What can I do in Sydney on the weekend?

So, you’ve got a weekend planned in Sydney. What to do? We think acting like a local is the best way to explore the city.

Destination NSW

Destination NSW

Aug 13 -
min read

Kick off with a lazy breakfast in inner-city Surry Hills, which has a great village atmosphere and a cast of colourful characters. Among local favourites are Bills Surry Hills, owned by famed chef Bill Granger, and the original Bourke Street Bakery (grab a ginger brûlée tart for later). If you’re serious about coffee, Artificer does nothing else. Afterwards, browse Surry Hills’ eclectic range of boutiques along Crown and Oxford streets.

Bills Surry Hills, Image; Anson Smart

Bills Surry Hills - Credit: Anson Smart

Can’t resist a market? Hit Balmain Markets on the second or fourth Saturday of the month for food, clothes and stylish jewellery. Rozelle Collectors Market on Saturdays and Sundays is the place for old books and quirky bric-a-brac. Saturday’s Paddington Markets have a nice community feel (head to nearby Centennial Park afterwards to walk, jog or cycle) while Bondi Markets, held on Sundays, are hipster heaven.

For Sydney’s loveliest picnic spot, catch the ferry to Cremorne Point Wharf and turn left along the waterfront. Shaded, grassy picnic spots have bang-on views of the harbour, Opera House and bridge. Take a dip in Maccallum Pool afterwards – surely the most scenic swimming spot in the city.

Maccallum Seawater Pool - Cremorne Point - Sydney Harbour Ocean Pool

Maccallum Seawater Pool, Cremorne Point

Other popular harbour spots include Nielsen Park with its sandy, child-friendly beach. Walk from there to Rose Bay. On the other side of the harbour, Balmoral Beach is fronted by a promenade, park and cafés.

Then there’s the city’s surf beaches – you’ll want to dip your toe in at least once on your weekend. Try North Bondi, Bronte and Coogee in the east; and Curl Curl, Bilgola or Freshwater in the north.

Avalon Beach - Sydney's Northern Beaches

Avalon Beach, Sydney's Northern Beaches

If you love your seafood, don’t miss the Sydney Fish Market, which literally heaves on the weekend with people buying up fresher-than-fresh seafood, and consuming fish and chips at casual eateries. Or if yum cha is more your thing, head to one of Chinatown’s popular dim sum restaurants such as Marigold, Zilver or East Ocean. Aim to get there before noon.

Fishmonger holding a giant King Crab at Sydney Fish Market in Pyrmont, Sydney City

King Crab, Sydney Fish Market

When the sun sets, explore inner city suburbs such as Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Paddington and Newtown, as well as in the city itself at Chinatown and adjacent Haymarket. Darling Harbour and Barangaroo feature upmarket waterside dining and drinking venues. If you want to party on, check out Sydney’s nightclubs, where you can keep going until it’s time for brunch all over again.

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