40+ romantic ideas in Sydney
Sydney may not be first thing that comes to mind when thinking about romantic ideas.
It may not even get close to being seen as a romantic destination. In the eyes of the world cities like Paris, Venice or Florence may qualify much better for a romantic getaway. By comparison, Sydney’s reputation is more that of a busy, sunny, modern, cosmopolitan city. However, I can prove that Sydney has indeed a lot of romantic flair.
In the list below you will find some of the best romantic experiences you can have in this city. Delectable picnics and scenic flights, great hotels and unforgettable moments. The list below will surprise you with a number of experiences that you might not even have thought of before.
And it doesn’t really matter whether you are on a first date, plan an unforgettable anniversary or embark on a Saturday night out with your loved one. These suggestions will make this day a special one.
In the following article you will find
- The best sunset spots
- Tie the knot in the most spectacular way
- Dine and wine in the best restaurants of the city
- Perfect picnics in perfect places
- Explore Sydney’s beautiful harbour
- Up, up in the air!
- The most romantic hotels in Sydney
- Sunset cocktails with a view
- Snuggle up in front of the big screen
- Glamping is the new way to enjoy nature in style
- Sweets for your sweet
- Explore Sydney’s remotest spots together
- Escape the city and plan a romantic weekend getaway
- Sleep on a boat and wake with the birds
- Watch the fireworks together
- Explore new sides of the old city
- Leave a love lock behind to show your undying love
- Show her the stars
- Go horse riding together
- Go for a walk along the coast
The best sunset views in Sydney
Blue skies and generally warm temperatures for a good part of the year make Sydney ideal for romantic couples. Just spread a rug in a nice spot and enjoy the views with your lover. Even better when you do this towards the end of the day to capture the soft light of the setting sun. Your hearts will be faster as you watch the spectacular play of colours in the evening sky.
There are some notorious spots around Sydney where sunsets can be enjoyed best. For example on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (there are packages offered by BridgeClimb specifically for this time of day), on deck of a Manly ferry (you will see the sun setting behind the skyline and the Harbour Bridge, a marvellous view), or on any of the dozens of Sydney beaches.
Tie the knot in the most spectacular way
Speaking of BridgeClimb, there is even a Wedding Climb on offer, so you can tie the knot or renew your vows on top of the most iconic of landmarks in Sydney.
But you can also get married on a beach, for example Balmoral Beach, Fairlight Beach, Shelly Beach, or Palm Beach.
Think of the many beautiful parks with have in Sydney, most of them can be booked as a ceremony venue. This includes the Botanic Gardens, Centennial Parks, Pirrama Park, the Australian Botanic Garden, and Parramatta Park.
Or get married with a view! Best locations for this include Clifton Gardens, Observatory Hill, Blues Point Reserve, and Bradley’s Head.
Dine and wine in the best restaurants of the city
Sydney is full with first-class restaurants that have earned their rightful place in the international culinary scene. But in my view some of them are more suitable for a date night than others.
Take your loved one to one of the best restaurants in town. How about Farmhouse Kings Cross? It is renown for its impeccable service, romantic atmosphere and great food. You dine here on a set menu, so all you need to do is relax and be pampered by the staff. The chef will take care of the rest.
If you want to impress with great views of Circular Quay and the Opera House then the Altitude Restaurant in the Shangri-La Hotel is a must, in particular after dark.
Est. Restaurant is one of these rare places where you can dine in style and have a three-hour lunch without the feeling you are being rushed out the door. With impeccable service and food to dine for, this is the place where you an completely focus on the special person in front of you. A multi-award winning restaurant that you need to visit at least once in your lifetime.
Equally good views can be enjoyed from the O Bar and Dining, 47 floors above ground. This revolving restaurant serves first-class modern cuisine while you can watch the Sydney skyline slowly move by your window. Read my review here.
Or dine right by the water (and if you want to, make a spectacular entrance in a seaplane) at Cottage Point Inn. Read my review here.
Book a degustation menu at French Restaurant Guillaume Paddington that you can toast on with a glass of good champagne. Sophisticated, fresh and seasonal food that you will both love. Over-indulgent to say the least, not recommended when your partner is on a diet!
Fish at the Rocks is a hidden gem, small yet not claustrophobic. Perfect thanks to its romantic atmosphere and a must-do if you are both into fish and seafood. Remember, oysters are an aphrodisiac!
Lastly, Tetsuya’s is probably one of the best known restaurants in Sydney. Booking a table here means that you will need to plan a couple of months in advance. But I am sure your better half will appreciate the effort, and both of you will surely enjoy the most sophisticated Japanese creations by the great master chef.
Perfect picnics in perfect places
If none of the above restaurants suit you then check out the website of the Sydney Picnic Co.. You can order a complete picnic set that will be beautifully arranged with napkins, wooden cutlery and handmade tags or little messages. You can even get it delivered if it’s not too far away from their base in Surry Hills.
The team of Pretty Picnic will even set up your picnic including props to ensure the atmosphere is just right when you turn up, and once you are finished they will be back to clean up after you.
If you wonder where it would be a great spot for a picnic, think about places like the Botanic Gardens. It is one of my favourite places in Sydney because of the fantastic water views and the calm, green surroundings. Or maybe you would like to spread your rug on Observatory Hill, head out to Wattamolla in the Royal National Park, check out Balls Head for fantastic views, or take a ferry to romantic Cockatoo Island.
Explore Sydney’s beautiful harbour
Back to dining – with such a beautiful harbour right at your doorstop why not book a table on one of the dinner cruises that depart daily? Captain Cook offers a great dinner event on the MV Sydney 2000. Magistic Cruises uses a catamaran to cruise the harbour. And with Sydney Showboats you get cabaret together with your dinner on a paddlewheeler.
Up, up in the air!
But enough of food! There is so much more a couple can do around Sydney.
Why not get onto a seaplane in Rose Bay and take in the views of Sydney from above? A seaplane will take you out to sea to see Bondi Beach and the Eastern Suburbs, or you can venture out along the coast all the way to Palm Beach. Either way, you are sure to see the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge from a bird’s eye perspective, an unforgettable experience.
Another way how you can see Sydney from above is by helicopter. Sydney Helicopters for example are operating out of Parramatta.
Or if you require less action and more tranquillity, check out the website of Balloon Aloft. Balloon rides start from the Hunter Valley, the Hawkesbury Region and Camden Valley.
The most romantic hotels in Sydney
When it comes to the most romantic hotel rooms in Sydney you will be spoilt for choice. (Disclaimer: The following links are affiliate links with Booking.com. If you choose to book a hotel using one of the links you will also send a small commission my way which helps support this blog. I have used this booking site in the past and always had perfect experiences so I have no issues recommending them to you. Best of all, you won’t pay extra and I get to earn a little bit of money – win-win!)
Time Out Sydney have put together a list of the best top-notch hotels in Sydney. These have that little bit extra that you would want to have in order to enjoy a romantic weekend. No point repeating what is said there.
Some of the best hotels in town offer exclusive couple deals. For example the Four Seasons with canapés, breakfast for two in-room and late check-out until 3pm (!). To book, click here.
At the Hilton Sydney couples will be pampered with chocolate dipped strawberries and champagne. Speaking from experience, a night here will not disappoint. Just make sure you let them know in advance that you are celebrating a special occasion. To book, click here.
For an apartment option, check out ADGE Apartments in Surry Hills. Here you have the added bonus of a great restaurant scene and cute small bars right at your doorstep. The apartments are hip and modern, so definitely a great place to stay! To book, click here.
The Langham may not be the cheapest option in town but you get what you pay for. In particular the spa and the indoor pool are to die for. The food and beverage options can be counted to some of the best in Sydney. It’s a gorgeous hotel with a fresh and modern French touch. To book, click here.
For a more funky vibe, have a look at the Ovolo 1888 in Darling Harbour. Set in a converted wool store, it comes with many quirky details. At the same time there are many free extras included such as free minibar, free wifi and so on. Plus, you will only be a couple of steps from Sydney’s premier entertainment and restaurant precinct with the marvellous Saturday night fireworks. To book, click here.
If you don’t want to opt for a city hotel, have a look at this travel agent’s site. On LoveBirds you will find lots of interesting luxury offers in intimate B&Bs along the Sydney beaches and on the harbour.
Sunset cocktails with a view
Snuggle up in front of the big screen
Many people would take their date out to the cinema, but not many would think about spending the night at Blacktown Drive-In Cinema. Why did drive-in cinemas get out of fashion? I think they are a great way of watching a movie, in the comfort of your own car, and away from the curious eyes of other movie-goers.
The Hayden Orpheum is one of the last art-deco cinema, a real Sydney institution. It very often has special theme nights where you can watch classic movies, arthouse and foreign films.
At Govind’s enjoy a vegetarian dinner and then head to the screening in the room above. The theatre is equipped with comfortable daybed chairs, perfect to snuggle up in front of the big screen. Make sure you book in advance!
For classic films and cult hits, check out the program at Golden Age Cinema with its lovingly restored and very intimate screening room.
In the summer, check if you can find open-air screenings which pop up around the city as soon as the days get warmer.
Glamping is the new way to enjoy nature with style
Sydney’s world famous Taronga Zoo offers so-called Roar & Snore. Great for adventurers who would like to enjoy a night in an architecturally designed tent in the middle of the zoo. You will be sleeping just metres away from wild animals and can enjoy the most fantastic views (Taronga means “beautiful view”). Included is also a roast dinner in the main tent and close encounters with some of the zoo’s animals, in the evening and in the next morning.
More glamping ideas in Sydney and surrounds can be found in this post here.
Sweets for your sweet
Adriano Zumbo is probably one of the best known patissiers in Australia. His sugary creations are simply legendary. There are a couple of locations where you can pick up Zumbarons (there are incredible 40 flavours to choose from), cakes or hand crafted chocolates. Without doubt, your better half will be delighted!
Plus, for gelato, take her to Messina’s or The Cow and the Moon, for pastries visit Jesse’s Le Petit Patisser, for otherworldly soft-serves and slushies try Aqua S, for cool bakery shop and dessert bar options head to Black Star Pastry, Tella Balls Dessert Bar or The Local Mbassy,
Explore Sydney’s remotest spots together
Hire a canoe in Rose Bay and head right where you will find lots of small coves and secluded beaches. Or you could try Manly and head towards Little Manly and the Quarantine station area.
Escape the city and plan a romantic weekend getaway
Sydney has a great choice of weekend destinations. Perfect for couples who need to have a break from busy city life.
In the Blue Mountains for example, you can stay in Leura. This little mountain town is renown for its beautiful gardens and serene scenery. Spend some time bush walking in the dense forests and sit cups of tea in front of open fires. There a numerous great look-outs around; try to avoid touristy Echo Point and check out Olympian Rock Look-Out instead.
The Hunter Valley is a popular weekend destination for wine connoisseurs, and pretty much a big adult playground. It’s best to tour the local vineyards, try a couple of wines. Then buy the best wine you can find, stock up on locally produced cheeses, olives or chocolates and then retreat to your hotel room to enjoy the sunset over the valley. Many of the local hotels and B&Bs are specifically designed with couples in mind. Restaurants nearby can certainly accept the challenge from any big city restaurant.
The award-winning Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa, three hours drive from Sydney, is probably the star of adult accommodation around Sydney. The 36 luxury lodges each feature their own private pool and a fireplace, and the suites are designed to take in the scenery at its best. If you can afford it, that is.
Sleep on a boat and wake with the birds
Have you ever thought about sleeping on a houseboat? What better way to start the day with your other half than with a cup of coffee on your private deck. Watch the sun rise over endless bush, listen to the birds, and not much else…
There are a number of companies around that will help you out if you want to make this dream a reality. Most notably on the Hawkesbury River and in Cronulla, such as Hawkesbury Houseboats, Cronulla Houseboatsand Paradise Afloat.
Watch the fireworks together
Did you know that there is a fireworks display pretty much every Saturday night in Darling Harbour? So why not head out here for drinks or dinner and enjoy the sparkles from your table.
Explore new sides of the old city
Take the ferry from the CBD to Cockatoo Island for a fun day out. Walk and discover the different areas of the island, have a picnic or dine at the restaurant. There are BBQ facilities, and the views from the island are spectacular.
Rather than spending your last penny on the BridgeClimb, have a look at the $13 per person offer from the nearby Pylon Lookout. This spot is little-known but gives the chance to enjoy equally great views.
Leave a love lock behind to show your undying love
Unlike many other places around the world, Sydney and the surroundings seem to be rather unwelcoming when it comes to the topic “love locks“. These are little padlocks, often engraved, that are placed by lovers on bridges and fences around romantic or popular spots… if you’ve been to Europe or maybe the US you will know what I mean.
Anyway, over here councils seem to be less than impressed with this folklore and locks are usually removed straight away. If this doesn’t deter you, check out this Aussie small business site called Love Locks Oz on Facebook, I think they are doing a marvellous job at crafting heart shaped locks that are custom engraved with lovers’ names.
Show her the stars
Show her the stars and take her to the Sydney Observatory. In the night sessions you will be able to gaze through the telescope. Also, an astronomy educator will explain everything you need to know about the night sky. The 3D cinema will entertain even when the conditions don’t permit night sky viewing. There is even a Dreamtime show that will feature the stories of the Aborigines and how they see the stars.
Go horse riding together
For fun and action head out of Sydney and go horse riding in Glenworth Valley north of Sydney. If you are inexperienced you can join one of the guided tours which are designed for rookies and will take you through the unspoilt Australian wilderness. More experienced riders can explore the valley in their own time.
And if that’s your thing, Glenworth Valley also permits camping, just check out their website for further information.
Go for a walk along the coast
Another tip for more active couples is the Great Coastal Walk that connects Palm Beach in the north with the Royal National Park. Altogether this walk is 94km long. If you want to walk the full length of it you will probably need around 8 days. But you can just try your luck with some of the sections and see how you go.
The coast is definitely a great romantic spot with its massive waves and majestic cliffs, white beaches, and coastal fauna. If you are lucky you might even spot some dolphins or whales. What a great experience!
For a less strenuous option, Manly is probably the best beach for a walk along the promenade, if it’s not too busy. The walk to Shelley Beach from Manly is particularly nice in the afternoon on those chillier winter days, as it is sheltered from the breeze but will receive the full winter sun.