From the Blue Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, Sydney, Australia’s largest city, is a beautiful blend of natural beauty and laid-back vibes. With more than a hundred beaches—some just a short walk from Circular Quay in Sydney Harbour—you can watch the waves and perform at the Sydney Opera House on the same day. With high-end restaurants, art galleries, and history, it’s no wonder that this cultural center has earned its rightful place among the world’s top destinations. From Potts Point to Parramatta, Sydney is sure to charm you with its welcoming people and free spirit. Read more about great places to eat, surf, and stay.
Things to See
The Royal Botanic Garden
Located on the shores of Sydney Harbour, the Royal Botanic Garden is a veritable haven of rare and exotic plants. Walk the tree-lined path and see towering Klinki pine, macadamia, and magnolia trees, then see the colorful banksias and bold grevilleas at the Native Rockery or step back through the ancient Rainforest Garden that boasts ferns, palms, and rare flowers.
Big Heart Sing at the Sydney Opera House
Many people visit the Sydney Opera House to watch world-renowned artists perform. Me I went to try, for one magical night, that I was one of the aforementioned artists. On the first Monday of every month, the venue opens its doors to dreamers and surfers to join the public chorus and shine brightly. And if you can’t sing to save your life, don’t miss out: this light and fun show brings musicians from all walks of life together in harmony.
Surfers: This cool beach town has sun, sand, and waves for pros, kooks (newbies), and groms (kids) alike. With hip nightlife, shopping, and year-round sports and music festivals, Bondi is Sydney’s most popular beach for locals. and travelers. For more of the stunning coastline, take the two-hour drive from Bondi to Coogee. You won’t regret it.
Where to Eat
The hottest Parisian restaurants are in Sydney. (Who knew?) Indulge in caviar and duck parfait service at Restaurant Hubert, along with cote de boeuf made with béarnaise sauce and a live jazz band. Similar to dining and entertainment, you can also enjoy La Vie Royale, a carnival-style cabaret filled with sparkling wine.
Alibi Bar & Dining
Inside the Ovolo Woolloomooloo hotel there is an outdoor restaurant to keep you entertained. Alibi’s Mediterranean cuisine is locally sourced and draws heavily on chef Shannon Martinez’s Spanish heritage. Highlights include “meatballs” wrapped in salsa de almendras, summer paella, and spicy fried eggplant, washed down with a heavenly agrodolce fig caramel sauce.
Harry’s Cafe on Wheels
Take an evening stroll around Sydney’s harbors and be sure to stop at this popular restaurant for some of the best late-night pies you’ll ever have. Although these little delights are too big for one, you’ll find yourself eating two, or three, with a side of hot chips. Choose your warrior: pepper pie, curry chicken, or tiger – the flavors are not to be missed. Counting Anthony Bourdain, Sir Elton John, and Prince Harry among the regulars, Harry’s Café de Wheels is a must-try.
Where to Drink
Orchard Street Elixir Bar
Just a short walk from Bondi Beach is Orchard Street Elixir Bar, a fun place to cool off with organic juices and fruit-filled Elixir bowls. The corner apothecary restaurant operates under the motto “Activism through Herbalism,” serving sustainable and nutritious food designed to promote inner health. Although the juices are the star of the show, don’t sleep on the “Harmonise & Restore” Sticky Chai Tea. Blended with Australian honey, ashwagandha, cloves, and black pepper, it takes its name.
Restaurant at Park Hyatt Sydney
Why not enjoy an elegant and classy night at The Bar, located at the Park Hyatt Sydney? Take in the beautiful city with a glass of Australian wine paired with Sapphire Coast oysters, or enjoy a signature bar on the rocks.
The locals are desperate for their coffee. In Sydney’s CBD, The Grounds of the City is where you can go to enjoy some of the best whites out there. Good manners will get you a book and a snack. And thanks to his new Grounds Roastery, you can take his signature home to friends and family…
Ovolo Woolloomooloo is a five-star hotel with music-themed rooms (yes, you read that right). For an unforgettable night, book AC/DC’s penthouse suite and rock out to the best music to rock until the wee hours. Rumor has it that a celebrity booked the band for a recent tour in Sydney, which, counting myself, makes for two sound musicians who may or may not have danced on the couch.
Park Hyatt Sydney
The stylish and stylish Park Hyatt Sydney puts you in the heart of Sydney. A beautiful view of the entire Sydney Harbor is just a small part of what this hotel has to offer. There are also luxurious rooms (with contemporary and Aboriginal art adorning the walls), a year-round rooftop pool, and gourmet cuisine. Make your stay unforgettable by booking a treatment or two at the spa.
Visiting Bondi Beach will make you want to move there for the rest of your life, then you should book an apartment at QT Bondi. Being right in front of the beach, you won’t miss a single wave or sunrise. Rooms here come with their own kitchens, laundry facilities, and even private balconies to soak up the constant Bondi sun and breathe in the salty air.. Breathe in, breathe out, repeat: this is paradise.
Yousra manages the look of Elle.com and directs many of the images that capture Elle’s modern woman.