To all the ladies in the place with style and grace, we’ve got a city you’re sure to be adding to your bucket list by the end of this round-up. Australia’s epicenter of fashion design, modern architecture, and big-city life, Sydney is arguably one of the most design savvy cities in the world. Whether you’re looking for a girls’ getaway destination or a gorgeous gathering space Down Under, Sydney has more options than you could have possibly imagined.
From Hellenic-architecture-influenced bars to 1930s-Shanghai-jazz-club-inspired spaces, Sydney has no shortage of international design influences when it comes to quirky, cool bars, restaurants, and hotels. If your gals are big on what’s now and what’s next in design, look no further than the Harbour City.
Taking inspirations from Hellenic architecture and focusing its menu around Greek influences, Beta Bar is perhaps as impressive in its concept as in its décor. The gorgeous cocktail bar, set a level above Castlereagh Street, wows with high ceilings, exposed brick archways, and just the right combination of modern furnishings. This space is simply stunning – a sophisticated yet warm and welcoming spot to spend an early evening sipping on Santiago Pisco Sours in marble stemmed glassware with your most stylish ladies.
Grab the gals and head out for some incredible, authentic Greek food in a clean and modern setting in Downtown Sydney. This stunning CBD restaurant can host a small group of 10-24 in a private dining space if you’re looking to do a ladies lunch or dinner and Alpha is located just below Beta Bar, so be sure to double up and check out both of these gorgeous venues.
A little off the beaten path of downtown, Paddington Inn is so flipping beautiful it has us using the word flipping. If an evening with your gals calls for setting up shop in a stunning restaurant in Sydney, being surrounded by gorgeous art, and filling up with delicious food, this could be the place for you.
Located near Darling Harbour, an area full of waterfront restaurants and great shopping, 1888 Hotel is a modern boutique hotel built in an old wool warehouse. They even claim to have designed the rooms with Instagrammers in mind, so you can bet there’s a ton of bright light and stark contrast ‘round here, not to mention endless exposed brick and wood beam backdrops for your girl squad snaps. BOOK/MESSAGE THIS VENUE
Since it dropped its anchor in 1883, Watsons Bay Beach Club has been synonymous with East Sydney’s beach bum life. The cheeky seaside décor is just a small slice of the charm at this hotel bar. Striped awnings and mint green accents provide a bright backdrop for a gathering of ladies who love being by the sea. BOOK/MESSAGE THIS VENUE
A favorite neighborhood among much of the 30-something crowd, Surry Hills is a fabulous place to wander around for an afternoon of exploring shops and cafés with your gals. A gorgeous restaurant focusing on Lebanese fare, Nour is new on the scene and the design concept shines with tons of natural light, blush tones accented by graphite, and a light and airy aesthetic.
After a few days in Sydney, you’ll start to notice that a lot of the best bars in this city are bars based in hotels. The Dolphin Hotel Bar is one of the standouts, with a design concept that feels more like walking into a modern art gallery than hanging out at a stiff hotel. If your lady loves are all about art, design, and what’s next in the world of creative interiors, be sure to stop by this cool watering hole.
Cue the view! Henry Deane sits atop the gorgeous 9-room Hotel Palisade in Millers Point and this rooftop bar has epic views of Sydney. With rose-colored leather sofas, lots and lots of Carrara marble, and just the right amount of vintage comforts mixed in, this is a beautiful setting to spend a cocktail hour with your gals overlooking the Sydney Harbor during sunset. BOOK/MESSAGE THIS VENUE
Looking for a casual spot that’s easy on the eyes? A good place to grab a quick meal after a day of Sydney museum hopping with the crew, Coogee Pavillion Rooftop’s design concept is simply brilliant. Set against the backdrop of the harbor, the pavilion was inspired by an eccentric botanist’s conservatory. Complete with a quirky art collection and loads of greenery, this restaurant with a view gives guests a perfect combination of indoors and out.
A modern day speakeasy, Palmer & Co. is one of Sydney’s most popular bars and it has such a cozy vibe you’ll feel like you’re in your own grandfather’s wine cellar. An easy spot to whittle away hours in deep conversation with your best of kin, this old taxidermy shop is like a step back in time.
If Scandinavian interior design is what your ladies love being surrounded by, a stop over at Fika Swedish Kitchen is a must. A bright and airy space with roll-open walls and colorful minimalist décor, this Manly Beach café is as lovely in its look as in its pastry selection. And you thought IKEA had good cinnamon buns…
French Colonial vibes reign supreme at The Butler in Potts Point. Be sure to book a table on the terrace to get the best views of Sydney’s CBD at this modern space that has the perfect marriage of tans, whites, and pops of greenery to create an atmosphere that’s fresh and airy. The gals will love this spot for its views and its fabulous Mediterranean fare.
Ladies, prepare for everything you thought you knew about nautical design to be blown out of the water at this top Sydney restaurant. Aptly located near the Australian National Maritime Museum, The Portis one of the most gorgeous spaces we’ve seen overlooking Sydney’s much adored harbor. Seafood driven, with a promising Australian wine menu to boot, these guys can host a huge event of up to 1050 peeps, but it’s just as charming with a girl squad of three or four.
With hand-painted marine walls, these rooms are making a big splash. Hotel Palisade is the kind of cool Sydney boutique hotel that’ll make you feel like there’s no reason to even leave the comfort of your perfectly designed nautical room. With views of the Bangaroo Reserve and the Harbour, these gorgeous hotel rooms are conveniently located and beyond cozy for a girls getaway. BOOK/MESSAGE THIS VENUE
A local favorite of the Bondi crowd, Porch & Parlour appeals to the rustic design fan who loves a good crusty wall backdrop. The food here is delicious and it’s a fabulous gathering spot for a group of gabbing gal pals. Wander this way before or after a trip to the Bondi Baths and you’ll be feeling good as new in no time.
Every design-minded girl squad can appreciate the beauty of a chilled-out garden bar with loads of hanging greenery overhead and an ample amount of sunshine. The Potting Shed, located in Alexandria, is an awesome spot for an afternoon glass of wine or an easy bite to eat. A bit off the beaten path, check it out if you’re in the mood for a neighborhood you might not otherwise get around to exploring. BOOK/MESSAGE THIS VENUE
There’s something undeniably seedy about this alleyway restaurant, but Mr. Wong has a look that’ll make you and your ladies feel like you’ve stepped right into a 1930s Shanghai jazz club. Design aficionados will love being surrounded by raw brick, industrial lighting, and oh-so-moody lighting. Touted as one of Sydney’s best Chinese restaurants, the food is almost as impressive as the ambience. Almost. (Says the sucker for a kickass aesthetic.)
Sydney’s best designer hotels are all unique and fit to their neighborhood’s speed, and QT Sydney totally falls in line with that assumption. Moody, luxurious, and a bit glam, these hotel rooms would be at their best when filled with you and your besties, a good playlist, and a bit of vino. After all, everyone knows the best part of a girls trip is the time spent in the hotel room getting ready for an evening on the town. BOOK/MESSAGE THIS VENUE
No bar crawl would be complete without a stop at This Must Be The Place, a Darlinghurst staple for a good, stiff drink in a modern, uncomplicated atmosphere. One of the best cocktail bars in Sydney, the vibe here is more minimalist than you’d find in most bars, with the focus on simple design and amazing flavor combinations for spritzers and shrubs.