Bookmark All Of These Places & Events For Your Next Sydney Escape

Where to sate your pasta cravings, buy funky glassware, attend a festival of light, and more

Dine at Ursula's. Photo / Supplied

With travel an easier prospect once more, we’re looking at the wealth of cultural events and creative happenings in Sydney.


Cult favourite Totti’s has set up shop in a new location, Rozelle, serving up its famous pasta, antipasti and more. At Londres 126, Santa Catarina and Casa Merida, founders Liber Osorio and Pablo Galindo Vargas are doing authentic Mexican food in a fresh way. Also on our list is Mimi’s, with a Mediterranean-inspired menu, and the charming Ursula’s in Paddington with its colourful walls and nostalgic menu. Viva-favourite Lucky Kwong is also a must-visit — with a locally sourced menu and family-led approach that reflect founder Kylie Kwong’s heritage.

Enjoy pasta, antipasti and more at Totti's. Photo / Supplied


In statewide festival Great Southern Nights, until April 10, the likes of Courtney Barnett and Marcia Hines will perform around Sydney. Splendour in the Grass festival is returning to North Byron (July 22-24) with a stellar line-up — Gorillaz, Tyler The Creator and more. For those of the classical persuasion, see The Phantom of the Opera on a floating harbour stage until April 24, and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra is doing Italian Baroque (June 8-10). Or, get your skates on and groove to the music at Rollerama at Darling Harbour until April 24.

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Buy a cool bowl from Alex and Trahanas on Oxford St, then head down the road to Jardan for stripey lounges and crafty vases. In Bed’s flagship store is nearby, as is Danish furniture specialist Great Dane. Elsewhere, starting April 10, the 100 per cent Aboriginal owned-and-operated Blak Markets Festival will feature art, craft and bushfoods. Koskela in North Sydney has great locally made goods, the ever-hot Hay is opening a new store in Surry Hills end of March, Maison Balzac on Bourke St is great for funky glassware, and King is good for breezy modern furniture.

Find something special for your home at Alex and Trahanas. Photo / Supplied


Carriageworks will see the return of Pinot Palooza, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest pinot noir festival, for two days (June 17 and 18), bubbles fans will enjoy the food and fizz of Sparkling Sydney at the waterside Pirrama Park (April 30), and there’s the four-day festival Whisk(e)y on The Rocks (April 28-May 1) dedicated to the amber drop.

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A festival of lights, music, and ideas, Vivid’s expansive programme launches with First Light, a Gadigal storytelling projection on Sydney Harbour Bridge, one of 11 dazzling locations to discover. Pack your sneakers for the 8km Light Walk, with illuminating installations from 114 artists — the Opera House will be lit up with the work Yarrkalpa — Hunting Ground, 2021. With light comes sound, and there’s music aplenty (including Teeks) as well as a musical ode In the Mood — A Love Letter to Wong Kar-Wai and Hong Kong. Friday May 27 until Saturday June 18.

Check out 'For Sydney with Love' by Ken Done at Customs House. Photo / Spinifex Group


The Biennale of Sydney is back. Entitled Rivus, themed around rivers and ecosystems, and free to visit, it makes art accessible to all. There are more than 330 artworks across a variety of locations, including the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and Barangaroo Reserve — where you can see Flow, the largest bamboo structure created in Australia. In addition to all the art on display, there’s also daily programming for all ages, and the 572-page A Glossary of Water, the companion publication for the show, to take home.

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