Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Sydney mini city guide

I’m not sure what took me so long to finally write about Sydney. I had been dreaming of visiting this city for as long as I can remember, and last April the time had finally come! I think I left part of my heart in Sydney, because looking back at these pictures makes my heart flutter. Sydney was just as amazing as I had imagined. I arrived on April 1st and left on April 6th to travel North. After spending some days by myself in Melbourne, my brother came to join me in Sydney. In this post I’ll take you through some things we did, and tomorrow I’ll write a little Sydney food guide!
Sydney mini city guide

Bellevue Hill
First things first, let’s talk about the area we stayed in. I found a pretty nice Airbnb in Bellevue Hill, which is one of the fancier areas in Sydney (kind of like Chelsea in London?) We stayed with a lovely couple who were very kind to give us some extensive advice for the rest of our trip. Even though the nearest metro is a 20-minute walk (we did everything by foot or car), I can highly recommend this Airbnb because it was good value and it was not far from Bondi Beach. Even walking around Bellevue Hill is a treat because you get to see the biggest mansions with beautiful gardens.


Sydney mini city guide

Sydney mini city guide

Sydney mini city guide

Sydney mini city guide

Sydney mini city guide


Bondi
The very first thing I did when I arrived in Sydney is drop my backpack at the Airbnb and walk straight to Bondi Beach. Once I arrived at Bondi Beach, I could hardly believe my eyes. Tons of cute little cafés serving acai bowls and vegan food, the Bondi Icebergs (on my bucketlist for ages!!), people walking around barefeet with a surfboard under one arm, tiny little wooden houses, the biggest waves in the deepest blue sea I’ve seen and palmtrees everywhere. 

It felt like I had walked straight into a movie. Unreal. I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. When I walked to the top with the view of the Icebergs, the sea and the beach stretching out in front of me, I thought I would explode from happiness, and it was one of the first times I let out tears of happiness. It’s safe to say that I LOVED Bondi, even though it’s a Sydney cliché. The atmosphere here is just really special and it feels like a world on its own. 

Sydney mini city guide

Sydney mini city guide

Sydney mini city guide

Sydney mini city guide

Sydney mini city guide


Sydney mini city guide



Sydney’s beaches: Bondi to Cogee walk
Although Bondi Beach is beautiful, it would be a pity not to explore the other beaches in Sydney. To see as many beaches as possible, doing a hike is the best option. We hiked from Watson’s Bay all the way to Cogee Beach (although Bondi to Cogee is the "classic" walk), which took several hours with some swimming and eating stops in between (for brunch at Porch & Parlour for example). You get to see Bondi Beach, Tamarama Beach, Bronte Beach and Cogee Beach and it’s a pretty good workout!


Sydney mini city guide

Sydney mini city guide

Sydney mini city guide

Sydney mini city guide

Sydney mini city guide


Museums in Sydney
In downtown Sydney there are several museums of which we saw a few: the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Museum of Sydney. Overall, they were definitely not the most impressive museums I’ve been to, but I guess living in Europe makes you very spoiled museum-wise. My favourite was te Art Gallery of NSW. Make sure to check out the current exhibitions before you go, there might be something you like!

Sydney mini city guide


Sydney mini city guide

Sydney mini city guide

Sydney mini city guide

Sydney mini city guide

Sydney mini city guide

Sydney mini city guide

Sydney mini city guide


Sydney Botanical Garden
One of the coolest things about the CBD of Sydney is the botanical garden. Immaculately maintained, it’s a little tropical haven in the middle of the city. There are seperate succulent and palmtree gardens which are worth seeing. Generally a lovely place for a long walk!


Sydney mini city guide

Sydney mini city guide

Sydney mini city guide



Paddington

A tip I got from a few locals was to go to Paddington, which is an area with lots of little boutique shops, restaurants, delis and markets. It reminded me a bit of King’s Road in London, the same kind of vibe. Paddington Market (every Saturday from 10 AM) is a super lively little market where you can buy clothes, bonsai trees, homemade cakes, lemonade and other food. In the rest of Paddington there are a couple of really nice shops such as “Come as you are” and sweet little restaurants like Sonder and juiceries like Organic Avenue.


Sydney mini city guide

Sydney mini city guide

Sydney mini city guide

Sydney mini city guide

Sydney mini city guide


Manly Beach, Freshwater beach & Shelly Beach

On our last day in Sydney we decided to explore some of the northern beaches so we drove to Manly beach (unfortunately I somehow didn't take any pictures). We walked over to Freshwater beach, which is one of my friend’s favourite beaches since she practically grew up here. Manly beach is bigger but actually not very fun since there are special “swim zones”. Shelly beach is a tiny beach on the right hand side of Many Beach but the parking there is paid and the beach is super tiny. However, we had a really lovely lunch at the Boat House, so I could highly recommend coming here for a bite!

Sydney mini city guide

Sydney mini city guide

Of course there’s a lot more to do and see in Sydney but these are just some of the things we managed to do. The atmosphere in the whole city is unlike any other city I’ve been to. It’s a mix of the laid-back surf culture vibe with the city life vibe. How fun would it be to live and work here?! Work in the city during the week and then go surfing on the weekends… dream life! 

After 5 days in Sydney I felt like there was SO much more to do and see. If you’re lucky enough to travel to Sydney I would definitely recommend staying for a week so you properly get to know the city. We also didn’t get to see as much as we wanted because of the poor public transport connections. In Melbourne I did everything by bike but the streets in Sydney are much steeper (especially in Bellevue Hill) so that wasn’t an option. It’s more of a “car city” like L.A., so if you want some freedom and you want to see a lot, then definitely rent a car in Sydney. Either way, if Sydney wasn't on your bucket list yet it should be now ;) I'll be posting the Sydney food guide tomorrow!

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