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.
Things to do when it rains in Sydney
Just because the skies are falling, doesn't mean you have to sit around doing nothing... We may be a city that struggles when the heavens part but look hard enough and there's a bunch of fun to be had in a downpour. The key is staying out of it with these great rainy day activities:
The best walks in Sydney
Coastal walks, bush walks, historical walks and inner city ambles: there are many routes to choose from to discover Sydney from a new angle. See our list of ten favourite places to wander and remember to pack a camera – these walks offer some of the best vantage points for snapping our city at its best.
The Sydney tourist hit list
Events coming up in Sydney
Fairs and festivals
So Frenchy So Chic
So Frenchy So Chic is back for a fourth year at new stomping grounds, but with all the fancy trimmings that we’ve come to expect from the wildly popular French-style picnic in the park. The line-up on stage includes the energetic six-piece Deluxe, who blur the lines between hip-hop, soul and pop; the Limiñanas sing in English and French with a sensual 1960s vibe; actor-poet-folk musician Bertrand Belin will bring his catchy tunes from Paris to Bicentennial Park; and festival royalty Nouvelle Vague are back with new songs form their latest album I could be happy plus covers of Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ and the Clash’s ‘Guns of Brixton’. Of course, one of the best things about so Frenchy is spending the day drinking Champagne on the grass. If you’re smart, you’ll pre-order the hampers from Simmone Logue, which include quiche with buttery crème fraiche pastry, goose-egg meringues and charcuterie and cheese platters. Prefer to buy on the day? There’ll be stallholders selling French delicacies like oysters, foie gras, raclette, crêpes and macarons. Plus, the Laurent Perrier bar will be open for bubbles, rosé and cocktails. So Frenchy is a family-friendly festival and kids under 12 can attend free of charge. They’ll have activities to entertain the enfant terrible, from face painting to bubble artists, drumming classes and lawn games like pétanque and croquet.
Symphony Under the Stars
We’re convinced that if Sydney Festival didn’t present Symphony Under the Stars during summer, the festival director would have a lynch mob outside his door – such is the popularity of this free outdoor event. This year, they’re bringing the delightful event under the stars to the Domain and to the Crescent in Parramatta Park. Pack a picnic and settle down for a concert conducted by Nicholas Carter at the Domain and by Jessica Cottis in Parramatta, covering a repertoire from Elgar’s Enigma Variations to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. There’ll be bars and food stalls at both events.
St Jerome's Laneway Festival has managed to go from just that – a festival in the backstreets of Melbourne for friends – to an internationally renowned tastemaker in a matter of year. 2017 will be no different, when the festival returns to the Sydney College of the Arts for a day of grassy fun.
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Summer festival of fun at Kingpin
This summer get a crew together and head down to Kingpin to enjoy festival style fun, all in the one place. For just $30 you'll score a festival pass, which allows you to mix and match Kingpin's all-star games and activities. Score a strike at bowling, aim and fire in laser tag or get your joystick on with 30 minutes of arcade game frenzy. All this gaming is going to require some fuel, so make sure you load up on drink and food specials. You can get a fruity Pimms jugs for just $25 and there are lots of ace options for groups, like the Mexican share plate which comes with build-your-own fajitas and tacos. There are also mega burgers, curly fries, Kentucky buffalo wings, southern fried chicken sliders and nachos. Plus, when you purchase your summer festival pass, you'll automatically be in the running for awesome giveaways. Prize packs filled with the sweetest summer swag includes Eskys, round beach towels, GoPros, wireless speakers, a $100 Sunglass Hut voucher and heaps more. Both Kingpin Darling Harbour and Kingpin Macarthur will be hosting the ultimate summer festival of fun offers every day from 10am-6pm, and both venues have fully licensed bars and themed music to keep you dancing as you play. Find out more about Kingpin's summer festival of fun.
The Burger Project is making your summer soft serve dreams come true
Summer is here and Sydney is heating up. Want to know the best way to cool down? A tasty soft serve ice cream is a pretty good option... And when they are only $2? well that's even better. Head into Burger Project – at World Square Centre, Bondi Junction, MLC Centre, Gateway Sydney and Macquarie Centre – to get your hands on a deliciously rich soft serve cone. They are usually $4.50 but every weekend throughout January you can get your hands around one for a cool couple of bucks. The soft serve is churned in-house daily and made using fresh dairy cream and milk, with all natural flavourings. Choose from real vanilla bean or Valrhona chocolate, swirled into a crunchy waffle cone. Meaning the hardest decision you'll have to make this summer may just be the age-old question: chocolate or vanilla?
Hotel Bondi launches a new summer menu
Hotel Bondi has just launched a new summer menu, which is perfect for digging into after a day at the beach or closing out your weekend on. Starters include Baja fish tacos, flash fried calamari or a bucket of Crystal Bay prawns. Freshen things up with a salad, like the ocean trout ceviche with ruby red grapefruit and cucumber or seared yellow fin tuna with seaweed, pickled radish and avocado. They also have a brand new fire pizza oven, from which they'll be dishing out favourites like Hawaiian and Margarita, alongside sizzling additions like the carmalised onion and black fig pizza with goats curd and thyme, or the chilli prawn with tomatoes, spring onion and lemon. You'll also find pub classics like a parmesan crumbed veal schnitzel with pickle and fennel slaw, or the Bondi grilled Angus burger. Also keep your eye out for $15 weekday specials of chicken parmi and fries, a 200g ebony Angus top sirloin with mash or fries or a beer battered dory with chips and tartar. The bistro's extended summer hours mean you can get dinner or lunch Mon-Fri noon-3pm and 5-10pm and Sat & Sun noon-10pm. So get down and enjoy a slice of summer at Hotel Bondi.