Sydney A-Z: 26 Ways To Explore The City!

By Betty Zhang

An energetic and fun-loving Sydneysider's guide to the city of fashion, art, music, culture, food and festivities. This vibrant city is a delectable feast - have a taste!

  • Alexandria (The Grounds of Alexandria)

    What used to be a pie factory is now a retro wonderland of world-class coffee and cuisine (their burger is to die for), a lovely garden, nostalgic lemonade stands and a pig named Kevin Bacon.

  • Beaches

    Love the sound of waves and the feeling of sand between your toes? For the best surf and sand, grab a mate and head to Bondi, Coogee, Tamarama, Manly, Queenscliff, Clovelly, Narrabeen or Palm Beach.

  • Central Park Sydney

    This innovative and playful architecture is a shopping mall, apartment and vertical garden, all in one. Cool concept or consumerist, postmodernist paradise? Check it out!

  • Dangerfield

    This shop is dangerously delightful for those addicted to vintage, retro, indie, grunge, punk and gothic fashion. Notable labels include Princess Highway, Black Friday, Revival and Pulp Kitchen.

  • Enmore Theatre

    A live venue that hosts bands, plays and stand up comedy. Coldplay recently played there!

  • Fireworks & Festivals

    Sydney's spectacular NYE fireworks is world famous, but it's not the only festivity enjoyed by Sydneysiders. Newtown Festival, Mardi Gras, Chinese New Year Festival, Vivid...the list goes on.

  • Galleries & The Galeries

    'Earth' is just 'eh' without 'art'. Nourish your mind & soul inside Art Gallery NSW, S. H. Ervin Gallery or Kaleidoscope Gallery. Alternatively, try artistic shops like Monsterthreads at The Galeries.

  • Hyde Park

    There's no better place to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon. Put on a slow Beatles song (or any Beatles song - they are all good), stroll through the peaceful park and unwind. Let It Be.

  • Izakaya

    Izakayas are Japanese bars that offer a massive range of drinks, foods and desserts. Sydney's stylish izakayas are always packed. Yebisu is amazing, but Lantern by Wagaya has karaoke rooms.

  • Japanese Film Festival

    Organised by The Japan Foundation, this annual festival is an opportunity for Japan lovers to watch Japanese films at the George St cinema. Grab some Japanese chow nearby before or after your flick.

  • Kinokuniya

    What you'll find at Sydney's most comprehensive bookstore: English, Chinese and Japanese books, magazines & comics; art, design, fashion, travel & cooking books; stationery, DVDs, figurines and more!

  • L'atelier

    Fancy a new hairdo, a trim or a change of colour? Maybe a pastel shade of lilac? You've come to the right place. L'atelier's hair extraordinaires will jazz up your hair while you sit back and enjoy.

  • Museums

    There's a lot to choose from: the MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art), the Australian Museum and the Museum of Sydney, just to name a few! Wonder, ponder and let your imagination run wild.

  • Newtown

    If you are in love with vintage fashion, retro decor, vinyls, secondhand bookstores and charming cafes you must visit Newtown. Come As You Are. You will not be disappointed.

  • Oxford Street

    Oxford Street is known for its boutique stores, bars, cafes and nightclubs. It's also the heart of Sydney's gay scene. The Rainbow Crossing was designed to mark 35 years of Sydney's Mardi Gras.

  • Paddington Markets

    This creative paradise is jam-packed with fashion, accessories, handmade goods, fragrant candles, pretty pictures and the like. It's open every Saturday from 10am.

  • QVB (Queen Victoria Building)

    A variety of fashion stores, ranging from everyday to high end luxury brands, are tucked inside this majestic late C19th Romanesque Revival building. Shop 'til you drop or stop and smell the pastries.

  • The Rocks

    Situated right near the Harbour Bridge, this historic area offers a highly Instagramable glimpse into Sydney's past. It's also a great place to eat, drink and shop. Grab a mate and have some beer!

  • Strand Arcade

    Enter this Victorian-style arcade, step back in time and marvel at the wondrous interior design. Gaze into the lovely shops while walking slowly or enjoy a cup of coffee inside. Feed your nostalgia.

  • Thai Town

    Located in Haymarket and filled with delicious and stylish Thai restaurants (including Chat Thai, a must-try) and little grocery stores, this is a Thairrific place for lovers of Thai food and culture.

  • Underground Cinema (Shh!)

    Classified info: you can attend secret film screenings and completely immerse yourself in the world of each film. This one's definitely for all film fanatics and fun-loving folks out there.

  • Vivid Sydney

    Iconic architecture becomes brightly lit canvases against the night sky. This stunning annual event will light up your world and fill it with music and colour, so be sure to check it out when it's on!

  • Wax Figures (Madame Tussauds Wax Museum Sydney)

    The perfect place to take hilariously inappropriate selfies with your favourite idols, cultural icons, sports heroes and celebrity crushes.

  • X: TEDxSydney

    An independently organised event that showcases awe-inspiring Australian ideas, creativity, innovation & culture, TEDxSydney's mission is to propagate Ideas Worth Spreading. Put your thinking cap on!

  • Yum Cha

    Sydney is home to quite a few yummy yum cha places, many of which are conveniently located in the city. Sky Phoenix (inside Westfield Sydney) is a nice place to grab a bite before hitting the shops.

  • ZARA

    Your quick, easy and affordable fashion fix, located at the heart of the CBD. Bonus: it's connected to Westfield Sydney and surrounded by dozens of trendy stores. Hooray!