We're so excited to be sharing a travel guide from Jessica Wright who runs the amazing blog Bon Traveler. Jessica, is a Northern California based creative who fell in love with the world of travel.
This guide to spend a weekend in Sydney will keep you busy and create memories to last a lifetime. Keep reading!
As it was my first time in Sydney, Australia, I couldn’t have been more excited to explore for a few nights. Having a sister-in-law who lives in Australia, it was the perfect excuse to visit this coastal city. Over the years, I’ve heard you either love Melbourne or Sydney and having been to Melbourne multiple times, the jury was still out on Sydney. A quick spoiler alert: there is much to love about Sydney, quickly putting it at the top of my list of must-experience cities in Australia. Maybe it was those turquoise waters splashing up at Bondi or the incredible coffee culture, either way, I know I will be returning back for more.
Before visiting Sydney there are a few things to know. Transportation is quite simple — you don’t need a car at all. The key is to pick a place to stay that is centrally located for ease in travel. Sections of the city are walkable and Uber is readily available to get you across the city when needed. If you’re headed in summer months (their summer is North America’s winter), be sure to prep for the heat. It can get scorching hot, so I would opt for the shoulder seasons of spring and fall if you want milder temperatures.
When it comes to booking accommodations, we chose to be in Surry Hills in an Airbnb. The Airbnb was perfect for the four of us to have our own space and be centrally located. We walked to most places nearby. Had we booked a hotel, my top choices would have been the Darling Hotel or the Hotel Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbor. Both of these hotels have incredible views over the harbor.
During our weekend in Sydney, I’ll be honest that we were after cuisine. The food scene is here is out of this world — with unique spaces that are design forward and innovative with their flavors. One of the most memorable meals was at Cho Cho San where we dined for my husband’s birthday. This Japanese-inspired menu is in minimal space and perfect for a meal with shared plates. We frequented local coffee shops and cafes, like Mecca, Single O Surry Hills, Paramount Coffee Project, and Reuben Hills throughout the time. Another stand out meal was a long brunch at Porch and Parlour in Bondi. Their quintessential Australian breakfast is a must. Some of our other favorite meals included Shuk Bondi and Apollo Restaurant.
With close access to the coast, Sydney showed off its natural beauty when we were there. There is so much to do whether you choose to stay within the city or take the scenic hikes like the Bondi to Coogee trail along the ocean. I loved walking around Surry Hills, exploring the local boutiques and cafes. The CBD and the Rocks is a must — you can’t help but take that iconic photo of the Sydney Opera House. One day, we took the ferry over to Manly, which acted like a free scenic boat ride across the bay, something I highly recommend to do. And of course, there’s the beloved Icebergs at Bondi. How can you not sit and stay a while, soaking in the view of the natural ocean pool filled up by waves?
When I think about my favorite memory in Sydney, it had to be the morning spent at the Grounds of Alexandria. It came as the most recommended dining/shopping experience in the city. It’s a beautiful space that has been converted into a few cafes and gardens, all seamlessly connected together. As a design destination, it was the perfect spark for creativity. After a long breakfast here (be sure to reserve in advance), we walked around, soaking in the beautiful space.
Planning your next adventure? Be sure to take one of our Travel Journals with you! This Promptly journal features thoughtful, meaningful prompts to help you record and remember the best details of your favorite trips.