Tips from 35,000 Feet: See Sydney like a Sydneysider

By: Katie Manning

January 11, 2013

If, like us, you’re after something a little bit special in your accommodation in Sydney, then we suggest checking in to the Grace Hotel. If you opt for the 10 rooms concept, instead of a room that looks like everyone else’s, the Grace will tailor the colour scheme, décor and even the furniture in your room to your taste to create a home away from home for the duration of your stay. There’s also a tantalising surprise waiting for you – but we wont spoil it.

Blue Bar | Sydney
Blu Bar, Sydney © Blu Bar

If you’re planning to check out one of the city’s many pubs, which we often do, remember a glass of beer in Sydney is called a “schooner”. A smaller glass is a “middy” and a hybrid of the two is called a “schmiddy”. For something a little more elegant, we head straight to Blu Bar, found above the Shangri-La. The shimmering floor-to-ceiling windows afford truly breathtaking views of the city skyline and beyond, but beware – there are only a couple of window seats – grab a (delicious) cocktail there early to bag one!

Manly Surf School | Sydney
Surfing on Manly Beach with Manly Surf School

It’s impossible to imagine nobody swimming in the surf, but in the early 1800s, it was illegal to swim at Sydney’s beaches during the daylight hours. This was enforced until 1902. As a matter of celebration we always try and fit in some surfing when we’re in Sydney – after all, the city’s famed for its long stretches of pristine white sand and huge, rolling swells. Instead of the oft-packed Bondi Beach, we head to Manly – which is actually where the sport was first introduced more than a century ago. And whether we’re a hopeless beginner, or are vaguely familiar with standing on the board and want some elite training, the Manly Surf School has a class for us.

Rockpool Bar | Sydney
The Rockpool Bar & Grill, Sydney © Rockpool Bar & Gril

We think sampling a great Australian steak should be on everyone’s “˜to-do’ list in Sydney, and there’s no better place to get it in our opinion than the Rockpool Bar & Grill, run by celebrity chef Niel Perry. This one of the most talked about restaurants in the city and for good reason. With an extensive wine list, dedication to quality, sustainable produce and the undeniably glamorous interiors – what’s not to love?

When were you last in Sydney? Any favourite Sydney haunts we should know about?


Katie Manning

Katie is an author for the Virgin Atlantic blog. Despite her urban London residency, Katie can often be found exploring far-flung corners of the globe in search of exciting new experiences and stories. A self-confessed night-owl, she makes it her mission to search out the best cocktail bars and live music venues on each and every expedition. Follow Katie @kt_saramanning

Categories: Our Places