Being a Sydneysider has its perks, some of them being that I can explore the city’s least famous, yet most enticing districts, discover restaurants and tiny eateries nobody really knows about, and go back to places that I know serve the best coffee around. Sydney may be a global hub, famous for its glossy beaches, perfect nightclubs, and art galleries that will easily take your breath away as much as the coast will – but few know its suburbs the way we, locals do.
In case you’re traveling from far away just to get a glimpse of what this majestic city has to offer, it’s wise to do your research and spend your precious time precisely in the most promising locations in Sydney. Plus, you’ll know what to expect! Here’s my take on a few notable suburbs worthy of your time.
Modern and hip in Chippendale
A once industrial, warehouse zone with little to no charm now packs quite a punch with its amazing art scene and delightful, modern foodie hotspots wherever you look. We’re talking stand-up gigs, globally renowned art galleries, and innovative modern Aussie-inspired cuisine all dispersed in such a modest few streets of this suburb.
Take your time with the exhibitions of the White Rabbit, mostly showing 21st-century Chinese art, and the admission to the gallery is free of charge, but priceless for its amazing collections. If you’re up for something in the same contemporary spirit, but with the taste of all things local, then head straight to Automata, a local favorite modern eatery, so make a reservation if you’re in the mood to have your taste buds pampered.
Newtown’s youthful scene
Somewhat boho in spirit, but very radiant in its energy and youthful vibe, Newtown is one of the cool kids, the kind of place that attracts tourists as well as locals, so you won’t feel strange stopping at every corner to snap another Insta image. While there, look up – many of the buildings have retained their original, 19th-century architecture, making them historic landmarks in their own respect.
Keep an eye out for murals for which Newtown is well-known, the likes of the famous “I Have a Dream” on King St. Go get a cup of fresh joe at Black Market Roasters, a tiny local place near Enmore Theatre that serves some of the finest blends you’ll be able to enjoy.
Feel Maroubra’s Zen
If you want the epitome of Australia’s surfing culture, the very substance of loving life, then you should make time for Maroubra, Sydney’s coastal suburb that flaunts some of the most beloved beaches unknown to many outside of the city. Quintessential Zen would best describe this district, and its somewhat secluded location – but don’t be fooled, since there are some incredible restaurants, hotels, as well as adventures you can embark on here.
To truly soak in the surfing spirit of this region, book your stay at the Sands hotel in Maroubra and enjoy the breathtaking view of the suburbs and the coast blending into a unique environment meant for proper Zen. Take a stroll to the beach, and ditch the comfort zone to try some surfing with a local teacher. Some sunbathing is a given, but don’t miss out on the hotel’s delightful bistro and their impeccable take on fresh burgers.
The nightlife of Darlinghurst
The entire city of Sydney is known for its diverse, life-loving culture that celebrates its LGBT community in every possible way. Darlinghurst, however, is the very hotspot for all things LGBT, as well as all things festive. Up for a night of partying? This is where you should be, since this is where all the hottest, funkiest, most daring parties come to life.
When you’re done with dancing, grab something to soothe your belly at Casoni, an Italian joint known for its delicious menu, and the pasta your palate will never forget. But don’t end your Darlinghurst adventures yet, it’s as beautiful in the daylight, too, especially if you’re happy to visit Australia’s oldest and one of the most precious museums in the country, the Australian Museum, which will reopen in 2020 after renovations.
So there you go, make sure to add these gems of suburb culture to your Sydney must-see spots, and you will certainly find your itinerary packed to the brim with fabulous eateries, lively beaches, and intriguing museums. Sydney is all about constant change for the better, so be prepared to revisit these places with a fresh pair of eyes even when you decide to come back for seconds, which you inevitably will!