sydney opera house and bridge by night

After Hours In Sydney

29 May 2018
Read Time: 4.6 mins

In Sydney on business and wondering how best to wow a big boss or client after dark? We’ve got you covered.

Lauded restaurants, kickass cocktail bars, and world-renowned cultural venues; it’s unsurprising that everyone loves Sydney. Though its high rises and bustling CBD have all the hallmarks of a modern-day metropolis, unlike other cities, the urban sprawl here  is complemented by bliss-inducing beaches, snap-worthy swimming spots and killer coastal walks, all set against a backdrop of one of the most stunning natural harbours in the world.

Sink A Cocktail Sky High

With a position overlooking Sydney’s iconic harbour and Harbour Bridge, the Shangri-La is the embodiment of the age old adage: ’location location location’. And to take in the glittering water view, head 36-levels up to the 5-star hotel’s Altitude has one of the best views in town. Romantic and impressive, its floor-to-ceiling windows showcase the city at its finest. Yes, it’s pricey, but this is fine dining at its best - complete with knowledgeable sommelier, palate cleansers and of course a jaw-dropping vista. The 18-person private dining room makes this venue a great option for special-occasion celebrating and is guaranteed to impress even the most jaded of restaurant-goers.

While next door in the Blu Bar you’ll be forgiven for blinking and thinking you’re in Manhattan. Brimming with Sydneysiders and visitors alike, floor-to-ceiling windows offer both water and city views, including a jaw-dropping birds-eye vantage point above both the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. As you'd expect, the decor here is slick, and the drinks menu oozes sophistication, with a selection of wines, champagnes and signature cocktails. And this year this go-to lounge has had a refurb to make it even more aesthetically pleasing.

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Take To The Skies

Speaking of views, if you really want to impress, and we mean REALLY, then make like Leonardo DiCaprio, Hugh Jackman and Brad Pitt and hop aboard a seaplane to get to your post-meeting dinner.

Sydney Seaplanes have ferried all of the above A-listers and many more to some of the nearby iconic dining hotspots via a one hell of a joy ride that takes in the harbour and surrounding postcard-perfect beaches. One of their daily port of calls is high-end eatery, Jonah’s. Disembarking you and your posse will be greeted at the jetty by private car and taken to the clifftop restaurant where a bottle of chilled bobby and a sumptuous 3-course a la carte dinner awaits. At the end of your night a chauffeur will transfer you from Jonah's back to the city

And if you’ve always dreamed taking flight in a seaplane but the accompanying price tag brings you swiftly back down to earth, fear not. With the new Empire Lounge at Sydney Seaplanes you don’t need to be a high-splurging high-flyer to get a taste for the good life.  Opened last year, the chic new Empire Lounge is the first purpose built seaplane terminal in Australia. Part-departure lounge, part-restaurant, part-bar; it’s waterside location on Rose Bay make it the perfect spot for eating, drinking and everyone in between.

Haircut Paired With A Wee Drab On The Side

Wonder how local high-flyers and visiting celebs stay looking red carpet ready? The answer is the resident glam squad at QT hotel’s SpaQ.

Set in the heart of the CBD, this slick designer spa boasts a Hammam-inspired steam room and ice room, in addition to an array of treatments and spa packages. And gents certainly aren’t left out here with a great range of spa treatments designed specifically for blokes and an in-house Barber Shop offering cuts, shaves and other grooming treatments to leave any leading man looking dapper. They’ll offer you a glass of Chivas Regal whisky too. If post-meeting grooming and a cheeky beverage isn’t a great bonding activity then we don’t know what is.

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Book A Table For An Iconic Sydney Sundowner

An oldie but a goodie, given its proximity to the world famous Sydney Opera House, the Opera Bar unsurprisingly lures more than a tourist or two. But despite the prevalence of out-of-towner’s this harbour-flanked watering hole is still a firm favourite with locals and it can’t be beat post-work.

Offering unparalleled vistas from all angles - alongside live music and plenty of yummy food options - you can easily while away an evening here. Dining is casual, so order a few share plates. Picks include the lemongrass-cured ocean trout with spanner crab and croutons and the yummy quesadilla pizza with spicy lamb, avocado and sour cream.

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See Art After Hours

Wandering around a gallery admiring art during the day? Yawn. It’s after hours when galleries up their ante, especially as there’s usually wine involved. Sydney is no exception.

If you’re in the Harbour City on a Wednesday and want to appreciate a canvas or two with a glass of vino, then make a beeline for Art Gallery of NSW. Their Art After Hours program has become a favourite with locals and covers everything from live music, lectures and celebrity talks, drawing workshops, film screenings, gallery tours and other events – and, of course, nocturnal access to its latest exhibitions until 10pm.

Book A Table At Sydney's Hottest New Eatery

Latin for Kitchen and Wine, Culina Et Vinum is one of the city’s newest - and most talked about - restaurants.

Positioned an easy five-minute cab or Uber ride from the city in the inner-city suburb of Elizabeth Bay, this sophisticated take on a neighbourhood wine bar and restaurant specialises in comfort food, paired with one of the most considered and comprehensive vino lists you’ll find. Plus, there’s expertly prepared martinis, lagers and single malt whiskies.

Serving up a European style menu in cosy, yet modern surroundings, diners can expect a seasonal menu that changes every few months, including favourite family recipes made with sustainable produce, including dry-aged meat, fish and pasta. The roast spatchcock, blackened onion and broad beans, is a particularly lip-smacking choice if it’s in season.

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Time Your Visit For Opera On The Harbour

If you’re lucky enough to be in town for its March to the end of April run, then booking tickets to Sydney’s Opera on the Harbour ( is an absolute must.

Easily the most perfectly situated opera stage in the world, whether you’re an opera fan or not, it’s a challenge to see this spectacular floating stage - set against a backdrop of the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge - and not be awestruck.

Take a harbourside setting with an unrivalled view of the famous Sydney skyline.

An annual fixture on the city’s annual cultural calendar, expect spectacular dance, fireworks and a monumental set, plus appropriately themed on-site Spanish food and drink. It’s opera, but not as you know it.

Theatre And A Tipple

If you miss out on the Opera on the Harbour season for the year, you can still get your culture fix at one of the many performance venues in the city. One of the most acclaimed is the Sydney Theatre Company (, or ‘STC’ to locals, which offers audiences an eclectic program of contemporary Australian plays and theatre. But cultural credentials aside, this is THE place to go if you want to see one of our homegrown stars take to the stage -  Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Mel Gibson, Hugo Weaving and Rose Byrne have all performed here.

Trip to Sydney on the cards? Book with our Business Travel Experts today on 1300 797 826.


Paul Ewart

Originally from the UK, Paul has lived and worked in three different continents: from the heady metropolis of Dubai, to North America and - as of six years ago - Sydney, Australia, a place he now calls home. His travel career spans 13 years across various print and digital outlets. Until recently, he worked as a senior TV producer for Channel 7. Now, he's back doing what he does best: travelling.