Your Guide to the Perfect Long Weekend in Sydney
You've arrived in Sydney, suitcase in hand and with just 72 hours to make the most of your time in the Harbour City. Not an easy feat to accomplish!
From Barangaroo's Instagram-worthy foodie hot spots to Newtown's quirky bars, we've put together the ultimate guide for a Sydney weekend you'll never forget.
If it's been a while since your last trip to Sydney, you're probably unacquainted with Barangaroo, the biggest (and best!) change to the city in decades. This harbour-front precinct is home to dozens of luxe eateries (including the award-winning Anason and Matt Moran's Barangaroo House), not to mention super-chic bars overlooking the wharf.
Kick things off with dinner at Kobe Jones, the modern, Californian-inspired Japanese restaurant overlooking Cockle Bay. Renowned for its fresh, innovative flavours and spectacular views, it's hard to have a bad time at this King Street Wharf institution. Expect beautiful sushi and sashimi, melt-in-your-mouth wagyu beef, sweet Japanese desserts and more.
Next, toast to your first night in Sydney at Untied, the gorgeous rooftop bar just a short stroll from Kobe Jones, back into the main Barangaroo precinct. This tropical-styled watering hole is known for its cocktails, mocktails and frozen delights, so forego the vino and opt for one of their signatures. We love the Kingfisher - think Appleton rum, banana rum, lime, coconut, almond and pineapple.
Of course, you'll need somewhere to rest that weary head, and luckily, Sydney is filled with unique and beautiful accommodation options. There's the beautiful QT Sydney, which boasts some of the most lavishly-styled rooms you've ever seen, the elegant five-star Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, offering city-centre luxury, and then there's Ovolo Woolloomooloo, the uber-cool, industrial-styled hotel ranked the best in Australia on TripAdvisor.
Start your day with a lazy breakfast in the historic Rocks district at the Fine Food Store. A fave among locals and not-so-locals alike, this eatery offers some of the most delish brekkie dishes you'll find in Sydney, including pulled brisket on a savoury croissant, fresh salmon tartare and Belgian waffles. Yeah, we're drooling too.
After your feed, stroll down to The Rocks Market, held every Friday from 9am till 3pm and every Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm. We hope you didn't gorge on too much at breakfast, because there'll be plenty of tantalising food options to tempt you at these iconic markets. You'll also find art, handmade jewellery, clothing and more. Bring some cash!
Look, you can't come to Sydney and not do something touristy, and if you've got to choose, why not choose the cutest possible option? Just a short, scenic ferry ride from Circular Quay, Taronga Zoo is a must-visit for any visitor - or local, for that matter!
In between all the wildlife shows, exhibitions and close encounters of the furry kind, be sure to grab something to eat and head to the Concert Lawns picnic area for breathtaking, panoramic views of the harbour.
From the north to the south - tonight, we're hitting up Sydney's cool cultural hub, Newtown. Check to see if one of your favourite bands is playing the Enmore or catch a play at the New Theatre, then head to the iconic Mary's for some of the best burgers you've ever tasted.
Now that you've lined your stomach, it's time to bar-hop. Step back in time at 1989 Arcade Bar and embrace your competitive side with drinks over classic arcade games - we're talking Mortal Kombat 2, Street Fighter 2 and Space Invaders. Next, wander over to Websters Bar on King St and climb the three floors to the rooftop terrace - trust us, it's worth it for the Aussie backyard vibes alone. Finally, transport yourself to the tropics at Jacoby's, the Enmore Road tiki bar serving up exotic cocktails in a Polynesian-styled space.
Rise and shine! This morning, we're heading to Bondi for brekkie - specifically, Drake's Eatery. With its modern, fresh take on all your breakfast favourites like crumpets, avo on toast, baked eggs and more, you'll be perfectly fuelled for the next few hours.
When you're done, mosey over to the iconic Bondi Markets, held every Sunday from 10am at Bondi Beach Public School. There, you'll find clothing, homewares, gifts and more from some of the area's best designers and artisans.
No matter if you’re a local or a visitor, climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge is something everyone should tick off their bucket list. Not only will you get the very best 360-degree view of the city, but you’ll learn heaps about Sydney and the bridge’s history, not to mention get the ultimate Instagram photo op!
Afterwards, head to Kirribilli Seafoods, grab some fish and chips and wander over to Bradfield Park for a bit of al fresco dining overlooking the harbour (and the bridge, which you just climbed. Go you!)
Catch the ferry over to Watson’s Bay and settle in for a killer sunset, great wine, delicious food and good vibes at Watson’s Bay Beach Club. One of the first places in Sydney to offer frosé after it first hit our Insta feeds, the Beach Club is known for its summery cocktails and awesome wine list.
Keen to keep the good times rolling? Ferry it over to The Rocks and hit up The Argyle, home to six bars spread over two levels of one of Sydney’s oldest buildings.
Hopefully you didn’t go too hard last night, because today’s a short one and you want to make the most of it, right? This morning is all about shopping, so make sure you don your comfiest shoes before heading to The Strand, the beautiful shopping arcade opened in 1892. Home to plenty of Aussie and international designers, it’s a must-visit for the gorgeous architecture alone.
Next, stroll through Pitt Street Mall and try not to blow your entire paycheck - we challenge you. Follow it to the end and you’ll arrive at Westfield Sydney, which boasts more than 350 stores. If you’re still after more shopping, go around the corner to the Queen Victoria Building - the stunning heritage-listed marketplace in the heart of the city.
If you've got time for one last Sydney experience before you have to jet home, make it a luxurious high tea. The city is packed with places to dine on delicate sandwiches and bottomless teapots, but there are a few stand-outs.
The Tea Room QVB is a total classic, offering a traditional high tea experience and a staggering 49 tea varieties to choose from. Then, you've got Swissotel and their modern take on high tea that comes complete with bubbly. Finally, there's the ultra-luxe Sheraton Grand, which serves up three tiers of sweet and savoury high tea goodness.