Sydney is like my second home. I have never flown to another destination more than I have flown to Sydney and I know the city almost as well as my own. There’s always something happening in this bustling city and every time I come back, there’s certainly a new sushi joint or cafe that I want to check out. Recently, I flew to Sydney to put together my own guide to 24 Hours in Sydney, in collaboration with Momentum Travel. So if you ever feel like flying in to do a weekend away in Sydney or a staycation in your own city, here’s my personal guide on how to make the most of your trip. Just read on below..
So you’ve landed in Sydney, hooray! First stop, take a taxi straight into the city. Our hotel of choice was Westin Sydney!
We were hosted in Westin Sydney, just a stone’s throw away from the busy Pitt St Mall and Circular Quay area. Westin Sydney is such a lovely place to stay – the hotel is comprised of two buildings, the heritage wing which was the former heritage listed General Post Office and the more modern tower building which contains all the gorgeous city view rooms. Both buildings are connected together via a stunning glass atrium.
Are you early? Check-in is after 3pm but feel free to drop your bags off at the luggage desk. Reception can also take your number and give you a text when your room is ready and if you’re lucky, you might just get to check into your room earlier than expected! Time to unpack those bags and quickly freshen up.. it’s almost time for that perfect afternoon wind down..
3PM: HIGH TEA @ MOSAIC RESTAURANT
Wearing: Lovers + Friends Forget Me Not dress via REVOLVE
..Just take the lift down to the lobby for high tea – how convenient! Westin Sydney hosts its own signature high tea experience daily from 12pm – 6pm. Taking inspiration from both the heritage and modern sides of hotel, there are two options on the menu. Those who prefer a traditional high tea can opt for the Heritage Afternoon Tea option and those who want something quirky or new can go for the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party option with unique treats inspired by characters in Alice in Wonderland. Undecided and in a group? Why not order both and try it all!
5PM: WIND DOWN IN ROOM
With your bellies full it’s the perfect time to nurture that food coma by having some R&R in room. With our tower room some 23 floors up, we were able to have a lovely view of the city from above and just watch the city life below us. It was during then that we discovered a stunning display of bright red lanterns on Martin Place, literally across the road from our hotel, which prompted us to head down and have a look..
Living in the middle of the city at The Westin means that you’re always at the centre of events and in our case, it was the Chinese New Year celebrations downstairs. We popped down for a quick investigation and were greeted by a vibrant hub set up in the middle of the pedestrian area with live music and food.
7PM: CATCH THE SUNSET AT SYDNEY TOWER EYE
Just a block down from Westin Sydney is the famous Sydney Tower. Most people enjoy visiting during the day because that’s just when tourists like to tour these places but a better option and suggestion is to book yourself in for a sunset session. It is during then that you can see the whole city be enveloped in a magical golden light before shifting into darkness. Unfortunately when we went, there was some major cloud cover so not too much golden glow. However, what we didn’t get to see was made up for the fact that there just happened to be Australia Day fireworks at Darling Harbour and what a sight it was to be able to watch them from the highest point in Sydney!
Is anyone still hungry? Why not pick up some takeaway on Pitt St before heading up. I opted for some takeaway sushi boxes from nearby Makanai to pass time waiting for the fireworks to start.
9:30PM: DESSERT, YET?
We did not have any stomach space left after that high tea so got these desserts the next day BUT if you did happen to have stomach space left for some ice-cream, please know that Regent Place (and its surrounds) are home to some of Sydney’s most innovative dessert cafes and most of them are literally within 1 minute of each other. Just look up Zero Degrees, Aqua S, Chanoma and I-Creamy.. We tried the lovely rose petal gelato at I-Creamy, quiet difficult to eat if you let it melt whilst taking pictures I tell you, but such a feast for the eyes! Again, all these places are so easy to walk to if you’re staying central.
10PM: CATCH SOME ZZZs
You’ve had a big day, so it’s time to catch some ZZZs. Take a bath, sink into that heavenly bed.. tomorrow’s going to be a big one too!
8AM: BUFFET BREAKFAST TIME!
Rise and shine! It’s time for a buffet breakfast downstairs at Mosaic Restaurant. I love having breakfast in hotels as it’s always a convenient way to get the day started, without having to fuss over and find places to get your morning energy. Buffet at Mosaic is a grand affair with a huge selection of your healthy picks, bread, juices and more. I was super excited to help myself to too much salmon and capers for one tiny person.. Those mindfulness colouring pages & pencils are also available from the hotel reception should you ever feel like accompanying your day with some relaxing art.
9AM: EXPLORE THE SURROUNDS BY FOOT
Feel like exploring some of the sights you saw from the top of Sydney Tower Eye yesterday? It’s time for an adventure on foot! Don’t forget to check out before 10AM if you’re only staying a night, the hotel will be happy to hold your bags for you.
For walking, there are a few options I can recommend, depending on your interests.
OPTION 1: Take one of Westin’s own RUNWESTIN running routes. Ok, I know this isn’t walking but technically you can also walk these if you want. Westin Sydney has a 6km and 8km route with accompanying podcasts for those who want to explore the scenic surrounds of the city.
OPTION 2: Visit the Pylon lookout. If you’re up for a few hundred steps climb in addition to your walk, why not climb the Pylon lookout at Sydney Harbour bridge. Or if you’re brave, the more adrenaline filled option with the same view is the Sydney Bridge climb.
OPTION 3: Visit Sydney Fish Market. For all the foodies out there, Sydney Fish Market is another great place to visit. Whilst it’s a little further on foot, it’s so worth it especially if you are a seafood or sushi fan like me. Try out the aburi scallops, garlic and herb lobster tails and be sure to grab some delicious sushi from the Fish Market Cafe. Want a scenic place to eat rather than at the loud and noisy market tables? Head back down to Darling Harbour and eat with a view.
1PM: LUNCH & GOODBYE!
Oh, how fast time flies when you’re having fun! It’s time to head back to the hotel and grab your bags – but not before a quick lunch, of course. For those looking for something speedy without forgoing the delight of having a three course meal, Westin Sydney offers the unique Mosaic Lunch Plate option where the entree, main, side and dessert are all conveniently served at once. It seems to be quite a popular choice amongst fellow diners as everyone was ordering this too when we were there! I tried the tempura battered blue eyed cod and it was delicious to say the least.
How did 24 hours travel so fast? It’s time to head home now.. until next time, Sydney!
Loved collaborating with Momentum Travel on this post, thanks guys!
Photography: Connie Cao & Rowena Cao.