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Sydney Off the Beaten Path

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Ever wanted to discover what the "Real Sydney" has to offer, beyond the numerous tourist attractions? Live a day like a local and discover the "hidden treasures" that Sydney-siders enjoy. From outdoor markets to cooking classes, hop on this local discovery journey.

Good for
  • Art and design lover
  • Nightlife lover
  • Outdoors explorer
  • Food lover
  • Beach goer
  • Hidden gem seeker

10 Places

5 City Tips

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10 Places

Sydney Theatre Company

Theatres

Paddington Markets

Flea/ Street Markets

Sydney Fish Market

Flea/ Street Markets, Speciality Shops

Lucio's Italian Restaurant

Restaurants

Royal Botanic Gardens

Gardens

Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk

Hiking Trails

Manly Beach

Beaches

The Beresford

Restaurants

Brett Whiteley Studio Museum

Art Museums

Murray Rose Pool

Beaches

Monica U's City Tips

  • Download the UBER app on your phone to get low-cost taxi rides around the city.
  • Buy a MyMulti Day Sydney Pass and enjoy unlimited travel on trains, buses and ferries.
  • Tipping is not customary in Australia.
  • At the small cafes and restaurant in Australia, instead of asking for the bill, just go to the counter to pay for your meal.
  • It is better to pay in cash in some of the local restaurants.
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    Sydney Theatre Company
    Theatres
    See more photos
    Monica U Says:

    This beautiful theatre, created by architects Peddle Thorp and Walker, sits opposite Pier 6/7 on Hickson Road. Andrew Upton became Co Artistic Director with Cate Blanchett at the beginning of 2008 and it plays annually to audiences of more than 300,000. It is one of my favourite places to have a drink and be mesmerized by views of the beautiful Sydney Harbour and Bridge. Many times, I have taken a notebook and sat at one of the comfortable lounges with a drink to seek inspiration.

    Good for
    • Local favourite
    • Friends
    • Solo
    • Senior
    • Couples
    • Art and design lover
    Tips
    • Line up every Tuesday morning from 8.00am (before the Box Office opens and 9.00am) to get 2 tickets to any performance cheaply.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #65 of 239 attractions in Sydney
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great show and friendly staff 23/12/2014
    • A long-running professional company 01/12/2014
    • Sydney Theatre Company
    Address:
    Pier 4, Hickson Road
    Walsh Bay
    2000
    Australia
    Phone:
    +61 2 9250 1700
    Other:
  • Save
    Paddington Markets
    Flea/ Street Markets
    See more photos
    Monica U Says:

    Going to Paddo's markets, as they are affectionately known, on Saturday mornings has been a ritual for quite a while. The more than 150 stalls are filled with creative earrings, necklaces and fashion accessories, beautifully smelling soaps, candles and other products that inspire. The markets opened in 1973 to encourage local fashion designers, craftspeople, jewellery makers and artists to showcase their goods. They also contribute to providing a warm meal and support for Sydney’s homeless and disadvantaged through the Eddie Dixon Centre. If you are looking for that "unusual" and highly creative gift or simply would love to stroll around the beautiful markets, this is the place to go!

    Good for
    • Budget traveller
    • Everyone
    • Shopping enthusiast
    • Art and design lover
    Tips
    • The markets are open from 10am to 3pm.
    • Cash is preferred to credit cards at the majority of the stalls.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #17 of 85 shopping in Sydney
    • Not to be confused with Paddy's market 25/12/2014
    • Stroll through the markets 16/12/2014
    • Paddington Markets
    Address:
    395 Oxford Street
    Paddington
    Australia
    Phone:
    93312923
    Hours:
    Sat
    10:00 - 2:30
    Other:
  • Save
    Sydney Fish Market
    Flea/ Street Markets, Speciality Shops
    See more photos
    Monica U Says:

    Being a Harbour, Sydney has some of best seafood on offer. Grab a coffee early in the morning and head to the Sydney Fish Markets at Blackwattle Bay in Pyrmont. The place moved to its current location in 1966, and nowadays trades an average of 50 tonnes of fresh seafood every day! Plus, if you're into cooking, the Sydney Seafood School inside the markets has regular classes conducted by top chefs in Sydney like Matt Moran, Alessandron Pavoni, Lucio Galleton and Justin North.

    Good for
    • Food lover
    • Local favourite
    • Everyone
    Tips
    • Plan for a picnic, either at the beach (Bronte Park is my favourite) or at the nearby Blackwattle Bay Park in Glebe where you can have the ANZAC bridge as your sizzle.
    • Get there early to get the best catch of the day. The market opens at 7am.
    • Get cash in advance, the majority of the stalls would not take cards.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 85 shopping in Sydney
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • the freshest of the fresh! 23/12/2014
    • So fresh of sea food and tasty 23/12/2014
    • Sydney Fish Market
    Address:
    Bank St
    Pyrmont
    2009
    Australia
    Phone:
    +61 2 9004 1100
    Other:
  • Save
    Lucio's Italian Restaurant
    Restaurants (Italian)
    See more photos
    Monica U Says:

    Maybe I am a little biased, but this small restaurant in the heart of Paddington has been an institution for Italian food since Lucio Galletto opened its doors in 1983. His cuisine focuses on northern Italian dishes, using the freshest produce available. It is a great place to go with friends or for a romantic dinner. Some of my favorite dishes are the crudi di pesce , carpaccio of kingfish with pickled green tomato, avocado, fennel, radish & chive, any of the homemade pastas or the seafood stew: ocean perch, scampi, clams & bottle squid in a shellfish, tomato & fregolone broth. Lucio is a patron of the Arts too, and his walls are surrounded by Australian paintings that span 3 decades - in fact, he was also awarded the "Medal of the Order of Australia" in the 2008 Queen’s Birthday Honours!

    Good for
    • Food lover
    • Local favourite
    • Everyone
    Tips
    • If you book a table for 10 or more people, you can order a set menu from $65.
    • Ask Lucio about his art - he loves to talk about it.
    • Lucio's is only open Tuesday-Saturday.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #107 of 3,794 restaurants in Sydney
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Fine from dawn to dusk. 21/12/2014
    • The Art of life 17/12/2014
    • Lucio's Italian Restaurant
    Address:
    47 Windsor St
    Paddington
    2021
    Australia
    Phone:
    +61 2 9380 5996
    Price range:
    $20 - $36
    Hours:
    Tue - Sat
    12:30 - 1:15
    18:30 - 8:45
    Other:
  • Save
    Royal Botanic Gardens
    Gardens
    See more photos
    Monica U Says:

    Armed with a picnic basket and good walking shoes, visit the Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney. They are the oldest of their kind in Sydney and an oasis of 30 hectares in the heart of the city, with many vantage points overlooking the Harbour. An excellent place to have lunch is close to Mrs Macquarie's chair, where you can let all your worries go while enjoying a bottle of Barossa Valley Semillon 2012!

    Good for
    • Peace and quiet seeker
    • Everyone
    • Outdoors explorer
    Tips
    • This is an excellent spot to watch the fireworks on NYE.
    • Admission is free and the gardens are open 24 hours.
    • During summer, do a few laps at Andrew Boy Charlton Pool, enjoy lunch at the Poolside cafe and then lie down to get some sun.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 239 attractions in Sydney
    • Lovely Gardens - Recommended 26/12/2014
    • Beautiful Gardens - Highly Recommended 25/12/2014
    • Royal Botanic Gardens
    Address:
    Mrs Macquaries Rd
    2000
    Australia
    Phone:
    61 2 9231 8111
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 - 4:00
  • Save
    Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk
    Hiking Trails
    See more photos
    Monica U Says:

    Feeling like you want to start the day with an active adventure? The 6km coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee is a fabulous walk that features views, park, cliffs, bays and even a seaside cemetery, all along the South Pacific Ocean. Start at the iconic Bondi Icebergs, work out a sweat for about 1.2km then stop for coffee (and a dip in the summer) at the secluded and posh Tamarama Beach. Continue the coastal walk for another 1.8km to reach Bronte beach and stop for a moment of silent contemplation at Waverly cemetery. Then power along the final 3km to reach Coogee Beach, and reward yourself with the quintessential Australian food: "Fish and Chips." You deserve it!

    Good for
    • Beach goer
    • Local favourite
    • Everyone
    • Adventure seeker
    • Outdoors explorer
    Tips
    • Wear really comfortable shoes and break the journey often - there are 6 different sections in total.
    • Pack a day bag with your swimmers, a towel, a water bottle - and don't forget the sunscreen.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 239 attractions in Sydney
    • Fantastic walk. 26/12/2014
    • Stunning views, kids can definitely do this 26/12/2014
    • Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk
    Address:
    Queen Elizabeth Drive
    Beginning at Bondi Beach
    Australia
    Other:
  • Save
    Manly Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Monica U Says:

    A trip to Sydney would not be complete without venturing onto "the other side" of the Bridge, so take the ferry from Circular Quay to one of the most beautiful ocean beaches - Manly. The trip takes about 30 minutes, and you can appreciate all the sensational sights that Sydney Harbour has to offer without the pricey cost of a private cruise. Once in Manly, you have the choice to do the scenic Manly to Spit Bridge walk (9.1 km long), visit the stunning family beach of Freshwater, hire a bicycle and explore, or simply watch the world go by at one of the many restaurants and bars along the beach.

    Good for
    • Beach goer
    • Must see
    • Local favourite
    • Everyone
    • Outdoors explorer
    Tips
    • Manly ferries depart every half an hour from Circular Quay and cost $14 return.
    • Plan to spend at least half a day at Manly before returning to Circular Quay.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #17 of 239 attractions in Sydney
    • I preferred this beach to Bondi 26/12/2014
    • Beautiful Clean Beach 25/12/2014
    • Manly Beach
    Address:
    Steyne St
    Australia
    Phone:
    61 2 9976 1430
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    8:00 - 2:30
  • Save
    The Beresford
    Restaurants (Italian)
    Monica U Says:

    Aussies love beer and beer gardens, so it is no surprise that the Beresford Hotel in Surry Hills has become one of the best choices for Friday night drinks. The Italian menu is delicious, they have an outdoor DJ on Friday and Saturday evenings, and Upstairs Beresford presents the best of live bands, sound systems and local and international DJ's in a decadent New York-inspired style.

    Good for
    • Local favourite
    • Everyone
    • Trendy traveller
    • Nightlife lover
    Tips
    • Fridays and Saturdays can get extremely busy, so if you are not into crowds, avoid.
    • It is an excellent place for a girls night out.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1,599 of 3,794 restaurants in Sydney
    • Not bad 03/12/2014
    • Really dissapointed with the $20 fee if you want to go Upstairs on Sundays 06/10/2014
    • The Beresford
    Address:
    354 Bourke Street
    2010
    Australia
    Phone:
    02 9357 1111
    Price range:
    $16 - $26
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    12:00 - 11:30
  • Save
    Brett Whiteley Studio Museum
    Art Museums
    Monica U Says:

    Strolling down a hidden, nondescript alley in Surry Hills, you'll stumble across this small house with a sculpture of the iconic Brett Whiteley's "match" next to the front door. The Australian artist first lived here in this converted warehouse, which later became his studio, from 1987 to 1992. Enter and you'll have the feeling of going back in time, looking at his unfinished paintings, art equipment and collections of reference books, as well as the graffiti wall covered with quotes and images.

    Good for
    • Budget traveller
    • Friends
    • Solo
    • History enthusiast
    • Senior
    • Couples
    • Art and design lover
    Tips
    • It is open Friday-Sunday, 10am -4pm, and admission is free of charge.
    • There is no cafe at the Studio but there are a number of postcards and books available to buy.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #78 of 239 attractions in Sydney
    • amazing artist and insight into his work 02/12/2014
    • Great for weekends! 26/11/2014
    Address:
    2 Raper Street
    Surry Hills
    2010
    Australia
    Phone:
    61 02 9225 1881
    Hours:
    Fri - Sun
    10:00 - 2:30
    Other:
  • Save
    Murray Rose Pool
    Beaches
    Monica U Says:

    One of my favourite, best-kept city secrets is this delightful harbour pool, located in the Eastern suburbs. This little oasis has a fenced-off section of water on Seven Shillings Beach, Double Bay, but if you don't feel like swimming, perch yourself with a book in the grass section, or lie down in the beautiful stretch of sand.

    Good for
    • Hidden gem
    • Local favourite
    • Everyone
    • Outdoors explorer
    Tips
    • It can be really crowded during summer weekends, so get there early.
    • The kiosk does not take cards, so bring cash with you.
    • There are changing facilities and showers.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #98 of 239 attractions in Sydney
    • Nice beach 05/10/2014
    • Fantastic local harbour beach 27/05/2014
    • Murray Rose Pool
    Address:
    536 New South Head Road
    Double Bay
    2028
    Australia
    Phone:
    61 02 9328 2018
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