My visits to Sydney are becoming more and more frequent. I think I’m starting to crave a bigger city that has everything I want without it being too big, resulting in me feeling like it’s swallowing me up. It’s extremely diverse, each suburb has its own personality and charm. Sydney has the hustle and bustle of a busy city, but also the relaxing feeling that the beach is never far away, it is a lot like Auckland in that way. That familiarity is probably what keeps me coming back, it almost feels like a home a way from home, the growing abundance of kiwi friends I have living there adding to that.
I never feel short of things to do when I’m in there, and there’s never enough time to do all of the things I want. So when I am planning a trip, and narrowing my activities down to fit into a weekend, my approach is to try and get a little taste of every part of the city in the short time I’m there. That, and of course allow plenty of time for shopping.
Paddington is the first place everyone will tell you to go. It’s great for shopping and has every boutique and Australian label you want. Be careful, you could wander around in Paddington aimlessly all day, so if you don’t have a lot of time figure out the places you want to check out before hand.
Whenever I’m in the area I’ll pop into Poepke on William Street and afterwards wander down to Alimentari the little Italian deli at the end of the street and grab a coffee some prosciutto to snack on. The Bassike store in Paddington is amazing and there are a few good stores around there worth checking out too.
Newtown is probably my favorite area, it’s a little rough around the edges and it has some great eateries and vintage shopping.
Just around the corner is Erskineville – a quiet little corner of the city. I imagine if I moved to Sydney Erskineville is where I’d live. My favourite café in Sydney is Erskine Villa. If you get the chance, go there and get the bacon & egg roll.
One of my other favorite spots around Newtown is 212 BLU, a hole in the wall café run by a gorgeous young couple, if you go there get ‘The Board’.
You can trust Bondi not to disappoint. Make sure you block out an afternoon to head down to Bondi, grab a pressed juice, and do the walk over to Bronte.
There are a ton of great cafes in Bondi too, some of my favourites are Bill’s and Will & Co. If you’re after a meal other than brunch then North Bondi Fish is your go, try get a table outside and watch the sunset while sipping one of their amazing cocktails. Like any suburb in Sydney, Bondi will fulfill your shopping needs. Tuchuzy is a must – I could solely shop there for the rest of my life. The Saturdays store (if not for the clothes then the good coffee and cute puppy) and The Bondi markets, on a Sunday not a Saturday, I’ve managed to pick up two perfect pairs of vintage Levi’s from there.
Also worth checking out if you’re on that side of town is Coogee Pavilion. It has everything from a café, Juice, coffee, florist, and a barber during the day and a restarant, rooftop bar and ping-pong tables at night. Also the best damn dog spotting.
Taronga Zoo is a great activity if you have kids, or if you just love animals like me, you can do it in half a day if you want. Just catch the ferry over and then a bus to the top of the hill and walk your way down.
Surry Hills has a ton of great spots, I’m told Paramount Coffee Project, Atificer Specialty Coffee Bar and Lucky Pickle are some local favorites.If vintage shopping is your jam, Cream on Crown and Miss Brown Vintage both have a great range of denim, sweaters and tee’s. As for food, The Winery is delicious, it’s most beautiful at night when lit up by fairy lights.
Central Sydney has some great shopping and department stores. The Galeries on George Street has one of my favorite stores Incu that’s definitely worth checking out. Last time I was over was during Vivid, the festival of light, music and ideas in Central Sydney. During the festival they light up the Opera House and harbor bridge at night, which is quite a spectacular sight. I went to a Bon Iver concert, which was part of the festival while I was there. Not a word of a lie it was the best concert I have ever been to in my life. If you have the chance to see anything at the Opera House I promise you the experience will be worth every penny.
Finally if you do nothing else, make sure you go to Din Tai Fung, a no frills, Michelin star awarded dumpling restaurant in World Square. You’ll never look at a dumpling the same again.
Maddy Budd is a cool girl who knows about cool shit. If you’re a cool girl and you know some cool stuff drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to submit your own girl guide for Miss FQ’s consideration.