A year-round stunner, Sydney’s brilliance shines out in the cooler months. Renowned for mid-year events such as Vivid Sydney, beyond the dazzling lights you’ll also find a world of other things to do in Sydney in winter – welcome to Sydney’s cosy laneway bars, winter warmer cuisine and dramatic harbour cruises and walks. Don’t forget to look out for whales cruising along the coast between May and November.
Discover hidden Wintertime Bars
Famed for its diverse and dynamic bar scene, Sydney’s wintertime candidates are no exception. Step down one of Sydney’s lively backstreet bars and you’ll find hidden favourites that are home to cosy fireplaces, inviting ambience and heartwarming spirits. It’s no secret – one of the best places to go in Sydney in winter is a secret bar.
Down a series of steps off Clarence Street, The Baxter Inn is a New York-inspired saloon specialising in top-shelf whiskies (there are nearly 800). The Duke of Clarence is another gem – this 18th-century London-styled bar, complete with fireplace and library, serves genuine cask ale. For an intimate cocktail basement bar visit Charlie Parkers.
Dine at winter warmer restaurants
Enjoy a plate of warming nourishment cooked by passionate chefs and cuisiniers. Sydney dishes up a range of winter warming experiences with enough flair to banish any wintertime blues.
Summon a slice of Rome at Cicerone Cucina Romana, a nostalgic Italian eatery that brings authentic Italiana to Surry Hills. Reap the benefits of two wood-fired ovens, three grills and a wood-fired hearth at Firedoor, where you can enjoy a seasonal five-course meal. Chaco Ramen is recognised as a fiery leader in mouth-watering ramen.
Must Do: The ultimate food guide to Sydney’s CBD
Enjoy Sydney Harbour cruises and coastal walks
The cooler months are a majestic time to experience Sydney’s natural playground. Take in the gorgeous winter light as you glide along glittering Sydney Harbour on one of the many cruises. You’ll find everything from lunch and dinner cruises to sailing with Sydney Harbour Tall Ships and whale spotting tours.
You can also spot these majestic creatures on their winter migration from one of the scenic vantage points on the Bondi to Coogee Walk. Winding along Sydney’s seaside cliff tops, this iconic walk encompasses gorgeous beaches, cafes and traditional aboriginal rock carvings. For expansive views of the harbour, step along The Hermitage Foreshore Walk.
Marvel at Sydney’s bright events
What would a Sydney season be without a firework or two? Celebrate the good things in life at Darling Harbour every Saturday night with the Cockle Bay Fireworks. Held throughout the year, this firework display doubles during the cooler months delivering twice the spectacle. Explore the nearby restaurants and diners around Barangaroo and Darling Harbour.
During winter you can also marvel at the Sydney Opera House as the sails light up every night with the Badu Gili: Wonder Woman projection. This awe-inspiring projection celebrates the stories of six female First Nation artists, as well as marking the Art Gallery of NSW’s 150th anniversary.
Where to stay in Sydney
Looking for the perfect place to stay? We’ve got you covered. For a stylish experience in a heritage-listed art deco hotel, check out the Castlereagh Boutique Hotel – dine in comfort here at the Cellos Grand Ballroom or head to the Reagh Bar. CBD-based Comfort Hotel Sydney City is also located right in the heart of the action. You’ll also find a thriving restaurant and entertainment scene moments from Quality Apartments Camperdown.