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An Ideal Weekend in Sydney

Visitors to Sydney for the first time are usually in awe of this beautiful city because of its picturesque harbour and surrounds. There are plenty of things to do in Sydney to make for the ideal weekend, and I’ve written this post for those who are new to Sydney and are planning to spend a weekend in Sydney's CBD.

White Water Manly

For those who like a drink before dinner there are plenty of bars around the CBD and surrounding suburbs.

When it comes to dining, Sydney has many restaurants to choose from and there is bound to be something to suit everyone. There are plenty of places to dine in the CBD, The Rocks, Circular Quay or nearby suburbs.

On your first night of the weekend, and after dinner, a stroll through The Rocks or, on a summer’s evening, a walk along the Sydney Harbour Foreshore to soak in the atmosphere, water, warmth and moonlight is the perfect ending to your first night. If it's not too late maybe even a little nightcap in your hotel bar?

There is nothing more invigorating then waking up in the morning for a morning walk and if you are staying in the CBD then the place to head to is the Royal Botanical Gardens. The gardens open at 7.00 a.m. and it will take you a while to walk through because there is a lot of ground to cover.

You can make your way down to the Opera House through the gardens and find a café for breakfast on the waterfront or head over to Wharf 3 for a ferry trip to Manly and find a beachfront café there.

After breakfast a stroll along Manly Beach to Queenscliff then back down the scenic walk to Shelly Beach will have you walking off those breakfast calories. For the more adventurous a climb up to the North Head Lookout is spectacular.

If you stay in Manly you will find plenty to do such as laze on the beach, have lunch in the many cafes and pubs or explore the shops. Otherwise it's a very pleasant ferry trip back to the CBD and possibly some shopping in one of the nearby suburbs.

For those who want to fit as much in as possible, an afternoon in Paddington and Woollahra is a totally different experience compared to the relaxed Manly lifestyle. Paddington boasts a trendy strip of shops along Oxford Street with cafes, clothing boutiques, bars and restaurants. Or you may choose to visit Balmain, which is across the Anzac Bridge, and is full of places to eat, drink and shop.

For the evening entertainment a theatre show.

Either before or after the theatre, a walk through Hyde Park is stunning, you will definitely see possums wandering around and flying foxes will be making plenty of noise.

Hyde Park is also the home to the ANZAC Memorial which is open every day, except Good Friday and Christmas Day, from 9.00am to 5.00pm.

Entry is free of charge. I took the picture below one evening when walking through the park.

Sunday morning arrives and it is time for another walk before breakfast. This time a stroll across the Sydney Harbour Bridge and back will get that heart pumping! Walking along the bridge you will experience a great view of the harbour and city plus keep fit at the same time! The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb is another option for those who are not afraid of heights, from experience, I can tell you it is worth it.

On your return, hop in a cab to Surry Hills for a walk up Crown Street, you are bound to find a fabulous café to have breakfast or visit Potts Point and Kings Cross which is always busy and interesting. On Saturday's Kings Cross Market has a wide range of food and produce.

Speaking of markets, Haymarket in Chinatown is the place to go for those wanting to find bargains galore! A lot of the market stall owner’s love to bargain so don’t be frightened to make an offer! Above the market is a wide range of retail outlets offering some great bargains.

Haymarket is situated in Sydney’s Chinatown. Chinatown has many restaurants and interesting shops, it’s a micro-culture right in Sydney and buzzing with people. There are a number of popular yum cha restaurants which are always very busy on a week-end so get there early.

Photo: Gavin Little

Not far from Chinatown is Darling Harbour. A walk to Darling Harbour via the Chinese Garden of Friendship is really worth considering, and to witness such beauty in the heart of Sydney’s CBD is quite an experience.

Following your garden tour and possible afternoon green tea, continue to Darling Harbour where you will find plenty of shopping, bars and restaurants and by then it’s probably time to hit the road back home!

Well there you have it, if you are visiting Sydney you will find plenty of things to do in Sydney for your ideal weekend in this vibrant city. These are just a few suggestions, as there are so many things to do in Sydney I could be writing for days.

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