Sydney
Overview

You’ve done Paris and Prague; you’ve done Buenos Aires and Bangkok. What’s next? Somewhere far, far away perhaps, somewhere you can have it all - a lifestyle as laid-back as SoCal, a food and bar scene as vibrant as Miami’s, beaches to rival the South of France? May we suggest a gorgeous southern-hemisphere haven filled with marsupials, surfers, perennial tans, and a slang language all on its own? G’day Sydney! What really sets this sun-soaked, cosmopolitan harbor city apart from other international destinations is the opportunity for outrageous fun, like cliff-side bungee jumping, swimming with dolphins, and trekking over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It’s also abundant with a distinct culture, including a plethora of museums, great galleries and amazing architecture, most notably the Sydney Opera House. Don’t forget to swing by one of the world’s most photographed swimming pools at Bondi Beach’s Iceberg Club. Sure, you could go with your guy, but that is kind of like bringing sand to the beach, no? Instead, bunk with your bestie - it’s worked out just fine for Nicole and Naomi.

Overall, Sydney style is fairly nonchalant, though thats no excuse to slack when it comes to assembling an ensemble, as Australia is home to some of today’s brightest fashion stars (Ellery, Maticevski and Camilla & Marc, to name a few). Remember in this crazy continent, the seasons are flip-flopped, and best time to visit Australia’s biggest metropolis is definitely during its spring (September-November), when the weather is perfectly warm, rain is minimal, and the sun shines splendidly for most of the day. Pack ample sundresses—some more casual for daytime, others that can transition into evening - a choice from Marni or Suno feels right here. Upscale denim shorts may work well for casual sightseeing, best matched with a flowing top and Karen Walker sunnies. A flirty playsuit is a nice alternative, day or night, and one of our favorite brands for this travel friendly item just happens to be Sydney-based Zimmermann. In terms of footwear, think cute sandals by day, perhaps a pair of Celine slides, and strappy heels by night when it’s time to drink and dine. For cooler days (there may be some), experiment with a trendy boyfriend jean for stylish comfort, paired with a crop top and feminine jewels. Good on ya, wardrobe sorted! Now you’re ready to do the things you can only do in the Land Down Under: cuddle a kangaroo, binge at a barbie, have a Vegemite sandwich, and of course, to hear, hear that thunder.

Stay

Where to stay

Indulge

Indulge

DINING 

The Aussies know what’s up when it comes to fine dining and great cuisine, like their yummy damper bread and classic meat pies. Plus, if you’ve secretly been dying to say “Throw another shrimp on the Barbie” since you saw Dumb & Dumber in 1994, Aussie barbeque is definitely also top-notch (even if that reference made no sense to you). Beyond traditional dishes, they’ve got some great spots for international cuisine as well to suit any palette. Prepare to indulge, because we’ve selected a couple of the best.

Café Sydney is a classic that maintains a high standard of quality cuisine against the majestic backdrop of the harbor. Dress up in a flowy maxi or sleek cocktail number to dine at this quintessentially Sydney spot. Wine connoisseurs (or just women who love wine) will find a new favorite in the Nomad, renowned for carrying the best of the best Australian wine. If your diet for the evening is not purely fermented grapes, munch on some of their delectable small plates or entrees from the grill and woodfired oven. The new, cozy scene Grounds of the City has a menu that features something for everyone. This coffeehouse-inspired inner-city hub will transport you back to an era of old-school charm and reignite the heart and soul of Sydney's Central Business District.

For Australia seafood specialties, head to The Fish Shop for lunch or dinner where you can enjoy a fresh, locally caught fish, because fish are friends, and food. If fish Japanese-style is more up your ally, Sydney has great Japanese options, starting with stylish Toko. Located in Sydney’s premier dining precinct, Surry Hills, Toko offers Japanese classics made with Australia’s famously fresh produce in an atmosphere of stunningly contemporary design. If you’re craving more, at Cho Cho San you can savor modern Japanese cuisine and inventive cocktails in a bright, chic ambiance with a long central table. Finally it’s not a trip to Sydney without a meal at Fish on the Rocks for the best seafood in town.

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To taste the very best of Australia, 12-Micron offers modern Australian elegance at its best. From the finishes and ambience to the carefully sourced ingredients and craftmanship, this beautiful contemporary restaurant is truly breathtaaking. For modern Australian cuisine, Ester has customers falling in love as soon as they walk through the door. Its arched concrete features, open kitchen and laid-back but chic vibes are intoxicating. 

First stop for Italian food-lovers should be Jamie’s Italian Sydney, home to the rustic Italian recipes of famous chef Jamie Oliver. The Sydney location is split into two levels with stunning high ceilings and a mezzanine level open kitchen where you can watch the chefs at work, as well as classically-Jamie décor, like the graffitied walls. Dress with sophistication at this esteemed spot, but don’t feel the need to go all out with your style. For more Italian elegance, dine at Icebergs by Bondi Beach, where you can savor seasonal specialties made from fine Australian produce at the intimate dining room or the open seaside terrace restaurant. For delicious handmade pasta with authentic Italian vibes, try either of A Tavola’s Sydney locations. Finally, you can enjoy a more casual Italian eatery at Café Sopra, when you’re seeking a succulent lunch without the splurge, or at Sotto Sopra, a relaxed yet sensational venue in Newport on Sydney's northern beaches.

Experience Southeast Asian cooking at Longrain, where you’ll sample the fresh, zingy flavors of dishes made for sharing. What makes this location special is the social atmosphere it fosters, as the long, shared tables encourage communal eating, so you’ll surely want to dress your best before mingling with new Aussie friends at this fun, upscale establishment. And if you're looking for a more exotic Southeast Asian cuisine, Chin Chin Restaurant shows the foodie center of Sydney how eclectic and fun food can be. Ms. G’s is another hotspot for an Asian dining experience, with a lavish menu as modern as the quirky interior. Sip on kooky cocktails and inventive dishes in a trendy new ensemble.  For classic Chinese cuisine and fine furnishing, try Mr. Wong, or enjoy more casual Asian flare at Bar H.  Nestled between Sydney's CBD and sparkling Darling Harbour, Jade Temple offers a contemporary Cantonese dining experience. Located within the city's historic Burns Philp & Co. building, the sophisticated restaurant focuses on the country's finest and most sustainable produce. Located in the beautiful Bondi Beach, Blanca presents how elegant European flavors work together with Japanese cooking using the best Australian produce.

If you’re craving some spicy Mexican, go for tapas and cocktails at Movida, for a fun and trendy start to the evening. 

NIGHTLIFE

When the weekend hits, the Sydney elite and visiting VIPeople head to Marquee Sydney, an award-winning luxury nightclub brand. Marquee Sydney lights up the entire top floor of the Star’s Pirrama Road overlooking the harbor. This key celebrity party destination has hosted some of the biggest DJ names, like Hardwell, Avicii and Will Sparks.

Of course, bumping DJ beats and partying into the wee hours aren’t for all, but you can still get great harbor views up high in a more laidback venue at The Glenmore, a rooftop lounge and billiards bar in The Rocks. Swap your hot body con for trendy rag & bone denim and a strappy top at this chic hotspot.

If you’re looking for some beachside fun, The Bucket List is a sexy surf bar on the lively strip of Bondi Beach. Although it’s a leeetle touristy, it’s still outrageous fun and a sure place to chat up cuties from all over. For a fun, but upscale dive bar hands down the best place is Cliff Dive…and don’t even think about leaving without trying a Monkey Hat, its beyond #tikitastic

 

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Explore

Explore

If you’re going to do Sydney right, you’ll be spending plenty of time soaking up rays in the sand or waves. Bondi Beach is definitely the most famous and most crowded, with a carnival atmosphere unlike any other Sydney beach. Cafes, ice cream shops, restaurants, and boutiques are scattered about Campbell Parade, running along the back of the beach.

Manly Beach, a wide stretch great for beach walks or rollerblading along the promenade, has social vibes similar to Bondi but is located on the north shore. It’s also home to the Manly Surf School which we found one of the best places to take lessons, just keep your focus on the waves and not the gorgeous instructors. Check out some of the non-beach attractions at Manly, like the Oceanworld aquarium, or check out the real beach attractions, like the men of Manly riding their boards along the waves.

For a more chill beach day, Coogee Beach is calling (pronounce it kuh-jee to sound legit). This stunning stretch is protected by a colorful reef, priming it for calmer (and pretty) swimming and snorkeling conditions. Even if you don’t want to take a dip, come to Coogee to laze on the sand, shop, eat, and drink, with cafes and shops sitting just off the sand.

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Once you’ve rinsed off the salt and sand, Sydney has plenty more to offer. A classic is the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Of course, you can walk along the pedestrian paths of the bridge and enjoy the views at the midpoint, but for the adventure girl willing to take her lululemon look to extreme heights, consider the ambitious but incredible BridgeClimb. It’s exactly what it sounds like. After climbing through catwalks, up ladders and stairs, you can enjoy probably the most breathtaking view in all of Sydney. Do it at twilight for sunset views and killer insta pics. Spellbinding views of the Sydney Opera House from the bridge should entice you to visit the iconic site, better yet, actually attend one of the world-famous performances in this historic landmark for an extraordinary Sydney experience.

For relaxed daytime adventuring, visit the historic Parramatta district, where you can find pretty parks, great restaurants and shopping, and historic buildings now operating as museums, like the Old Government House, Elizabeth Farm, or Experimental Farm. Finally, on a rainy day, definitely check out the Museum of Contemporary Art on the edge of Sydney Harbour, home to impressive exhibitions of contemporary art from across Australia and around the world. It also has a really cool restaurant for a lunch break from all the culture you’ll be consuming.  

And now to our favorite part….the markets. Many of Australia’s best-known designers, like star duo Sass & Bide, got a start selling their wares at the local weekend markets, and these ad hoc retail institutions are still worth scouring for both up-and-coming labels and vintage pieces. 

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SHOP

Where to Shop

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From luxury labels to local boutiques, Sydney has it covered. So much so that you may find yourself purchasing an extra suitcase to bring it all home with you. Sydneys top shopping streets are perfecte for serious retail therapy. Head to Pitt,Castlereagh and King in the city centre, Oxford Street in Paddington and Bondi Junction, King Street in Newtown and Crown Street in Surry Hills. Also is The Strand Arcade, set in a stunning Victorian building and abundant with shops of all kinds, from jewelers, women’s fashion, and footwear, to health and beauty, and antiques. You can find similar variety and quality within the shops of the Queen Victoria Building, an upscale mall of gorgeous Romanesque architecture that occupies an entire block not far from the Strand Arcade. If you’re over browsing in the big guys and want more Sydney originals, definitely visit the outdoor markets on Saturday, Glebe and Paddington are both our top picks for filling our extra suitcase with amazing one of a kind pieces and the fashion you find here is sure to be unique, edgy, and envy-inducing back home. If you still haven’t had your fill, here is a list of some of the rest of our “not to be missed favs”: IV Collective, Via Alley, The Vintage Clothing Shop, The corner shop, Scanlan & Theodore, Parlour X, David Jones, Ellery, Pelle, Alex Perry... 

Shop the Destination

Lisa Marie Fernandez Imaan tiered polka-dot cotton-voile mini dress $745.00
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Truss Exclusive Small Crossbody striped woven raffia-effect shoulder bag $185.00
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Place Nationale La Turbie one-shoulder crochet-trimmed cotton-voile midi dress $440.00
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Sunday Somewhere Jesse square-frame gold-tone sunglasses $290.00
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Common Projects Minimalist suede sandals $425.00
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FRAME Rigid Re-Release Le Original distressed denim shorts $235.00
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Lenny Niemeyer Buttons Overalls $240.00
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Cult Gaia Small Multi Acrylic Ark $320.00
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Solid & Striped + STAUD Romy bikini $175.00
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Emilio Pucci Libellula ruffled printed silk-organza mini dress $790.00
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Attico Vanessa embellished satin and velvet sandals $740.00
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Jonathan Simkhai Asymmetric striped silk crepe de chine dress $795.00
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Simon Miller Bonsai 15 mini nubuck bucket bag $390.00
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Self-Portrait One-shoulder cotton-blend mini dress $475.00
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Marte Frisnes Avalon quartz and gold-plated earrings
$160.00
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Gentle Monster Tilda Swinton Eye Eye D-frame Acetate Sunglasses $250.00
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Rebecca Vallance Beltrán Pleated Stretch-crepe Midi Dress $510.00
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Marte Frisnes Marlowe gold-plated earrings $142.00
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Zimmermann One-shoulder Gingham Linen And Cotton-blend Mini Dress $595.00
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Jennifer Fisher Classic Round Gold-plated Hoop Earrings $295.00
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Marysia Waikiki lace-up linen mini dress $405.00
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Ancient Greek Sandals Thais velvet sandals
$260.00
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Onia Dani Red White Striped Bikini Top $95.00
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Onia Lily Red White Striped Bikini Bottom $95.00
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Ahlem Concorde $470.00
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Zimmermann Divinity Wheel broderie-anglaise top $495.00
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Zimmermann Divinity Wheel broderie-anglaise shorts
$350.00
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Miu Miu Swarovski crystal and feather-embellished satin and leather slides $970.00
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