WHAT TO DO WHEN…
YOU HAVE THREE HOURS TO KILL
Best for a bit of culture
Visit the Art Gallery of NSW in the parklands overlooking Sydney Harbour. They have numerous amazing exhibitions throughout the year – our favourite being the Archibald Prize where hundreds of artists enter portraits either of themselves or famous Australians. The museum is also placed in the domain where you can wander through to the botanical gardens and harbour. If you can, visit the iconic Lady Macquarie’s Chair – it’s a sandstone chair carved out of the rock by convicts in 1810 and is said to be one of the best vantage points of Sydney Harbour.
Visit Paddington and Queen Street in Woollahra for little one-off shops and high-end boutiques, then there’s the Queen Victoria Building in the City which is a building full of big brand and one-off designers. It’s worth a visit just to see the building. Then there’s Pitt Street Mall which has a large Westfield shopping centre for your top brands. We would also visit the Strand Arcade for more one-off shops.
Must check out
The Rocks down by the Harbour Bridge and the Royal Opera House is obviously a must for any tourist. It’s a vibrant pocket of cafes, shops, and weekend market stalls set against a backdrop of historic buildings and passageways.
The walk between Bondi and Bronte is also great especially when Sculpture by the Sea is on.
Jump in a cab to
The Grounds of Alexandria, is a coffee house inspired inner city hub which offers breakfast and an all-day menu from Tuesday – Sunday. The doughnuts are an essential takeaway.
We would also make sure you get out of Sydney central and explore some of the outer suburbs such as Bondi Beach, Watsons Bay, Balmoral, Glebe and Rozelle which are all cute suburbs with something different to offer.
The secret find
Home on Darley in Mona Vale has been described as the ‘Best hidden gem’ in the Northern beaches with amazing homewares from all over the world.
If you are into jewellery 9or you’re with someone who wants to buy you some), be sure to visit Matthew Ely in Woollahra for some incredible gems. Ask to see his pink diamond collection.
YOU ARE LOOKING FOR TASTY, HEALTHY FOOD
Best brunch stop
Make a beeline for Shelly beach in Manly which is a Sydney suburb. The Boathouse has really delicious, fresh food, is in a great picturesque setting and you can walk onto the gorgeous beach or, if you have kids with you, they can play there whilst you eat. Then you can walk off your food with a casual stroll back to Manly. Alternatively try their The Boathouse at Balmoral Beach located in the suburb of Mosman, which is just as picturesque, but there’s a dining room for something a little smarter. They don’t take reservations so just tip up.
The Newport arms on the Northern beaches has a great vibe for lunch – it has a pub type feel with an array of different food options in a great outdoor setting. If you have kids, then the quirky oversized kid games will keep little ones occupied so you can find the time to enjoy your food.
Best dinner experience
Sydney has got a ridiculous selection of incredible restaurants so it’s tough to pick the best but here are some pointers: Potts Point as a suburb has got an amazing selection of places great for dinner, Apollo is an amazing Greek restaurant, then there’s Cho Cho San or Bussshari for authentic Japanese food, Yellow for incredible vegetarian options, and Marta for amazing Italian food inspired by the streets of Rome.
When you want a healthy takeout
WHEN YOU NEED TO IMPRESS YOUR BOSS/ CLIENTS
The go-to eatery
Bambini restaurant has delicious food and the atmosphere is suitably smart. There’s a great wine menu and the staff are always welcoming.
Best spot for a meeting
Bambini is great for a meeting too.
QT hotel in the city is a trendy little boutique hotel with a great bar, restaurant and must-see architecture, which is a mix of Gothic, art Deco and Italianate.
Best after-dinner cocktails
If you want to leave the city central than The Roosevelt in Potts Point brings a bit of New York and Las Vegas to Sydney with amazing cocktails . Alternatively try the downstairs bar in the city called Charlie Parker which takes a food approach to cocktails using amazing fresh ingredients.
YOU NEED A STYLE HIT
When you need stylish work clothes
When you need something for a special occasion
Zimmerman for show stopping eveningwear and sensational beachwear.
Scanlan and Theodore for statement dresses.
Off the beaten track recommendations
Spell and the Gypsy Collective from Byron Bay for amazing boho looks.
Flannel in Mosman for contemporary feminine style.
Best for shoes and accessories
Department store David Jones has a great selection of shoes and accessories for varying budgets.
TO LOOK AFTER YOUR WELLBEING
Best hotel with wellness facilities
With views over Sydney Harbour the Park Hyatt has unrivalled views and the spa has a wealth of amazing treatments for face and body. Try the Ginger Crush Body Treatment if you are suffering from jetlag.
The Spa Q in the QT hotel has a fantastic reputation. Try one of their Spa packages to feel fully revived or the Mastery Massage to ease away travel and work tension.
Where to go for a great yoga class
There is an amazing class at the Andrew Boy Charlton Pool in Macquarie St for sunset and sunrise sessions looking over the harbour. (BTW there is no better place to swim than this 8 lane outdoor heated swimming pool, which is surrounded by botanical gardens and overlooks the harbour).
Yoga and whale watching at the same time? Another must is Yoga By The Sea which holds outdoor lessons in various seaside incredible spots including Bondi, Manly, Bronte Tamarama.
Where to go to sweat
Join one of the group sessions in Rushcutters Bay Park to sweat with a view.
YOU ARE IN NEED OF BEAUTIFICATION
Best place for a fast, immaculate manicure
You can’t go wrong at Jocelyn Petroni in Woollahra which is the first official nail expert for Chanel Australia.
Best place for a blowdry
Renya Xydis at Valonz in Paddington for a modern undone blowdry.
Best facial in town
Head to Jocelyn Petroni in Woollahra (see above) or for a super luxe experience try Zen Facial in Bronte which is a face lift for body and soul.
Best for eyebrows
Sharon Lee in Woollahra who many say is one of the best brow shapers in the world.
This guide is compiled by Caroline Hill