Here’s a totally random list of things to do in Sydney on a rainy day and feel free to combine them at will.
- Patisserie & Sports Outlets:
Try Textbook (close around 3pm) for coffee and cake at Green Square, access via buses 309/310/370 which stop in front (Botany Rd at Mandible St) or train T2 Green Square, exit Botany/Bourke (the longer walk out of the station), turn left up the stairs, cross the street, cross the street again and walk up Botany Rd past the Puma and New Balance outlets. They have free wifi for longer stays and delicious pastries. Directly across the road from Textbook is The Sweet Spot – a fantastic breakfast/brunch/lunch place.
- Shops: Westfield Sydney. Get off the train at St James, take the Elizabeth St exit and cross Elizabeth St, walk along Market St, and enter the building from the back where Prada is. On this level that you walk into, on the right, is another patisserie specialising in French macarons in wild flavours: Laduree from Paris. The shopping mall has lots of quirky stores downstairs, and a good food court upstairs. It is also home to the Sydney Tower – which has a decent revolving buffet restaurant (which saves you a separate entry fee).
- Outlets: Birkenhead Point. Access via buses from stop Victoria Rd Near Cary St (M50/M52/501/504 amongst others) or best via Shopper Ferry. Check timetables on their website as they are not part of the integrated transport network. Buses are on Opal, this ferry is not, but it’s a scenic way to get there and it saves a walk from across the road.
- Bondi Junction: Access via Train T4 Bondi Junction. A huge Westfield with lots of entertainment options, some of Sydney’s best shops and a big cinema.
- Powerhouse Museum and neighbouring Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre: access via Light Rail from Central – stop Exhibition Centre, or bus 501 from Central Station Stop Harris St Opp Powerhouse Museum. You can also walk along the Goods Line back to Central Station when the rain stops. This little Malaysian next door, the Kopitiam Cafe, is a cheap and cheerful delicious Malaysian restaurant. It closes in the afternoon and reopens at night most days.
- Paddys Market, in the vicinity inside Market City is an indoor market with lots of trinkets, and a good vegetable market at the back. Upstairs L3 in Market City is a fantastic Yum Cha Restaurant (the Eight) and food court. On L2 you find coffee shops and clothing outlets. Tram to/from Central is right out front.
- The Star: Home to the casino, food outlets and the Lyric Theatre. Access via Light Rail from Central (24 hours). Once the rain stops, you can walk to Pyrmont Bay Wharf to catch a ferry back to Circular Quay.
- COOH opposite The Grounds. The Grounds are a fantastic place for breakfast and brunch with market-cart style food stalls and live animals, but they are VERY popular and you should get there early or book. Check their website in the Food & Drink section and book in advance. Cooh is where people used to go when the Grounds were booked, but it has become a destination in itself and the food makes up for the ‘trip’. Access via (12 min longish) walk (along industrial Bourke Rd) from T2 Green Square or, better on a rainy day anyway, via 348 bus to Collins St Near O’Riordan St. Note that the 348 does not go from/to city but leaves from Wolli Creek Station terminus, St Peters Station (Sydney Park Rd after King St) or Bondi Junction (Stand H) terminus.