The best of Sydney
20 things to do in Sydney at least once in your life
Sydney’s a beautiful place to live and a glorious city to visit. We’ve picked out 20 things to do that show off our best side, from kayaking on the harbour and cocktails with a view to our favourite weekly markets, the best underground restaurant in the city and where to get your culture fix.
Escape rooms in Sydney
Puzzle rooms are taking Sydney by storm. Every time we check, another two seem to be popping up out of nowhere – and each one raises the bar with new ideas inspired by the hundreds of escape rooms found across the world. (Apparently Hungary is the place to go for the ultimate mystery room binge – there are more than 100 rooms in Budapest alone). The concept is simple: solve a variety of puzzles placed in and around the room before your allotted time runs out. Each room has a different theme and stimulates all senses, demanding a variety of problem-solving skills. Time Out took the challenge of visiting nine rooms in the city. Whether we got out in time? Well, that's a different matter.
The Sydney tourist hit list
Events coming up in Sydney
Fairs and festivals
Surry Hills Festival
Returning for its 15th year, Surry Hills Festival draws an impressive crowd of 50,000 people for free family-friendly entertainment from 10am to 10pm. It’s one of the biggest local festivals in spring, stretching from Ward Park to Shannon Reserve and from Crown Street to Hill Street, with live music performances, kids’ activities, art trails, food and produce and market stalls. You'll also get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at what makes Surry Hills tick in walking tours of the area. Entry is by donation and all funds raised on the day go to towards the community programs of the Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre.
Sydney Tea Festival
Time to par-tea: a celebration of specialty loose leaf tea is coming to Sydney this August. Hitting Carriageworks on Sunday August 20, this enormous tea party will feature tea purveyors from Sydney and beyond, showcasing new blends, rare teas, brewing equipment and techniques. There will be a series of ticketed workshops hosted by specialists on tea tasting, food pairing and blending as well as the history and benefits of tea. If you’re after something a little bite to go with your cuppa, there will also be a range of food stalls offering treats both savoury and sweet.
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Vote for the bar making your favourite Patrón XO Café Espresso Martini and win a $200 bar tab
If the mere thought of an Espresso Martini makes your heart beat a little faster, then it’s a great time to live in Sydney right now. For a limited time, a selection of top Sydney bars curated by Patrón are creating special twists on the classic Espresso Martini, using Patrón XO Café. Each of these bars is putting their own expression on the cocktail, and together, they make up the Expresso Society (get it?). They’re shaking up the classic cocktail in all sorts of delicious ways – Rosie Campbell’s ‘Patroco’ blends Patrón XO Café, chocolate liqueur and homemade toasted coconut syrup and coconut cream to create a tropical holiday in a glass. For a nutty kick, try Café del Mar’s ‘Espresso del Mar’, which adds Frangelico, hazelnut syrup and butterscotch to Patrón XO Café and espresso. The creativity doesn’t stop there. Bars like Paddington Inn are adding sweetness by throwing burnt marshmallows into the mix, while the clever bartenders at Pitt Street’s Mexican diner Mejico are staying true to their roots by using Peloton Mezcal and agave in their ‘MeXo Espresso’. The question is: which of these Espresso Martinis do you most want to drink? To win a $200 tab at one of these Sydney bars, tell us which cocktail recipe takes your fancy (the full list is here). Enter by telling us which of these Patrón XO Café Espresso Martinis you'd most like to drink, and why by Monday July 31. Name: Email: I'd like to drink: (25 words or less) Tick this box to hear more from Patrón XO
Just for Laughs
Now in its 7th year, Just For Laughs has become a comedy fixture for Sydney, presenting a largely Antipodean, UK and American line-up across Sydney Opera House, Enmore Theatre – and this year, City Recital Hall. This year's line-up includes Kevin Bridges, Rhys Darby, Gad Elmaleh, Bert Kreischer, Claire Hooper and Mel Buttle. Popular podcasts will be coming to life with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark of My Favorite Murder hitting the Enmore, while the Little Dum Dum Club, and Wil Anderson and Charlie Clausen of TOFOP will take to the Opera House's stages. The Opera House's Northern Foyer will also be home to the Just For Laughs Bar, where ticket holders can sink some craft beers and relax pre or post-show. Returning this year is the popular All-Star Gala (which tends to sell out), which will be hosted by Dave Hughes. You'll also get some LOL-time in with Community star and The Soup host Joel McHale, while Tommy Little will host the Stand Up Series (rebranded in 2017 as Just For Laughs Australia: Live) in the Studio: six shows of local and international comedians doing short sets back to back, filmed for The Comedy Channel. Click through the Dates & Times tab to see who's on where, when.
Little Creatures Live
You might already enjoy their beer – including Pale Ale, Rogers' and Dog Days – but did you know there's a way to take your Little Creatures love a little deeper? This year the brewery is taking their show on the road with a series of parties that feature live performance art, food and beer at various on-premise locations and festivals across Australia. They're calling it Little Creatures Live – inspired by the original moniker of their very first Pale Ale, brewed their own way with fresh hops flowers and live yeast. Little Creatures Live will be back in Sydney very soon. Curious as to what to expect? Check out our recaps below. Or if you can't wait, why not pay a visit to Little Creatures' Fremantle or Geelong breweries?
Time Out Food Awards
Forks at the ready, Sydney: the Time Out Food Awards are back and bigger than ever. Join us on Monday September 25 as we toast the city’s best fine dining restaurants and casual diners; degustations and sensational takeaways; top chefs and rising stars. Expect delicious drinks, sweet tunes brought to you by Flex Mami, and great food by Porteño – not to mention all the suspense of the awards as we give back to those venues and talent that make feasting in Sydney superb. Tickets are $70 + BF and include food, drink, fun and a copy of the annual Time Out Food Awards issue ($4.95 value), hot off the presses before it hits newsstands. Keen? Limited first release tickets go on sale Thursday July 20. For a taste of last year's action, check out our 2016 winners. You can also have your say by voting in the People's Choice awards. Powered by Eventbrite in association with