One of the truly great cities of the world Sydney really is a lot of fun. Rich in history, diversity and stunning natural beauty there is so much to see and do and it caters for everyone. Weekend Getways Sydney can cover a lot of ground and will make memories that will last a lifetime. Beautiful beaches, historical sites, the amazing harbour and world-class wining and dining – you may never go home!
We are members of the Booking.com and Airbnb affiliate programs. If you decide to book a property, please do so through one of our links so we can earn a small fee. This goes towards the running costs of this site.
Where to stay in Sydney
As you would expect of one of the world’s great cities there are some amazing places to stay in Sydney that cater to every interest and budget.
Where you stay on your Weekend Getaways Sydney may well be determined by budget but choosing a good location can save a lot of time and money as well.
Most of the international luxury brands can be found in or around the CBD – Intercontinental, Pullman, Four Seasons, Radisson and more. Meriton has 8 properties and are great for longer stays as their rooms are mostly self contained apartments.
Our favourite boutique hotels in Sydney are the QT in the CBD and Bondi, Spicers Potts Point and Little Albion, a Crystalbrook Hotel. There are also 2 wonderful Ovolos – Wooloomooloo and Darling Harbour, both in fascinating heritage buildings and both are two of Sydney’s best pet-friendly hotels.
Many of the hotels are located in the CBD and those near Sydney Harbour or Darling Harbour are unsurprisingly popular. Many people also like to stay in the inner suburbs of Potts Point, Darlinghurst or Surry Hills and of course, Bondi Beach and Manly are also popular for weekend stays.
Best Harbour-view hotel in Sydney: Shangri-la
Best Themed Hotel in Sydney: QT Sydney
Best Hotel with Entertainment in Sydney: The Star Grand Hotel and Residences
Best Hotel Swimming Pool in Sydney: The Langham
Best Pet-friendly hotel in Sydney: Pier One Sydney Harbour
Most Expensive Hotel in Sydney: Park Hyatt Sydney
Further reading: Romantics Getaways in Sydney
Weekend Getaways Sydney – Things to do and see
If time permits take a walk through the Botanical Gardens and along the waterfront past the Opera House around to The Rocks area and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Highlights around Sydney Harbour include:
- Botanical Gardens
- Andrew(Boy) Charlton swimming pool
- Mrs Macquarie’s Chair
- Taronga Park Zoo – book tickets here
- Farm Cove
- Government House
- Sydney Opera House
- Central Quay
- Take in a harbour cruise
- The Rocks
- Pylon Lookout
- Get a 3-Sydney-attraction-pass for good savings!
Rose Bay is also home to Sydney Seaplanes and we highly recommend a scenic flight even if you’ve visited Sydney many times. There’s nothing like the views from the air!
After that catch another ferry on to Watsons Bay and enjoy fish and chips at Doyles, a world-famous establishment that is still serving up excellent, and good value, seafood on the jetty. The pub at Watsons Bay is great too with their Aperol Spritz Bar the perfect place for a few afternoon beverages.
Getting to Taronga Park Zoo
If visiting Sydney with children you might prefer to visit Taronga Park Zoo instead. Get your ferry tickets for Taronga Park at Wharf 4 at Circular Quay. Ferries depart every 30 minutes. More information can be found at Taronga Parks website. Open 9:30 am – 5pm every day including Christmas Day!
You can drive to the Zoo and Watsons Bay if you want but its a long and complicated drive that will involve crossing the harbour more than once.
The best way to do it, of course, is on the water. You can catch public ferries ( tickets sold at the ticket machines at central Quay) or this 2 day pass is great value and allows you to add on more things as well if time permits.
Visit one of Sydney’s famous beaches. Year round many of the beaches are lovely to visit even in the middle of winter when a beachside meal or drink might be more appropriate than a swim.
Most people want to see either Manly Beach – accessed by the iconic Manly Ferry, or Bondi Beach, a Sydney icon in itself.
We love Bondi and, despite the crowds on a hot day, it seems to have really lifted its game in recent years with a big selection of excellent places to eat, drink, shop and generally people watch around the bay.
Things to do in Bondi ;
- See the most famous surf lifesaving station and lifesavers ( lifeguards) in the world at work keeping the public safe in and out of the water
- Take a dip in the surf
- Do a surf lesson
- Do the Bondi to Bronte walk – one of the most scenic and popular walks in Australia
- Visit Icebergs for lunch or a swim at the famous swimming pool below
- Visit the markets on a Sunday for locally made home-wares, fashions, memorabilia and much more
- Grab a bucket of prawns and a cold beer at The Bucket List
- Book a beachfront table at North Bondi RSL for champagne views on a beer budget
Getting to Bondi from central Sydney
There are frequent buses between the CBD and Bondi as well as a train that goes to Bondi Junction ( about a 20 minute walk west of Bondi Beach).
An Uber will cost between $20 – $25.
For more information use the Transport Departments Trip planner.
As you can see there is a lot to see and do on Weekend Getaways Sydney even if you have visited many times before.
If you’re a first time visitor you might find 5 days in Sydney more suitable.
Day trips from Sydney
Either way, there are a number of other places to see and things to do to keep in mind including some incredible things a little further afield that really warrant a day trip;
- a day trip to the Blue Mountains
- whale watching (May to October)
- a Hunter Valley wine tour
- a guided Coastal Trek
- visit Fort Denison and other colonial sites
- visit the Hawkesbury River
- a day trip to Australia’s capital, Canberra
Further reading: Amazing Getaways from Sydney
Where to eat in Sydney
There are many outstanding places to wine and dine in Sydney.
Dinner at Seans Panorama in Bondi otherwise head into the lively Stanley Street precinct of Surry Hills where there are a number of excellent cheap and cheerful places to grab a meal.
The Lankan Filling Station on Riley street has the best Sri Lankan food we’ve had outside Sri Lanka!
After dinner you might want to wander through Kings Cross, still Sydney’s red-light district but largely gentrified and considerably tamer than it was only a decade ago. There are still a number of late-night ‘venues’ on offer but it’s more gastropub than sleazy strip club these days.
How to get around Sydney
Getting from Sydney Airport to the City Center
Sydney Airport is located just 8km from the Sydney CBD and driving takes about 25 minutes on a good day.
By taxi and rideshare
The Sydney CBD is a 20 minute ride and will cost about $45-$55 one way. Taxi ranks are at the front of all terminals – simply follow the signs to the nearest ranks. For rideshare services there is a designated pickup point that your driver will be familiar with.
Sydney Airport is 13 minutes by train from the city with trains running approximately every 10 minutes. The station is located at the northern end of the terminal and you can easily access it from arrivals. Either purchase an Opal Card from the station, Relay or WH Smith, or tap on with your Amex, Visa or Mastercard.
Sydney Buses operates a timetabled service, Route 400, between Bondi Junction and Eastgardens via Sydney Airport and 420 between Eastgardens to Burwood via Sydney Airport. The service stops at both the T1 International and T3 Domestic terminals. You will find bus stops on the arrivals level outside each of these terminals and you will need an Opal transport card.
General enquiries: 133 SYD (133 793)