Planning a well-earned weekend escape after the stress that has been 2020? Good on you! Even though travel has not been the same and will probably not be the same for a while, there are still many amazing getaways that you can do. Sydney is home to a range of amazing getaways that are bound recharge your batteries!
If you do not want to travel too far, I have made a list of 5 different city escapes. From hanging out with monkeys and elephants to water sports hubs and healthy living. These 5-weekend getaways in Sydney are everything you have ever dreamed of.
The Best Weekend Getaways in Sydney
Underneath you can find some of my favourite weekend getaways when I want to stay in Sydney. I made sure that all my getaways offer something different, so hopefully, you can fund your perfect fit.
- Manly | Hippie vibe with access to North Short and many watersports options.
- Bondi | Perfect for the people who are after an active and healthy weekend getaway.
- Sydney CBD | Luxury hotels with epic harbour views, amazing restaurants and epic nightlife.
- Olympic Park | Sporting history, Bicentennial Garden and cheap shopping.
- Taronga Zoo | Roar and Snore with Taronga’s animals.
Check out below lots more information on these amazing weekend destinations within Sydney.
Manly | Northern Beaches
Manly is located on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. It offers a lovely chilled and relaxed surfers vibe, which is perfect for a de-stress getaway. Manly offers some incredible beachside restaurants, perfect for a nice lunch or long dinner. The beach is massive and is home to many watersports activities. From surfing to snorkelling all is possible. Because of its great location, it is also the hob to the rest of the North Shore. Beautiful beaches like Freshwater and Curl Curl and easily located within Manly.
Manly itself has a lovely quiet and chill vibe. You will see lot’s of surfers and beach girls wandering the buzzing pedestrian strip lined with laid-back pubs and family-friendly eateries. Manly also has many incredible murals, making it fun to wander around and explore as many as you can.
If you are after a bit of exercise you can opt to do the Spit to Manly coastal walk. An amazing walk that offers some incredible views. It’s not for the faint-hearted, as it is 10 kilometres long and is not super simple. The track, however, is so stunning that it will entice you to keep going.
How to get there?
The best way of getting to Manly is by taking a ferry. There are two ferries that you can take, the Fast Ferry as well as the Standard Ferry.
The Manly Fast Ferry which takes you to Manly from Circular Quay, fast (only a 20-minute ride). The fast ferry does not take the Opal Card and cost about $15 per person.
There is a regular ferry (not fast) but it will take you to Manly as well. The regular ferry, however, takes twice as long; approximately 40 minutes. This ferry uses the Opal card which is great for all Sydney public transportation! Take the regular ferry if you have an Opal card (HIGHLY recommend purchasing) and the trip will only cost you $7,60.
No matter what ferry you choose, you’ll get an incredible view of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge on the way to the beach! I took the slow ferry and the views are so stunning that you don’t even realize the time. So I suggest you take the slow one! It will save you a few bucks and you get to enjoy the scenery a bit longer.
Manly has some amazing hotels and accommodation that you can choose from. Underneath are some great places to consider.
The Sebel Sydney Manly Beach is a 4-star oceanfront hotel. Offering a pool and a restaurant/wine bar internally and has lots of restaurants located close by as well. If you would like to stay at this hotel, then I suggest booking one of the ocean views room with a balcony. There is nothing better than relaxing in your own room with a cheeky glass of wine whilst people watching.
Another (pretty pricy) amazing hotel is Quest Manly. The four seasons has some amazing bright units, some with Sydney Harbour views, in a relaxed apartment hotel offering a gym & a sauna.
If you want a bit more independence, then Coastal Chic Designer Apartment is a great option. It offers incredible views of Manly beach, less than 2 min walk to Manly’s main street, shops and restaurants. Additionally, you could also go for Manly Shores Holiday Apartments.
Not only is Bondi and its famous beach a great day trip, but it also makes for an amazing weekend getaway. Bondi offers an active and healthy lifestyle. It is home to many healthy cafes and restaurants, and you will see many people working out. It offers the popular Bondi to Coogee Walk, The Bondi Icebergs and of course Bondi Beach.
Bondi also offers lots of cute boutique shops, home to amazing clothing, jewellery and more.
How to get there?
Public transport in Sydney is pretty reasonable, and since parking can be even more of a problem at the Bondi Beach I suggest you take the bus to the beach. If you wish to drive, try booking accommodation that comes with parking. There are lots of restrictions in Bondi, including some residents parking schemes in most streets which limit visitors to 2 hours.
Either take bus 380 or 333 from Circular Quay with the destination showing North Bondi, Dover Heights, Watsons Bay or Bondi Beach. From the city, it will take about 45 minutes until you reach Bondi Beach. The starting point for the buses is on Alfred Street, close to ferry wharf number 2.
Where to stay?
I stayed at Adina Apartment Hotel Bondi Beach Sydney who offer large and modern apartments only a few minutes walk from Bondi Beach. Surrounded by cute cafes, ice cream shops and lots of boutique shops, these apartments are perfectly located for a weekend break. (You don’t want to spend hours walking or travelling towards the beach)
If these apartments are a tad too expensive for you (They ain’t cheap) then I suggest having a look at Airbnb. There are not a lot of hotels available in the near vicinity of the beach.
Check out my extensive review of Adina Apartments.
Sydney CBD is one of the best city centres in the world! Home to an insane harbour, stunning architecture, incredible restaurants and so much more! The inner city is often an overlooked destination for a weekend getaway but is a great one none the less.
From luxury hotels with incredible harbour views to bustling Darling Harbour. hopping Kings Cross and much more, the cities CBD has lots to offer.
At Darling Harbour check out the Chinese Garden of Friendship, go to the movies at a 9D action cinema, check out Sydney Aquarium or Sydney Wildlife or go on one of the many insane cruises that depart from the harbour.
Go for a relaxing massage near Queen Victoria Building, for example, Varda Spa’s on York Street is incredible. Shopping in the CBD can be done pretty much everywhere. Pitt Street Mall is a great place to be when it’s raining, as its all pretty much covered. When there, you can also check out Sydney Tower Eye. Offering incredible 360-degree views from all of Sydney.
At night, go for drinks and nibbles at Opera Bar, Walk across the Cahill Expressway, book a show at the Opera House or hit the nightlife in the Ivy.
WHERE TO STAY IN SYDNEY CBD
If you are travelling to Sydney for the first time, then I would suggest booking your accommodation in either Sydney CBD or Darling Harbor. These are the two prime locations within walking distance of the most popular tourist attractions like the Opera House, Tower Eye, the rocks and the Royal Botanic Gardens. From here you can also easily travel to places like Bondi Beach and the Blue Mountains.
If you wish to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, then Surry Hills is also a great central location. If you are not bothered to travel a bit and want to be close to the beach, then Bondi Beach is the place to be.
Some cheap hostel in Sydney CBD
- Base Sydney – The hostel just beside the Townhall station and make you easy to go anyway and also the airport. The location is therefore perfect because It’s right in the centre of the city and right next to Darling Harbour. Reasonably clean, a large kitchen area and plenty of laundry facilities to use. Being next to a bar that does good deals on meals is also a good bonus.
From $57 per night (10-bed dorm) to $143 for a private room.
- Maze Backpackers – Cheap budget accommodation in the heart of Sydney. Proper international party hostel.
From $27 per night (6-bed dorm) to $70 for a private room.
A bit fancier hostel and lodging
- WakeUp Sydney – Great place to meet people, daily outings/events organized most of which are free if you are staying here. Great location, next to the train station and really close to opera house/harbour bridge/darling harbour so you don’t have to spend money travelling to these places as so easy to walk.
From $38 per night (6-bed dorm) to $139 for a private room.
- Central Perk Lodge – Decent accommodation for the budget-conscious. Good location, opposite Kings Cross station, less than 20 min walk to Hyde Park. And a short walk to Finger Wharf in Woolloomooloo.
Private rooms from $100,-
Underneath a couple of the best hotels in the city.
Oaks Sydney Goldsbrough Suites is a stunning 4-star hotel centrally located in Darling Harbour. The building itself dates back to the 1800s when it was used as a working wool store and now sits proudly as apartment-style accommodation, still with the historic charm of a heritage-listed building.
Another (pretty pricy) amazing hotel is the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney. The four seasons has some of the best harbour views available to them. Having the icon harbour just at their doorstep.
Lastly, Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney is a 5-star hotel set in the Central Business District, this 1850s Beaux-Arts hotel next to Wynyard Station is an 18-minute walk from Sydney Opera House.
If you are after sports and history and entertainment weekend getaway, then why not consider Olympic Park! About 1 hour from Sydney Central you can find the park where most of the Sydney Olympic Games where held in the 2000s.
This is easy to reach by public transport. The information centre offers a free map with details of various walks around the park. Bicentennial Park is nearby and has some cool walking trails you can do. ou can also hire a bike for a couple of hours, to make exploring this massive complex a bit easier!
Take one of the many guided tours to learn more about the Olympic Park or of one of its main building, The Telstra Stadium, These tours are quite interesting and worth the money.
Bring your swimming gear and you can have a dip in the Olympic Pool! $8.30 per person to swim were many great Olympians fought for a medal. Pretty cool!
If you are after some shopping, then head to DFO (Direct Factory Outlets, Homebush) It has more than 120 stores with up to 70% off on designer clothing. Worth checking out, especially if it is a rainy day.
At the Olympic park, you can find many amazing restaurants and cafés, including Thai Palate, P’Nut Street Noodles and Bacar Restaurant.
WHERE TO STAY IN OLYMPIC PARK
Novotel Sydney Olympic Park is an upmarket 4-star hotel which offers cool views of the ANZ Stadium. It is handily located only a 2-minute walk from train services and a 9-minute walk from Sydney International Aquatic Centre.
Another 4-star hotel that you can consider is Quest at Sydney Olympic Park. This apartment hotel offers contemporary apartments and comes with a fitness centre.
A more budget-friendly option is the Ibis Budget Sydney Olympic Park. Simply furnished rooms in a down-to-earth budget hotel featuring complimentary Wi-Fi.
Taronga zoo | Roar and Snore
Did you know it is possible to stay at Taronga zoo overnight? It included up-close animal encounters, interesting keeper talks, good food and cool safari-style accommodation with spectacular views of the Sydney Harbour. Making this an amazing idea for a weekend getaway in Sydney!
For more information check out Taronga Zoo Roar and Snore.
GETTING TO TARONGA ZOO
You can get to Taronga Zoo by any major modes of transportation: Car, Bus, Train, or Ferry.
The best mode of transportation to the zoo is by Ferry. It is only a 15-minute ride from Circular Quay and gives you beautiful views of the harbour and Sydney City. Not a bad way to start and end your trip to the zoo.
From Wynyard station, you can also hop on a direct bus (M30). This takes about 40 minutes and it drops you off at the top entrance.
For those driving, you can enter the zoo’s car park off Bradleys Head Road. (Cost $18,-)
Any of these amazing getaways in Sydney take your fancy? Let me know in the comments below.
ADDITIONAL SYDNEY RESOURCES
- The ultimate Sydney bucket list
- Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk
- Spit Bridge to Manly Coastal Walk
- Whale watching in Sydney’s harbour
- mini-guide to Bondi Beach
- Sydney by night | all Must do’s and see’s
- The best lookouts in Sydney
PLANNING TO GO TO AUSTRALIA? THEN CHECK OUT SOME MORE TRAVEL TIPS HERE:
- Western Australia
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