There’s always something to do in the picturesque city of Sydney, even when it’s bucketing down with rain. In fact, one of the best ways to enjoy a gloomy weekend is to book a staycation in the CBD! After all, there’s nothing more soothing than knowing you’re a stone’s throw away from all of the best restaurants, cafes, galleries and museums when the weather gets wetter.
We recently had the opportunity to book our very own staycation in collaboration with Staywell Hotels this past weekend. As one of the largest hotel groups in the Asia Pacific, Staywell are dedicated to providing clean, cosy and contemporary accommodation for those chasing a relaxing getaway.
Our hotel of choice was Staywell’s Park Regis City Centre, located smack-bang in the middle of all the buzz. For staycayer’s and tourists alike, it’s the perfect city-central location to make your way around all of the hot spots. Queen Victoria Building is great for a spot of shopping, while bar-hopping along Darling Harbour is a sure-fire way to keep the winter blues at bay.
Keen to book your own staycay this winter but not sure what to plan? Don’t worry, we got you! Check out our itinerary with Park Regis below to give you some inspo:
Our Sydney Staycay Itinerary
Check into your hotel
Grab your bags and get settled into your comfy room at Park Regis, just a 2-minute walk from the QVB, Pitt Street Mall and Town Hall train station. If the sun is poking through, you might want to check out the rooftop pool and sun deck for a dose of Vit D before heading out.
Shop ’til you drop
You’re close to all of Sydney’s best shopping precincts so be sure to make the most of it! For shopping and history rolled into one, Queen Victoria Building is one spot you ought to check out. This heritage-listed building features elegant architecture and lavish details, typical of an intricate Victorian style.
Go for high street fashion at Pitt Street Mall, hopping between favourites like Zara, H&M and Uniqlo. Remember, Australia’s best department stores David Jones and Myer are right around the corner, too. And for boutique goods like candles, jewellery, millinery and unique gifts, the aracades are a must-visit.
Get your culture fix at the local museums and galleries
On the weekend, head to Museum of Sydney for free entry and to learn all about the city’s local history. The Australian National Maritime Museum is one for lovers of the sea, featuring three museum ships you can buy tickets to tour.
In the way of art, Museum of Contemporary Art is Sydney’s most famous, located in Circular Quay. You could spend hours upon hours here, strolling the free exhibition or heading to a ticketed showing. If you lean towards a more traditional style of painting and sculpture, try Art Gallery NSW.
Visit Sydney’s star attractions
No staycay in Sydney is complete without a trip to the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. If the rain is deterring, you can choose to stay dry under the warming cover of a quaint harbourside cafe, enjoying the view from a distance.
Dive right into the rich culinary scene
Speaking of cafes, Sydney’s culinary scene is second to none. Whether it’s fine dining with multi-million dollar views or a cheap and cheerful banquet at Chinatown, there’s something for everyone.
Dine in style at Merivale’s Mr. Wong, where delicious Catonese food meets a luxurious and contemporary setting. If Asian food is your jam, you have to check out the newly launched Luna Lu, too. Honestly, it has some of the most stunning Asian dishes we have ever had the pleasure of devouring. Almost too beautiful to eat!
Ragazzi is our go-to for authentic Italian, with a robust wine selection and delicious plates for sharing. It’s worth nothing that, in our opinion, they do the best tuna crudo in town. Then, right around the corner, you simply have to pop in for a beef tartare and taste of fromage at Sydney’s favourite French restaurant, Hubert. There’s cabaret and live jazz most evenings here!
Explore Sydney’s vibrant bars by night
When the sun goes down, it’s time to party. Or at least treat yourself to a couple of cocktails with friends, right? You’ll have the option of both on your Sydney staycay, so might as well see where the night takes you…
First stop: MAYBE SAMMY. They won Australia’s Cocktail Bar of the Year just last year, also landing a place in the World’s Best 50 Bars list; need we say more? The bartenders here are really knowledgable (and sure as hell know how to put on a show).
Fancy yourself a top-shelf whisky? The Baxter Inn is where it’s at. They do fantastic classic cocktails too, and infinite bowls of pretzels for when you’re feeling peckish. The area here is actually it’s a bit of a hub for highly regarded bars in Sydney.
You can head to Old Mate’s Place across the road for a killer speakeasy experience. Then, around the corner, you’ve got Papa Gede’s with voodoo-themed decor and a real hole-in-the-wall venue, Cantina OK (no, literally, it’s pretty much just a hole in the side of a wall). They’re best known for their world-class margaritas and handmade agave spirits.
Sydney local looking to be a tourist in your own city for the weekend? International traveller looking for cosy and convenient accommodation? Book your stay at Park Regis here.