EVENTS & ACTIVITIES Features
The Hottest Spots To See And Be Seen
Sydney, being a leading city of the world, means that you are guaranteed to go down any street and find find people of all shapes, and sizes, colours and creeds. It’s no surprise then that one of the most fun things to do is to take some time out, sit back, relax and watch these people at play! So pay attention, here are the best places to people watch in this great gawkable city.
The Bucket List Bondi
Queen Elizabeth Drive, Bondi Pavilion
Bondi beach and the Bondi area are home to a great mix of both the beautiful people of the Eastern Suburbs and backpackers from around the globe. Although the beach is an obvious and free spot to waste away a weekend (or weekday if you are lucky enough), the Bucket List is the best place to park yourself for the afternoon.
In summer, the Bucket List will be absolutely packed with young people looking to be seen and obscene. Check out the ‘Sunday sessions’ where you will find a great buzz around this venue that holds over 400 people. In winter, when it tends to be not so busy, you will find it’s frequented by families enjoying a seaside lunch, backpackers looking to become part of the ‘It Crowd’ and Bondi babes longing for Summer to return.
So pull up a stool and soak up the views of both the beach and the people. Bring your wallet though as this place can be expensive!
photo by spaghettifer711 via Flickr
Lower Concourse Level, Sydney Opera House
When I have family or friends over for a visit this is my ‘go to place’. Not only do you get a great view of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, you also get an up close and personal view of the Opera House and the harbour traffic heading in and out of Circular Quay. But as well as the great views of Sydney’s landmarks, there is also the opportunity to get a great view of Sydney society in full swing.
Best enjoyed at weekends in summer, this place at times can be literally hopping – band playing, DJ spinning and people socialising the day away. Opera Bar has recently been redeveloped and now there is even more room for people to enjoy the view. If you are lucky enough to get a seat make sure you order some food; it’s tasty, although tends to come in small portions. You’ll see a mix of young and old, tourist and locals hanging out, catching up, and of course taking that all important selfie to put up on Instagram.
Again, it’s an expensive people watching spot, but well worth it.
photo by Daniel Peckham via Flickr
The Star Casino
80 Pyrmont Street
The Star Casino is Sydney’s only legal casino, at least until Crown casino at Bangaroo opens it’s doors in 2019. Although many people will be put off by mention of the word casino, conjuring up images of degenerates feeding their wages into slot machines, the Star is actually a huge entertainment hub of bars, restaurants, and of course slot machines and gaming areas.
You can easily spend the night here; watch people dance the night away in Rock Lily bar, then move on to watch the high rollers playing baccarat, followed by the sports bar to see the game on the big screen whilst winners and losers cool off after a night of luck and heartbreak. If you still have time and money left in your pocket we suggest heading to Marquee nightclub where you can watch local and international celebs partying the night away.
Best enjoyed after a few drinks and a bit of luck on the blackjack or roulette tables.
photo by Kokkai Ng via Flickr
Lindt Cafe Darling Harbour
Shop 104-105, Cockle Bay Wharf
Darling Harbour is the first place I ever visited when I arrived in Sydney, so it will always hold a soft spot in my heart. It’s a great spot for families, particularly when they are running events like their Chinese new year celebrations or their ‘month of love’ in February.
Slightly hidden away opposite the Harbourside shopping centre is the Lindt cafe. This is a great spot that is open from 10am to midnight most nights. There are lots of seats outdoors, though you may have to wait for one when it is busy. It is worth it though as it’s a great place to settle down and watch the world go by. Their hot chocolate is the best when it’s cold, but if it’s a hot summer’s day try getting a creamy chocolate milkshake or a rich, morish ice cream.
During the day you can sit and watch the tourists soak up the Darling Harbour experience. At night you can watch the buzz as people come from all over Sydney to party the night away in Darling Harbour. If you are lucky enough you can even catch the fireworks on most Saturday evenings to complete your evening with a bang.
photo by Homeless Bear via Flickr
Town Hall Hotel Newtown
326 King Street
The Townie, as it is locally known, is literally 1 minute walk from the Newtown train station. Newtown is a hub of activity every night, with hundreds of restaurants, cafes and pubs stretching along King Street, or ‘eat street’ as it is commonly known.
However, it is not only food and drink that Newtown is famous for. It has a lot of great music spots, like the Vanguard and cool shops like the vintage All Buttons Great and Small. Newtown had one of the highest proportions of same sex couples in the 2011 census and has a vibrant culture which attracts young people from all over Sydney. You are best propping yourself on a stool, having a cold beer, and looking out at all the characters that go by.
photo by chloebk via Flickr
Royal Botanic Gardens
Mrs. Macquarie’s Road
Sydney has a great outdoor lifestyle, with lots of parks for the kids to explore and lots of great running spots. But the best park for people watching has to be the Botanic Gardens. It has great views of the Opera House and boasts a picturesque walking path, but is best enjoyed whilst soaking up the sun and watching the world go by.
Turn 360 degrees and you are probably likely to see a group doing yoga, newlyweds posing for their wedding shots, tourists getting some great photos of the Opera House and families and friends catching up over a picnic in the park. It offers a diverse snapshot of Sydney is and really allows you to check out its residents in all their glory.
photo by darquati via Flickr
Writer – Owen R.