It’s winter in the Land of Down Under, and my partner and I have been reminiscing about our last visit to the glorious city of Sydney just before we escaped to the summer-ruled Europe. In all fairness, UK weather in the warm months can be as volatile as winter in Australia, but roaming Sydney in these less sultry months can be even more enjoyable for your regular globetrotter.
And if you by chance find yourself in Sydney anytime soon, I’d suggest you kick the touristy stuff and head straight for the taste of the genuine local life!
- Stay with a Sydneysider
Ditch the hotels and motels, and look for a friendly local who can offer you accommodation for your stay, as there’s no better way to walk the Sydney walk and talk its talk than to immerse yourself in the life of one of the city’s very own.
Every district has a unique charm, so ask your host for a few tips on where to buy the best morning cuppa coffee, local produce and hidden vintage stores Sydney is chock-full of if you know where to look.
- Hit the beach Sydney-style
The Pacific isn’t as toasty as you’d like it to be for a casual swim, but as impossible as this sounds, their beaches offer so much more than lounging in the sun. Hall Street at Bondi is brimming with cafes and foodie spots, still not overrun by tourists, and you can visit a beachside café with a view of the waves and enjoy a fresh organic smoothie like a true Aussie.
If you’re up for a picnic and the weather is friendly enough, Bronte is both family-friendly, with a laid-back vibe for the travelling hipsters and a BBQ-perfect spot, while the Bathers’ Pavilion on Balmoral is our absolute favorite for a Sunday brunch.
- Get your munchies in order
When you spend enough time in one place, you have the luxury of just walking the streets and coming across hip new places you’ve never heard of. But for those of you who visit Sydney for a week and dream to come back in a few years’ time, time is of the essence – and Sydney won’t make it any easier for you with its charming eateries and bars around every corner.
We were lucky enough to stumble upon this eclectic place by the name of Archie Rose whiskey distillery in Rosebery with amazing food and their out-of-this-world signature whiskey; and on a retox Friday no less! Trust me on this and order any of their signature spirits, and you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven.
- Get with the (culture) program
Because there’s always something happening in the majestic streets of Sydney! Or maybe not the streets, but the sheer choice of museums, galleries, concert venues and stand-up comedy shows will have you cancelling your flight home. Also, you should totally visit Bondi Winter Magic or head to the Hunter Valley for Snow Time in Gardens.
Stop by the Art Gallery of NSW which is a dream-come-true for contemporary art fans, and you can feast your eyes on a world-known rugby battle between the All Blacks and the Qantas Wallabies later this month during a month-long rugby festival. If anything, that Haka performance will leave you with goosebumps for a few days.
- Embrace the nightlife
If anything can showcase this city’s versatility, that would be its ever-so-rich nightlife that hides something for every appetite. Would you like a chill evening with smooth jazz and dim lights? Then Jazzgroove has you covered, and I have to say, every time we’ve been there, it’s been the highlight of the trip.
You’d prefer a night of lols and stomach cramps? Sure, just head to the Comedy Store in the Entertainment Quarter (yes, it’s a thing), or find a free event some Sydney bars set up every now and then. From insane clubs and classy restaurants to hip hangouts dispersed all over the city, it’s inevitable that you’ll fall in love with the city’s restless spirit.