I first visited Sydney’s stunning shores in 2009 while studying abroad in Auckland. We stayed at a raucous hostel in Kings Cross where each guest was offered daily pub crawl tickets and matching t-shirts. Needless to say, my recent trips have been a tad more civilized!

One thing I’ve discovered about Sydney is its appeal to the both adventurer and the urbanite. It’s a fantastically picturesque city (stunning beaches with the Blue Mountains in the distance, what more could a girl want?) but with all the trappings of an urban playground.

This guide focuses primarily on central Sydney and Bondi Beach. There’s so much to experience in Sydney, even in a few short days, you won’t be disappointed!
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See/
Sydney Opera House: You cannot visit Sydney without venturing to the iconic Opera House. This architectural gem has some of the best acoustics in the world! I was fortunate to see the symphony here with my mom and sister during my second trip to Sydney.
Darling Harbour: Located on the western end of Sydney’s CBD, Darling Harbour is a beautiful pedestrian precinct.
The Royal Botanic Gardens: Located in the heart of Sydney, the garden opened in 1816 and is a testament to the state’s diverse floral and fauna.

Activities/
Vicious Cycle: Get your sweat on at this high-energy spin studio in Bondi Beach.
Art Gallery NSW: A beautiful building for the state art gallery’s collection of Indigenous Australian, contemporary and international art. Be sure to check out their Art After Hours series, the gallery stays open until 10pm!
Ramsgate Organic Foodies Market
Bondi Farmers Market

Coffee/
Kafeine: Great caffeine can solve all your problems, and Kafeine is no exception!
Gusto Espresso Bar: The best way to start the day is at Gusto, one of the oldest establishments in Bondi Beach. Grab a coffee to go, or sit in and sample their noteworthy breakfast rolls.
Gertrude and Alice Café Bookstore: A bookworm’s dream, this quirky bookstore is absolutely charming.

Breakfast/
Porch and Parlour: A trendy café that serves delicious breakfast and casual lunch. A favourite among vegetarians.
bills Bondi: A popular hang out among the surfer babes and creatives of Bondi Beach.
Ruby’s Diner: Healthy, organic all-day dining in a sleek setting.


Lunch/
The Fine Food Store Who knew a simple toastie could taste THIS good? Do yourself a favour and sit outside and watch the world go by, it’s utterly relaxing.
Henley’s Wholefoods: With three locations, Henley’s serves up healthy, organic dishes (often paleo, if you’re so inclined) in a bright, welcoming environment.
Two & Twelve: Craving American-style BBQ? Two & Twelve’s pork belly will melt in your mouth.

Dinner/
Drake Eatery: Seasonal, locally-sourced fare in a relaxed setting.
Pompei’s: On the hunt for traditional Italian fare? Look no further than Pompei’s!
Mamasan: Chinese, Tawainese, and Japanese tapas with some delicious cocktails to top it all off.

Drink/
Bulletin Place: This place is super cozy, and they have a cocktail made with rhubarb – my favourite ingredient!
Grandma’s Bar: Homemade ginger beer? I’m sold!
The Baxter Inn: If you like whisky, this bar has the best selection!

Stay/
Hotel Harry: A hotel of contrasts with impressive modern rooms impress and a speakeasy feel.
QT Sydney: Edgy and excellent customer service

Thanks for reading!

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