The quickest way to get from the airport into town is via the Airport Link, which stops at inner-city stations including Central and Town Hall. Pick up a pre-paid (and rechargeable) Opal Card to use on trains, buses and ferries.
A room with a view
Perched right next to the Botanic Gardens – that’s your morning run sorted - Ovolo Woolloomooloo combines heritage-listed industrial architecture with eclectic interiors (think printed bedheads and Edison bulbs). It offers a stellar range of freebies, including continental breakfast, wi-fi and mini-bar. And some of Sydney’s favourite restaurants are housed in the same building.
There is nowhere in Sydney quite like The Rocks, the historic harbourside precinct that transports visitors back to colonial times. The charming Harbour Rocks Hotel is a boutique property that harnesses the area’s historic vibe. Ready to splash some overnight cash? The Harbour View Suite offers views of both the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.
Drink and dine
If you want to go big on budget, dine out at Bennelong. Housed in the Opera House and helmed by the inimitable Peter Gilmore, Bennelong knocks it out of the park both for location and menu. If you don’t have time for the full three courses in the dining room, take a seat at the Cured & Cultured counter, where tasty treats may include scallop pie, red claw yabbies or a suckling pig sausage roll.
Whether you’re up for dinner or just a few drinks, Hubert in the heart of town always delivers. There is a definite post-war Paris vibe to this subterranean restaurant, its burnished wood interiors glowing in the soft lamp light. Whether you feast on a bowl of mussels or just nibble on some pate, the perfectly-executed food hits the spot.
Got a spare hour?
Whether you want to get some exercise, soak up some spectacular views or just enjoy a spot of people-watching, Sydney’s coastal walks are the best way to fill in a spare hour or two. The most famous walk, the Bondi to Bronte, actually goes on all the way through Clovelly to Coogee, offering more panoramic vistas and beautiful beaches to stop for a swim. (Clovelly is also home to Sydney’s most spectacular cemetery, where every grave enjoys an ocean view.)
If you have a whole afternoon free, the 10km Spit to Manly Walk on the North Shore is unbeatable, taking you through verdant bushland as it winds its way along a series of bays and beaches. Remember to take plenty of water as well as your swimmers and sunblock. When you’re done, feed your appetite at one of Manly’s many eateries before catching the ferry back to the city.
Head to the Opera House at sunset to experience a spectacular projection play across its sails. Badu Gili celebrates indigenous cultures and features the work of five First Nations artists. If you miss the first showing, it repeats at 9pm.