On August 2Shitika Anand answered the question:Australians love their alcohol, be it at an underground bar, or a bar on the rooftop overlooking the city skyline. These are the best ones making the rounds at the moment:
Zeta bar – Filled with a sea of corporate uniforms, this posh rooftop bar is located on the level four of the Hilton hotel in the city. It overlooks the historic QVB shopping centre and serves up some of the best cocktails in the city.
Zanzibar - Situated in the cool kids' suburb of Sydney, this rooftop terrace might remind you of your grandma's backyard deck. It has that same nostalgia, that waft of a cooking roast and the vibe that one would crave on a Sunday afternoon. Come to watch a live gig or just be part of the hipster clan in town.
Hotel Sweeney's - Expect to get down and dirty at this city bar, where a pint of cider will cost you less than $7 and small sharing plates of Asian snacks won't break the bank either. There's a pole in here, so don't be surprised if your night starts off well and ends with you dancing to a Pussycat Dolls song.
El Topo - Modern Mexican food, tequila, in-your-face art and really cool music, all collide here at the rooftop of the Eastern Hotel. If dealing with Bondi hipsters aren’t your thing, walk up to this joint (next to the train station at Bondi Junction) and revere in serious Mexican culture.
Shore Club - This one is posh, it's expensive and it's located right on the beaches of Manly. It's a popular one in the suburb, also known as the Moet & Chandon Lounge, due to its all black and white interiors teamed with wooden flooring. Keep this one for the summer, because you need a nice, balmy night to really make a night of it at this bar.
On August 1Quinn Connors answered the question:From dinner with a view to an appetizing array of Asian cuisine, Sydney’s dining scene presents a vast amount of extraordinary spots to satisfy your appetite.
During your stay in Sydney you must have a dinner with a view. Many restaurants line the water in various areas of the city, so you have a large selection of waterside restaurants to choose from. Another advantage this city by the sea has is its easy access to fresh seafood. Sydney has a very impressive, award-winning Fish Market in Pyrmont where many restaurants purchase their seafood like oysters and shrimp. You can also go straight to the fish source and dine on the fresh finds of the day at the several restaurant stalls set up in the market.
Located not too far from the fish market, Sydney’s bustling Chinatown is lined with restaurant upon restaurant cooking up all different types of Asian cuisines from Korean barbecue to Japanese sushi to Chinese dumplings. Head to Chinese Noodle House in Haymarket’s Prince Centre for amazing pork and chive dumplings and out of this world braised eggplant. Also found in the area are large food courts that are perfect for family dining. Although not the most attractive places, the food courts house a great selection of cuisines in a large setting so kids can run around without disturbing anyone. My favorite Asian food court dish is Laksa, a spicy noodle soup made with coconut milk and topped with veggies and tofu. You’ll find a great laksa at Happy Chef in the Sussex Centre Food Court.
Your food journey through Sydney wouldn’t be complete without a true Aussie breakfast. The best thing about Australian breakfasts is that almost anywhere makes a fantastic one, but that said, Sydney does have some standout breaky joints. Without a doubt, make sure to hit Bills in Surry Hills for Bill Granger’s famous sweet corn fritters and creamy scrambled eggs. Other fantastic options are 2204 in Marrickville serving pan-baked breakfasts, Brown Sugar in Bondi Beach putting a twist on the standard bacon and eggs, and The Shortlist Espresso Bar in Darlington rolling up scrumptious bacon and egg rolls to go.
On August 1Shitika Anand answered the question:It’s not just the ladies on Sex and The City that made long lunches and weekend brunches popular, every city around the world specialises in this joyous meal. Whether you do it with your girlfriends, your parents, partner or even by yourself, these are the top places in Sydney you need to brunch at:
Trio, Bondi – One popular amongst the locals, this restaurant knows your way to the heart. Be it with a haloumi degustation or a freshly-made granola with fresh berries. The tables overlook the blue water of Bondi beach, making life seem a little bit sweeter than the icing sugar-dusted banana bread on your plate.
Balmoral Boatshed – This place is packed with fresh flowers, baskets of bright fresh fruits, yellow furniture and big groups of families. If you’re heading to the Northern Beaches, then Balmoral Boatshed is your calling, especially when it has an L-shaped outdoor deck area where you can watch the kids play with the seagulls while you sip on your mojito! Win-win.
Poolside Cafe – Don’t be surprised if you share your Sunday brunch with your girlfriends plus the entire Australian rugby team. This restaurant is located adjacent to Sydney Botanical Garden (great to go for a stroll post-brunch) and above Sydney’s oldest outdoor pools, Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool. P.S. you may see eye candies swimming in the pool while you sip on that coffee, just warning you.
About Life, Rozelle – One for the solo bruncher, this organic food store café is a contender of Wholefoods in the U.S. Its menu is a mixture of superfood supergreen smoothies, quinoa salads, buckwheat pancakes, gluten-free quiches and a whole lot of other pretentious meals. Love the Miranda Kerr lifestyle? This is your destination… FYI, its sister chain is located in Bondi.
On August 1Shitika Anand answered the question:Sydney is home to Australia’s top fashion designers, with big names like Alex Perry, Sass & Bide, Collette Dinnigan, Camilla & Marc and Zimmerman girls, among many other residing in this city.
If you’re after local designs and fashion, then head to Oxford Street in Paddington to visit the original stores and shops of these designers. You’d find a good mix of fashion, interiors and beauty on this street, making your shopping trip an experience as opposed to a chore.
For an international purchase, Castlereagh Street in the city center has all the big names like Chanel, Gucci, Versace, Hugo Boss, Fendi and Prada, waiting to welcome you in their luxurious kingdom.
Westfield Pitt Street also has a ton of high-end designers residing within it, like Miu Miu, Ksubi, SABA, R.M. Williams, Napoleon Perdis, Roger David and many more.
On August 1Shitika Anand answered the question:Boutique hotels are the new upcoming and trendy locations in Sydney at the moment. From iconic destinations to the newly opened New York-inspired properties, this city has it all, if you're after a chic, cool boutique hotel. Here's my pick of Sydney's beat boutique accommodation:
The Storrier - Ticked away in a laneway in Kings Cross, this brand-new hotel is filled with work created by Sydney artist Tim Strorrier. The interiors are eye-catching, while the white marble reception desk clashes against the posh ambience. Price Superior suites start from $245 per night; deluxe $270; executive $345.
Diamant Hotel - If the dramatic city views from the terrace balcony don't excite you, then the little treasures in your room, like the Kevin Murphy hair products, Xbox, iPod docking station and a pillow menu should. Located in the convinient location of Darlinghurst/KingsCross, this hotel is great for business travellers, who might be after a quirky and stylish experience. Price Deluxe rooms $188; district and harbour rooms $228; courtyard rooms $268; William Street boulevard rooms $268; courtyard suites $468.
Fraser Suites - The most amazingly located pad, right in the heart of the city, this is Sydney's first five-star all-suite residence, designed by London's famous Foster + Partners (same guys who built the Beijing Airport and London's Millennium Bridge - are you impressed, yet?). This 42-level accommodation has views to diet for and a penthouse that will break the bank and melt your eyes - worth the $1500 a night, you decide. Price Studio deluxe from $239 per night.
Ravesi's - For the surf, sand and sun lovers, this boutique hotel located bang opposite one of the Australia's most famous beaches, Bondi. The deluxe beachfront suite is the one worth the big bucks, with uninterrupted views of the sea and a beautiful home-style room to make your stay feel as personal as possible. Side-view rooms $260 per night; beachfront rooms $325; one-bedroom suite $295; split-level suite with terrace $295-395; deluxe beachfront split-level suite $495.
On August 1Quinn Connors answered the question:Sydney has a buzzing nightlife where its inhabitants take full advantage of the evening. While some dress to the nines to go dance the night away, others head to their favorite local bar for a subdued evening over masterfully mixed drinks. The top areas where you can burn the midnight oil in Sydney are Kings Cross, Surry Hills and Darlinghurst, and the CBD.
Sydney’s Red Light District, Kings Cross, is home to an eclectic group of people. If you’re looking to dance until dawn, head to this area to hop from bar to bar along Burton Street and Bayswater Road. If you’re looking for a calmer pace, enjoy a few deliciously unique cocktails in Surry Hills and Darlinghurst. These trendy neighborhoods host a slew of small bars offering not only extensive drink menus developed by Sydney’s best mixologists, but also meticulously curated interior designs creating a fantastic ambiance for a night out with friends. Another area that is beginning to see several small trendy bars moving in is the CBD. Typically considered an area of worker bees and tourist groups, the business district has seen a rise in bars like Grandma’s, Grasshopper and The Baxter Inn moving into the area and bring out the night owls with their tasty bar food menus and even more delectable cocktails and brews.
On August 1Quinn Connors answered the question:Sun Exposure
One of the most important things to know before your trip is just how strong the sun is in Australia. As you prepare your itinerary and figure out the best spots to visit from restaurants to bars to the best attractions, make sure you are also preparing yourself for major sun exposure. Due to the sun’s strength in Australia, skin cancer rates are high, so it’s best to be smart and protect your skin by wearing hats, sunglasses and SPF30+ sunscreen, also by seeking shade when possible. Don’t ruin your trip with a sunburn, prepare for the sun before!
Although Sydney is connected by train, bus and ferry, you should be prepared for a more relaxed pace. Give yourself at least 30 minutes to get anywhere as the most common form of transportation is the bus, and you can hit some heavy traffic depending on where you’re headed.
Look Both Ways
I’m sure you already know that Australia drives on the left side of the road, but it is definitely something to bear in mind while you’re visiting if you’re accustomed to driving on the right. Hark back to your childhood when you were learning to “stop, look and listen”. It may sound silly, but as I’m sure as your own parents have already told you “it’s for your own good”.
On August 1Shitika Anand answered the question:This entirely depends on what side and part of Sydney you're wanting to view, but let me classify it in a more distinct manner for you:
Views of the Sydney Harbour, Opera House and the Bridge - Climb the Harbour Bridge and get a 360-degree panoramic view of the harbour. From up high above, you can see right up till the Northern, Eastern beaches and the density of the Western suburbs. This view can also be enjoyed from Blu Bar on 36 in Shangri-La hotel. All you need is, a cocktail in hand!
Views of the coastal line in and around Sydney - Go skydiving at Woollongong, we wrote a story about it. When falling from 14,000 ft, you forget what gravity and the idea of staying alive feels like. All you can see is turquiose blue ocean, the architectural land in shades of green and brown and the shore line right up till Manly Beach in Sydney. If you have the adventure bug in you, this experience is not to be missed!
On August 1Shitika Anand answered the question:The Sebel Pier One - A popular destination for hosting receptions, this ballroom overlooks the world-famous Sydney harbour and is located directly under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The location also makes it convinient to have wedding photos taken with an overwhelming architectural backdrop.
Park Hyatt - Featuring uninterrupted views of the Opera House and clear blue water, this ballroom is a favourite amidst celebrities in Sydney. It only houses an intimate party of 70, and serves up world-renowned cuisine to the guests. This is one of those spots where you'd have the wedding, the reception, the after party, followed by a romantic night in their top-class Sydney suite valued at $6700 per night. Luxury at its best!
The Tea Room Gunners' Barracks - You have the national park on one end and then the view of the quiet harbour on the other, this beautiful treehouse setting is perfect for an intimate, quiet wedding that needs a bit of Sydney's charm.
On July 31Shitika Anand answered the question:Sydney is a really well-planned city. There are buses, trains, trams (in some parts of the city), ferries and taxis to take tourists around town.
For tourists, there is a free shuttle that does a loop of the city, starting from Circular Quay till Central station, starting from 9am till 5pm. It's a popular one amidst city workers too, as it's treated like a 'hop on, hop off' bus. Hitch a ride from anywhere on George and Elizabeth Street.
The buses are really well distributed, so whether you're going to the Eastern Suburb beaches like Bondi, Coogee, Bronte, Vauclause or Rose Bay, there are buses that will take you directly from the city to the beach. Even the northern beaches and suburbs (acoss the bridge) are well connected with city center.
If you want to make a day trip to Manly, get on the ferry for a $7 return ferry, and go across the harbour from Circular Quay. The views are fantastic, the ferry boat is massive and you get to see the famous open heads where the harbour meets the ocean. Ferries are less frequent than buses and trains, but it's a must-do, even if you just make a round trip back to Circular Quay.
Check the bus, train and ferry times on www.131500.com.
However, if you're staying in the city and want to discover your surroundings, put on your sneakers and walk around. The pedestrian pathway is beautiful and you'll spot more things on foot than on a bus or taxi.
On July 31Shitika Anand answered the question:There's so much multiculturalism in the country, you almost forget what the true Aussie food is like in the country. While there isn't really a defined true Aussie food, there are snacks that you can take back to your country, as a souvenier.
Vegemite - A dark brown coloured paste made from yeast extract, this Aussie staple is one to get used to. It's an acquired taste that might take longer than anticipated to like. Kids in Australia grow up with vegemite on toast. Just how Americans feel about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Aussies feel that and a little bit more about vegemite on white bread. It's extremely high in salt and packed with preservatives; it'll last long in your pantry. P.s. Brad Pitt tried this, and loved it; there's a story there.
Tim Tams - Another Aussie superstar, this chocolate covered biscuits are a local pride. They come in over 15 flavours now, but if you want the real stuff, go for the original. As they say, 'you wouldn't be able to stop at one'. So buy a few packs for family back home.