Sydney CBD

Nightlife
The Argyle

Huge bar that fills up during the weekend. Lots of girls on Wednesday for their salsa night. Weekends are pumping. It can be difficult to get in but it is possible to sneak in from the Munich Brauhaus next door.

Opera Bar

The best location imaginable. Drinks are expensive, music sucks and the crowd is less than friendly. Still you have to come here for a drink under the Opera House with the Harbour Bridge right in front of you.

Cruise Bar

Great location but little else going for it. It does draw some good lookers on the weekend.

Glenmore Hotel

Busy bar with a great rooftop. Not a friendly crowd but a nice place to hang out.

Blu Horizon

Quiet little hotel bar with an amazing view.

The Australian

Great old fashioned pub on a cobblestone street in the rocks. Busy on the weekend.

Cargo Bar

Waterside location and an interesting crowd. Good place to meet girls on the weekend.

Slip Inn

Pretty standard pub with a Mexican restaurant attached. Downstairs is Chinese Laundry.

Chinese Laundry

Good club with a great sound system and a nice outdoor section. Friday is the night for heavy bass. The line is long, cover charge and drinks are expensive and the bouncers are sadistic. Expect a young crowd.

Home

Huge nightclub that is busy on the weekend. Friday and Saturday it is fairly generic house music. Sundays is SASH a very busy industry night and one of the best club nights in Sydney. Expect a young crowd especially Friday & Saturday and a cover charge of at least $15.

Pontoon Bar

Busy on Friday and Saturday Night. Not the best place but there is a decent crowd on the weekend. Not affected by the lockout.

Pyrmont Bridge Hotel

The PBH is open 24 hours. This is the place to go if you are in the area and want to keep drinking after lockout. Probably no other reason to come here.

Star Casino

One of the few venues in town open 24 hours. There are a few bars scattered around including a sports bar with a giant screen. Marquee is the main nightclub. It is hard to get in to, expensive and plays pretty bad music but there are a lot of girls here. Rock Lily is the other main bar and is much easier to get in to. It can be fun. Lots of fights at the casino.

The Ivy

Huge nightclub complex with several different bars and lots of little areas to hang out. Lots of stunners here, both travellers and locals. There isn't a strict dress code but it is still a dressy place. Definitely a lot of pretentious people here but that comes with the territory. Big crowd and surprisingly good music on Saturdays. Wednesday through Friday also draws a lot of people. On Sunday ..

Establishment

Nice bar that has a lot of after-work drinkers especially early on in the night. Tuesday is their latin night which brings in a lot of talent. Drinks are expensive here. Try the bar around the corner Palmer & Co on Abercrombie Ln for a quiet drink.

Ryans Bar

Wander down Bond St on Friday between 5 and 9 when this bar is full of office girls here for after work drinks. Very social atmosphere.

Uncle Ming

Wander down past the suit shop to this cosy little bar. Hard to get a seat sometimes but a good place to chill when it is quiet. Try a teapot

Baxters

Nice bar but very busy. Great place to hang out but not to meet people.

Mojo Record Bar

Friendly little bar with good music on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Zeta Bar

Hotel Bar with a nice outdoor deck. Draws a crowd on Saturdays. Marble Bar downstairs is a bit more fun, busier and has a good band on Friday. Drinks are not cheap.

The Rook Rooftop

Hit level “R” in the elevator of this office building and you will get to this nice rooftop bar. Good place for the early evening and late afternoon.

80 Proof and Cheers Bar

Sports bar upstairs and Asian Bar downstairs. Both are busy on the weekend.

Scary Canary

Wild backpacker bar with cheap drinks and party games. Wednesday is wet t-shirt night, Thursday is a student night and weekends are very busy here. Lots of cute backpackers. Music is bad and there can be a long line outside.

Shelbourne Hotel

Pretty unremarkable venue but there are a lot of hens nights here and a popular Latin Night on Saturdays.

Civic Underground

Quiet sports bar above and a dark dance pit underneath. Lots of good acts here but the crowd is hit and miss. Expect to pay $20 cover charge.

Bar Century

Cheap drinks are the order of the day here. Generally a place to go early in the night but sometimes you get a good crowd here.

Three Monkeys

Sports bar most of the time and a pretty good one. Saturdays they have 'club night' which is tacky but fun and a good place to meet girls. Expect a young crowd here and if you are lucky some live music.

Scruffy Murphys

Rowdy Irish bar with cheap drinks. Apparently closing soon. You can head to Maloneys Hotel up the road for more of the same but a bit nicer and more expensive.

Star Bar

Huge bar with great drink specials and a weird crowd. Sometimes the crowd here is great, sometimes nonexistent. It's worth popping your head in and is a good place to start the night off.

Mr Bs

Thai bar that is popular with students. Surprisingly good food and an interesting vibe.

Side Bar

Backpacker bar that draws a big crowd. Monday night is very busy. Like most backpacker bars every night is party night.

Jungle Bar

Small backpacker bar with cheap drinks & some good music. A semi regular pub crawl starts here on Saturdays at about 8.

Attractions
The Opera House

Unmissable Sydney landmark. This beautiful harbourside building attracts thousands of visitors every day. Guided tours are available for $28. The best way to see the Opera House is to see a show (sydneyoperahouse.com/events/whats-on.html).

Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Harbour Bridge is the dominant feature of this breathtaking harbour. You will get a great view of the bridge from the harbour and from the platform of Circular Quay train station. You can walk under the bridge on the southern side along Hickson Rd. To walk over the bridge start at Fort St near Observatory Hill. Along the way is the Pylon Lookout which gives you an amazing view and a few mor ..

Bridgeclimb

Expensive way to see Sydney. Worth it if you can spare the coin. Prices vary based on time of day. Book ahead as it is popular (bridgeclimb.com/climbs)

Sydney Botanic Gardens

Beautiful Gardens which can be accessed directly east of the Opera House. Great place for a picnic, walking, running or a mid afternoon nap. Gorgeous harbour views. The gardens close at 5:30. If you take the steps up from the Opera House forecourt you will get to a lawn area that is not fenced. This is a great spot for a quiet drink at night. Nice enough cafe here.

Circular Quay

Wandering around the harbour here is how every tourist in Sydney spends a day or two. Lots of Buskers and a few good ice cream shops to keep you happy between the landmark sights.

Museum of Contemporary Art MCA

Interesting modern art gallery in the shadow of the Harbour Bridge. They are open late on Wednesday. There is a party on Friday nights in the winter with an interesting art school type of crowd (mca.com.au/whats-on/artbar).

The Rocks Ghost Tours

Tour of haunted buildings in The Rocks.

Rocks Market

Great market every weekend. Mainly food and souvenir stalls.

Sydney Tower

Observation deck 305m up.

St Marys Cathedral

Beautiful Cathedral with Stained Glass windows across the road from Hyde Park.

Paddys Markets

Pretty good market in the middle of Sydney. Cheap souvenirs and clothes. Some food places downstairs. Try Sundays around 5 for cheap fruit and veges.

Sydney Fish Market

Great place to get some fish for the barbie or some fish & chips, sushi, shellfish or lobster. Go early to avoid dealing with busloads of tourists. If you get something to eat and want to take it to the deck outside to eat be prepared to fight off seagulls.

Food
General

There are a few good food courts around and most of them sell food cheap after about 3:00 when the lunch crowd has gone. You should be able to pick something up around $6.

The Metcentre

Good pasta place here.

Hunter Connection

This one can be a little hard to find.

Malay Chinese

Great laksa. Busy during the lunch rush and there is sometimes a line outside. The crowd disappears after about 2pm.

City Extra

Open 24 hours for a coffee. Has great pavlova.

Chonsiam

Ask for boat noodles which are $4 and are delicious. Pretty good sized serve but if you are hungry you can get 2 bowls. The other food here is great as well.

Alices Makan

Lovely Malaysian food in a quiet food court.

Oiden Bowl Bar

Delicious cheap and quick. They have good vegetarian food here too. Shrimp sticks are delicious.

The Upside Cafe

Great coffee during the day and amazing burgers at night. Try the candied bacon burger. They usually have a $10 burger special but it is on and off.

Chinatown

On Friday night there is a night market on Dixon St with some good food. If you see people lining up to get into a shop it is probably a bakery which makes cream puffs and is not worth lining up for.

Dixon House Food Court

Old school food court, great Malay stall and mainly Chinese places.

Harbour Plaza Food Court

Try the ramen here or the hipster Chinese place. Cheap beers.

Sussex Centre

Upstairs foodcourt with good pho and ramen stalls.

Chinese Noodle Restaurant

Delicious Chinese food with hand-pulled noodles.

Do Dee Paidang

Lots of tasty Thai food especially Tom Yum soup and their sausages.

Accommodation
Sydney Harbour YHA

One of the flashest hostels in the country with prices to match. The rooftop terrace is amazing with views out onto the harbour. Good place to use your YHA e-nights if you buy them.

Base Sydney

Clean hostel in a good location. Above a bar so it is very noisy and it is a real party crowd here. Great place to socialise.

Maze Backpackers Hostel

Cold in the winter and not a good place to socialise. It is still great value for money and cleaner than many more expensive hostels.

West End Hotel

The cheap dorm is a huge room. Good if you want to party but hard to sleep. Rest of the hostel is a bit grubby but nice enough and the location is great.

The Capsule Hotel

The better of the two capsule hotels in Sydney.

Space Q Capsule Hotel

Spacious capsules with small lockers. 24 hour access with key card. Great location.

Hotel Downing

Clean, friendly and reasonably quiet hostel in a good location. Very friendly staff.

Sydney Central YHA

Clean hostel with great common areas. Easy to make friends and the staff are very helpful. They have a pool and a nice rooftop terrace.

Wake Up

Big hostel next to Central Station. The Side Bar is downstairs.

Casa Central Accommodation

Friendly little hostel in a good location. Quiet but central.

Sydney Railway Square YHA

Clean friendly hostel with huge kitchen and lounge. Next to the railway line so you may be woken up by the train.

Cockatoo Island

Camp on an island in Sydney Harbour. Ferries from Circular Quay cost about $6.