Last week, our best Aussie friend Jillian gave us her tips for sightseeing around Sydney. This week she's back with tips on nightlife, and brought along a friend, Shane, for the younger, male, not-on-our team, point of view
What's your best tip for navigating the city? Is it possible to get around on foot and with public transportation? Or does one need to rent a car?
Sydney is a sprawling city, but the buses are really easy to use and catching one means you don’t have to deal with parking. Usually you can get yourself (by bus) to an area where you can then get around on foot. And, taxis are available in most “hot spots” so if you really get stuck you can catch a taxi to get you home. Of course, if you’re by the harbour try using the ferries – it’s cheap, cheerful and a beautiful view.
What does a quintessential night out in Sydney encompass?
From Shane: Do a spot of people watching as you start the night at a restaurant in Newtown. Catch a cab to nearby Surry hills or Darlinghurst and hop about a selection of great bars and mingle with the beautiful people. Next, head to the popular Oxford Street to catch a drag show, see the latest band or sample of the hottest nightlife followed by a wander down to Kings Cross to dance the rest of the night away and party, party, party until the sun comes up! Things can get messy.
From Jillian: It really depends where you go and what you’re up for. If you love dancing, Oxford Street clubs are the place to go. If you’re in the mood for hanging out at a great restaurant and then trolling from bar to bar try Bondi Beach or Paddington.
If I want to fit in, what drink should I order at the bar?
From Shane: Order a CRAZYHORSE from the Whitehorse Hotel, Surry Hills (below). (Absinthe and apple schnapps, shaken with passion fruit pulp and apple juice, served in a martini grande otherwise play it safe and order a martini ;) JSG Note: We're sticking with our Belvedere martinis!
From Jillian: Aussies are fairly basic when it comes to their drinks. Men are normally beer drinkers and women tend to stick with wine or maybe some bubbly on a night out. Of course, vodka, lime and soda is a popular drink anywhere in the world.
If you’re at a pub, and you want a beer, make it a beer on tap. There are two sizes – a schooner (which is like a pint) and a middi (a half-pint). Aussie beers include Tooheys New, VB, Carlton, Pure Blonde and Hahn. Light beer in Australia is light in alcohol (not calories). You can also order a shandy which is beer with lemonade (lemonade being Sprite) – women quite like it as a refreshing daytime way to have a beer. Plus, you won’t get too drunk to quickly, which is always a bonus especially if you’re day-drinking.
How dressy/stylish are people in general? What U.S. city would you compare the fashion to?
From Shane: (Even though I have never been) I would say New York. There are so many different ‘scenes’ but generally people mix and match to create their own individual look. Its all about a sexy, versatile outfit that can take you from work to dinner and then OUT to a bar!
From Jillian: The fashion is similar to LA and NYC - it’s got a bit of a European vibe and trendy jeans are acceptable everywhere when dressed up with cute heels and a top. Of course, Sydney girls love summer dresses – plus, they’re a great way to stay cool during the day.
How are the guys in general? Friendly? Cute? Do they typically buy drinks?
From Shane: Guys are cute, friendly, fun, tall and did I mention cute? There is definitely no shortage of hot men in Sydney, just be wary to not wear your heart on your sleeve as many also prefer the company of men!
From Jillian: Yes! The guys are cute! And there’s plenty at various pubs and clubs around Sydney. Of course, as an old married woman, I haven’t been out cruising for blokes in a while, but I know they’d love a tourist to hook up with! Of course, being a ridiculously safe mother I have to say – always look out for your girlfriends! (JSG Note: Jillian is younger than us!) Don’t go wandering off by yourself with a strange guy you don’t know too well. Sydney is a great place, but you want to put your safety first and make sure you have a holiday you remember for the right reasons.
Do people really eat vegemite?
From Shane: I had it for breakfast this morning ;)
From Jillian: Yes! There’s nothing better than a couple slices of vegemite toast to cure a fuzzy head from one too many drinks the night before.
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