On April 30, 2013Shitika Anand answered the question:Hugos Lounge: This posh cocktail bar and nightclub is located in the heart of Sydney's nightlife district, but up here, you won't be bothered with the rowdy crowd on the main street. With guest DJs from around the world, there's a pretty good reason why this club has won the 'Nightclub of the Year' tag, five years in a row.
Goodgod Front Bar: A small club that looks like it has emerged from the 1960s and appeared on a busy street of Sydney. Women are clad in A-line skirts and men carry combs in their pockets; all in all, it gives you a reason to escape from all the Jay Zs and Kanye Wests of the world. Goodgod would show you a classic, swing musical night.
The Ivy: A club that might seem a little pretentious at first, somehow manages to draw in the most well-dressed professionals on a Friday night. This sophisticated club has something for everyone: relaxed lounges, a pumping dance floor, an open pool, a dedicated RnB space and plenty of intimate corners. Just be vary of the unisex toilet situation.
Marquee: Straight from Vegas, the Sydney branch of this famous club draws in some of the best DJs and artists from the industry, Snoop Dogg, Will.I.am, Lil Jon and Steve Aoki, to name a few. If you haven't been to the Vegas one, compensate for it with its Down Under soul sister. You're guaranteed to break a sweat.
There are also tons of Karaoke bars in the south end of George Street, which could lead to some pretty great (bad) singing and dancing nights. And check out Oxford Street in Surry Hills for an array of gay and lesbian clubs.
On April 30, 2013Shitika Anand answered the question:Just like every other city, Sydney is also inundated with souvenir shops. You’ll find them at Circular Quay (most expensive here), the Rocks, Bondi Beach, in Chinatown and on almost every main street of Sydney CBD. But the art of souvenir shopping is one that’s hard to perfect. You could either get sucked in with duplicate ‘Made in China’ t-shirts or end up with boomerang that wouldn’t even pass through customs.
Depending on what you wish to take back – traditional or quirky - below are my suggestions for the best souvenir shops in Sydney, and what they offer.
Paddy’s Market: This shopping haven has a history that goes back 150 years, especially for the availability of fresh produce, handmade goods and novelty items. However today, Paddy's Market is home to really affordable jewellery, home decor items and clothes. You won't find the best quality items here, but it's a great place to purchase cheap, one-time-wear sundresses and tees from.
The Rocks Market: A tourist must-do activity, these markets at the central hub of The Rocks have exclusive and original pieces of art, furniture and souvenirs. There are food stalls, face-painting stalls, traditional Aboriginal arts and craft and live music. Open every weekend from 10am-5pm.
Supermarket: If you spend even a couple of hours in Sydney, you probably would hear all about Tim Tams – a chocolate-wafer biscuit – that is only available in Australia. It’s an Aussie tradition that tastes like a party in the mouth. Try it and take a suitcase-full for friends back to your homeland.
Items that you must take back with you:
- A didgeridoo
- A boomerang: You'll be able to find some beautiful painted ones at The Rocks Market.
- Crocodile and Kangaroo jerky - it's like beef jerky, but not.
- Fridge magnets
- A piece of original, traditional Aboriginal art
On April 30, 2013Shitika Anand answered the question:The best time to visit Sydney is during the summer months of November - February. The white sandy beaches are in their best behaviour and you can actually head down for a swim in all parts of Australia during those months. The temperature in Cairns, where The Great Barrier Reef is, reaches the top of 35-38C. Melbourne goes up to 40C with relatively cooler nights of 20C. Sydney and Brisbane summer is more bearable with the maximum being 32C on average and a low of 18-24C.
The surf conditions around this time are beautiful as well, except for a fortnight or two of summer storms in November.
I highly recommending spending New Years Eve in Sydney and watching the harbour fireworks. They’re world-renowned and look spectacular against the water. Winter in Australia (May - August) isn’t very intense, except for the Southeast region of the country i.e. Melbourne, Canberra and Tasmania. If you’re not planning a beach holiday, then these months are great to visit during that time.
On April 30, 2013Shitika Anand answered the question:Renting a car isn’t really recommended for travellers because parking in the city is a nightmare and incredibly pricey. Majority of streets in the CBD are one-way only, so during peak hour traffic, it could get very tiresome to drive around and find a parking spot. There is street parking out in the suburbs, but again, it comes at a very high cost. There’s a free Sydney CBD Shuttle (route 555) that runs every 10 minutes to and fro from Circular Quay to Central Station. This is a hop-on-hop-off bus, hence convenient for travellers.
The public transport system in Sydney is well planned and convenient. We have buses, trains, ferries and taxis as options for locals and travellers. The train lines are really well connected, as they go from city center out to the suburbs, and even to the Blue Mountains and Newcastle. The ferries connect most water-facing suburbs and all leave from Circular Quay or Darling Harbour, which are the two main docks. There are also nightride buses that run on every half hour basis, especially designed for all the party animals around town. Check this website for all public transport info. You can also download an app called TripView Lite on all iPhones and Android devices to get instant updates.
If you’re really eager to rent a car in Sydney, check of GoGet.com.au for easy renting in the Eastern Suburbs – a good option if you want to explore all the beaches.
On April 30, 2013Shitika Anand answered the question:There are no mandatory gratuities expected when you’re eating and drinking out in Australia. Even though, there’s a 10% Goods and Services tax [GST] included in the total figure of the bill. The basic wage rates in Australia are pretty good, so tipping isn’t really expected off you. However, if you’re pleased with the services offered to you, then 10% of the total bill appears to be a usual, suited tipping figure. Some bars and cafes might have a “Tips” jar, which would eventually be shared out amongst all staff.
On April 30, 2013Shitika Anand answered the question:This one is particularly difficult to answer because there’s so much to see and do in this harbour city.
Even before you land in the city, you’d probably hear all about the harmonious architectural beauty of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, making it the one sight to not miss. However, these two modern wonders of Australia are best viewed in their most unconventional form and figure.
If you only had time to do one thing whilst your time in Sydney, then pack a picnic (some sneaky wine) and follow the directions below:
1) Take a bus, ferry or train to Circular Quay station.
2) Walk in the direction of the Opera House. Don’t go up the stairs, but around it. Stay close to the water-end at all times.
3) There’s a walkway that will take you around the Opera House; it’s almost like a loop.
4) You’ll start to see a long walkway and the Botanical Garden.
5) Pick a spot under the tree, lay your picnic mat out and enjoy the view of the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, yachts and the shimmering water view.
On April 30, 2013Shitika Anand answered the question:The food experience in Sydney transcends every tourist’s expectations, as there is more to the dining experience than the food and drinks. Here are my top five recommendations of restaurants with the best views, some which might be too picturesque for your food to go down.
O Bar and Dining: This 360-degree revolving restaurant sits 47-storeys above street level and gives the best views of the city skyline. Cuisine: Modern Australian.
Jonah’s: Set 45-minutes north of Sydney, and completely worth the drive, this crisp venue offers sand, ocean and cliff views. Want it to be fancier? Get a seaplane from Rose Bay. Cuisine: Modern Australian with French influences.
Doyles on the Beach: A fifth-generation wonder that’s been serving the finest seafood in Sydney since 1885, this Watson’s Bay old-fashioned fish and chips wonder is not to be missed. Especially when it offers you the best views. Cuisine: Fine-dining seafood.
Bather’s Pavillion: All lazy brunches should be organised here at the sun-draped seating located at the yacht-filled pavilion of Balmoral Bay. Cuisine: All-day breakfasts.
ARIA: Sitting conveniently opposite the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, this five-star and top-class dining experience is a little heavy on the pocket but highly accommodating for the taste buds. Recommended to go for an early dinner, as the sun sets in the cityscape. Cuisine: Modern Australian.
On April 25, 2013Shitika Anand answered the question:Unlike other metropolitan cities, Sydney’s bar scene isn’t street specific. Instead the city is throwing down bars across the city centre through to the salty-aired outposts in the suburbs.
Watch the sunset at the quaint setting of the Opera Bar on the harbour with the city’s most spectacular views.
Head off to the surreal fairy light setting of The Winery for chilled vinos or step in pop-art heaven for espresso martinis at the Pocket Bar, both in Surry Hills.
If brushing shoulders with celebrities and socialites is on your agenda, Icebergs Dining Room and Bar and The Bucket List (both facing the world-famous views of Bondi Beach) should be on your itinerary.
Keep this on the hush, but Sydney is also known to house the country’s best speakeasy-style bars. Try Palmer & Co. nestled behind Establishment or acquaint with 20th century cocktails at Eau de Vie in Darlinghurst.
On April 25, 2013Shitika Anand answered the question:Sydney is known for its multicultural dining culture, with the continent’s best chefs stirring up the finest cuisines from around the world. In no particular order, here are five of my favourite restaurants:
Kazbah: Known for its breakfast degustation, that might need a village to finish, this Middle Eastern restaurant serves the best tagines in the city. The Moroccan lamps and music sets an ideal ambience.
Hugo’s Manly: This waterfront restaurant hasn’t just won the “Best Pizza in NSW” for two years in a row for no reason. Drop here for either lunch or dinner and make sure you order one of their cutting-edge cocktails, or two.
Yullis: This all-vegetarian, old favourite on Crown Street only has about 15 dishes on the menu, but it’s perfect for a casual, weeknight dining experience.
North Bondi Italian Food: It’s busy, it’s noisy and it’s bustling with Bondi’s infamously rich-but-hippy crowd. But it’s also a stone’s throw away from the golden sands of Bondi beach, serving wallet-friendly Italian cuisine, Aussie-style.
Kitchen By Mike: Set amidst the warehouse district of Rosebery, this giant warehouse space blends Australian-made designer furniture with high-quality food. They pride on their “locally grown, owned and produced” philosophy and the menu changes on a daily basis. You can’t get more Australian than this.
On April 25, 2013Shitika Anand answered the question:It’s not just the big European shopping chains that are making it big in Sydney’s shopping district. In fact, the city has some of the most prestigious Australian designer labels as well as vintage shopping boutiques.
Westfield on Pitt Street: The huge Zara store might usher you into this shopping haven, but once you’re in, you’ll find this to be the mecca of shopping for everything under the Sun. Start at level one, full of emerging and affordable fashion designers and slowly move up the fashion ladder onto Chanel, Miu Miu, Prada and Mulberry.
The Corner Shop in Strand Arcade: Want to take some of the top Australian fashion desigeners back with you to your homeland? Visit this high-end vintage store that smells like new-age luxury wrapped in your grandma’s muslin cloth. You’ll find Sass and Bide, Alex Perry, Camilla, Zimmerman and all their mates on these racks.
Crown Street: This street might seem like Sydney’s café hub, but as you stroll down from the Oxford Street end, some hidden gems are bound to lure you in. From laid-back, casual threads found at One Teaspoon, vintage Prada boots at Grandma Takes a Trip to vibrant-hues at Holy Kitsch. This street is collectors' heaven!
Aquabumps Gallery: If you can’t battle the surf at Bondi, pop into this gallery and take one of Eugene Tan’s original surf photo prints with you (they ship worldwide).
On April 25, 2013Shitika Anand answered the question:There's so much to do in this city, but if you only had time to do six things while you're here, do the ones listed below.
Bondi to Coogee Walk: This leisurely 10-km long stretch covers Sydney’s six white sandy beaches, giving you the opportunity to take a dip in the ocean at every beach. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants along the way for fuelling.
Manly Ferry Ride: This 40-minute ferry ride starts from Circular Quay and gives you the view of the Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Fort Denison, several waterside suburbs and secluded sandy beaches. Sit on the outside of the ferry for the best views (not if you’re prone to sea-sickness, however).
Harbour BridgeClimb at Twilight: This exciting experience takes 31/2 hours to complete and provides the most beautiful views of the cityscape. You climb over ladders, arches and catwalks under all weather conditions and don't stress, it's extremely safe.
Chinese Garden of Friendship: Located just off Chinatown at the south end of Darling Harbour, these gardens take you on a trip to ancient China, minus the jet lag. There are beautiful pieces of Chinese architecture that blend in with the elements of nature; an experience that leaves you serene and calm.
Spit to Manly hike: A secret amongst locals in the area, this hike starts from the Spit bridge through till the famous Manly beach. This 10-km long hike will give you the chance to discover Sydney’s most quintessentially secret beaches and provide the best lookout points. This hike is not to be missed!
Open-air cinema: This Summer-only activity is perfect for a date night while on a holiday. Imagine a picnic basket, a glass of wine and the latest blockbuster movie on a big screen under the stars. What’s not to love?
On April 25, 2013Shitika Anand answered the question:Sydney is the most popular city to visit in this continent, and it’s for reasons other than for shopping, drinking and eating. Here are the top five things that should be top priority on your things-to-do list, preferably in the first 48 hours of your stay.
Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge: We’re called the ‘harbour city’ for a reason. The Sydney Opera House dates back to 1973, and is now home to dance, music and theatre performances. And this of course, overlooks the Harbour Bridge that connects the city’s north and south. To get the best of this double package, stroll along the Circular Quay with a camera in hand.
Royal Botanical Gardens: A short walk from the water edge of the Harbour Bridge, this garden is inundated with over a million species of fauna, a rose garden and 200-year-old trees. It’s a perfect long-lunch spot, away from the noise of the city, offering the most breathtaking views of the harbour.
Taronga Zoo: You cannot come to Australia and not cuddle a koala. No better place to do it than at Australia’s leading zoological garden overlooking the Harbour Bridge and Opera House (keep your cameras at the ready for the best photos opportunities here). Take a direct ferry to the Taronga Zoo from Circular Quay.
Darling Harbour: The hub of all tourist activities, Darling Harbour has something for every member of the family. From the Sydney Aquarium to the IMAX theatre, this spot is great if you have an afternoon free to yourself.
Art Gallery of NSW: Nestled in the parklands of the city of Sydney, this art gallery houses Australia’s finest and most artistic works, with over 29,000 items in the permanent collection. There’s something for everybody over here: photography, watercolour paintings, traditional Aboriginal art, contemporary modern Australian art among many other things; most of the collections are free to visit.