Tag: Australia

The best things to do in vivid Sydney, Australia

The incredible state Sydney is the capital of New South Wales and not of the whole sunny Australia, like many people wrongly assume. It’s the most populous city in Down Under and also Oceania. Once you visit the metropolis you will be charmed and absolutely overwhelmed by it’s magnitude, majestic skyscrapers and unforgettable beaches. Loved by backpackers, travelers and business people, Sydney is an international city with numerous forms of entertaining to fulfill you heart’s desire. You will definitely have fun from dusk till dawn. But before you plan to visit Down Under check the essential packing list for Australia so you will be prepared for everything!

View from Royal Botanical Garden, Sydney

This magnificent city has plenty of things to offer from a rich cultural scene to delicious food, amazing nature and world-class shopping. So in the beginning you can be engulfed by options for what to do. But don’t worry, Kate will guide you through the urban jungle of Sydney. I will introduce you to the main suburbs and places, so you will be immersed into the beauty of the modern world of Down Under.

Some info about public transport

If you want to use public transport in Sydney, the most efficient decision would be to buy an Opal card, which you can use for train, bus, ferry and the light rail. Of course you can buy single tickets as well, but it would be more expensive. Opal cards can be found in the 7/11 shops, there you can also charge them. If you want to travel in backpacker-lifestyle, then you can just pretend using it by entering the bus.

There are also free options, like the CBD shuttle (Route 555), which will get you around the city. Furthermore every Sunday all public transport is gratis, so plan your weekend wisely!

Australia’s icon, Opera House

Opera House, Sydney

Yes, the exploration will start with the iconic landmark of Sydney, Opera House. Even if it sounds like a typical touristic cliché, you will enjoy the walk along the Circular Quay. Furthermore it took 16 years to finish the construction and you flew all the way to Australia, so it is a must see place. The design of the building has been internationally acclaimed as an architectural masterpiece of the 20th century and it’s located in the perfect spot, the remarkable waterscape of Sydney Harbour. Additionally you can not only appreciate this pinnacle of modern architecture, but also enjoy the vast range of entertainment that it offers.

Tip: if you visit Sydney in June, you might experience the Vivid Sydney Festival, the time when the city transforms Sydney Opera House into a light spectacle, accomplished with music and a show.

My favorite B&R Ice Cream

The Opera House is located next to the sumptuous but relaxed dining district, where you may sip on sophisticated beverages and cocktails. The hungry ones don’t need to worry either, there is enough delightful food for everyone! I’ve found one of my childhood addictions, Baskin Robin’s ice cream! We don’t have any in Europe, only in England, so you can imagine how over the moon I was with this unexpected discovery!

Tip: Do you want to see a million-dollar view and enjoy an exquisite drink? Then you should definitely visit O Bar. The sophisticated ambience on the 47th floor with an impressive view of the whole city through a glass wall, will make your evening memorable. And hold your breath, the whole floor is slowly moving around, so you can observe panoramic 360-degree Sydney! Hope you are not afraid of heights.

Must visit in Sydney, Australia: Revolving “O Bar”

Escape the chaos in the Royal Botanical Garden

Royal Botanical Garden, Sydney

No trip to the Sydney Opera House will be complete without visiting the botanical oasis in the heart of the metropolis. Just follow the path along the waterfront, from where you can also view all different facets of the Opera House. Finally you will land in the tremendous Royal Botanic Garden. It’s the most important historic botanical institution in the world and the perfect place to escape the noisy and busy city life. It’s open every day of the year and the access to this quixotic greenland is free. You should doubtlessly take your time and seize an opportunity to absorb the gorgeous surroundings filled with an outstanding collection of plants from Australia and overseas.

Close to the Botanical Garden you can find Australia’s leading art museum with collections of Australia, Aboriginal, European, Asian and contemporary art works, the Art Gallery of NSW. And guess what, it’s free to enter this beautiful art museum!

Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour, Sydney

I used to stay close to Darling Harbour in Sydney and I really adore this lively and interactive area. It’s the city’s largest dining and entertaining spot with a view to leave you speechless. There is a bridge connecting residential Pyrmont, with Sydney’s CBD, from where a spectacular panoramic view of the city skyline will take your breath away. Especially at night when the city is lit up with a vivid color scheme. The scene that can’t be captured by any camera, you need to see it with your own lenses.

Tip: The fabulous fireworks light up the night sky of the Darling Harbour for it’s visitors every Saturday at 8:30 p.m. Don’t miss the show for free! 

Amazing Sushi in Darling Harbour

Sydney in general is famous for it’s delightful cheap sushi rolls to go. You can purchase 1 or 2 or 3 of them, it’s up to you, in the Harbourside shopping center and savor them on the stairs of the harbour. Caution: hungry Aussie Seagulls are notorious for stealing food from naive citizens. Protect your little roll from their snapping beaks!

Cheeky Seagulls, Darling Harbour

By day you can also visit various attractions like the largest cinema in the world, IMax, Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sea Life Aquarium, Australian National Maritime Museum and many other activities. Unfortunately there is hefty price tag on all of these pleasures, which are by the way very touristy, so be careful not to spend your whole budget in one day. You still need money to experience this dynamic spot by night: trendy bars, funky nightclubs and nice party vibes.

Insider: If you love clubbing all night long, the Sydney CBD will ruin your expectations. First of all you need to be 18 years old and be able to present your passport or ID in combination with a driving license. The bouncers are very strict, so if you show only for ex. your European ID, they will send you back home. Additionally no alcohol is served after 1:30 a.m. and at 3 a.m. is time to find a place to rest your shaky dance legs. 

Another great happening in the whole city of Sydney is the celebration of the Chinese New year. It’s in February and it’s one of the most anticipated events in the whole city. There are always spectacular parades, huge food markets and astonishing fireworks in Darling Harbour by night.

Beach, please!

Bondi Beach, Sydney

The chocolate side of Sydney is it’s glorious beach sides with incredible views of the vast Pacific Ocean. The iconic Bondi Beach is attracting locals and tourists at any time of the year with it’s picturesque sandy beach and cute town. There are many places to enjoy a tasty coffee and some breakfast before you go to catch a perfect wave. Careful of the strong current, which can drag you towards the razor sharp rocks. If you still want to submerge yourself into safe waters, then go to the amazing Iceberg swimming pool, just next to the ocean. Bondi is also known for it’s obsession for perfect bodies and beautiful people.

Bondi Beach, Sydney

It doesn’t matter how tired you are or if you hate walking, you should absolutely do the most spectacular 6 kilometre walk from Bondi to Coogee. It’s a coastal route, which will lead you to Sydney’s most iconic beaches, like Tamarama, Bronte and Clovelly Beach. My favorite is idyllic Bronte Beach, the seaside gem of the eastern suburbs. It’s a less populated spot with a terrific natural champagne ocean pool and saltwater lap pool. Perfect place to relax and get a sexy tan.

There is another splendid beach in Sydney, Manly Beach, which you can reach by ferry from Circular Quay near Harbour Bridge. The price of the ticket is around 15$ including both ways, so it’s more clever to go there on Sunday. Manly’s tranquil inner-harbor beach filled with sophisticated dining and shopping streets, attracts all kind of visitors. Most of the people that I met in Australia, said that Manly Beach is their favorite.

Manly Beach, Sydney

P.S.

The Soda Factory, Sydney (Credit: lynesandco.com)

The Soda Factory, Sydney (Credit: lynesandco.com)

It’s impossible to write about all the amazing things, that wonderful Sydney offers to it’s citizens and visitors. You need to explore the metropolis by yourself. But there is one more place that I would love to suggest. The Soda Factory, a place where retro quirky meets underground modern times. There is a hidden door that leads you straight into one of Tarantino’s movies. You will be served with American-inspired food, fancy hot dogs and alcoholic milkshakes topped with cream. You need to know this place, not to miss the entrance. So let’s say, it’s a marvelous insider!

Endless entertainment in Melbourne’s CBD

CBD, which means Central Business District, is the sophisticated heart of the city Melbourne with it’s chic eateries and fancy rooftop bars. Important to mention is that the tram looping around the city is free for everyone, so you don’t need to be worried if you don’t have enough credit on your myki card. Furthermore it’s a great destination for shopping opportunities for fashionistas. But before you plan to visit Down Under check the essential packing list for Australia so you will be prepared for everything!

Flinders Street Station

Flinders Station, Melbourne

Flinders Street Station is a breathtaking building and an iconic meeting spot in Melbourne. It’s Australia’s first central metropolitan train terminus, which was built in 1910. The station is the city’s known landmark and an ideal place for beautiful pictures. Next to it you can discover Sandridge Bridge from where you can enjoy magnificent Yarra River views.

Time for a coffee at Center Place

Center Place, Melbourne

Close to Flinders Street Station you will find Collins Street, which is a well known cafe strip with exceptional coffee, delightful food and a brilliant atmosphere. The narrow street filled with small cafes and terrific design resembles Parisian street style.

Street art

Graffiti Street, Melbourne CBD

Melbs is a very artistic city and the city provides it’s creative citizens with public spaces, where they can express themselves. One of the city’s greatest attraction is Hoisin Lane in the CBD, which is full with magnificent graffitis from various street artists. The whole street is like a self-moderated colorful exhibition with a vibrant urban environment. Just look for the favorite graffiti and voila, you will have a new cool Instagram picture to show off.

Amazing rooftops

Melbourne’s CBD is full with outdoor bars with rooftops and it’s spectacular views. Melbourne might have not the best weather, but when the temperature rises the ideal way of enjoying the great life with the drink in your hand is doubtlessly on one of the rooftops. Here are some of my favorites:

Father’s Office is a bar and restaurant just next to the State Library of Victoria with an unexpectedly spacious magnitude. It has a great view on the center of the city and a wonderful easy-going atmosphere. During the day you can enjoy delicious meals. The 1920s-30s decoration and furniture gives the bar a cozy and classy feeling. In the evening you can catch up with your friends and have cocktails and drinks for a good price.

The Carlton, Melbourne

If you prefer something extravagant and atypical then you are going to admire The Carlton. The unusual design with the huge puppet animals like a giraffe and ostrich reminds of a little hidden jungle in the heart of the city draped in velvet. The rooftop is a perfect place to escape the loud metropolis and to immerse yourself into the green oasis with big palms and delicious drinks. So cheerz!

The rooftop at Siglo bar is an ideal urban hideaway to enjoy a cocktail in an elegant and sophisticated way. The bar is located in the beautiful Imperial Hotel, high above Bourke and Spring Street in Melbourne. You will definitely fall in love with stunning views from the rooftop terrace, where you can see the magnificent Parliament house and a chic but still relaxed atmosphere.

Visit iconic Queen Victoria Market

Oysters from Victoria Market, Melbourne

Melbourne’s iconic Queen Victoria Market is the largest open air market in Australia full with it’s multicultural diversity. It’s a perfect place to start your day with a tasty brekky. You can order Melb’s famous coffee or even have fancy fresh oysters for a low price. Afterwards it’s time to browse around all the stalls and see what wares the vendors are peddling. The food junkies will discover a whole array of produce from exotic fruits to smelly cheese and all that once lived. When your stomach feels satisfied and you suddenly realize that your wardrobe hasn’t been updated in a while, then pass by the section where different styles from vintage until modern are plentiful. Queen Victoria Market is always keen to entertain it’s visitors and organizes different events like Night Markets or Food Fusion.

Time to get some knowledge in Melbourne’s Museums

Melbourne is a great city to visit various inspiring exhibitions and get to know about history and culture. There are plenty of various huge museums like National Gallery of Victoria, Scienceworks and Melbourne Museum. Insider tip: In ACMI you can visit the permanent exhibition of digital culture and television for free. If you are child of the 90s then everything will be familiar to you, but you will immerse into your nostalgic childhood. For the newer generation it will be interesting to explore the biography of  games, the internet and television.

Meet Fortuna in Crown Casino

Crown Casino, Melbourne

Melbourne is very proud of it’s Crown Casino & Entertainment Complex, one of the largest Casino complexes in the world. It’s not only a place for gambling 24/7 but also a tremendous venue with a cinema, hotel, spas, bars, restaurants and nightclubs. If Fortuna was sitting next to you while you were trying your luck at one of the casino tables, then afterwards you can enjoy a fancy drink on the terrace of the imposing complex. The facilities stretch along the waterfront of Yarra River, which is the perfect location to enjoy summer days in Melbs. If you start to feel cold on the terrace, then be prepared for warming up: from Monday till Friday starting from 9 PM the spectacular fireshow begins! Massive fireballs get released from eight ten meter high towers, which will definitely make you feel hot!

Green Wonderland of the Royal Botanic Garden

Royal Botanical Garden, CBD, Melbourne

Royal Botanic Garden, Melbourne

Royal Botanic Garden, Melbourne

Another magnificent part of Melbourne’s CBD is the tremendous Royal Botanic Garden, which provides you with an ideal escape from the city jungle into the magnitude of beautiful nature. Since 1846 it empresses with picturesque views of a diverse collection of over 50.000 native and exotic plants extended on over 36 hectares. There is definitely enough space for everybody to explore the garden’s wildlife filled with black swans, cockatoos and other colorful species, discover a little oasis with the lakes and enjoy the tranquil settings. In the summer you can even experience an outdoor cinema, numerous events and various performances. You should doubtlessly find time for the green wonderland of the Royal Botanic Garden!

Food that makes you fly

Korean Food Sam Sam, Melbourne

After a long day of walking and exploring the magnitude of the CBD’s treasures it is time to relax and to taste the great kitchen of Melbourne. There are plenty of places to spoil yourself, Melbourne offers only great food. But I will reveal my secret and tell about my precious location, Sam Sam. It’s a Korean restaurant in the heart of Swanston St. with an amazing vibe and the best Korean Fried Chicken ever. Sam Sam doesn’t offer much area to sit, but if you are lucky and get a table, then you feel cozy in the modern venue. The portions are pretty big, that’s why it’s better to go with the group of 3-4 people, so you can order and taste different dishes, still you will probably roll out of the restaurant by the time you finish dining. The best meal of the restaurant, which will make you not only satisfied but literally high: the crispy fried chicken with hot&spicy sweet soy sauce. Believe me, after you’ve tried them you will be obsessed!

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