Living in this town, you know there are lots of things to do in Sydney that involve good eating, drinking, shopping and doing, but when friends from out of town come to visit, it’s hard to narrow down the list of where to take them as you only have a limited time. As per usual, we have thought about this, and have done all the thinking and culling for you, to give you a guide of where to take your visiting pals.
Things To Do
Fantasea Coastal Cruise
Our Harbour is, without a doubt, one of the best in the world, and your visiting mate probably knows that, so why not take them on a cruise so they can see as much of it as possible? And, besides, who doesn’t love a day out on the boat in the beautiful Sydney sunshine? Fantasea’s Sydney Seven Wonders Coastal Adventure offers a perfect day out on the water, cruising from Darling Harbour to Royal National Park with thrilling coastal cliffs, a delicious sit down lunch with premium views, secluded coastal beach drop-off with time for a swim, and a fully guided and informative tour as you see all the best sights like the Harbour Bridge, Opera House, the first landing site of James Cook, Sydney Institute of Marine Science and Q Station. The boutique experience takes only 30 passengers each trip, making it a personal, special and memorable day they’ll remember forever.
Shelly Beach Manly
Show your non-Sydney-dwelling friends what a relaxing Sydney day is really like by taking them to Shelly Beach. The small, alcove beach that looks back across at infamous Manly beach is the perfect spot for a swim and a snack. For a super lovely day out, catch the Manly ferry across from Circular Quay and enjoy the small, waterside stroll from Manly to Shelly beach. Set up on the pebbly sand or in the shade of the grass, have a dip in the beautiful still water and take it easy.
Sydney Fish Market
As the largest market of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, no seafood lover’s Sydney visit is complete without a trip to the Fish Markets! The produce is fantastic, the energy electric, and the eating opportunities almost endless! Grab something tasty to take home and chuck on the BBQ – Overseas visitors will be overwhelmed with excitement if you ‘throw a shrimp on the barbie’ (even though we don’t call them shrimp).
Things To Eat
The Grounds of Alexandria
The extremely-instragammable compound that is The Grounds of Alexandria is a must-visit for out-of-towners, showing them just how cool the Sydney café scene really is. There is plenty to look at, with sprawling gardens and stalls, veggie patches and of course, the famous pig, Kevin Bacon, as well as other animals to talk to. Settle in the courtyard for coffee and something delicious from the bakery as you watch the hoards of people fight for a table.
Porch and Parlour
If you’re visiting pals are even slightly fitness-freaks/health-conscious/#cleaneating enthusiasts, they will love you forever if you take them to Bondi café, Porch and Parlour. Head in for brunch before a day of sand and surf, filling up with a green smoothie or green breaky bowl with kale, spinach, quinoa, coriander, mint, parsley, eggs and avocado. With a chilled vibe and beautiful hipsters, this café is a really snapshot of everything Bondi stands for.
Catalina Restaurant and Bar
Feel like a celebrity for the day and enjoy a long lunch on the water at the one of Sydney’s best restaurants, Catalina. It’s fine dining and Sydney society all rolled into one beautiful waterfront location. The roasted suckling pig with spicy tomato chutney and wholegrain mustard jus is a Catalina signature dish and goes very well with a side of celebrity spotting. If you’re after something a bit more casual (but still with the amazing view), the bar on the terrace offers a range of tasty bites like Sydney rock oysters and Catalina house smoked salmon.
Head down to Haymarket to get a taste of the best Thai food outside of Thailand itself. If there is a queue, promise your guests that it will be worth it, because every Sydneysider knows it will be. Load up on pad Thai and chicken satay skewers, as well as the crisp whole snapper in red curry as well as the crispy pork belly stir-fry. Oh, and a serving of mango and sticky rice is a must!
Escape the city and enjoy the serenity of Palm Beach, making sure to have a delicious feed at The Boathouse. With a bit of everything on offer – fresh flowers, great coffee, daily newspapers, deli style food and a delicious café – its easy to spend the day grazing your way through everything this Sydney café has to offer. You can take a seat on one of the picnic tables on the wharf, suspended over Station Beach, or simply grab a spot on the front lawn and admire the breathtaking views from everything direction.
Things To Drink
Palmer & Co
Tucked down an alley and hidden underground, this Merivale bar takes you back to the era of prohibition with exposed brick, dim lighting, dapper barmen and flapper waitresses. The ever-changing and extensive cocktail menu is seasonal, refined and absolutely delicious, with something for every taste. It’s the perfect place to show off our high quality, fun, drinking scene and boutique cocktail bars.
Manly Wharf Hotel
You can’t beat drinks right by the water, which is why Manly Wharf Hotel is a perfect place to bring visitors to Sydney. The casual vibe is fun and welcoming, making it very easy to relax and spend the afternoon or stay on well into the evening. A well-serviced bar and delicious food makes it a great watering hole, any day, any time.
Blu Bar on 36
Feeling fancy? Put on your best shoes and visit the Shangri-La hotel’s Blu Bar on 36, a New York inspired bar perched high above the city with breathtaking views of Darling Harbour, Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Enjoy a sophisticated night out, taking in the sights as well as making your way through the fine selection of wines, champagnes, cocktails and liquers. Definitely somewhere your visiting friends can boast to their parents about.
Arguably one of the best views in Sydney, the newly revamped Opera Bar is a destination you have to take your guests to while in town. Be sure to head down early to watch the sun set behind the Harbour Bridge while you enjoy oysters and champagne, and make a toast to Sydney, in all its glory.
One of Sydney’s best bars is Cliff Dive in Darlinghurst. It’s a title we don’t give out lightly, but is totally deserving of the name. With a fun tiki theme, a welcoming and relaxed vibe, and fantastic music (heavy on the Ja Rule era of RnB) it’s the best place to hang out any night of the week. If you take them to one Sydney dance floor, let it be this one.
Got the parentals in town? Here’s a list of parent-friendly things to do in Sydney.
Image: The Boathouse