This piece was contributed by Jeroen Meijer, Hotel Manager at PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney.

Darling Harbour is one of Sydney’s most exciting precincts and it’s pretty easy to see why. From feeding the kangaroos at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo to dining at award-winning restaurants, Darling Harbour is a must experience for your next weekend getaway. We’ve taken the hard work out of planning your trip and put together a list of the best places to eat, stay and play so you can make the most of your weekend getaway.

EAT

Abode Bar & Bistro

Make yourself at home in Abode Bar & Bistro, because we know you won’t want to leave! Whether you select from Chef Zoe Scott’s modern Australian menu, indulge in a High Tea or munch on some bar bites, Abode Bar & Bistro offers a truly unique dining experience. We suggest the Espresso Martini – shaken, not stirred, accompanied with live music every Friday and Saturday evening.

Steam Mill Lane / Image Via darlingsq.com

Steam Mill Lane, the perfect place to visit when you’re hungry but have no idea what to get because well, it has a bit of everything! Just navigating through your options is sure to get those taste buds salivating. Although the Lane is set back a little further than the Harbours Edge we definitely think it’s worth the extra walk.

Fratelli Fresh / Image Via fratellifresh.com

We can never go past an Aperol Spritz … or Burrata, which is why Fratelli Fresh is quickly becoming one of our favourite Darling Harbour dining spots. Whether you choose to join Fratelli for breakfast, lunch or dinner during your weekend away you are sure to be impressed by their fresh take on classic Italian dishes.

STAY

PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney

Add comfort and convenience to your next weekend getaway by checking into PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney. Their interconnecting rooms with harbour views and luxury marble bathrooms make PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney a must stay with your closest pals or family. Staying with that someone extra special? We suggest opting for the Executive Suite, where you will find yourself cosying up in fluffy bathrobes on a bed fit for any king.

Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour / Image Via ovolohotels.com

If you’re looking for a unique urban experience, let Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour host your stay. This award-winning, historic converted wool store is only a short walk from Darling Harbour’s waterfront. With rooms titled Shoebox, Shaken and Stirred, irony is this hotel’s best friend and we must say, we’re fans! Book yourself into a junior suite to experience the modern high life and – excuse us for forgetting – the free daily happy hour.

Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour Hotel / Image Via sofitelsydneydarlingharbour.com

Be the subject of Instagram envy from Sofitel Darling Harbour’s signature infinity pool. This hotel is the epitome of luxury in the Darling Harbour precinct. We recommend the Superior Room with Harbour Views, but trust us – you won’t be in there for long with their champagne bar and top floor club lounge access.

PLAY

Kingpin Bowling / Image Via kingpinbowling.com.au

When you want to break through the tourist-fuelled attractions, we suggest heading to Kingpin Bowling, located conveniently in Harbourside Shopping Centre. But this is no ordinary bowling joint – you can personalise your scorecard with selfies, boast your strike score to your Facebook and smack talk your competitors in other lanes. And if that’s not enough to get you through the door then surely their laser tag, table tennis and arcade games will!

Chinese Garden of Friendship / Image Via Wikipedia

Escape the hustle and bustle and enter a serene cultural vacuum at the Chinese Garden of Friendship. Sitting on the outskirts of the Darling Harbour precinct is the perfect culmination of philosophy and harmony of traditional Chinese Gardens. Feel free to sit back and relax, munching on some dim sum and sipping Chinese tea whilst appreciating the carefully curated waterfalls, lakes, exotic plants and koi fish.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium / Image Via Expedia

Discover the deepest of blue depths at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium – the home to over 13,000 animals from 700 different species. There’s something for everyone at the Aquarium, whether you take the self-guided tour or daily talks at one of the fourteen themed habitats. Our personal favourite pastime is navigating through the Shark Walk whilst admiring the larger-than-life dugongs and stingrays.

Now that you have our best insider tips and tricks to make the most of your weekend getaway in Darling Harbour, we suggest you get going! Catch you there (we will be the ones sipping espresso martinis at Abode Bar & Bistro).