A fortnight would be great – but what if you have just seven days to explore Australia's largest city? For advice on where to stay and eat, what to do and how to get around Sydney, read on
Sydney is such a magnificent place, it doesn’t matter if you go in the Australian winter or summer. We found that a week in winter was just right, but guessed that a couple of weeks in the summer would be about perfect.
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at the Clarion Suites Southern Cross hotel on Darling Harbour and found it to be a great location. It was something of a trek to walk to the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge but the bars and restaurants of Darling Harbour, Cockle Bay Wharf and Chinatown were just minutes away.
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK
Most of our evenings were spent at Darling Harbour just around the corner from the hotel. The Angus Steak House was a particular favourite and had some of the best lamb either of us had ever tasted. A couple of really good bars on the wharf were Pontoon and Pier 26 Bar. The latter was up some stairs and really cool, with films of log fires and old cartoons beamed on to huge drapes around the bar. The Blackbird Café was also very good and quite cheap with an extensive menu to choose from. Another restaurant we experienced was CMG – but we weren’t that keen on it, and felt it was a little expensive and naff compared to The Angus Steak House.
WHAT TO DO
There are plenty of ways to fill the day in Sydney, from shopping sprees in the city centre to strolls through the greenery of Centennial Park. A wander through the Botanical Gardens and a walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge are superb ways to spend your time. There are plenty of photo opportunities at the Opera House and Bondi beach is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon.
We opted for the shuttle bus to and from the airport, which cost $30 (Australian) each way for the pair of us. We didn’t get a taxi, train or tram for the whole week.
There were plenty of Internet cafés in Chinatown and all were very inexpensive. A PC station could be hired for just $2 per hour – and if you only needed access for half an hour, the receptionist would return a dollar to you as you left.
WHAT IT COSTS
We found Sydney to be fairly expensive for drinks and food – perhaps because we just stuck to the trendy bars and restaurants of Darling Harbour. A wine and a lager came to something like $13 and main courses such as lamb and steak peaked at about $26 each. Australian bars don’t generally serve pints of beer, but bottles or half pints instead.