I visited Sydney in 2014 on route from New Zealand to Bali. I was 2 weeks into my 3 week honeymoon and starting to dread the thought of the holiday being over! I’d had an amazing time in New Zealand and was concerned that wherever we went next wouldn’t measure up!
Still to this day, I’ve never met anyone who was disappointed with their visit to Sydney. Cities can be divisive – somewhat like Marmite – so It’s unusual to find a city that has something good to offer even the most choosy of travellers, but somehow Sydney manages it.
So what it is about this city which makes it so fabulous? Here’s the reasons I loved my 2 nights in Sydney, and perhaps why you should make time to add it into your itinerary if you’re heading any way near that region!
Fitness Isn’t Weird There
I love fitness and so does Sydney. There are runners everywhere, pools dotted around and a very concentrated level of gym-honed physiques amongst the population.
Fitness isn’t a chore for these Sydney-dwellers – it’s a way of life! I can’t help but think that if I spent more time there, I’d come back home looking and feeling much fitter than when I arrived.
We visited Bondi on a relatively cool day in May, yet it was still akin to a breezy but hot UK summer’s day. We ran from the hotel to the beach and back – clocking up some 8 miles on my Garmin in the process.
We did of course stop to paddle in the ocean and to indulge in some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream (and a brew) before the return leg of the journey. Initially we had planned to run the route from Bondi Beach to Coogie Beach, but after a couple of weeks of overindulgence and very little exercise, neither of us was fit enough to add any further mileage to the round trip!
Real estate in the Bondi Area is incredibly expensive. It’s easy to understand why when you consider the sweeping ocean views, surf scene and general chilled out vibe of the area. Who wouldn’t want a house there?!
The Sydney Harbour boasts two of the world’s most iconic structures: the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Both of these are attractively designed and well worth a visit. We took a ferry to darling harbour which goes under the bridge. This was one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get a good view of the bridge!
I considered climbing the bridge, but after the adrenaline rush of the skydive in new Zealand, decided I wouldn’t have gotten enough of a rush from it to dedicate the time to it when we only had 2 nights to explore the city! If I went back, I’d certainly consider it – especially the evening (or ‘twilight’) climb session!
The luscious green parks and the city, and indeed the contrast between the two also makes or a very picturesque landscape. Throw in the Australian sunshine and I imagine it’s pretty hard to be glum, even if you’re walking to work! Any city has a much better vibe when the sun is out. It’s as if the sunshine brings everything to life and all the irritations from the day evaporate. Imagine that but on an almost daily basis!
When we visited Sydney, the IMAX there was the largest IMAX screen in the world. The theatre seated c.1000 people, so it was much larger than any of the cinemas I’d been to in the UK! Going to the cinema isn’t something I would normally recommend on a holiday, but a visit to this IMAX is worth sparing a couple of hours from your itinerary!
This is possibly the best place to buy a souvenir in the city. Given we love a bargain, we naturally headed to somewhere we could haggle to buy some more souvenirs! We bought a boomerang and the obligatory fridge magnet.
The Shopping is Cracking!
Shopping in Sydney is predictably good. High end boutiques line the streets at the Westfield centre, where you could easily lose half a day browsing the shops! Also at the Westfield centre is a cracking hot dog stall called the ‘snag stand’. Be Sure to check that out if you’ve worked up an appetite browsing the rails.
The shopping isn’t cheaper than the UK (no particular exchange rate saving) but isn’t particularly expensive either (unless you go to topshop, which seems to be priced as a ‘premium’ store in Aus)!
The People are AWESOME!
Everyone we met in Sydney was friendly. It’s such an embracing city and the people there have such a zest for life! It’s contagious. You find yourself chatting to people in the street, who happily chat back (rather than shooting you a strange look like they would do in London).
We asked one kind gent for directions and instead of pointing vaguely in the direction we should be heading, he offered to walk with us as he was heading in that direction! No that is friendly.
Where did we stay?
We stayed at the Victoria Court Hotel in Potts Point which was recommended to us by our agent at Trailfinders. The couple who own and run the hotel were great – they gave us loads of recommendations for food and things to do and were super-friendly! I’d definitely stay there again!