CITY GUIDE SYDNEY
I regard myself as very fortunate to have visited and lived in a number of different places around our globe. Each place has certainly left a mark on me in its very own way, yet there are only a few destinations that I felt very connected to. Sydney is one of those cities. It is a wonderful city, rich in culture, countless places to visit and many cool things to do, as well as a brilliant lifestyle to enjoy. Located right by the ocean and home to a number of beautiful beaches, it is a great place to visit and live in.
Obviously there are plenty of options to stay in Sydney. Personally, I have not stayed in a hotel, instead I had always booked an Airbnb. I suggest to find yourself a place to stay around Woollahra, Tamarama, Bronte, Bondi, Rose Bay or Double Bay. All of these neighborhoods are centrally located, have their own charm and allow yourself to perfectly live and explore the city.
While Melbourne is world famous for it is coffee culture, I believe Sydney is equally as good. Beetroot latte, golden mylk, or charcoal-infused coffee, are only three new coffee variations that I had first tried in Down Under. You will probably find an amazing cafe in every part of Sydney, so it is hard to pin point my absolute favorite. With that being said, if there is one, then it must be Harry’s, situated in Bondi Beach. Not only do I share a personal connection with this place, but the coffee and food is outstanding, the staff is super friendly and the location is cool. A short walk away you will find Sonoma Bakery. They own a number of outlets across the city and produce the most amazing tasting sourdough bread. If you like ice cream, then I suggest to stop by Gelato Messina for some top-notch scoops of ice-cream, which can also be vegan. Again, Messina also has a few outlets scattered across the city.
On your way to the other side of town, you will pass Woollahra, which is lovely little neighborhood, close to Centennial Park as well as not too far away from the ocean. Luxe is lovely little cafe, hidden within a courtyard and invites you detach from the buzzing Sydney life. Opposite, you will find Plane Tree Cafe. Go inside and find yourself a seat at the little bar right by the window. Order a cup of tea, coffee, or bite to eat, bring a book, sit down and enjoy.
In Alexandria, Bread & Circus is a cool place to come for brunch. Right next to it, there is Pana Chocolate, probably one of the best artisan vegan chocolate manufacturer. Make sure to grab a few bars to take away. Last but not least, In the upcoming Kings Cross neighbourhood, Room Ten is your best bet to get your perfect avocado toast.
In Bondi, right next to Harry’s, you will find Raw Bar. It is a Japanese restaurant, owned by the same guy that is also in charge of Harry’s. You must try the miso eggplant, which is insanely yummy. There are a number of good places along Hall Street. Bills is certainly my favourite among them all. It is owned by famous Australian chef Bill Granger and offers a mix of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. There is another Bill’s in Surry Hills. Both have their own charm and invite for a lovely long-lasting dinner party. Further up the road, you will find Bangkok Bites, which serves tasty Thai food and literally brings a bit of the Bangkok experience to the seaside as your dining outside on small tables and sitting on little chairs. From Thailand to China, it is only a few meters by feet. China Diner is your place for Chinese food. If you are keen for tacos and nachos, check out Fonda, a Mexican place. Last but not least, Sefa Kitchen as well as Shuk, create tasty middle eastern food. Come by, order various small dishes and enjoy.
Chin Chin is a great Chinese restaurant located close to Downtown. In Potts Point, a few minutes down the road, is Yellow, a fantastic restaurant that is famous for its fine dining vegan degustations. Continuing with my affinity for Asian cuisine, Sushi Man in Balmain, certainly makes some of the best sushi in the city. The purple rice rolls are highly recommended. The Boathouse Group owns a number of hotspots around the Sydney, including Whale Beach, Palm Beach, Shelly Beach as well as Balmoral. All of the places are quite similar, offering super food, good drinks, and above all great vibes overall, as well as the occasional yoga or cooking class.
When it comes to bars and nightclubs in Sydney, there are number of places to visit as well as regular events to attend. Hall Street in Bondi is certainly a pretty lively place and great for a drink. Here, Ravesis is cool place to go. Also, as mentioned before, Potts Point is a busy district with a number of pubs around, as well as Paddington and Surry Hills are worth a visit at night.
Australia is certainly home to some of the coolest fashions brands out there. To name a few: Venroy, Assembly Label and Bassike all offer excellent quality for price. Or, especially, Zimmermannm, Aje, Auguste and Tringl for the ladies. The styles and fits are awesome and designs are clean and minimalist. There are number of independent boutiques and brand stores scattered around the city. My favourite streets to go for a stroll are Crown Street in Surry Hills, Gould Street in Bondi, Oxford Street in Paddington and Military Road in Mosman. Here you will also find shops of some of the previously mentioned brands.
In addition to the fashion labels, Tuchuzy and Parlour X are great stores for women. Incu has a men’s and women’s shop both offering the latest streetwear brands. Sneakerboy, as the name suggest, is one of the best places to find a pair of sneakers. Alternatively, Supply Store also stocks a range of cool brands and releases the latest soles. Though it is not a fashion label, Dinosaur Design is hands down one of my favorite companies. They are manufacturing resin goods ranging from plates to bowls, and vases to little tables, which make a great addition to any home. Not to forget, even though you will find the brand in other parts of the world as well, Aesop is always worth a visit, especially, when you are in the company’s country of origin.
“Bondi to Bronte” is a stunning coastal walk. Whether you run or walk it, it is a beautiful path along the cliff. You will pass a number of sea pools that are also ideal to get in your daily laps. One of my other personal favorites is Centennial Park. It is huge green space in the center of Sydney inviting you to hang out, go for a walk, horse riding, or complete your cycling and running training sessions. It is another great way to tap out from the busy city life.
I certainly suggest to rent a car or take the bus up to the Northern Beaches, even better spend a couple of days up there. It is a beautiful part of Sydney. The Northern Beaches are about a one hour drive away from downtown Sydney and a popular weekend getaway among the locals. The Northern Beaches stretch from Narrabeen to Palm Beach, though the pretties spots are clearly in the upper half, including Bilgola, Avalon, Whale and Palm Beach. When you drive up or back down, make sure to leave in the early or late hours of the day, in order to beat the traffic
Personally, there is no better way to start the day than to go for a run along the trails with views across the sea, or hopping into one of the ocean pools to go for a swim, followed by an espresso at Zubi’s at Bilgola Beach, or The Boathouse at Whale Beach. At the latter, you can also participate in morning yoga sessions, which are a wonderful alternative to starting your day. Also, I recommended to go for a hike up to the Barrenjoey Lighthouse in the early hours of the day. Once you reach the top, you will be rewarded with stunning 360 degree views across the ocean and the peninsula.
In the evening, you can stop by the Beach House in Avalon to grab a beer and the let day phase out. Alternatively, The Newport, which is part of the successful Merivale Group that owns a number of outstanding locations around Sydney, is good place to go for evening entertainment. Enjoy views across Pittwater and pick your food and drinks from an alfresco marketplace. A few minutes down the road, you will find The Collaroy, an all-day eatery serving fresh seafood, wood-fired pizza and veggies. Stop by for a drink on the outdoor terrace.
When you are in Avalon make sure to stop by at Alma, which is cozy Mexican restaurant with a lovely outside terrace. The brussel sprouts tacos are insanely good. Don’t forget to order tequila. In contrast, Nourished Cafe is great for coffee and prepares yummy vegan delights, similar to Pineana, where you can grab yourself a fresh vegan takeaway dish. Also, in Avalon, Forage is cozy little neighborhood cafe serving excellent coffee and a few meters down the road, you will find Clareville Kiosk, which is yet another lovely little space to grab a drink and bite to eat.