Recently, I visited Sydney for the first time. Having finally accomplished my goal of visiting Australia’s pseudo capital city and home of P. Sherman, I was greeted, not with the sunny blue skies from the movies, but with grey, unaccommodating cloud filled rainy skies. Which begs the question, what is there to do in Sydney when it’s bucketing down with rain? I only started searching the internet for things to do at the end of my trip, and I was overwhelmed by the amount of stuff. So I’ve asked my Sydney know it all friends to help me out and sort out the best of the bunch. I’m going to give you what I wish I’d had, a list of stuff you can do as a tourist when sunny Sydney isn’t so sunny:
1. Tour the Opera House
Sure, every man and his dog has seen it from the outside, but when it’s pouring with rain and the skies are as grey as a British summer, the inside is where the magic happens. The Opera House provides a bunch of guided tours through The House, under the sails and backstage. Different tours are available in different languages, whilst some are English only, others are available in Spanish, French, German, Japanese and more. Book here.
2. Gelato Messina
Forget The Rocks, the real place to go if you want to get busy with your taste buds is this delightful ice cream bar in Surry Hills. The flavours are PHE-NOM-EN-AL and they’re open late! But they do have a $10 minimum for using your card so if you’re buying for one either make some friends or bring some cash with you.
3. Visit the Queen Victoria Building.
The Queen Victoria Building is a beautiful piece of architecture, especially from the inside. Red carpet lines the hardwood floors, iron-bordered glass ceilings and four floors of retail and food, it’s a spot more than worth a visit.
4. Wine and dine
I don’t know about you, but I don’t particularly need an excuse to get out and eat. But if you do, a rainy day is a good one. Sydney is filled with some of the best culinary experiences Australia has to offer. One of which is none other than Mrs G’s. This innocuous looking restaurant located in Potts Point offers exceptional views over the city, with the Harbour Bridge and Opera House in full view. And, of course, the food is delicious, you must try the cheeseburger spring rolls (they’re as good as they sound, really) and the service excellent.
5. Get to the silver screen
Commercial cinemas have become the experience the majority of us are familiar with. Line up at the counter, get your tickets and popcorn, get in, get out. BUT, Sydney has a wealth of independent cinemas scattered across the city which aim to bring something special back to the cinema experience. From bars to restaurants that are sitting right there on the same building, staffed by hipsters that surely commute daily from Melbourne. One of the classics is The Randwick Ritz, the only original Art Deco cinema in Sydney and one of the few family owned ones. They screen current release Arthouse films at affordable prices ($13 per ticket). Check out their session times here.
6. Nerd out
Okay. I know this may not be very high on the priority list of the average tourist, but I used to be a massive Microsoft fan, and you can’t deny they’ve got some awesome technology coming out. One of these awesome new pieces of tech is the Hololens, an augmented reality headset that overlays what every you want over your actual life. Sydney is home to the only Microsoft Store in Australia, where they do live demos of the Hololens, so if you’re around and need to go inside, why not put on the Hololens and see something you’ve never seen before?
7. Escape the room
Paniq Room is one of Sydney’s best room escape locations. If you’re unfamiliar with the room escape concept, it basically involves you getting put into a room for an hour with a bunch of clues which you have to descipher in order to eventually find a key and escape the room before the time is up. Paniq Room is open 10:00am to 10:20pm Thursday – Sunday and you can book a session here.
Something we missed? Let us know in the comments!