I was in Sydney for work two weeks ago and I extended the trip from Thursday noon to early evening on Saturday for some leisure time to myself. I had to catch the 5pm flight home on Saturday. I had just about 2 days to see the whole of Sydney so boy, did I jam pack my schedule. Here’s what I did; the places I visited and food that I had, and my recommendations if you’re headed to Sydney.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
I started the day about 12pm after a morning work meeting and went for a walk at the Sydney Harbour Bridge with my colleagues. We walked till about the halfway mark where people could scale the top of the bridge. The weather was beautiful – not too cold with a touch of warmth from the sun. It was a perfect day for a walk and the scenery that greeted us along the way was absolutely beautiful. You get a good view of the Sydney Opera House from here. I would definitely recommend taking a walk on this bridge when you’re in Sydney.
Museum of Contemporary Art
The museum is quite small so you can probably cover the place in an hour or less. I was slightly disappointed that there weren’t any famous works of art by the likes of contemporary artists such as Henry Matisse, Andy Warhol, Picasso, etc. I did a year of Art History studies when I was in NAFA and have always had a love and interest for art. Getting up close and personal with art pieces that I’ve only read about from books is an amazing experience.
‘Chance’ – an installation piece in the museum.
If you’ve got time, the cafe on the top level of the museum has a gorgeous view. Definitely worth spending the time for a cuppa there.
Here’s me and the view at the cafe!
The streets and shops around this area is super pretty and quaint so do spend time walking around and exploring the place.
#OOTD worth spots everywhere in this area. Haha. I’m wearing a jacket and skirt set coming soon to Wardrobe Theory. 🙂
Westfield Bondi Junction
The shops on Thursdays close late at 9pm in Sydney. They usually close at 5pm. I took this opportunity to check out the shops at Westfield Bondi Junction. It was recommended by the concierge at my hotel. This mall is huge and it’s got all the stores that you probably need under one roof – David Jones, Target, Myer and lots of small boutique shops. You can also probably find all the Australian designers you’re looking for in this mall.
I got quite a lot of Bonds underwear (made in Australia), Pandora charms (cheaper in Australia!) and checked out all the Australian labels like Cameo, Mink Pink, Camilla, Zimmerman, Finders Keepers, etc. This mall is definitely worth a check out.
Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Bus
I got a ticket from my hotel for the Hop On Hop Off sightseeing tour bus. It cost around SGD$40+ and is definitely worth going for if you’re looking to tour all the touristy spots in Sydney. They’ve got passes for 24 or 48 hours. I took cabs everywhere when I wasn’t on this bus and it costs around AUS$15-20 per cab ride, so the price for this sightseeing tour bus is definitely worth it.
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House was my first stop and I had brunch by the quay. The food was only average, but the view made up for the lacklustre meal and it was completely worth it.
I went inside the Sydney Opera House to have a look around but there’s really nothing much inside. It’s much better from the outside. I hear that the Oyster Bar there is highly recommended for drinks at sunset or after dark.
There are 2 bus routes for the Hop On Hop Off. As I didn’t have enough time to explore every stop, I toured the stops from the bus and only got off at Central Station to switch to the Blue Route for Bondi Beach.
Me at Central Station. (I didn’t know that there was a smudge on my camera lens, so there’s this annoying smudge on all my subsequent pictures from here. 😦 )
Stop 1 – Alfred St
Stop 2 – Wynard
Stop 3 – QVB
Stop 4 – Town Hall
Stop 5 – William St
Stop 6 – Kings Cross
Stop 7 – El Alamein
Stop 8 – Woolloomoolloo
Stop 9 – Opera House
Stop 10 – Botanical Gardens
Stop 11 – State Library
Stop 12 – Hyde Park
Stop 13 – Aust Museum
Stop 14 – Central Station
Stop 15 – Power House
Stop 16 – Fish Markets
Stop 17 – Star City
Stop 18 – Maritime
Stop 19 – Convention Centre
Stop 20 – Imax
Stop 21 – Aquarium
Stop 22 – King St Wharf
Stop 23 – Campbells Cove
Stop 24 – The Rocks
Stop 25 – Circular Quay
Stop 1 – Central Station
Stop 2 – Chinatown
Stop 3 – Sydney Tower
Stop 4 – William Street
Stop 5 – Paddington Town Hall
Stop 6 – Bondi Beach Terminal
Stop 7 – North Bondi
Stop 8 – Rose Bay
Stop 9 – Double Bay
Stop 10 – Australia Museum
This place is a must-visit for the beautiful coastal walk. Take a right turn from facing the sea and keep walking. The route is easy to follow and I promise that the view is spectacular. I was recommended to walk all the way to the cemetery at the top of the cliff but I didn’t make it all the way there as I didn’t have enough time.
View from the beach.
First landmark you’ll see on the walk. How amazing is this pool!
You also have to have the gelato from Messina at Bondi when you’re there. It’s located opposite the beach along the rows of shops. It’s super fresh and so yummy. Messina was made famous by Master Chef when the gelato was featured in one of their pressure tests. I hear there’s usually a long line of people waiting their turn for gelato. Lucky for me, there was no queue when I was there.
Messina Gelato. Address: 6/61 Hall Street, Bondi Beach, NSW 2026, Australia
El Bulli Restaurant
I met a friend, Ruth for dinner at this Spanish Tapas restaurant at Surrey Hills that evening. Surrey Hills is a popular area for cafes and restaurants and once again, definitely worth a visit but first, find out where the good foods are. I definitely recommend El Bulli. The food is so so good! Do call and reserve a table if you would like to go though. I hear they usually fill up pretty fast.
Extensive menu. Spoilt for choice!
I didn’t manage to get good shots of the food as the interior of the restaurant is pretty dark. We finally settled on the chilli mussels, potato croquette and garlic chicken wings. Yummehhhh and so worth every calorie.
Louder Than Words
I watched this contemporary dance by the Sydney Dance Company at the Sydney Theatre after dinner. The show features two world premieres, one by Sydney Dance Company’s Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela and the other by European star Andonis Foniadakis. The set and energy of the dances blew me away. It’s by far the best contemporary dance performance I’ve ever watched. So glad that I managed to catch it during my short time in Sydney.
The Harbour Bridge at night. This was taken after a short walk from the Sydney Theatre.
Thank you, Ruth for showing me around Sydney!
We took the Sydney Ferry for Darling Harbour after the dance performance. We sat outside on the ferry and it was such an enjoyable ride. Again, the view along the way was amazing. I think it was especially nice at night with the lights from the buildings. I definitely recommend taking the ferry at night for the view and experience.
Lindt Chocolate Cafe / Darling Harbour
Ruth took me for some iced chocolate at the Darling Harbour. It was to-die-for. The drink tasted so fresh, was surprisingly refreshing and not sickeningly sweet. I’m usually not a fan of chocolate drinks because it’s so sweet…but this was a winner.
There are lots of bars along Darling Harbour, so if you’re up for drinks, you can definitely head there.
I had the iced milk chocolate (left) and Ruth had the iced dark chocolate.
Best iced chocolate drink I’ve ever had. Man, I wish I could have some now.
It was midnight by the time we finished our chocolate drinks so we parted and I headed back for my hotel. What a wonderful day it was. So many firsts and so many spectacular sights. I remember going to bed very happy. 🙂
I woke up early on my last day in Sydney and headed to Paddington Market. It opens at 10am. The market was full of knick knacks, art, handicraft and jewellery. I covered the market pretty quickly and got these amazing skull candles. It made my trip to Paddington all worth it.
I wish I could bring back one of each colour!
CBD Shopping /Queen Victoria Building (QVB) / Pitt Street Mall
I headed for more shopping at the Central Business District after Paddington. This is my favourite shopping haunt by far. I like that there’s a mix of shops lined in rows outside and inside the malls, instead of them all being situated in a mall. I think I generally love wide open spaces.
My favourite must-see places are The Strand and QVB. The architecture of these two buildings is very Victorian and so absolutely gorgeous. The Strand is stocked with lots of Australian designers. Definitely worth going if you’re looking to buy clothes, although it gets pricey. I went to The Art of Dr Seuss gallery when I was at QVB, got chocolate from Haigh’s (the milk chocolate strawberry blocks are delicious) and Bon Bon’s , stopped for lunch, got more Pandora and picked out clothes for my family from Marcs. It was a definite fruitful shopping trip.
Inside The Strand
I headed back to the hotel to stash my shopping and pick up my luggage for the airport after QVB. Sydney was really good to me throughout the whole time I was there. I’m the sort who really enjoy being by myself sometimes, so it was really nice to be able to explore the city on my own. The nature walks did me good and gave me space to empty my mind to think and reflect, and the sights and sounds of the bustling city areas gave me inspiration. Sydney is a great balance of wide open spaces and city life. Thank you, Sydney! I’m sure I’ll be back again some day.