (Bondi)
  • Icebergs Dining Room and Bar (Bondi)
  • Ho Jiak (Haymarket)
  • Spice I Am (Surry Hills)
  • Chin Chin (Surry Hills)
  • Bodega (Surry Hills)
  • Mr Wong (Sydney Central)

Accommodation options in Sydney:

There are so many accommodation options in Sydney – it can be overwhelming trying to find the best place to stay! We can personally recommend any of the Accor Hotels in Sydney, have a look at their website for all types of accommodation. Check out some location specific hotels below: 

Things to do when visiting Sydney:

Spend the day at Bondi Beach: This one is a must do, you can’t get any more iconic than swimming or surfing in Bondi, Sydney’s most famous beach. Make sure you stop in and swim (or get a photo) at the Instagrammable Bondi Icebergs Baths (pictured below). The baths have been a landmark of Bondi for over 100 years. At only $8 for casual entry, you are able to access the pool,sauna and gym. For the ultimate Bondi Beach experience, you can book into a Yoga by the Sea class ($25, Tuesday – Saturday during the summer months).

Walk from Bondi to Tamarama: It is roughly 1.3km from Bondi Icebergs to Tamarama Beach. The Bondi to Coogee trail begins at the bottom of Notts Avenue, near the Icebergs pool in South Bondi. It’s such a lovely little walk, especially when the Sculptures By Sea annual exhibition is on. 

Catch the ferry to Manly Beach: While Bondi Beach is by far the most famous beach in Australia, we personally believe Manly Beach is a better beach to spend a day out! Be sure to take the iconic Manly Ferry, Sydney locals use the ferry most days on their commute to work, but the Ferry voyage is such a treat that we would recommend tourists to jump on board! 

There’s more to Manly than just the beaches, be sure to check out The Manly Markets (on Sundays), The Dive Centre, 4 Pines Brewing Company and all the shops/cafes/bars on the main street. 

Get your shopping fix on  in the city: If you want to go out to get your shopping fix on, then Westfield Sydney is the place you are looking for. Westfield Sydney is a large indoor and outdoor shopping mall with hundreds of shops including David Jones, Sephora, Nike, Zimmerman, Witchery, Sportsgirl, Decjuba and much more. 

Also check out the Strand Arcade, Queen Victoria Building (or QVB as the local’s call it), The Rocks Market (on Fridays) The Glebe Markets (on Saturdays), The Strand Arcade and The Broadway Shopping Centre.

Here’s a full guide for shopping in Sydney.

Be a tourist at the Sydney Opera House: No trip to Sydney is complete without admiring the Sydney Opera House. The architecture of the Opera House is astounding, and has to be admired up close! You are also able to book in for a tour of the Opera House to learn about the building and its history, check it out here.

Fork out some cash and do the Sydney Bridge Climb: The Sydney Harbour Bridge is arguably one of the most iconic sights in the whole of Australia, you must check it out while you are in Sydney! It’s worth spending the money to climb the bridge to gain a perspective of how long and massive it truly is. You also get an excellent view of the Opera House across the harbour!

Have a picnic at the Royal Botanic Gardens: You really can’t beat the harbour views from the Botanical Gardens. Walking around and setting up a picnic is a great free way to spend a few hours in Sydney. Walk from the Opera House to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair for one of the best vantage points in Sydney. 

Visit Luna Park: This heritage listed, harbour front amusement park is iconic to Sydney, you have to walk around it and see all the rides, colour, sights and sounds. Unlike other amusements parks, entry to Luna Park Sydney is completely free. If you just want to have a walk around and grab an ice cream, you totally can. You then pay per ride or can purchase a ride pass if you wanted to go on more than a few. The ferris wheel is the most popular, if you were only to go on one ride, make it this one!

Other things to do in Sydney:

  • Visit the Star Casino
  • Cool off at Gordon’s Bay
  • Check out what NRL games may be on 
  • Trek to the Barrenjoey Lighthouse
  • Get you animal on at Taronga Zoo
  • Take A Stroll Through The Queen Victoria Building
  • Walk from Coogee to Bondi
  • Wander through Hyde Park
  • Admire The Architecture Of St Mary’s Cathedral
  • Listen to the buskers at Circular Quay
  • Book in for a Sydney Harbour Boat Tour
  • Spend an afternoon at The Museum of Sydney
  • If you are a sports fan, check out the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG)

Shannon Clarke - Editor, The Wild Hideaway
Shannon Clarke - Editor, The Wild Hideaway

Shannon is a travel and lifestyle writer with a keen taste for global adventure – whether it be snorkeling in the waters of Fiji, or exploring the art and architecture of Barcelona. When Melbourne calls her back home, she spends most of her time exploring and planning weekend road trips. To fund all of her trips, Shannon is a freelance writer and marketer – she was named the Australian Young Marketer of the year in 2017!

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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