Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans - John Lennon
Published January 29th 2015
Bored of the usual tourist spots? Check these out
When my friends come to visit, I like to show them what Sydney is about beyond the usual tourist attractions. While I am no expert in crafting the perfect day out, here are some itinerary ideas that a tour package probably won't offer you.
Visit a bar with a view
Rather than paying an entrance fee to an observatory tower, why not enjoy an espresso martini while enjoying a bird's eye view of the city? It is also the perfect setting for intimate chitchats and relaxation after a long day of sightseeing.
My favourite bars with a view in Sydney are Blu Bar and O Bar.
View of Harbour Bridge and Opera House from Blu Bar
Blu Bar, located on the 36th floor of Shangri-La Hotel, is open to anyone and not just guests of the hotel. Imagine watching the sun sets and city lights slowly lit up. There is a prime spot which overlooks the Harbour Bridge, but it takes a bit of luck and timing to secure that spot. It is my go-to bar when I need a reminder of how beautiful Sydney is.
O Bar, located on the 47th floor of Australia Square, is a rotating bar which offers you 360 degrees view of the city. While situated further away from the harbour, patrons still get an amazing view of Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.
Ride a ferry
Some people might find this rather unusual but sometimes it is really about the journey, not so much the destination. Take a ferry to Cockatoo Island, and you may snap some of the best shots of Harbour Bridge and the city. It is also a much more economical option than going on a cruise.
A trip down to the beautiful South Coast will appeal to people who prefer a quieter getaway, as opposed to the more popular tourist attraction Blue Mountains. Take the scenic route along Grand Pacific Drive, and you may just discover one of the most spectacular bridges - Sea Cliff Bridge. Walk across the bridge and immerse yourself in the majestic coastal views!
One of the best ways to learn about the people and culture in a new city is to venture into the suburbs. A few options spring to mind. For example, the eccentric Newtown where you will find an abundance of vintage goods; the newly established art precinct Chippendale, where one of the most iconic buildings in the world - (Central Park) is situated; and hipster town Surry Hills, where queuing up for brunch becomes a first world problem.
Tickle your taste buds
Sydney is a foodie's paradise, lest you haven't yet gathered from travel guides or word-of-mouth. Few restaurants overseas manage to beat the standard we have here in Sydney. It is quite possibly one of the cities that has the highest number of restaurant hats. Hence, if enjoying good food is not in your travel planning, you are probably missing out.
Obviously this is not an exhaustive list, however I hope it sparks some ideas on where to take your friends or families when they come visit next!