Top Things To Do In Langkawi, Malaysia

My first time in Langkawi was in 2011, when I first stepped into Malaysia. I instantly fell in LOVE. I think Langkawi is what made me fall hard for Malaysia. I can’t really describe the feeling but it felt something like magic.
I have been here twice and both the times I have done different things and these are memories that will truly be cherished forever. I will share some of them with you.
I stayed at this hotel by the beach and both the times I stayed at the same place as it was super convenient; near shops and restaurants and right by the Pantai Cenang beach!

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Shop Duty Free
Langkawi is the only place in Malaysia where you can shop duty free. Everything is unbelievably cheap, including alcohol and cigarettes. Given that Malaysia is an Islamic country, it is the only place in Malaysia where you can drink alcohol freely. It is indeed their domestic holiday destination.
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Langkawi Eagle Square

Island Hopping

My first activity in Langkawi was the island hopping tour. This is something I did on my own and it was so refreshing. This is why I encourage everyone to explore at least one place on their own.
Learn to love your own company and you will need nothing more in life. You will never feel lonely.
This island hopping tour holds a significant amount of value to my life as it gave me the chance to really focus on an unknown place without knowing anyone or having any technology (for the first time – I’ve done it tons since!). It made me appreciate nature, Langkawi and just the Earth overall.
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Sunset by the beach
This tour takes you to a lake where they throw fish as eagles come and pick em from water within a split of a second. It’s pretty amazing. Langkawi is known to have many eagles.
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Eagles!
Then we went to the “pregnant” lake. Yes, that’s exactly what they call it! Apparently this is a myth, that if a woman is infertile or having difficulty being pregnant then swimming in this lake will make them fertile. Not sure if this actually works. Let me know if it did for you!
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Pregnant Lake
Next stop is this beaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaautiful island where you will see nothing but blue water. You can also see fish from the bridge, without even having to snorkel.

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Sight seeing

If you rent a car for the day, the driver will actually take you on a tour around the big island. There are some secluded beaches which are very gorgeous. They will also take you to this park and from there you can go to the skybridge.
Skybridge
The cable car will take you 702 m above sea level. When you get to the top, you won’t believe your eyes. It feels like a painting when you look around. It’s indescribable.
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View from the cable car
The Seven Falls
The driver will also take you to the “seven falls” where you can go walk on a trail that leads to the waterfalls. Along the way you will see many monkeys. Those monkeys are everywhere in Asia, really. Very cheeky but very cute.

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Cute lil cheeky monkeys

Activities

The last time I visited Langkawi, I went paragliding and this was the highlight of my trip. I must admit, I was so scared that I prayed the entire time I was up in the sky. BUT, it was THE most amazing and exhilarating feeling EVER. The boat was pulling me and the parachute kept going higher and higher. I was above the sun, looking over the sunset. It was beautiful. Feeling the breeze, flying above the sea, looking over the seashore and the sun on the other side. It was breathtaking. I would do it over and over again.
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Having the time of my life, paragliding over the sunset.

At night though, I loved being at the beach. Since there isn’t much traffic there at this time, you can hear the silence, the winds and the waves of the sea. To top it off, you can feel the lukewarm water touching your skin while you sit on the soft sand.
And there you have it!
Tip
Ohhh and a little tip if you are ever in Asia! There are ways of getting to Langkawi from the Thai islands. Koh Phi Phi is an amazing island and you can certainly take the ferry from there. I prefer getting to Langkawi from Thailand and then making your way to Kuala Lumpur, if you are planning on traveling that part of the world. It is much more preferable than going to Langkawi from KL and then back. Trust me, you will save yourself a journey and a half!
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View from the skybridge

A beautiful sunset in Langkawi can be viewed here:

10 things to do in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

What can I say about this place? In 2011, I instantly fell in love with Malaysia when I first stepped in. I have been there thrice since, 2015 being the last time there.
Let’s start with the trains from the airport. What a nice and clean train with air conditioner in it. It only took forever long to get where we are today but a “developing” country such as Malaysia had already had this established. I was amazed. WiFi. Let’s talk about that. Malaysia has WiFi everywhere! Like literally. Everywhere! I love it.
Usually I’m not much of a shopper while I’m traveling but the malls in Kuala Lumpur, also known as KL, has many shopping centres which consist of a lot of pretty things. Shoes. OMG. Shoes! So many amazing shoes! I think every time I go there, I end up buying at least 2 pairs of shoes or sandals.

 

Cyberjaya

 

Cyberjaya is one of the outskirts of KL. I stayed there the first couple of times I visited, mainly because I had friends staying there. Cyberjaya is so beautiful. It is quite different than Kuala Lumpur. Personally, I really like Cyberjaya and Putrajaya because they are the prettier cities of Malaysia that have everything you need.

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Indoor skating rink at the shopping centre

 
The very first thing that caught my attention there was the little trees which were nicely cut and shaped like mushrooms. I found that so cute!

 

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Cyberjaya with neat trees

 
They have a bridge in Putrajaya which lights up. It switches colours every few seconds. You can walk around on the sidewalk of the bridge and hangout. At night, there’s a nice breeze by the lake and you have a satisfying view of the city.

 

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Kuala Lumpur is just like any other city. Their downtown is very commercial with all brand named stores with lots of people and lots of traffic. What excited me the most there was to see Sephora! I couldn’t believe it! Had a girl moment there.

 

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The Pavilion is a very colourful place. It won’t feel like you’re in a developing country at all. Of course, like any downtown, KL’s is also not so clean. It’s very polluted. This is why I liked Cyberjaya. So neat and clean with less people.

 

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View of Patronas Towers from KLCC

 

The Petronas Towers

 

The Petronas Towers, or as they call it the “twin towers” are also downtown. I’ve actually never made an effort to go to the top but it looks beautiful from KLCC.

 

China Town

 

China Town in Bukit Bintang is a place you can go to for affordable shopping. You can even bargain. Most things are fake brand named products. If you are into that then it’s a great place to shop. Alternatively, you can also buy souvenirs from there. There is a place called Jalan Alor behind Bukit Bintang, where you can go for local food. This place has really good food! If you are looking for an authentic experience, I highly recommend this.

 

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KL

 

Batu Caves

 

Batu Caves is a train commute away from KL. It’s not a bad journey as you can take the local trains. You can see the temples there and finally climb up the stairs to see the Batu caves. I haven’t seen any bats but mainly monkeys. They are quite amusing so you won’t be bored there! The climb is steep so you will get a workout but its nice to go up to the caves. You will also see many statues there.

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Batu Caves

 

Genting highlands

 

Genting highlands is a bus ride away from KL. You will have to take the cable car to go up the hill (1865 m above ) where they built a casino and a theme park. I was a bit skeptical about going on those rides, so I just did some sight seeing and amateur gambling.

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Genting highlands indoor rides

Things to do while in Kuala Lumpur

  1. Petronas Towers
  2. China Town
  3. Batu Cave
  4. Aquaria KLCC
  5. Jalan Alor
  6. Genting Highlands
  7. Putrajaya Bridge
  8. KLCC
  9. Cameron Highlands
  10. Sunway shopping centre and theme park

 

 

The Bahamas Islands

It’s almost been a month since I have been to the beautiful Bahamas islands. I arrived in Nassau, which is the capital. Nassau is quite established and tourism is the most popular in this city. The water is so blue it’s absolutely stunning! This was the first thing I noticed there. Thanks to my Bahamian friend who gave me an awesome tour of the entire island on the first day. She drove me around the whole island which was very nice of her!

 

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Nassau
 
The island life is obviously quite laid back. Although I had imagined for people to be relaxing on the beaches and drinking their coconut water, it didn’t really turn out to be so. People are on the grind there. They work hard to make a living. The beaches are almost empty, compared to the beaches I have seen around the world. I think they are so accustomed to it that they don’t get fascinated by it. I would love to live by a beach. I’d be super tanned but still!

 

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Having coconut water by the beach in Eleuthera

 

Eleuthera

 

Second day in the Bahamas I flew to Governor’s harbor in Eleuthera. It is a beautiful island which is quite long and narrow – surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Caribbean sea on the other. This was THE most gorgeous place in the Bahamas. There’s a bridge, called the Glass Window Bridge. It gives you the best view of the two water bodies which eventually meet. The difference is incredible; the deep blue ocean with it’s rough waves on one side and the calm light blue sea with barely any waves on the other side. It’s amazing and indescribable.

 

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Caribbean Sea
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Atlantic Ocean

 

Accommodation in Eleuthera

 

My friends and I rented a villa, which was a 2 bedroom with 2 washrooms, laundry, kitchen and living room. The balcony was quite nice, where we sat and star gazed at night. The stars seem magical there. Sky full of stars, so clear to see. No street lights. Sound of the ocean and wind. Extremely windy.

 

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View from our villa, Eleuthera
 
During the day there are some nice seaside restaurants that you can go to – they are mainly local and it’s nice to just sit there, relax and enjoy the view. Especially by the seaside. I like it better than the ocean side. Something about that calmness that I’m drawn to. Also the colour of the sea – so beautifully blue. We went around most of Eleuthera and explored. Preacher’s Cave is a huge cave where the English settlers first arrived when they came to the Bahamas. It is an interesting spot to check out – there’s a path that leads to the ocean on the other side, which is very much abandoned. I think this entire island is very abandoned. There is a church every 300 m. That is A LOT of church!

 

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Preacher’s Cave, Eleuthera
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Cute lil restaurant by the sea in Eleuthera
 
They refer to their little suburbs as settlements. There are many of them. Below is a picture for you to check out. I think we explored most of these settlements, besides the ones up North. We did go to the pineapple farm where the farmer was nice enough to show us her farm. She was happy to explain to us how the pineapples grow. We also checked out her other plants and frankly, it was nice being on a farm again!

 

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We went to most of these places, Eleuthera
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Pineapple farm, Eleuthera
 
Eleuthera is very close to the Harbor Island. It is only a $5 ferry ride to there. We had a day trip there to visit Harbor Island and especially visit the Pink Sands beach. This beach is gorgeous as it is actually pink! The day we went there was very sunny so the pinkness wasn’t as bright. I wish we experienced the sunset there, it surely would have been a brighter pink close to sunset time. In any case, I had an amazing time there. One of my highlights.

 

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Pink sands beach, Harbor Island

 

Transportation; how to get around in the Bahamas

 

Nassau has public transportation as it obviously is a city and very established. However, I think driving would be your best bet. Harbor Island on the other hand – you have to rent a golf car. It’s a very small island. Driving a golf car, even for a little while, was fun. In Eleuthera, you have to absolutely rent a car. There’s no way you can go without a car. There’s too much to see and no public transportation. This island is not travel friendly like Harbor Island or Nassau.
I didn’t know that conch shells were a thing, especially in the Bahamas. They look so beautiful and I kept seeing them everywhere. Then I finally saw some under the blue water. I learnt that they were all tied to one another through strings, as the restaurant probably kept them for cooking. These conch shells are quite large and look super pretty.I was asking questions about conch shells to the man at the restaurant. He offered me one to take home. At first I thought it’d be too heavy but later I had to go back and tell him that I changed my mind. I am so glad that I did. I carried an entire conch shell home, all the way from the Bahamas to Canada. While in the Bahamas I also learnt that you can eat conch shells. The local restaurants sure have a lot of traffic for this. It was interesting to say the least.

 

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Conch shells, Eleuthera
 
We then headed back to Nassau from Governor’s Harbor. This was a 30 min flight. Super scary flight as it’s a 20 seater plane and might I add – a very old one! Alas, we made it alive! I finally tried that conch salad in Nassau – it was interesting, tasted a bit like squid. They put so many things in that salad though – I got the one with fruits. It was a lot but it was something new and I liked it.
On my last night, my friend took me to Atlantis and gave me a tour. We went to the aquarium and the casino. We had dinner at the restaurant in the casino. That area is definitely filled with tourists. It kind of reminded me of Niagara, but even busier.
I would say that the highlight of my trip was definitely Eleuthera. It is a breath taking beauty. I would love to go back and do snorkeling and kayaking and maybe spend a bit more time on the beach!

 

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Tarpum Bay, Eleuthera

 

 

Top 10 Things to do when in Byron Bay

Byron Bay is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been to. I left a piece of my heart there. Living there for a few months sure changed me as a person. I’ll be giving you tips on things to do in Byron from a local perspective.

Byron is a super laid back beach town with a unique culture and atmosphere. There are no corporations or malls or big buildings. It is a paradise. In the main town there are a few things to do. Alternatively, you can also rent a car and visit the towns nearby. There are surrounding towns that are SUPER beautiful so driving there is definitely worth it. 

1. Main Beach

The main beach is very accessible since it’s right by the main town. I would usually go there for the beautiful sunsets and the drum circle at sunset!

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Main beach Byron Bay

 2. The Pass

If you walk a bit further east from the main beach, you will end up at this beach called The Pass. My favourite! 

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The Pass

 

3. Wategos Beach

Wategos beach is a small beach with really nice views. A place where you can spot dolphins from!

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Wategos beach

4. Tallows Beach

From the lighthouse, you will have breathtaking views of the Tallows beach. The coast looks amazing from here! 

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 It’s like having a private beach to yourself! In midpoint of this beach, you will spot a tea tree lake. It’s amazing because it’s right across from the ocean and the colours of tea tree lakes are quite different and unique than any other water body that you have ever seen! It’s known to be good for your skin so swimming in a tea tree lake is highly recommended.

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Tea tree lake in Tallow’s

5. Broken Heads

Broken Heads in 7 mile beach road. This place is INCREDIBLE! Referring back to my “Camping on the beach”  blog, this place is a great place to just go and camp out at night. There are about 9 beaches along 7 mile road and every one of them is gorgeous. 

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Just hiking up Brays Beach
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Brays beach
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King’s beach

6. Lennox Head

 This is a small town near the airport. You will pass this on your way to or from the airport in Ballina. It has breathtaking views and it is just by a residential area so it has a different homely vibe!

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Lennox Head

7. Minyon Falls

It’s a half hour drive from Byron Bay.  When you walk around the park, you will see the stream and it’s such a serene and calm feeling that you can just sit there and meditate.

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Minyon Falls

8. Brunswick Heads

A park here with the ocean on one side and lake on the other. The wave currents there are quite strong. I haven’t seen many people going there for swims. However, it’s a nice place to go and have a picnic. The small beach there on the other side almost has no wave.

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Brunswick Heads

 

9. Light House

Going on a coastal hike from The main beach to the lighthouse is incredibly nice! You can start at the main beach and go through “The Pass”, Wategos beach and take the stairs all the way up to the light house. You might even spot some dolphins on the way if you’re there around May-August! Breathtaking sunrises can be seen from the light house – the most easterly point of Australia!

10. The Local Bars

Cheeky Monkey’s

The Northern Hotel – live band music

The Rails Friendly BarREALLY GOOD live band music

And there, you have it. All the places that you can possibly go to while in Byron! They are all incredibly beautiful and amazing!!!

Click to view Tips for Accommodations

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Sunset from the most easterly point of Australia

Surfer’s Paradise in Gold Coast, Queensland

A Short Drive from Byron Bay!

The drive is only about 2 hours away from Byron Bay. Gold Coast is a complete contrast to Byron. It has huge corporations, big buildings and is an actual city. Of course there are many beaches but the feeling is quite different. Instead of mountains by the coast, you’ll see very tall buildings.

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Surfer’s Paradise

Surfer’s Paradise

Surfer’s Paradise is quite a busy place with lots of backpackers, restaurants, bars, clubs, casinos, and they have entertainment like Ripley’s Believe it or not. This place sort of reminded me of Niagara Falls Canadian side, except that it’s way smaller than that. There’s the main street which consists of all your shopping, restaurants, bars and then you have the main beach for relaxation.

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Broadbeach

The atmosphere of Gold Coast is pretty lively. I have been to Broadbeach which is about an hour of bus ride from Surfer’s. This beach I found was nicer. It’s quite long and away from the party scene. I think I enjoyed Surfer’s beach more on my second day. It was nice to just sit under the sun. The water was not so cold yet just enough to cool me off.

It’s a nice place for a weekend getaway!

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Cairns, Queensland

I started the year of 2015 by flying to Cairns early in the morning and what an amazing start! Cairns is very up north along the coast of Queensland. It has very hot temperature and this is usually a gateway to the great barrier reefs. 

 

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One thing I’ve learnt from this trip is to stay away from Flight Centre, because their deals will rip you off. It’s best to just do your own bookings because you save quite a lot. I went with a couple of friends and didn’t really look through this but you live and you learn, right? 
I was there for 2-3 days. It was a short trip but fun! Cairns is really hot, especially in the summer time. The heat is actually exhausting there. It’s true that I would rather have hot than cold any day! Cairns is a small town. The downtown side of it is quite lively since many tourists go there. Unfortunately Cairns doesn’t have any beaches except for this man made pool area called the Esplanade. This is where most people go to cool off and there’s even a DJ that plays music. I would rather prefer a beach but sadly Cairns lacks this. What I noticed in town was that there are more flying foxes (bats) than people. Holy hell, they are just everywhere! I find them cute because their faces are like foxes, hence the name. They are quite noisy during the day, when they are hanging by the trees since this is their bed time. The ones in Cairns were much bigger than the ones in New South Wales. You can’t miss them, they have literally taken over the entire town! I miss flying foxes though… You can’t find them in Ontario. 

 

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Flying foxes hanging from the trees

Food

 
The restaurants there are also quite expensive but the food is amazing. They have everything you want; lobster,  kangaroos, crocodile… Yes crocodile! Very Australian. I have only tried kangaroo and it’s actually not as bad as the thought of it.

 

Nightlife

 

Cairns also has a nightlife which consists of a few clubs. It has a nice atmosphere. You can still hangout by the pool at the Esplanade. There are some bars along the street as well. It gets kind of crazy in the night time.

 

Beaches

 

The nearest beach is Palm Cove beach. If you’re not driving, your best bet is to take the public bus which takes about an hour. I assure you this journey will be worth it. Palm Cove is such a nice beach with beautiful scenery. You will notice danger signs for crocodiles in water and so they recommend that you swim within this huge net that they put up. It is quite scary and I haven’t heard of any mishaps but I can imagine it won’t be a fun experience to be attacked by crocodiles. Many people also go fishing by Palm Cove. 

 

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Palm Cove Beach

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Great Barrier Reef

 
I did a day trip to the great barrier reefs from Cairns. They took us to a pontoon which was in the middle of the ocean. This was not good for me since I get so much anxiety from big waves. The currents, I felt, were strong and there was no shore to go to. Since I fear drowning in water, this was not good!!! I always feel safer when I see the shore or a beach to go back to. This had just the pontoon and once you leave the pontoon, the water is quite deep and the currents are quite strong so you can feel the force. I tried to snorkel near the pontoon but sadly enough didn’t get to go far. I wish to overcome this fear one day, although it seems quite impossible at the moment. There was an underwater observatory also, where I spent most of time. The things you see underwater – it’s a whole another world down there and it’s so colourful and beautiful! 

 

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If you have this phobia as I do, I would recommend you stop over the “Green island” or there are a few islands within the great barrier reef where they take you to snorkel or dive. When they say “Great barrier reef” they mean the middle of the ocean. I prefer the islands because you can at least kind of walk around and explore, then also get to snorkel in shallow water. Well, this really depends on your preference but if you are anything like me then you would prefer the islands rather than the pontoon. 

 

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Stopover at this island before the Great Barrier Reef (Pontoon)
 

Top 12 Places To See in Sydney, Australia

  1. Sydney Eye Tower or the Westfield tower

This is quite a nice place. It has a bar and a restaurant. Their cocktails are quite amazing. It is a rotating restaurant and you get a 360 view of Sydney. 

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2. Darling Harbour

What can I say about this place? I absolutely love it. It has everything. A few chocolate café’s, a few bars and restaurants, an IMAX movie theatre, a wax museum, a wildlife centre, an aquarium, a few clubs, oh and I almost forgot…harbour! This place is amazing. Lindt chocolate café or Guylian’s chocolate café are absolutely delicious café’s to go to. If you’re looking to have fun, go out to Bungalow 8 and you won’t be disappointed. On Saturdays you will see the incredible Sydney fireworks! During summer time the fireworks can be seen Wednesdays and Saturdays. These are stunning shows and worth paying a visit to!

  1. Harbour Bridge

People do the harbour bridge climb there. If you’re not scared of heights I would say it’s definitely worth the climb. Otherwise, you can stick to the bridge walk. This will take you to Milson’s point where you can stroll around and check out Luna Park as well. The walk itself has incredible views of the Opera house and the city.

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  1. Opera House

It’s beautiful and nice to grab a drink at the Opera bar, just to sit and enjoy the vibe and views. New Year’s Eve is the best time to be at this spot.

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  1. Sydney Botanical Gardens

You will definitely need a couple of hours at least to just walk around the Botanical Gardens. It is quite interesting as you come across a lot of different kinds of plants and let’s not forget the views you have from the garden. Behind the garden is the Sydney Opera house. There’s also a little pond where you can find Eels swimming around. You can do yoga/meditation also, as it’s really not a loud place at all. Fantastic for a picnic.

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  1. Bondi

Bondi has a life of its own. It has an incredible beach where 85% of the visitors are probably tourists. It has nice bars, restaurants and ice cream parlours. If you do make it to Bondi, I highly recommend the coastal walk to Coogee. You will need some time at hand and if you’re not up for a long hike/walk, try the coastal walk from Bondi to Bronte – it will probably take about 20 minutes. Definitely worth it!

P.S Read my Bondi to Coogee coastal walk blog for details 🙂

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  1. Double Bay

They say, “double bay double pay”. This is an upscale area where you will come across a lot of fancy restaurants, bars, and lounges. There is only one place here that has no lockout time and it’s called the Sheaf. Don’t forget to dress up when you go here!

  1. Mosman

This is another upscale area. It has stunning houses overlooking the sea. You can go on a coastal/urban walk here along Mosman. There are parks where you can have picnics. The Sydney opera house and Harbour Bridge can be seen from here and as well you will notice many many many yachts along the coast. The houses are worth billions$$ and being there will only make you dream! 

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  1. Taronga zoo

It is such a beautiful zoo. You will definitely not regret going there. The cable car ride is quite fun to begin with. Finally when you get there, keep at least 4 hours at hand. This zoo has everything! Also, it’s located in an island, a bit further away from the Circular Quay (Opera house/Harbour Bridge). You can see the giraffes with a background of the harbour bridge. Now, that’s unique!

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  1. Manly

Usually tourists go to Manly from Circular Quay on a 30 minute ferry ride. Manly is a suburb so it has a life of its own with everything that you need. The beach is quite nice and not as crowded as Bondi. A lot of people go here for surfing lessons just because the waves are calmer here. On the other side, you will notice Shelly beach. It’s named Shelly because instead of sand on the beach, it’s mainly all shells. I like Shelly beach more because it’s right by the bay. You can go snorkeling or just swim around in the water. Water is warm during summers and waves are completely calm. You can go on a stroll around this area.

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  1. Glebe

I am so biased when it comes to Glebe because I actually lived there and so did most of my friends. Glebe is super lively and you will get a hippie feel. Glebe has a mall of its own, all kinds of restaurants which give you a taste of the world, chocolate cafes, regular cafes, bars with live music! Glebe also has a park called the Black Wattle Bay. It is such a nice and peaceful park to go to. People also take their dogs for walks there so you’ll come across many cute dogs. Also, watch out for those flying foxes! They are everywhere in Glebe! (especially during the summer).

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  1. Newtown

Newtown is the ONLY place in Sydney with no lockout time!!! Need I say more?