The Ultimate SYDNEY Guide | Important Tips, Places to See, Things to do

In total, I spend almost one month in Sydney. Living in Bondi Beach for 2 weeks and the rest in the City centre, so I would say I can give a good overview on places to see, what to do and tips for an awesome time in one of the most liveable Cities on the planet.

And because Sydney (and Australia in general) is a healthy/vegan/pretty Café and Food heaven there will be a Food Guide coming soon as well!

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I can definitely say that Sydney is one of my favourite cities now. Especially living in Bondi Beach (or Manly), but I could not choose between Melbourne or Sydney (if we cut out the weather fact :D ) cause both have such different personalities and I really love them both for different reasons.

That’s why I would highly recommend visiting both when you plan to go to Australia. Here you can find my Travel Guide for Melbourne with all the essential tips and places to go and see.

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Important things you need to know!

  • If you arrive at the airport in Sydney, avoid taking the tram to the centre (if you are on a budget). They are really expensive (about 20$ one way). Either take an Uber if you are several people that share the costs or take the Bus 400 to Bondi Junction and go from there to your destination (if you have the time, cause it takes longer).
  • On Sundays, you only pay 2,80$ for the whole day of using public transport (usually the daily maximum limit you could pay is 13$) so make sure you make use of it and take the Ferry or other long/expensive routes.

Things to Do

Opera House. See a show or a ‚behind the scenes‘, we watched the behind the scenes of the ballets Spartacus and the Nutcracker and it was amazing to see the ballet dancers in their training, it was only 29$.

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See the Opera from many different perspectives. From the Harbour Bridge, the Botanical Garden, the Ferries that go to Manly or from the other side of the harbour.

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Botanical Garden. The Botanical Garden of Sydney is huge and shows many different plans from all over the country and the world. You can explore different sections with plants of different parts of Australia. The place is ideal for a nice picnic in the shades of palm trees and from the waterfront walk and Mrs. Macquarie’s Point you have a beautiful view over the Harbour, the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and the Downtown Skyline.

 

National Art Gallery of New South Wales. The Art Gallery located in The Domain is definitely worth a visit showing beautiful Aboriginal Art as well as modern Australian artists and exhibitions.

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Museum of Contemporary Art. Another very nice museum with beautiful exhibitions and a great view from the Skydeck over the city and Harbour Bridge.

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Walk on Harbour Bridge. When you walk on the Bridge you have a beautiful view over the Harbour, the Opera and the waterfront houses. There is also a Skydeck on one of the towers. The entry price is pretty high, but the view is for sure great.

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Darling Harbour. This vibrant place is best to visit in the evening when everyone is out for drinks and dinner or at lunchtime when you can see the real Sydney-business people coming out of their Skyscrapers for a quick bite to eat and a chat with friends and colleagues.

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Shopping. Great places to check out for shopping are around Town Hall and the Queen Victoria building.

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At the Queen Victoria building, there is also the Jet Café & Bar that I can highly recommend to eat Carrot Cake. I went there every time I was nearby and it is the best carrot cake I’ve ever had and for the location definitely not overprices.

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Peddy’s Market and Chinatown are also good to check out. It’s not as big as in Melbourne for example, but in the Peddy’s Market there is a section of fresh fruit & vegetables that are fairly cheap and good quality and the IGA upstairs is super interesting because they mostly sell Asian food and you can find some cool stuff to try out.

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Once a month there is also a completely Vegan Market with lots of street food and great brands. For more information have a look at their Instagram @sydneyveganmarket. I am super sad that I never made it there…

Newtown. This part of the city reminded me a bit of Melbourne with all the street art, Vintage and Second-Hand shops and the people that walk around. Very hipster and cool. There are also many vegan restaurants and cafés located here like Gelato Blue, Golden Lotus, Lentils as Anything, Buddha Bowl Café, Gigi’s Pizzeria and more.

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Surry Hills. Another lovely part of the town with many nice lunch spots and restaurants, shops and little boutiques. I lived there for one week in an Airbnb with my cousin and it is definitely the best place to live in the city centre because it is located very central, near the Centra Station that takes you basically everywhere and it’s not too far to walk to the Harbour and it’s still very quiet and calm and nice.

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Manly. The ferry ride from and too Manly is already worth going. You have the most amazing view over the skyline, Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. But Manly in general is a super cute part of town you shouldn’t miss. The beach is really nice and the pedestrian streets are great to stroll around, shop and eat some yummy food. I can also highly recommend doing the walk along the water and West Esplanade. You can see some beautiful houses, lovely views and pretty birds. I would check out Shelly Beach if you have the time as the walk is beautiful to get there and the beach is supposed to be one of Sydney’s best beaches.

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Rose Bay Beach. I went there several times when I was in Sydney in January because it is a beautiful beach. Not very busy and mostly locals going there, you have an amazing view and can see the city centre and Harbour Bridge in the background and the beach is a dog beach so you see many cute puppies playing in the water.

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Bondi Beach

I lived in Bondi for 2 weeks, so I definitely know my way around and have checked out many places. I would always recommend staying in Bondi Beach for a few days if you have the time or at least visit the are of Sydney for one full day (or more!).

If I would have to choose a place to live in Sydney, I would pick Bondi Beach. I just really love the vibe: health, fitness, summer, surf and motivated people. Everywhere you look there is people working out, going for walks or surfs, enjoying the sun, healthy vegan cafés, smoothies and acai bowls and walking around in only a bikini and barefoot is no problem.

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I stayed at Surfside Bondi Beach Backpackers twice and I can highly recommend it. Super great vibe, not such a big hostel, the owner and workers are really nice and it is located perfectly: 2 minutes to the beach and right near the main street.

You obviously can’t miss the famous view over the Icebergs Bondi Pool at the ocean just like the beach promenade and the lovely sunset colours over the ocean.

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There is also a Coastal Walk along the beaches that is worth walking to see the best ocean views, nicest beaches and prettiest (and most expensive) houses of Sydney.

Shopping. I liked shopping in Bondi better than in the city centre because it is more casual and less stressful. Great shops to check out are Nimbleactive, Playa, the Vintage store on Hall street and all the nice boutiques and shops on Hall Street, Campbell Parade and Gould Street. There is also a big Westfield Shopping centre in Bondi Junction.

I will also share my food favourites of Bondi with you soon in an extra Sydney Food Guide so stay tuned!

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Have you ever been to Sydney? What were your favourite places? Do you want to visit Sydney one day?

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Perth & Surrounding – Travel Guide | Tips, Places, Markets, Food

When I arrived, I quickly fell in love with Perth as I had such an amazing experience with the bus driver that took me to the city. He was so caring, helpful and friendly and I also really enjoyed that Perth isn’t as huge and busy as Melbourne or Sydney.

I filmed my first vlog when I was in Perth! Very new and weird to talk to the camera, but I will get used to it when I do it more often and I hope you enjoy watching anyways :)

There are also some impressions from my South-West Australia Tour included in this video at the end.

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Sadly, I got a bit homesick and lonely in my first days in Perth which made me then not enjoying my time that much. Luckily, I could change my mood by booking a tour to explore the south-west of Australia and meeting some nice travel mates on the way.

I really can tell that your experiences on your travels and whether you like a place or not depends so much on the people you share your time with. And as a solo traveller, it is very likely that you will feel lonely at some stage of your travel – but that’s okay, that’s part of the experience and in my second week in Perth, I was luckier with my roommates and had a great time!

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Where to stay

I stayed at the City Perth Backpackers which is located between the centre, Northbridge and Subiaco (the best/main parts of town) and it takes less than 10 minutes by foot to the city centre.

I really liked this hostel because it was super clean and had a nice kitchen without any dirty dishes or food in the sink. I met some great people in the two weeks I stayed, even though there are also some long-term workers living there that tent to drink too often, too early and too much… but I just avoided the TV area and then it was fine.

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Things to do, Places to go

The prettiest place in the city (in my opinion) is the Kings Park with a beautiful view of the city. A great place to run, walk, explore the Botanical Garden with many unique plants that only exist in Western Australia and have a picnic.

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The Victoria Quay is another pretty place with a great view over Southbridge and the river, as well as the city centre when you stand on the bridge. At night it looks even more special and I can highly recommend going there (but taking a jacket, it’s pretty windy :D ). Also, the harbour is located there and you can do tours to Fremantle, through the river and to Rottnest Island.

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The CBD area has a pedestrian area with a lot of shopping and food places. On the weekends there are markets and live music (see more down below), but as it is the business district I prefer Northbridge for eating out more.

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The funny thing is, you can find those old and British looking arcades right next to the high buildings in the CBD.

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Northbridge is super nice to eat out, especially for Asian food and you can also find very nice cafés, bistros, book shops, vintage stores and little boutiques.

 

At the Northbridge Piazza, they sometimes show movies and you can relax in the grass.

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Between the CBD and Northbridge, there is a Plaza called Yagan Square where the main train and bus station is located. There is also a big building with many nice restaurants, bars and food stalls.

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Even though it can’t keep up with Melbourne or Sydney, the Art Gallery of Western Australia is worth a visit and if you need some quiet time to work (+ free Wi-Fi) I can recommend the Library right next to it.

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There are many nice beaches not far from the city that you can go to by bus or train and the great thing is: because it is Western Australia you get to see an amazing sunset over the ocean! I went to Cottesloe Beach once and other very nice beaches (from what I’ve heard of) are Port Beach, Leighton and Mosman Beach, City Beach, Floreat Beach and Brighton Beach.

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Markets

I love going to markets here in Australia. It’s so much fun seeing all this good food, supporting local growers and producers, trying new and exciting things and having a look at beautiful self-made things. Especially after I had such an amazing experience in Brisbane with markets, I am always in the hunt :D

Here are some markets that I visited:

  • Subiaco Farmers Market (Subiaco) on Saturday
  • Perth City Farmers Market (East Perth) on Saturday
  • Perth Home Grown (Murray Street Mall, CBD) on Sunday
  • Mends Street Farmers Market (South Perth) on Sunday
  • Twilight Hawkers Market (CBD) Friday evenings in summer month
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I also went to a super cute Etsy Handmade market in Northbridge

Eating Out

I would say eating out in Perth is even a bit more expensive than on the East Coast and there are also less great options.

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In Northbridge you can find many Asian restaurants and in the CBD some more expensive ones but I missed some cute cafés and little bistros. You can find some in the suburbs like in Subiaco or also in Fremantle (read more below).

At Yagan Square there are a few nice places for lunch and afternoon snacks.

And I also went to an amazing restaurant called Formosa which is an Asian restaurant that is completely vegetarian and has a lot of vegan options and they recreate the real meals. I had a vegan seafood noodle soup and my friend a chicken stew and some nuggets and it was really yummy. You definitely need to like those „fake foods“, but I tell you: the nuggets were crazy delicious!

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At the Victoria Quay there is an Indian restaurant called Annalakshmi with a buffet and you pay as much as you want to.

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Food shopping

In the city centre, there is only one Coles that is super expensive and small as well. Better go to Coles or Aldi in the Suburbs of Perth, like Subiaco (if possible) because they are much cheaper and bigger or shop in these stores instead:

  • La Vida Vegan Grocery (West): completely vegan grocery store that has soo many cool products
  • Golden Choice Fruit Veg (Subiaco, West): the best place to shop fresh and cheap fruits and veggies as well as Asian groceries
  • Emma Seafood Yong Tofu Asian Market (Northbridge)
  • Kakulas Brothers (Northbridge): Bulk food store where you can get all kinds of flour, grains, rice, herbs and spices, dried fruit, muesli, as well as some special foods (they had German red cabbage and a German dumpling mix :P )

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Day trips from Perth

Fremantle

Fremantle is a really popular and hip suburb of Perth and only 10 minutes by tram and around one hour by bus from the city centre.

I stayed at the Fremantle Backpacker Hostel which I can’t really recommend because my room window was right where everyone partied outside so it was super loud, but I’ve heard that Fremantle is a party place anyways. So probably all hostels have those issues.

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The Fremantle Market in the Market Halls (from Friday-Sunday) is very popular and a nice undercover market with a lot of different things, as well as many food stalls. You can try the food at many stalls and there is definitely a lunch or snack for every taste.

The South Beach Sunset Market, South Fremantle (Saturday evening in summer month) are supposed to be very nice as well.

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Right at the market, there is a completely vegan café and bistro called ‚Chick Pea‘ which has some amazing yummy food. I had a tumeric waffle. toast with cashew cheese and tomato.

 

And the Milk Belly Café also serves two vegan sandwich options and I tried there pulled BBQ jackfruit sandwich that tasted really delicious and super flavourful. Even my friend admitted that it was really good!

There is also an Acai Brothers and Aloga Bowls for great Acai Bowls and a restaurant that I wished I could have tried (but it is more on the expensive side) is Raw Kitchen.

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Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island is a very famous island in the Indian ocean only about 40 minutes by ferry from Fremantle or 2 hours from the city centre. It is home to the funny looking and friendly Quakkas and a beautiful place with breathtaking turquoise beaches and lovely landscapes. There are no cars allowed so you can explore the island by foot, bike, e-bike or by hop-on-hop-off bus.

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I had a wonderful day cycling around the pretty hilly island stopping for beautiful views, taking pictures and enjoying nature.

There is another vlog coming soon where I take you along my day on Rottnest Island!

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From Perth you can also make your way up to Exmouth along the less popular but just as beautiful West Coast of Australia (which is still on my bucket list) or travel along south to see Wave Rock, Margret River, Albany and Esperance which I did on a 6 day tour that you can read about here!

Western Australia is less popular than the Eastern coast but definitely still worth visiting. Perth is a great city that as plenty of things to offer and you can see and travel a lot when you go north or south. I will for sure come back to travel along the West Coast one day!

Exploring Melbourne & Making Friends | Diary 002

When I first arrived in Melbourne, I stayed in a 4-bed female dorm for the first three nights that I already pre-booked from home. That’s how I met Sabrina from Italy that I still hang out with now and it was good to have a smaller room at the beginning of my stay.

It is pretty comfortable to stay in a smaller room if you want some privacy as well as staying in a female dorm as you can change clothes in the room instead of in your bed / in the bathroom.

But bigger rooms are obviously cheaper and I feel like after 8-10 people it doesn’t matter anyway. You just need some good earplugs and maybe a sleeping mask.

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Sunday 23/9

Today we decided to walk through the north of the CBD where some cool streets that are definitely worth checking out are located. One is Lygon Street, known as Little Italy where you find a lot of restaurants, especially Italian and from other European countries. Then we went to Brunswick Street in Fitzroy for the first time, which is now my favourite area to stroll around. It has a lot of awesome vintage shops, small boutiques, second-hand shops, cafés, bars & restaurants. Almost all the hip vegan places are located there and I am very excited to discover them more in the next days.

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Everyone I talked to in the hostel recommended the Queen Victoria Market for fruit & veggie shopping. It is super nice to walk around there and look at the yummy food they offer (at least when you like food shopping like I do haha). They don’t just have fruits and veggies but also cheese, spreads, meat, bread & a food court, as well as clothes, leather wear, souvenirs and more.

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As we went there pretty late we got some great deals on the produce and they also sometimes have bags of “not so pretty” or “not so fresh” produce for a lower price, so I recommend to look for those to buy cheap. I got a bag of tomatoes, spinach and 2 capsicums each for 2 dollars and 5 bananas for only 1$! I also bought the best hummus ever for 3$ which is not a bad price and it’s super delicious and homemade as well.

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Monday 24/9

In Melbourne and Sydney walks101 offers free walking tours where you only pay whatever you want at the end of the tour. I went there alone but got to meet a lot of other travellers along the tour. I highly recommend going there as it’s always great to learn some facts about the place you stay in, it’s cheap and a great way to meet others. There is another free tour in St. Kilda, a district of Melbourne at the beach, that I plan to do in the next days as well.

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After those 3 nights in the 4-bed dorm, I moved into a 10 bed dorm because it’s cheaper and you also get to meet more people. Of course, you never get along with all of them but at least the chance of finding someone you connect with is higher. You also meet guys (people of the other gender) more easily.

For the first week I stayed at the Nomads All Nations Hostel in Melbourne in the CBD area which was good to do most of the touristy stuff and very easy to go to all places as there is a free Tram zone in the Centre of Melbourne. The hostel itself isn’t super awesome, not very clean and some weird people but still alright to stay at, especially for that price (I paid 24$ for a night which is 15€).

The funny thing was, that I met a boy from New Zealand on the free walking tour and it turned out that he was in my new dorm as well.

I also had to go food shopping and went to Aldi for the first time here in Oz. It’s so fun that they have this German supermarket chain here and they have a lot of good stuff for a good price as well. Bought a ’nuts, seeds and fruit mix‘ to get some healthy fats by almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds as well as a sweet topping for my breakfast with raisins as well as ‚banana bread slices‘.

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Tuesday 25/9

After doing the free walking tour there were some places that I wanted to go back to alone, so that’s what I did the next day. I went to Federation Square, got a free Kombucha and walked through the small museum of Aboriginal Art (I’m not sure if I just didn’t found the right museum or if it is really that small haha).

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I walked through the laneways (that’s how they call the small streets with no cars here) in East CBD, as well as the Block Arcade and Centreway Arcade where they had a few lovely vintage shops and a natural soap shop.

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Wednesday 26/9

On Wednesday I went to Brighton Beach with Sabrina and a guy from Argentina who is from our hostel as well. We got there by train and walked along the beach and the neighbourhood, which is beautiful and so calm in comparison to the Centre of the City.

We were very lucky with the weather as well and even though the wind is quite cold, the sun was nice and warm.

The famous Bath Houses are located at Brighton Beach as well so we obviously could not resist stopping at the pretty ones to take some touristy pictures.

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Later we bought some lunch (olive ciabatta and olive hummus for me) and sat down at the beach to enjoy the sun and read a bit.

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In the afternoon Sabrina and I went to the Queen Victoria Market again as there was an Asian Night Market. There were a lot of food stands with Asian food, but very meat based and it was loud and crowded so we just walked through it and bought food in the supermarket instead.

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In Sabrina’s hostel (that is my hostel now as well) they had a movie night, so I joined her – even though the movie was boring haha.

Thursday 27/9

The next day I spend a beautiful day alone in the south of Melbourne. I went to the Art Center of Melbourne and thought about buying a ticket to see the Australian Ballet perform Spartacus, but sadly the tickets were too expensive because I was too late, but I really want to go to a Ballet in Sydney in the Opera House for sure!

Afterwards, I visited the free zones of the Art Museum where they had many beautiful and super cute books with a message as well as some art souvenirs.

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I spend the afternoon in the Botanical Gardens, read on my Kindl* and enjoyed the sunshine!

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At night time me and the Kiwi guy from my hostel joined Sabrina for a Pup crawl in Fitzroy and it was a lot of fun. We also met two Aussie guys that we hang out a lot with now.


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I could not imagine at first that it would be so easy to meet people but especially in my second hostel in Melbourne, it was no problem at all and so much fun to play board games and talk to people from all around the world! → more in my next Diary post!