Sydney: 48-hour itinerary

Dank street precincts Patisse cafe featuring art from Japanese-based artist Chen (Photo AAP Image/Robert McGrath)
Dank St precincts Patisse cafe featuring art from Japanese-based artist Chen (Photo AAP Image/Robert McGrath)
See the best Sydney has to offer in just one weekend on our 48-hour itinerary.

Day one

Check out our 24-hour itinerary and then add the following...

Danks Street

In the morning, head to the newly fashionable suburb of Waterloo, about 10 minutes' drive south of the CBD. Danks Street Depot serves a great breakfast until 11am featuring local produce (biodynamic eggs from the Hunter Valley, Brasserie Bread Co loaves, Meredith sheep's milk yoghurt and the like). If they're your thing, it's hard to beat the sardines on toast.

Right next door is a complex, called 2 Danks Street, of 10 private galleries that feature a wide variety of work from Aboriginal art and contemporary photography to applied arts, such as jewellery-making. If you're in the market for something a little special, check out Multiple Box, which specialises in limited editions of works by local and international artists. Sometimes you can pick up a piece for as little as $15.

Art and Design

If your art and design synapses are fired up, head to PYD, where you'll find a number of furniture and design showrooms, and Gallery Barry Keldoulis, which represents contemporary artists such as photographer Sarah Smuts-Kennedy and installation artists Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro.

It's time to put your credit card to good use with some serious shopping on Oxford Street. But, before you get going, quell any tummy rumblings and literary impulses at award-winning Ampersand. Unassuming from the outside, its rickety staircases lead up or down to intimate rooms of second-hand books perfect for a coffee and a chat.

Boutique shopping

It may have suffered for a little while when the behemoth Westfield opened in Bondi Junction, but the Paddington shopping strip has completely recovered now. Oxford Street and its boutique offerings are obviously a focal point, but serious fashionistas should explore the side streets as well. The corner of Glenmore Road and Oxford Street, for example, is so hot right now. Designers including Willow, Kirrily Johnston, Ksubi and World all have outlets there.

Further up Glenmore Road, near the corner of Heely Street, is the boudoir-chic Dirty Pretty Things for underwear you'll want to show off, and Eva Galambos' Parlour X, which stocks collections by Vivienne Westwood, Viktor & Rolf, Isabel Marant and Alexander McQueen, among others.

Also worth a look is William Street, which is home to French designer Vanessa Bruno; the extremely luscious Just William chocolate store; The Corner Shop; Tigerlily; and Belinda.

If shopping is not your bag, stop in at the Verona for Sydney's best cinema (and a funky bar), or check out the current exhibition at the Australian Centre for Photography next to the Paddington Reservoir Gardens – urban design gone wild.


While the focus for the past two days has been most firmly on Sydney's eastern suburbs, tonight things move to the bohemian inner-west and the slightly grungy suburb of Newtown. For dinner, Newtown steps up its game at Bloodwood, the project of three chefs trained in the upper-echelons of urban dining, Claude's. It's been a while since the area had a standout eatery – Oscillate Wildly excepted – so locals and critics have thrown open their arms and embraced the polenta chips and grilled cuttlefish salad.

For something more low-key, traverse the back streets to find the bistro at the Carlisle Castle hotel (Ph: (02) 9557 4852, 19 Albermarle St, Newtown), one of the inner-west's best kept secrets.

After dinner

There are plenty of options for entertainment after dinner, but some of the favourites include Madame Fling Flong, a retro-cool bar that serves a cracking cocktail, and the Courthouse (Ph: (02) 9519 8273, 202 Australia St, Newtown), a good old-fashioned pub with an awesome beer garden heaving with locals. Or take the short walk to The Hive Bar, with its local brew and ever-evolving décor courtesy of playful artists. As the night progresses, you might want to pop into the legendary Town Hall Hotel ("The Townie"), where all types of humanity congregate in the early hours when everything else starts to close. Bless you if you're still going when the Town Hall closes, and if you are, there's only one thing for you: the Imperial Hotel, or "the Impy" to its friends. It featured in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and its patrons are mostly gay, but everyone is welcome as long as they're ready to dance and have fun. And let's face it; if it's 5am and you're still upright, what else are you going to do?

Have you tried any of the places on this itinerary? Got any ideas we haven't thought of? Have your say using the comments form below.

By Sydney Insider, Carrie Hutchinson

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