Is there a better place in the entire world to spend time with your family on a bright summer’s day than Sydney? Surely nowhere can match this city’s vast swathes of family-friendly attractions, beautiful weather, friendly locals, as well as its unique mix of big-city living, passionate and energetic lifestyle and laidback beachside attitude?
That’s certainly what draws so many people to Australia’s most famous coastal locale. There’s a buzz to Sydney in summer that is difficult to match. This is the time that this already lively city truly comes into its own, when the beaches fill up on long, sultry evenings, when the pavement cafes buzz from early morning, when the parks are bathed in sunshine, and when it seems like no one has anything better to do than simply enjoy it all.
Where to stay
Travelling with your family no longer has to mean compromising on quality, design or service. That’s where the Swissotel Sydney excels. This contemporary five-star hotel has been designed with the genuine attention to detail, commitment and care that Swiss hospitality is so famous for.
The stylish hotel is in walking distance to many of the city’s best shops and attractions, and is equally well equipped for adults and younger guests. For the former, you have a day spa, a gymnasium, bar and restaurant. Youngsters, meanwhile, can live well in the Swissotel Kids Room – with a king bed for parents and a separate twin room for the little ones – contains children’s toys, DVDs, special bed linen, games, kids’ amenities, and more. It’s the perfect way to keep the kids entertained, as well as treat them to a personalised, modern hotel experience that they’re sure to love … ensuring peace of mind for all the family.
Where to eat
Sydneysiders love to eat. Ask any local and they’ll be only too happy to rattle through a long list of their favourite cafes, restaurants, bars and more. This is a city with great food options, and most of them are very family-friendly.
Every day in Sydney begins with coffee, and the best place to get it is at The Grounds of Alexandria. This café is extremely popular, for good reason. Not only is the food and coffee excellent, and served in authentic and stylish surrounds, but there’s also a kitchen garden and petting zoo especially for kids to explore.
Elsewhere, the Neilsen Park Café in Vaucluse is a great spot for parents to sit and nurse a flat white while the kids tire themselves out in the park next door, and Burnt Orange in Mosman has a kids’ room upstairs, and sells unique and high quality fashion, books, games and toys. Embrace Sydney’s vital, energetic lifestyle by tucking into a healthy, delicious breakfast or brunch before heading down the hill for a swim at beautiful Clifton Gardens.
Sydney also abounds with picturesque places to enjoy lunch or dinner. Try the Boathouse Balmoral, a restaurant set on a wooden jetty overlooking one of Sydney’s most charming wedges of water and sand. Or how about Coogee Pavilion, a trendy bar and pizzeria (complete with ping-pong tables and kids’ games) right on the beach in Sydney’s eastern suburbs? Another unforgettable experience is found at gorgeous Watson’s Bay, with a choice of fancy seafood at Doyles, indulgent comfort food at Watson’s Bay Hotel, or their famous takeaway fish and chips, which can be enjoyed at a shady spot in the adjoining park as you take in harbour views that stretch all the way back to the bridge.
What to do
Sydney is an extremely family-friendly city, offering plenty of activities that can be shared by all ages. One of the best ways to settle into the city is with a day enjoying Sydney’s most famous asset: the sparkling blue harbour. Begin at Circular Quay, the main ferry port, and walk through the historic Rocks area, before jumping on a ferry and enjoying one of the world’s most spectacular commutes to places such as Luna Park, the fairground just across the harbour, Taronga Zoo, Sydney’s famous wildlife park, or over to Manly, where two long stretches of sand await: one, Cabbage Tree Bay, is calm and safe; the other, Manly Beach, is a surfer’s paradise.
Sydney, of course, is well known for its beaches, of which there are more than 100. On the north side of the harbour, Clontarf and Balmoral are the perfect family-friendly spots, with their gentle lapping waves and excellent park facilities. On the south side, harbour beaches such as Parsley Bay, Camp Cove and Milk Beach are ideal places to while away a long afternoon in the sun.
Though so many of Sydney’s best attractions are free, there are a few that are worth investing in. If the kids are eight years or older, the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb is an iconic experience that’s not to be missed – the views from the top are incredible, and the experience of getting up there is equally unforgettable. On a rainy day, meanwhile, the Sea Life Aquarium, where you can get up close and personal with Australia’s famous marine life, and the Australian National Maritime Museum, where kids can explore a real naval submarine, both in Darling Harbour, are winning options.
Conveniently located where travellers want to be, Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts provides guests with the opportunity to stay in the heart of more than 30 locations worldwide where they can confidently explore the very best each destination has to offer. Synonymous with all there is to love about Switzerland, the hotel brand remains true to its roots, successfully combining genuine Swiss hospitality with intelligent design and local flair. With social responsibility at the forefront and a genuine commitment to positively impact the destinations it calls home, every Swissôtel upholds industry-leading sustainability standards and is committed to treating guests, colleagues, and the environment with equal respect. This all comes together to provide guests with peace of mind and a stress-free experience.