Ah, Sydney. The unofficial capital of Australia and home to some of this country’s most iconic sights. Generally visitors to the city choose to stay in the centre for a couple of days and might throw in a night or two at Bondi. See the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, go for a surf lesson. Tick off all the other boxes of Things You Must Do While In Sydney.
And that’s fine. No one goes to London without visiting Big Ben, or goes to New York and doesn’t see the Statue of Liberty. I’m not saying miss out the big stuff, but just make sure that you don’t ignore the small stuff completely.
I lived in Glebe totally by accident. Having flown down to surprise my friend Helen who was newly arrived in the country, I crashed at her hostel. We both loved it, and decided to stay there when I impulsively quit my job in Byron Bay to move down south. It’s got a real village feel, akin to Hamstead, and it’s almost impossible to believe that you’re literally down the road from Sydney’s biggest train station.
Had my friend chosen somewhere different to stay I doubt I would have ever set foot in this quaint little suburb, despite it being only a couple of kilometres from the city centre.
So here’s why you should make sure to pop in to Glebe next time you’re in town!
All of the food in all of the cafes
Seriously. I blame my not ever meeting my saving goals in Sydney on the amount of delicious food on offer. From Well Connected, the cafe that serves up a chocolate lasagne, to the Turkish Bakery serving up fresh bread and pides throughout the day you’re guaranteed to find a spot to whet your appetite.
My favourite spot however has to be Sappho Cafe. A bookshop out front with a courtyard cafe in the back they serve up the best avo on toast with delicious coffee and never make you feel rushed. It’s the perfect place to soothe a hangover or take your laptop to study and there was a reason I included it on our must do list when we had 72 hours to spend in Sydney this year.
And don’t even get me started on the restaurants. No really, don’t. This post will be long enough as it is.
You can shop until you drop
Although you can find the large Broadway Shopping centre on the outer corner of Glebe if you require highstreet shops or a cinema, the real gems lie further up the road. Glebe has a ton of vintage and boutique businesses alongside some great charity shops. There’s even a record store/cafe and quirky homeware warehouse that is filled with locally sourced items guaranteed to show up on Pinterest.
The Glebe Market is unbelievable
Every Saturday Glebe hosts one of the best kept secrets in Sydney – it’s markets. Forget the famous Paddy’s where you’ll be wading through tourist trash and head here instead. You can pick up some tasty food, second hand clothes or even artwork. For those not looking to buy the people watching is worth the journey, and walking around will be a great excuse to order that chocolate lasagne ‘to replace the calories’.
Bicentennial Park is quiet and beautiful
Grab a takeaway lunch and settle yourself down in this beautiful area. There are views towards the CBD and it gives you a different perspective of the famous ANZAC Bridge. Nothing is more lovely than wasting a sunny afternoon reading a book by some blue water, and if you do it here then you’re less likely to be annoyed by bothersome tourists. Plus the Botanical gardens have trees full of bats and spiders, so that’s reason enough not to hang out there really.
The accommodation on offer is unique
Look on AirBnB and there are rooms for $100 a night that have views over Syndey harbour. For those on a budget the Rooftop Travellers (where I stayed) has 4 bed dorms for $25 a night with free WiFi and ensuite bathrooms. The area is packed with quirky places to rest your head and because you’re fractionally further out of the city centre you’ll get a good bargain to boot.
The pubs have serious personality
Aside from a couple of bars there is really no reason to spend a night out in the city centre. Unless of course you want to pay double for your drinks and socialise with other tourists. The real magic happens in Sydney’s outer suburbs and while I’d recommend heading to Newtown if you want to dance the night away, a bar crawl down Glebe Point road won’t disappoint.
The Little Guy does what it says on the tin. A small, homely space that has a roation of different craft beers on tap and serves free spiced popcorn to every punter. Moving along we have The Friend in Hand, often touted as the ‘original dive bar’ and the inspiration for Oxford Street’s famous Shady Pines. They have a resident cockatoo, cheap prices and a model train set along one side of the bar. Need I say more?
My favourite watering hole however has to be the Toxteth Hotel. It looks like your usual, uninteresting Aussie pub until you reach the inside courtyard at which point it’s easy to believe you’ve been transported to Dalston. They have a great selection of food, including 50 cent chicken wings every Friday, and the sort of atmosphere that guarantees a good evening. I still miss it.
So what do you think? Have I convinced you that Glebe should be on the must-see map when visiting Sydney? Where’s your favourite place to visit that other’s don’t know of?