Fancy a short break in Sydney’s CBD that won’t break the bank? Here‘s how to have a mini stay and pack in a whole lot of fun.
Where to stay
For a budget stay in the middle of town, you can’t beat the Park Regis. The hotel is close to Hyde Park and the best shopping in the city. The view from the rooftop pool is spectacular. You won’t go short of places to eat as there are plenty of restaurants and cafes around the vicinity.
The view below is from the rooftop where there’s also a pool to enjoy a swim on level 45. Also on the rooftop are places to sit and enjoy the view. As you can see it is spectacular.
My room had a lounge area, two TV’s, desk, ensuite and bedroom. The bed was very comfortable. I always prefer hotels where I can open a window as I’m not a fan of air conditioning so I was delighted with that, although the air conditioning was put on a few times to cool the room down.
Being smack in the middle of the CBD it is a little noisy because there is a lot of construction going on, so bring some ear plugs if that bothers you (or don’t have the window open like I did).
I found the staff at reception to be delightful, and felt secure in the building as access to the hotel is via security card and reception is 24/7.
The location is great as it is close to shops, Chinatown, Town Hall, Cinemas and plenty of places to eat and explore.
Things to do nearby
If it’s shopping and eating Asian food that takes your fancy, then head on down to Chinatown Sydney. Chinatown is a vibrant precinct that is buzzing with activity and places to explore. Hop on a tram or take a leisurely walk. Paddy’s Markets is a great adventure in itself, with excellent fruit and vegetables and bargains to be found everywhere in the marketplace.
Chinese Garden of Friendship
Nearby, in Darling Harbour, The Chinese Garden of Friendship is a surprisingly tranquil space considering it’s in the city. These gardens have a lot to offer, including a great cafe, ducks and birds, and exquisite gardens.
I did mention this short stay was on a budget, but that could easily change with the sensational shopping choices around the area. From designer to bargain, you will find something to spend your money.
The QVB offers a wide range of designer boutiques, gift shops, cafes and more. Take the underpass through to Myer and Pitt Street Mall and discover more shopping! As mentioned before, you will find plenty of bargains in Chinatown and close to Chinatown is World Square.
Hyde Park and War Memorial
For a leisurely walk, explore Hyde Park, which can also be the first part of a journey to the Art Gallery and the Sydney Botanical Gardens. Hyde Park is home to the Sydney War Memorial, a peaceful space to reflect on all those who fought for our freedom. It is not unusual to see a possum during the day at Hyde Park, and at night they are frequently seen.
Royal Botanic Gardens
It takes time to explore the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens because it consists of 158 acres hugging the harbour between Mrs Macquarie’s Chair and the Sydney Opera House. The gardens consist of around 9,000 species of plants. Check out the website for up to date displays, and the gardens shop offers a wide range of beautiful gifts. Dining at the Botanical Gardens can be casual at the cafes or more substantial at the restaurants.
Darlinghurst and Surry Hills
Discover boutiques, cafes and restaurants in the nearby suburbs of Darlinghurst and Surry Hills. Accessible by foot or hop on a bus. A visit to the notorious Kings Cross is also worth checking out if you are new to Sydney and never been there before. Further up Oxford Street, Paddington offers diverse shopping and eating experience.
There is plenty to see in Sydney CBD and surrounds on a short stay. It would be challenging to discover all that the city has to offer on a quick visit. Other places that you might want to check out are The Rocks, Sydney Opera House, The Living Museums, Sydney Museum, The Contemporary Museum of Art, Pyrmont, Darling Harbour, The Sydney Aquarium, and Barangaroo.
Other exciting places to consider for those who are staying more than one day:
Hop on a ferry to Manly
Visit Taronga Zoo
Go shopping at Mosman
Check out Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach
Have some fun at Luna Park
Visit Sydney’s famous St Mary’s Cathedral
For more information on Sydney, such as transport etc., check out Sydney Chic’s travel guide.