Things to do for a Sydney long weekend

There’s definitely no shortage of things to do in Sydney, but if you’re in need of inspiration for your next long weekend, read on for some of our favourite things to see and discover in Sydney – and fall in love with the Harbour City!

Walks & Parks Nearby:

  • Wendy Whiteley Gardens: The most magical garden in Sydney is arguably Wendy Whiteley’s. Jump on a train at Circular Quay (Just 1km from Pier One), hop off at Milsons Point Station, take a few left and right turns and you’re there. Wendy created the garden while she was grieving the loss of her late husband, famous Australian painter Brett Whiteley. The garden is heavenly. Pack a picnic basket and explore the curving pathways and hidden sculptures. If you’ve got a good book, settle in at one of the benches under a leafy canopy and forget you’re in the city at all. 
  • Royal Botanic Gardens: Sydney’s beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens are a must visit for anyone dropping into Sydney! The heritage-listed gardens take up 74 acres of the CBD and offer plenty of lush nooks and crannies to explore. Take a free walk with one of the volunteer guides, go on an Aboriginal Heritage tour, enjoy high tea at The Calyx (the Gardens’ futuristic event space and cafe) or simply spend time learning about and walking among over 1000 native and exotic plants, collected over centuries. The Gardens are only 1.5 kilometres from the Pier One Sydney Harbour, so making your journey via foot is what we’d suggest. 
  • Barangaroo Reserve: At just a 10-minute walk from Pier One, Barangaroo Reserve makes for the perfect spot for a quick dip into nature. The reserve is a beautiful foreshore park, with a unique view of the Harbour, transformed from an old industrial site to a rocky, grassy place for people to picnic among native landscaping.
    • If you’re after a physical (and mental!) challenge.
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb: It may be the tourist attraction of all tourist attractions but climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a feat even Sydneysiders enjoying attempting. Enjoy an unparalleled panoramic view of the city, where sights of the Sydney Opera House, Blue Mountains and Sydney’s many national parks can be observed with ease and excitement. A degree of fitness is needed for the climb as a little over 1,300 steps will be defeated on your journey. Getting to the start of the climb is no trouble at all, it’s just a six-minute walk from Pier One Sydney Harbour. To avoid disappointment we’d recommend booking your climb in advance – we can certainly assist with this, just let us know.

Best Food & Drink Nearby:

There’s a lot to drink and eat in Sydney with a world class food scene and incredible bars.

  • At Pier One Sydney Harbour we have our own fabulous Bar One, with comfy water side booths on the Pier, and a cocktail lounge, with views of Sydney’s incredible Harbour plus Archie Rose cocktails and an expertly picked list of local wines.
  • The Gantry is our Hickson Road hero, offers relaxed fine dining within Pier One’s own walls. Request a table by the water and choose from a refined menu of modern Australian classics, say, Spencer Gulf kingfish with cucumber, wasabi and white soy or roasted beetroot with black rice, purple mustard and dill.  Or, choose some of our top picks right on the doorstep of Pier One Sydney Harbour:
  • Hotel Palisade: Feeling fancy? Say no more. Hotel Palisade has you covered, namely its rooftop bar Henry Deane. The vibe is (and literally feels) lush, the 360-degree view spectacular, the drink to order? Rising Sun. It’ Roku gin, umeshu, lemon myrtle, grape kombucha and sloe gin. 
  • Hubert: Heading down to Hubert’s underground parlour feels more like you’re stepping into a vintage French speakeasy than CBD city bar. If you can, try and line up your visit with one of its magnum and movie nights. 
  • Maybe Sammy: Behind the bar at Maybe Sammy is world-class, award-winning bartender, Andrea Gualdi, just FYI. While this venue could have easily fit in the “feeling a bit fancy” category, Maybe Sammy is the bar to visit if you feel like dabbling in a number of concoctions. A good way to achieve that? Opt for a few of its half-pour cocktails. Half the price, double the amount of options. 
  • Café Sydney: Sweeping views of Circular Quay are just one of the perks of a Café Sydney experience. Choose from an approachable menu favouring local seafood and watch the sunset over Sydney Harbour, saving room for their signature salted caramel and chocolate peanut tart.
  • The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel: Sydney’s oldest continually licensed hotel still knows how to put on a show. Located in the historic Rocks precinct just nearby, it serves its own brews behind the bar (we love the malty Victory’s Bitter) and a sharp pub menu with steaks accompanied by cafe dé Paris butter and kingfish served in a Himalayan-spiced curry

Arts & Theatre around the Harbour

  • Catch something at the Sydney Festival
  • See a show by the Sydney Theatre Company – the Roslyn Packer Theatre is just a few minutes walk from the Hotel
  • Visit The Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Browse a Gallery: all close by to Pier One, you’ll find the Seductive Art Gallery, the ATTY Gallery, Gannon House Gallery, and Billich Art Gallery
  • Try a walking tour of the Sydney Opera House! 

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