An alternative way to discover Sydney

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Don't feel like seeing the traditional tourist sights in Sydney? Then you've come to the right place! We have made an overview of the sights in Sydney that you must see if you want to visit this city in an alternative way.

Coolest neighborhoods

Glebe
Near the center is the Glebe district with the main street Glebe Point Road where you can find a lot of nice boutiques and cafes. It is an artistic and alternative neighborhood. Every Saturday there is market where you can have a delicious and inexpensive breakfast or lunch, get a massage and buy second-hand books and clothing.

Newtown
Newtown is separated from Glebe by the University of Sydney and can be easily reached by train from downtown. In recent years, it has grown into a trendy and multicultural neighborhood, where you will find many artists, alternative people and students. Newton contains many restaurants and cafes. The highlight of the year is the large Newtown festival that is held on the second Sunday of November.

Surry hills
Surry Hills is the foodie capital of Sydney, but there’s plenty more to the 2010 postcode than its never-ending supply of cafés and restaurants. Check out the top 10 things to see and do in this stylish inner-city suburb

Leichhardt
Leichhardt is the Italian district of Sydney. The many Italians who have emigrated to Sydney live here. You can eat delicious Italian ice cream or a real Italian pizza.

Best alternative beaches in Sydney

Between Vaucluse and Kings Cross you will find the Redleaf beach. It is a bit hidden, when you find a staircase going down among the greenery you have found the beach. At this quiet beach is a jetty where you can sit and enjoy the tranquility. That is very special in Sydney so this beach is definitely a must-visit.

Another beautiful beach is Store Beach. This beach can only be reached by boat and you will find yourself in a wonderfully quiet place. You can rent a kayak in touristy Manly and arrive on this secret beach within 45 minutes. It is a perfect place to relax with friends, or even better alone!

Do you want to visit a beach that is not too touristy, but in the meantime enjoy the impressive skyline of Sydney? Then we definitely recommend to visit Milk Beach. This is a very small beach behind the Vaucluse district. It is a bit far from civilization, behind the historic Strickland House. Once you have found it you will be amazed by the tranquility combined with an impressive skyline.

A beach that is only known among Sydney locals is Parsley Bay. This piece of oasis is also located in Vaucluse, next to the Nielsen Park. It is a small beach surrounded by rocks and forests and an old bridge runs across the water. On Parsley Bay you feel like you are away from civilization and it is never really busy. Occasionally you see people from the neighborhood enjoying the peace and quiet, but it is also possible that you have your own private beach. Naked swimming!!!

A very well known bay in Sydney is Felix Bay. What many people (tourists) do not know, is that there is a small stretch of beach hidden where almost no one comes. When you take a narrow path on the left side of the club at Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club you will arrive at Lady Martins Beach. Not only is it wonderfully quiet there, you also have a breath taking view of the marina and the beautiful houses on the water. Its magic.

What to eat

There’s no better way to maintain a well-nourished diet than by eating organic whole foods. Organic food can often even be cheaper sometimes if you know where to shop! If you need inspiration for fresh, organic spots around Sydney then click here for Sydney-based organic food stores. 

Nowadays, Sydney boasts some of the best vegetarian restaurants in Australia. From fine dining to hole-in-the-wall cafes, click here for the top 40 joints serving vegetarian fare that will make even your proudest meat-eating friends jealous. 

Best coffee shops

Sydney has some of the trendiest and gourmet coffee shops in the world. Here is a list with amazing coffee shops, so be sure to stop by if you are in the neighborhood.

10 Weird and Quirky Cafes in Sydney, Australia

Fancy your morning cuppa with a dash of personality? Then pop into one of these quirky cafes. From comic books and contemporary art to decommissioned incinerators and vegan delis, grab a coffee at these weird and wonderful brunch spots around Sydney.

Meditation

It’s the ancient practice that’s becoming more mainstream: meditation. The ultimate me-time. There are too many benefits to count – it not only forces you to slow down, breathe, unwind and clear your mind, but it’s a proven antidote to stress. Sydneysiders are spoiled for choice when it comes to meditation studios and classes, with something to suit all styles and levels of meditators. Click here for the 8 best place to learn and practice meditation.

Vintage shopping

If you love vintage clothes or you’re just looking for a fashionable bargain, you will have plenty of luck finding them both in the wonderful thrift stores across Sydney. Here is a guide to the best thrift and vintage stores in the city

Best street art 

In Sydney you can find many street artists adding a colorful coat of paint to the Harbour City’s urban walls. Murals are popping up all over Sydney and these are the best places to find them.  

Best time to visit

Summer in Sydney starts in December and lasts until the end of March. In the summer months it can be hot and the maximum average temperatures lies between 22 and 30 degrees Celsius (71.6-86° Fahrenheit). In recent years due to climate change heat waves and drought have become more common. July is the coldest month with an average of 17 degrees Celsius (62.7° F) in the day and the temperature is almost always above zero at night.

The best time to go to Sydney is in spring, in the months September and October it is quite dry and it is pleasantly warm without getting to hot. Sydney has 105 days of clear days a year making it a sunny destination. Click here for more climate details.

This article was last updated on May 03, 2020.