Travel Beautifully · Perform Confidently
Travel Beautifully · Perform Confidently


The Grounds of Alexandria, is a coffee house inspired inner city hub which offers breakfast and an all-day menu. The doughnuts are an essential takeaway

From art galleries to picturesque lunch stops, and yoga classes by the sea, this is the insider’s guide to where to go, where to work and where to waste time well in the glorious city of Sydney.



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.”

sydney local guide lady macquarie
Lady Macquarie’s chair overlooking Sydney Harbour
Top Shopping

“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.”

sydney city guide alexandria cafe
The grounds of Alexandria Cafe
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 (or 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.”


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 with a dining room for something a little smarter. Note – they don’t take reservations so just tip up.”

Best lunch

“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 kids games will keep little ones occupied so you can find the time to enjoy your food.”

sydney the newport arms
The Newport Arms on the Northern Beaches

“For something smarter, try Cafe Sydney in Custom house or the Quay and Aria , which are both in Circular Quay and look out over the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House . they never fail to impress.”

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

Iku for plant based brilliance and tasty poke bowls and Rolld for delicious Vietnamese street food.”


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 (above) is great for a meeting too.”

Best hotel

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
the growings bar and grill QT hotel
The Gowings Bar and Grill at the QT hotel

“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.”


When you need stylish work clothes

“Try Saba for stylish, simple and modern designs or the department store David Jones for everything from underwear to basics to contemporary workwear.”

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 and 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.”


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 jet lag.”

Best spa

“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.

yoga by the sea bondi beach
The view of Yoga by the Sea on Bondi Beach
Where to go to sweat

Join one of the group sessions in Rushcutters Bay Park to sweat with a view.


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

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