Because of the troubles in the world with Coronavirus, our trip to the city got cut a little short, so here’s how to spend 3 days in Sydney!
We flew over from Adelaide where Scott’s cousin got married, and landed late at night, where we went straight to our AirBnB and went to sleep. Unfortunately, the weather whilst we were there wasn’t too favourable as there was a cyclone all the way up the east coast, which meant we didn’t get to visit the beautiful beaches of Sydney. We had a great time in the city but we both have said we wouldn’t rush back; maybe the weather put a bit of a dampener on our visit (pardon the pun)! Despite this, Sydney does now have a special place in both of our hearts – I call this blog ‘The One Where We Got Engaged’ (F.R.I.E.N.D.S fans will appreciate this I’m sure!)
When we landed, it was almost 9pm and the airport was completely packed! For such a popular city, they only have one main airport which makes traffic in and out pretty crazy! We jumped in an Uber (which took a while to reach us as the queue to get into the taxi ‘pick-up point’ was huge), and took the 25 minute journey to the city centre. We stayed in Darlinghust which was a really quirky area – the equivalent of the Northern Quarter in Manchester. When we arrived, it was just a few days after Mardi Gras and the streets in this area were still covered in rainbow flags and bunting! Darlinghust was a 30-45 minute walk from most of the places that we wanted to be, so it was the perfect location for us!
What to do
Below is a list of ideas for how to spend 3 days in Sydney:
Blue Mountains – The Blue Mountains tour is a must if you’re visiting Sydney. For the most part, Sydney has good weather in the spring and summer months, therefore a walk through the Blue Mountains, seeing the waterfalls and overlooking the stunning forest (which goes on for miles) is a spectacular day out. If the weather isn’t quite as good and you encounter some rain (like we did), then we still recommend a visit, just note that you’ll have a different experience. Because of the rain, our view over the valley of trees was a bit blocked by low cloud, and the ground was a lot slipperier and muddy – so just be prepared and bring the appropriate clothing. A huge positive to come from the excess rain was the spectacle of the waterfalls. We paid £115 each for the sunset tour which picked us up from the centre of the city at midday and dropped us back of at around 8pm. We didn’t get to witness the sunset because of the cloud, but we still had an amazing day out!
The mountains are named after the blue haze that lies over the valley from the vapour rising from the eucalyptus trees!
Paddy’s Market – In Chinatown, there’s a large indoor market called Paddy’s Market. It’s got loads of stalls in there from souvenirs and phone cases, to sunglasses, clothes and more. I would say it’s like a smaller, slightly less authentic ‘Camden Market’. I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to visit, but we needed a couple of bits (Scott left his sunglasses in Adelaide) so we took a trip over and had a nice afternoon. They did also have some Chinese food markets next door which we sadly didn’t explore. We did look for our shot glass here, as everything was so cheap, but we could only find multi-packs of five so sadly had to look elsewhere.
Sydney Harbour – Scott booked us a private boat tour of Sydney Harbour, which included a lovely cold seafood platter and some bubbly. We’re a little biased about this activity, as it’s actually the place where Scott proposed, however having said that, it was still a lovely evening out on the water! We have both said it was quite expensive for what it was, as it cost him just over £600 and the food wasn’t amazing, but as I said, we got engaged so regardless, I thought it was perfect! Sadly, we had to have the cover up over the catamaran because of the rain, however it cleared up halfway through the 2 hour trip and we had the most beautiful views of Sydney at night!
Our trip was booked through Get Your Guide, but there are loads of cheaper options on there if you want to go with other people on a bigger boat!
Aquarium – We decided to visit the aquarium on a whim, purely as we needed to get out of the rain and occupy ourselves for a few hours before our Darling Harbour boat tour. I was initially disappointed when we first went in, as it looked to be an old warehouse with a few fish in a few tanks. As we were walking through, it seemed as if it was about to come to an end when the path took you off out to a whole world of different sea-life; manatees, sharks, penguins – even a dugong pig (which Scott has now told me is my spirit animal).
Where to eat
As we were only in the city for three days, we didn’t have that much experience of the whole city, but one of our favourite places that we ate was Darling Harbour. It’s a really lovely, vibrant area of the city, right on the waterfront, with a huge choice of different bars and restaurants! We caught up with some friends the night after our engagement and spent quite a bit of our evening here, eating and having a go on the Ferris wheel. Scott and I arrived at the harbour a little while before our dinner reservation, so we sat on the steps and watched the sun set over the water. We were so lucky, as there was an amazing busker called Jess Josie Lee who was creating the perfect background to our evening (take a look at the video below).
After our meal in Darling Harbour, we walked across the bridge and went for drinks at possibly the best bar in Sydney! It’s called the Zephyr Bar and is located on the 12th floor of the Hyatt Regency Sydney hotel; the views are absolutely spectacular.
A great brunch spot is a place called The Rusty Rabbit in Darlinghurst. It’s got a real hipster vibe, is really bright and colourful and has loads of different options like granola, eggs Benedict, champ bowl, avocado and feta and cheesecake pancakes! Another area with some really nice restaurants and bars is Chinatown. In Chinatown itself, there are loads of little pop-up eateries, food markets and authentic Chinese restaurants, but a couple of minutes’ walk out of main Chinatown (towards Darling Harbour) is a lovely square called Darling Square. Here, there are lots of bars and restaurants with a whole range of cuisine options; we found ourselves sat outside at a bar called Pump House for a couple of hours and watched the world go by! They have happy hour between 4pm and 6pm, and there are some really fun retro arcade games inside as well.
Just next door is the Chinese Garden of Friendship, which we sadly didn’t have time to go and see, but I managed to take a sneaky picture over the wall and I can imagine it’s absolutely beautiful and peaceful inside!
It would be lovely to go back to Sydney when the sun is shining so that we can experience the famous beaches, as so many people rave about it being one of their favourite cities! It’s a shame about the weather, but we did have a really nice time and we can look back with some really fond memories!