The following is a guest post by Melanie Duca, who loves exploring new places, both at home and overseas. She’s learned a lot through her years of traveling and wants to share this with others through her blog Eat Well Travel Everywhere. Follow her on Instagram.
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Ultimate Guide to Sydney Bars and Hotspots
Sydney Australia is known for its spectacular scenery including the iconic Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, and cityscape. In contrast, it has some of the most sensational beaches that you can find anywhere in the world.
The Eat Well Travel Everywhere guide to Sydney bars and hotspots covers both city and beachside bars with a view as well as some local hotspots that you’re sure to enjoy.
Palmer & Co
Tucked away underground, Palmer & Co is a very chic 1920’s-styled bar. Serving a huge range of spirits and cocktails the bar has an uber-cool vibe. After work and on weekends Palmer & Co is the place to be and especially convenient if you are visiting one of the nearby restaurants like Mr. Wongs.
You cannot come to Sydney and not visit the Opera Bar. Aside from its locale next to the Opera House, it provides a fantastic view of the Harbour Bridge, the city, and Luna Park. You would expect that the Opera Bar would be full of tourists and you wouldn’t be wrong, but it’s also packed with locals. This is my absolute favorite spot on a clear day and just like the tourists you’ll find me taking a happy snap, every single time! Most weekends and afternoons the Opera Bar will also have a live band or vocalist.
Sydney has experienced a fair amount of change in terms of the city drinking laws and because of this Double Bay has become the new hotspot. There are also a few other notable spots in Double Bay including The Sheaf and Pelicano.
Blu Bar on 36
Blu Bar on 36 is located high above Sydney with panoramic views of the city. Located on level 36 of the Shangri-La Hotel, it’s a sophisticated cocktail lounge that serves the best cocktails in town. Cocktails are on the pricey side but it’s worth it, if only to go up and see the views at sunset. Don’t forget to dress to impress since you’ll be stepping into a hotel bar.
The Glenmore Hotel
The Glenmore Hotel at the rocks is a multi-level hotel with magnificent views and surroundings. The rooftop bar provides 180-degree views as seen in the picture and is the perfect spot on the weekend. If you’re visiting from out of town then I recommend spending the day at the rocks. Start by visiting the Rocks market which is open from 10-5 pm on the weekend or the food markets which are also open during the week. Next, stop at the Glenmore Hotel where you can great a great meal and a drink at the rooftop bar.
The Hotel Palisade
The Hotel Palisade has recently become a hit with Sydney-siders because of its sophisticated charm and contemporary cocktail lounge with views of the city. The views at the Hotel Palisade are absolutely incredible and you can literally turn in any direction to admire the view. Henry Deane is the cocktail lounge with the views, which is a restaurant by day and a cocktail lounge by night.
The recently renovated venue is a great spot to get the same views as you would at the Opera Bar. In fact, the venue is directly opposite the Opera Bar, about 5 minutes walk around the waterfront. Downstairs is a cool casual bar that often hosts parties such as salsa night and R&B nights. Be sure to look them up on Facebook to find a current list of what’s going on. Upstairs at the venue, you’ll find the Junk Lounge which is great at night and much warmer if you’re visiting in autumn or winter. This venue overall can be limited when cruise ships dock because it will entirely block the view. So look up the boat timetable.
The Bucket List
Sydney’s Bondi Beach is not only one of Sydney’s most iconic and popular beaches but it’s also home to many great restaurants, bars, cafes, and shops. If you’re looking for a beach area that has something for everyone then Bondi is an excellent choice. The Bucket List is as close as you can get to the beach without tripping on one of the oiled up bathers and the perfect spot after a day of swimming. Relax with a cocktail jug and listen to the funky tunes as you watch the sunset.
Hugos Manly is one of the most beautiful spot for drinks on a warm summer day. Hugos Manly is located at Manly Wharf and like Bondi, it has a huge number of shops, cafes, and restaurants. Getting to and from Hugos is easy if you are coming from the city. Just get the Queenscliff ferry which conveniently pulls up right in front of Hugos.
Manly Wharf Hotel
Located right next to Hugo’s Manly, Manly Wharf is a more relaxed indoor and outdoor bar with loads of space. Manly Wharf Hotel is a great spot if you’re looking for a more relaxed vibe whereas Hugos is a small bar and most people visit for the great dinner menu. I recommend Manly Wharf Hotel if you are just looking to grab a drink and admire the view. Go to Hugos if you are looking to grab a bite after your cocktail.
Located at Coogee Beach, the Pavilion features spectacular beachside views and a multilevel complex. If you’re after a bite to eat, downstairs is a large restaurant with a great menu and child-friendly areas. At the roof level is the bar which overflows with beachgoers on a warm day.
Watsons Bay Hotel
Watson’s Bay Hotel is a great place if you are looking for a casual bite to eat or a drink outside at the Beach Club. The Beach Club has become extremely popular among the locals and on a nice day it’s wall to wall full of Sydney-siders celebrating birthdays, parties, or just life in general. The great thing about the Watsons Bay Hotel is it’s more than just a bar, so if you’re looking for a meal then this is a great choice.